Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Victim overdosed

Thank God for those who stand up to the archdiocese
January 25, 2011
I WAS so upset the other night that I could only pace restlessly for a while before I saw the next patient. I had just evaluated a young woman in the intensive care unit who had overdosed. She said that she couldn’t live any longer with the sexual abuse that she had sustained at the hands of a priest.

She believes her parents signed an agreement with the archdiocese when she was in her teens that therapy would be paid for by the church and that the secret would remain just that: a secret.

This flies in the face of the statement of the archdiocese that was published once again last week: “Assuring the safety of our children, fostering the healing process, and restoring trust are fundamental and ongoing commitments of the Archdiocese of Boston.’’

I care deeply about spiritual matters, and spent years in seminary before medical school. But today, I can only say: Thank God for individuals such as victims’ advocate Mitchell Garabedian and institutions such as the Globe who stand up to this publicly and don’t back down. Thank God that God exists outside of the church.

Christ believed that power was not a ticket to privilege but a license to serve. Would that the church more consistently believed the same.

Dr. Jeffrey Rediger, Belmont
The writer is a psychiatrist.

© Copyright 2011 Globe Newspaper Company.

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