Abuse survivor responds to Cardinal Fernandez’s “The Mystical Passion”

Anglican.ink - AnglicanTV Ministries [Webster FL]

January 17, 2024

By Faith Hakesley

Faith Hakesley, author of Glimmers of Grace: Moments of Peace and Healing Following Sexual Abuse (Our Sunday Visitor 2020) as well as the Ruth Institute blog, Advice from a Survivor, reacted to Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández’s recently resurfaced book, The Mystical Passion.

“I found it nauseating,” Hakesley said. “It’s sexually graphic, blasphemous, and completely inappropriate on so many levels. That a Catholic priest would write so graphically is despicable.”

“The book would likely be triggering for any survivor of sexual abuse. It certainly was for me. I only got through a few portions before I felt physically ill and had to stop.”  

“Even more concerning than this book’s graphic descriptions is that it was inspired by a 16-year-old girl’s ‘spiritual’ but sensual encounter with Jesus, which is included in the book. I sincerely hope the girl got the help she needed.”

“I’m not saying Fernández abused anyone; however, what I read suggests manipulation, grooming, and spiritual abuse. Some of the lines stood out because my rapist said almost identical things while he was grooming and abusing me.”

“As has happened in many cases of clerical abuse, my rapist often combined abuse with spirituality. He would try to make the awful things he was doing seem beautiful and godly.” 

Fernández authored The Mystical Passion in 1998 but suppressed it not long after, fearing it could be “misinterpreted.”

Read it all at the Ruth Institute