Mathews: Other ways to address alleged abuse case


To the St. Mary's Pastoral Advisory Council:


First, please let me extend my deep sympathy for your suffering regarding the recent removal of Fr. Ted. 


I have read you recent letter of public support for Fr. Ted at the Lake County News Web site and you church web pages.


Please take into consideration that somewhere in your parish community, today, right now, there is a young boy being abused. He may be a victim of sexual assault by his sitter or family friend. He may not understand what us adults are talking about but he will remember that coming forward to share his secret is pointless. No one will believe him nor support him. He has learned this because he has seen how the community supports the alleged abuser and not the victim. 


Coming from a personal experience, watching my parish collect sympathy notes and well-wishing cards in public was one of the most painful and degrading acts in my life. It was cruel.


I hope that you can maintain your support of your pastor in the quietness and stillness of your hearts, and keep in mind the children in your parish who now must live in further silence and shame. 


Or, perhaps you may take this time to help others. You could post whom to call and whom to seek help from in your own community if you or someone that you know is a victim of sexual abuse.


Or, go to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) Web page and read the list on what to do if your priest is accused of sexual misconduct.


My heart goes out to all of you.


Kelly Mathews lives in Marquette, Mich. She runs a Web site dedicated to monitoring clergy sex abuse at