So many negative connotations
Prowling my comments and checking out readers’ sites at random (yeah, I do that), I eventually found my way onto a new blog entitled Come Out, Virginia. I’ll be plain: it’s the story of a victim of clerical child sex abuse, and she recounts her tale with eloquence and a chilling clarity. I’ve spent most of the past evening reading through the posts chronologically, and I was originally gonna settle for making a plog (blog plug) in tomorrow’s (ie. today’s) Daily Blend … until I came across this post about the offending priest himself. Apparently, he sent a letter to one of his victims’ grandmother. This post is about that letter.
First, a tiny bit of necessary background info: the offender is referred to as “Monsignor”, which was his actual title when he was still a priest. He molested dozens and dozens of young children, the majority of them being girls. He was eventually tried and convicted for his crimes, spent five years in jail an “alternative treatment center”, and upon release, was placed in an “alternative treatment center” fulfillment of his original sentence, was forced to remain there by his diocese for the rest of his life; he died there somewhat recently at the ripe age of 99. He was 67 at the time of the crimes. And, as it goes without telling, he was a bit of a monster.
One of the his victims (“A.”) eventually broke down and revealed what had happened. Her grandmother (“E.”), who until then had been unaware of the validity of the claims weighing against Monsignor, immediately terminated all contact with him, sending him a final letter notifying him of such. The letter below is what he replied with.
I’ve posted the full thing below as it appears in the original post, including the original formatting as best as I could match it. Some bits of info (names, etc.) have been redacted, others turned into initials. It’s absolutely a must-read for anyone, regardless of your feelings or stance on the matter. It really doesn’t require any additional comment; the lines are easy enough to read between. Read at your own discretion.
WARNING: if you are at all susceptible to what are called psychological “triggers”, or things that can yank distant but horrible memories to the surface unexpectedly, then I would strongly advise you to take caution in reading this letter. Remember: it’s from an actual child-molesting priest, talking candidly and unrepentantly about his loathsome acts against innocent children. For this reason, I’ve placed it below the fold.
Greetings! There is sheets left in the tablet you sent me but I wish to use some of these ½ sheets.
Your letter is a bombshell. But it is going to accomplish some good. I need to know what is wrong. It will help me grasp why all these people [including me] swore against me. A. can help. Your letter [unintelligible]: “She had a bad experience with me when she was 8 or 9.”
I have no idea what this means. I have no knowledge, no remembrance. I do not know what happened. There is nothing in my mind about it. A. can help my judgment. She can help my understanding if she will write or get you to write and tell me all that happened. She won’t hurt me what she says, any more than I am hurting already since the five year sentence.
Five years ago all these people went to court at the urging of _______ [note: while I recognize the name, I do not know and have never spoken to this person] and swore against me. Court trial date set and the lawyer suggested to the Bishop to plead guilty to avoid publicity.
________ accuses me of taking him out of second grade, taking him to Priest’s House and taking all his clothes off. I KNOW I DID NOT DO THIS. One girl says I made her bleed and then took off her underwear and made her sit in school. Both of them got this from THERAPISTS because I would remember.
I know I have never touched any child sexually. As a good priest I have kept my vows all my life.
A. is probably angry with me. If so it might be good for her to write and say anything to me for her to get it out. It may hurt me, but that is ok. I have been hurt so much already.
I really must learn this “bad experience”. How did I touch her? Don’t be afraid to let me know.
I claim to be innocent for my whole life. I have something to learn. So A., please describe the bad experience. Help me to understand why all these people went to court against me. I am paying dearly. Five years of agony here.
E., you mention: “She must forgive.” This is important. A., I forgive YOU and I deeply apologize to you. I forgive ________ and all those who went to court. I forgive a million times at every Holy Mass at the Our Father Prayer.
A., please, open up and tell E. everything. It is healthy for you. E. will get answers from me. But really I do not know about your case. As E. says in page two of her good letter I was friendly and I hugged every boy and girl in school.
A., I say again, if it isn’t too difficult, write your side of this, all of it, get it out. Ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten you. E., you did the right thing in writing. I love you just as much as ever. Anything I can do to clear A., let me know. Let her read this letter. I am anxious to follow this and get cleared. Your letter came before Mass so you can’t imagine how upset I was. I made a petition in Mass and mentioned A.’s name and peace returned.
God love you all!
P.S. When I finished this letter I went to church and said a Rosary. Now I feel like more writing. As well as I recall A.’s is the first case where I hear somebody is harmed. So fill in details. Get her to describe to you or to me where my hand went on her, how long etc. My conscience tells me I never committed sin with any child. Some children are more easily disturbed. So, E., really get me particulars. You won’t hurt my feelings. This can help me understand court case.
Could the unspeakable perv be any more obvious?
EDIT: (05/16/10 @12:00 PM) – Thanks to come out, virginia herself for the quick correction.