I am amazed at the positive response I have been receiving to this blog. I have communicated with people that, unfortunately, share a common bond of having been abused/molested/raped by a member of the clergy or are close to someone that was. I was startled by the similarities in the stories not only of the actual events but of the consequences that have dramatically changed the course of people’s lives. You don’t need to look to far to understand that the problems of sexual abuse by Clergy has reached epidemic proportions. This is not limited to pedophiles, there are adults as well as children who are dealing with this problem.
I am very impressed at the resourcefulness of the people I have talked to so far. Once they set their mind to pursuing justice, in whatever form that works for them, they are determined and passionate about their cause. I never saw myself as an activist, but I am beginning to think that it is important to take a stand to force the hierarchy of the church to fundamentally change their way of doing business. They need to be open and honest. You would think that this would be easy for Catholic leaders but it seems to be problematic! Since they will not be forthcoming with information and they continue to harbor pedophiles while they try to keep victims quiet, I have no choice but to keep looking for alternative ways to persuade them that what they have done for decades is wrong and perhaps criminal.
A woman from Kansas contacted me a few days ago. Her son was abused by a priest who is currently in the Vianney Center in Dittmer Missouri, the same facility that Father Gibson calls home. She was able to do some research on Father Gibson’s assignments. I had asked the Diocese of Scranton for the information, they are still pondering whether they should provide that information to me. I was planning on driving up to Richmond to the Diocese of Richmond’s archives to access the Official Catholic Directory to enable me to more accurately form a time line of Fr. Gibson’s assignments. I am sure he has left a trail of damage through each parish. For anyone who is looking to fill out a time line on any priest, the Official Catholic Directory is a great starting place. It is usually available at Catholic Colleges and Universities, Diocesean Archives and some large public central libraries. Look for a separate blog entry for the details, but I am filling in holes in my original assignment list.
I will continue to work on this blog. I don’t want it to consume me though. I do not want to become obsessed with writing this at the expense of the people I care for or the things that I enjoy doing. I have a kayak sitting on the side of the house that I really want to take out on Lake Drummond before it gets too far into the fall. I also have a new job that is going to require that I do some traveling. I will be leaving tomorrow for a conference in the Washington D.C. area. While at that conference I am hoping to take some time during one of the evenings that I have free to meet with a gentleman that had a similar experience with Father Gibson. More importantly, I am going to get to take my son to dinner, he is a university student in Northern Virginia.