By Kevin Koscielniak
At what point does a person say enough is enough and initiates something to make a change?
How far do you need to be pushed before you are angry enough to act?
But when it comes to the clergy sexual abuse scandal, has the entire Catholic community seriously asked themselves these questions? Have they consciously taken to heart what has happened to these children and adults, and what is continuing to happen? Do they have a full understanding of the trauma that survivors have suffered and continue to deal with?
Do you want to know what I, and many survivors go thru? Well here it is. Childhood sexual abuse has lifelong effects. Adults who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse often feel “stuck.” Our efforts to build and manage our lives often seem fruitless, hollow and hopeless.
There is a persistent perception that we are somehow different from others. We feel like we are on the outside looking in, and we believe we just don’t belong.
What was done to me, and every survivor, is no different than being nailed to a cross and left there to die. The only difference for us is that we get to continue walking on this earth even though our souls, emotions and psychological well-being are dead and in a body bag.
Do you think that just because we are still moving, we are truly alive? It doesn’t work like that.
What happens to a survivor of sexual abuse affects the entire community. The ancillary damage is reprehensible. It’s not just the survivors who suffer. It is everyone who is tied to each survivor: family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances.
This sexual abuse and rape of children are not just “bad decisions,” as Bishop Richard Malone keeps saying.
This is a blatant disregard for a human being and the well-being of a child.
And the bishop continues to cover it up, not resign, comes up with excuses, and then has the audacity to continue to allow priests who have substantiated allegations against them to stay in parishes and around children.
If the Catholic community of Buffalo truly cares, then the entire community needs to act. I am calling for a strike against the Catholic Church and the Diocese of Buffalo.
I am asking every parishioner to stop going to church or contribute money until change is made and Bishop Malone is out. And I am asking every “good priest” to come forward and demand that the pedophile priests and the bishop be removed.
You can either stand up and do what is right, or you can continue to be silent and protect these predator pedophile priests and the bishop. What is it?
Kevin Koscielniak, a native of Buffalo’s East Side, was a survivor of childhood sexual abuse by a priest.