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CA Priest Who Was Abused by Priest To Hold Special Mass
"Liturgy of Sharing and Catharsis" Is Scheduled
An Anglican priest who was sexually abused as a youngster by a Catholic priest will celebrate and host a special Mass for other victims. The unique event, dubbed an Angst Mass for Survivors of Priestly Abuse, will be held on April 9th at the Church of Our Savior, 6301 W. Olympic Blvd in Los Angeles.
Fr. Bob Greene of Redondo Beach is organizing the Mass. Greene was sexually abused as a teenager by Fr. Bob Manning, who worked at St. James Roman Catholic Church, in Redondo Beach in the 1970s.
"This will be an opportunity to come together as a Community of the Broken, as we confront our own painful past as victims of abuse, we gain the power that comes from such confronting and this energy propels us to become heroes," said Greene.
"This is not a Healing Mass, this is a Catharsis Mass," he emphasized. "Healing comes when we confront our pain and admit that we are angry with God and the Church. Many of us will come to church simply to tell God how angry we are for what occurred, and to share our pain, or insights and hopes with others."
Several members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, will help provide music. Some will share original pieces of music, original poetry, "their journeys, their hurt, their insights and their hopes," according to Greene.
We in SNAP are grateful for Bob Greenes courage to share his own painful experience, strength and hope as a victim with the survivor community, said Mary Grant, SNAP Western Regional Director. "We are also thankful that as a priest, he is confronting and exposing the abuse that few religious leaders have by trying to create a safe place for victims in the church (regardless of faith or belief in God) to disclose their own truth, painful experience and feelings that they have for decades been forced to carry in shame and silence for the sake of the churchs image, their perpetrators and church officials who covered up their crimes, said Grant.
In the address prepared for the Mass, Greene affirmed that abuse by clergy is not a specific denominational problem but one that "stems from the misuse of sacred authority entrusted to clergy, and then to lie about it cloaks these deeds in even deeper deceit."
"The greatest evil is for clergy to utilize this sacred authority for ones own private and or perverse designs," said Greene. "This grave sin stretches across all denominations and is the cause of many to loose faith in our churches as institutions. The abuse of children is the one single hot example in peoples minds, but such misuse can take many forms such as misuse of finances and 'Church politics.' Its all about priestly responsibility and the proper use of authority in the church."
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests