Karen answers Justine Lauren

Dear Karen,
I am shocked by your story. Never read anything quite so horrific. I am questioning something I find hard to believe. Don’t take offense, please. I would like to know more about the priest who witnessed your being abused. Did he participate in the act or was he a bystander? What Catholic Church priest would allow such things to happen? How does a group of men find each other have a morbid common idea of abusing children in a church basement? Where was this church? Did you report the priest’s action to the Archbishop or Pope? What was their response? Who do you blame? Did Richard Baer defend you claim?
Justine Lauren
 
Dear Justine Lauren,
 
I know my story is shocking and hard to believe. I don’t take offense with the questions asked here because it’s my hope to share the truth in a way that is less threatening and easier to understand.  My story is true, although multiplicity and why children are sexually abused is incomprehensible.

 

My parish priest did not sexually abuse me physically himself, but preferred to watch.  The hurt I felt from the priest was the same hurt I felt from those who actually physically perpetrated the act. The worst part of the abuse was the emotional trauma caused by trusting people only to have them let me down and hurt me.  Definitely not Christian. I won’t share the Catholic priest’s name; he’s now deceased.
 
You ask how a group of men like this find each other?  I have no idea. My father sought them out.  Maybe he started a conversation or stated a perverted thought out loud, and others joined in.  Besides, a small group of less than six, with the priest involved, made it easy to gather in the privacy of the church basement.
 
My abusers came from my father’s acquaintances, from his work, in  addition to a few church members that he grew up with. My father had a way of controlling those who worked under him by using threats and manipulation.  The priest acted inappropriately, he should have contacted the authorities, but he chose to participate in my father’s sick ways. 
 
I’ve never reported the priest’s actions, nor shared the location of the church.  As a child, I was threatened into secrecy.  I believed my siblings and I would have been killed if I told.  The church itself is not to blame. It’s a fine church and the priest who was a part of my abuse is long gone.  By the time I shared my experiences with Dr. Baer, in the safety of therapy, it was too late, my abusers were already dead. Therefore, no need for Dr. Baer to help with any claim.
 
Thank you for asking these brave questions.  It’s important to me that we all learn from each other. And how else can we understand if we don’t ask the hard questions?
 
Karen 
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