Finding Solace in “A Comfortable Cup of Tea”

The words of Catherine McAuley have been an encouragement as well as a comfort to me since I was 7 years old and first was introduced to her by the Sisters of Mercy who taught me in Queen of Angels School in Long Island City, NY.  They are all the more today as I mourn the death of my relationship with her sisters whom I loved so innocently in my youth, even as a novice myself, even when I was betrayed by one of their own, Sister Mary Juanita, and until they ignored me for 10 years after they were notified of her sexual abuse.  Life has never been the same… I turn to Mother McAuley for solace, and take her own advice upon her death bed, to have a comfortable cup of tea when she was gone.  Sister Juanita is gone and I mourn so much of this entire life event.  It calls for a comfortable cup of tea and a tremendous amount of prayer–and then the work of support for other victims, and the healing of abusers.

I am only one person, but I’m not the only person calling for attention to this issue.  The issue of abuse by Sisters is still ignored by the LCWR.  They figure it will go away.  But it won’t and those who care will keep this topic alive until these women address it honestly and save other children and youth from the wrath of Khan–venting on another generation. 

Today I thought, if 40% of nuns have been sexually abused–there are almost 40% of them hiding it and the fact that such abuse leaves its scars which then surface in life, in stress, in depression, in rage, and we have all heard the stories.  Generally 30% of abuse victims aim that rage at others, repeating some abusive behavior on other vulnerable creatures.  Such patterns are NOT just about sexual abuse, but about rage which is expressed in various forms, and many a child can testify to this, even if sexual misconduct was not the presenting problem. 

So, what of it?  Well, 30% of the 40% of abused nuns = 12% of the nuns out there won’t want this topic addressed.  And it’s not getting addressed.  Who wins?  Absolutely nobody wins, but many lose big time, very seriously.  Where are the Christian values in that?

Articles like this one ->  discuss these statistics, but only considering the numbers, the population of nuns in 1996 and beyond (when the study was conducted).  The great number of abuse cases came from much earlier times in the 60’s and around then, when the population of nuns was more than twice as large as now–so the percentages involved refer to far larger actual number of religious women.

Those who have suffered abuse are normally reticent about talking about it UNLESS THEY DO THE HARD WORK OF HEALING,because it is so painful.  After working on it in therapy and with spiritual support, after growing stronger and finding their voice to reclaim their mental and spiritual health they are anxious that no body else should suffer the same abuse.  MANY are supportive of victims then, and a healthy cycle begins.  If 40% of the nuns have been abused where are the ones who have done the hard work of healing?  They are silent!  Where are they? 

This, I believe with all my heart, is why the LCWR is silent.  I would love to be proved wrong.  Please, Sisters, prove that the 40% who admit to being abused are all healed…that the normal 70% of that group, who DON’T go on to abuse others, actually are similar to the general population in that category–and are appalled by repeated abuse by the other 30%.  Prove me wrong please. Please.


~ by caitfinnegan on May 8, 2014.

One Response to “Finding Solace in “A Comfortable Cup of Tea””

  1. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after checking
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