Saturday, 29 May 2010

A “Recovered Catholic” Tells Her Story.

Sue Cox is an English woman from a “fanatically” Catholic family who says she was molested by a Catholic priest at the age of ten, and a few years later was raped by him.
She has written frankly and dispassionately of her experience in the Guardian, where you can read it. What I want to point to here is the aftermath, even after dropping out of school, early marriage,  alcoholism, and self-harm – what happened after she began to recover and put her life together:
Then, at 28, I stopped drinking and joined AA. My marriage ended and I met Gez, an artist, when I was 36. Life was good: we opened a business; I studied acupuncture and counselling, and trained others in addiction work. But I could never forget what had happened and not telling anyone the full story had made me feel so much worse. Telling Gez was the first step, but I needed to take my secret back to where it began – the Catholic church.
When I told them, the Diocese of Birmingham seemed regretful, offering me prayers. Archbishop Nichols of Westminster himself wrote that I was in his thoughts. But what use to me were prayers or an archbishop's thoughts?

Now she is yet another who describes herself as a “recovered Catholic”:
These days, I am a Buddhist. I appreciate the need for faith – but my chosen religion is compassionate. Best of all, I feel no shame in telling people: I have recovered from alcoholism, eating disorders, self-harm, marital abuse, childhood rape. And the Catholic church.

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