Poet Laureate Reveals Childhood Sex Abuse By Priest

Click here to read “Poet laureate confronts his childhood abuse by priest,” by Will Higgins, Indystar.com, April 20, 2014

Excerpt: “I am a poet who returns to origins. In 1980 and ’83, my wife and I adopted two infants from Bogotá, Colombia, and she felt we should give them a religious experience. Katherine is deeply religious, sympathetic to my situation, saddened by the damage and hurt I suffered, but doesn’t pressure me to attend Mass because she knows, especially since I wrote the poems, the long-term effects of the abuse. Without her loving support, I may never have come back. But I am still an uneasy Catholic. Good priests, like Father Michael O’Mara, have made it possible for me to return, at least some of the time. A few months after Francis became pope, I realized that my bitterness about the hierarchy’s covering up the abuse was diminishing. Francis, a healer, gives me hope. His Bavarian predecessor, Benedict, had the opposite effect.”

12 thoughts on “Poet Laureate Reveals Childhood Sex Abuse By Priest

  1. I continue to hope, but EVERY-TIME I’ve had hope in the past I’ve been let down. This is my 18th year of dealing with RC clerical child sexual abuse. I hope, but I’m not optimistic.

  2. I know there is a lot to digest and comment on in the article but the title of the poet laureate’s collection of healing poems moved, drained, and depleted me.

    Catholic Boy Blues.

  3. Agree Kate! This pope is only about style not content! remember I said it here, his true colors will eventually show.

  4. One of the “phenomenons” I have always noticed in the Catholic Church is that many clerics carry over the favoritism they practice among themselves to the laity. It was palpable in my former parish church. The series of Fathers had their favorites. High on the list were “important” people, people having notable positions in the community or professionals. The Fathers bent over backwards for them.

    Father Michael O’Mara, in effect, bent over backwards for the poet laureate/professor. For that, I have nothing but the utmost respect for him. Not for a second am I suggesting that O’Mara practiced favoritism. I don’t know. But the scenario does force one to think about the many survivors whose struggles limited or altogether curtailed their potential and full realization. In a culture of favoritism, they are rendered invisible.

  5. I commend the author of this article for still having hope.

    However, when articles like the following are being reported time and time again that the Catholic Church present leader Pope Francis in the past had a different attitude for abuse victims it makes me wonder could such a man change his spots when given a different title.

    BishopAccountability.org released a report entitled “Pope Francis and Clergy Sexual Abuse in Argentina.” The report focuses on Bergoglio’s stint as archbishop of Buenos Aires from 1998 to 2013, and includes a database with links to public documents and media reports about 42 priests in Argentina previously accused of sexual misconduct. Specifically, the report focuses on five cases of sexual abuse by priests in which it alleges that “Bergoglio knowingly or unwittingly slowed victims in their fight to expose and prosecute their assailants.”

    The principal researcher behind the report is Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org.

  6. Always interesting to me is the “can’t judge a book by its cover” In the recent documentary expose it was obvious that Benedict did more than JPII..did he do enough..of course not. JPII has a grandfather kind look but seemed to basically ignore everything to do with the abuse situations brought to his attention…especially with the Legion of Christ…Benedict has such a harsh and severe look about his appearance but he did more than JPII

    1. Reading a book called the People of the Lie…….haven’t finished it yet but very interesting………I have done a lot of reading reflection and research into why people are evil what is evil, lies we tell ourselves and others, crimes vs sin , forgiveness, crazy making , what real justice is , truth, humility , pride self protection etc etc

  7. Some of the most creative people on earth have endured such misery .Some comedians are adult children of alcoholics. Edgar Allen Poe suffered from severe depression. It is refreshing to see that a victim of priest sex abuse has been very successful. Some have not let what happened to them destroy their lives. But unfortunately there are far too many who have suffered from severe depression, drug and alcohol abuse and worse. Believe me, there is much to overcome as a victim. Unfortunately the Hierarchy and the lawyers for the Church have used the many negative effects of the abuse to paint an unflattering picture of victims as addicts out to steal money from the Church.They have no shame.

    1. Jim, you correctly stated, “Unfortunately the Hierarchy and the lawyers for the Church have used the many negative effects of the abuse to paint an unflattering picture of victims as addicts out to steal money from the Church.They have no shame.”

      It’s important to remember that once the SOB’s have sodomized you, every other crime and moral turpitude is a ‘piece of cake’ for them.

      I’d love to see a psychological evaluation of these priests and the bishops who covered for them. I bet the percentage of sociopaths among their lot far exceeds that of the general population. These are not decent people that we’re fighting. Never forget who they really are.


  8. ‘When the church elevates him (John Paul II to sainthood), it is winking at the hell for so many children and young people (and adults) in its care. A big holy wink.” (Maureen Dowd, New York Times)

    Someday I’m going write a paper exploring the devastating and cruel effects of clerical smirks and winks in the history of the Church.


  9. Anyone in the world can pick up a poor disabled baby in front of a qazillion people, and get endless accolades. Please put your money with your mouth is, Pope Francis. Those antics don’t mean much when they are so many vulnerable children, teens and adults suffering all over the world from clergy abuse. Please help us to help them. You are about all we have!!
    PLEASE do the right things!

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