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Raleigh Woman Tells of Abuse by Parish Priest

Posted April 16, 2008
Updated April 17, 2008

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— On Pope Benedict XVI's agenda for his six-day trip to the United States is discussions on the sex-abuse scandal that has brought shame to the Roman Catholic Church.

According to the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh, 35 victims have come forward since 1950 with credible allegations against 15 of its priests. Most of those priests are deceased.

Audrey Shaw, a Raleigh resident in her mid-50s, told WRAL the church's handling of her sex-abuse case drove her away from practicing the Catholic faith.

“I'm a recovering Catholic,” Shaw said.

She grew up a devout Catholic in Pennsylvania.

I had my “first Holy Communion in the Catholic church, confirmation as a Catholic, went to parochial schools for 12 years,” she added.

Shaw said that a relationship with her parish priest violated her trust and left her spiritually broken when he had sex with her. She was 16 years old.

“I think he sort of took advantage of that sort of friendship and the intensity that we had as a minister to a teenage young adult or teenage child,” she said.

Shaw said she felt betrayed, but looking back, it taught her a few lessons.

“I can say, I was hungry for attention and very hungry for someone to listen to what I was going through,” she said.

Shaw kept quiet for more than two decades. Two years ago, she came forward with her story. She said he was disheartened by how the Catholic church with which she was affiliated handled it.

“They would send me information about the church, but I have yet to hear to this day from them to call and ask how I'm doing,” she said.

Shaw also said she thinks the Pope Benedict's decision not to meet with survivors of abuse by Catholic priests is wrong.

“He needs to understand how it felt to the people who actually survived and who experienced that,” she said.

Shaw said her decision to come forward caused quite a bit of conflict because the priest she accused was close to her family.

She said that when she reported the abuse, the priest was still ministering. He eventually retired, but she decided not to pursue the case legally since he died suddenly in an accident on his farm.

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  • TheAdmiral Apr 24, 2008

    And guess what - they are not being harassed.

    They are not being open.

    They are not being tolerant.

    They are not treating others as they want to be treated.

    In fact, if what is said goes against the very grain of their self-proclaimed belief (i.e. stating that one is baptist and has not stepped into a baptist church in 20 years or have been baptised as such) then they get offended.

    As they should. It is hard to admit that they can not accept other faiths because of hatred, stereotypes, or innuendo.

    In fact, I can almost bet that people who are like that are one issue voters. Such as "I don't like Hillary's eyebrow - so I am voting for the other guy."

    Really a sad testament to todays society.

  • TheAdmiral Apr 24, 2008

    You asked for the remarks that were being considered hateful.

    What I got was a self-proclaimed baptist running banter of religion, and when it is explained calmly - it was being hateful.

    I did not see anything there except his prosecution of the catholic church. I did not take offense to it - and I AM CATHOLIC.

    But the fact of the matter is that this discussion here shows beyond a reasonable doubt that people can not come to the table and have a level headed conversation about religion in any way, shape, or form without being offended.

    As I pointed out several times - the responses that I got from this person on this forum basically allowed him to put his beliefs here, and when someone else explained the differences - he was offended and started calling names and villifing catholicism.

    If you are not willing to have a level headed conversation about it - don't ask the questions. Anytime someone does that and don't get the "Your right we're wrong answer" they are being harassed.

  • findoutthefacts Apr 18, 2008

    cont.

    "You people are so hateful and bitter towards anyone who is not catholic and who believes the actual Bible. Do you even read the Bible?"

    That is a valid question - this person was being attacked by a Catholic for their Bible-based beliefs, so they asked the question "Do you read it"

    "Why do you accuse others of bashing and being intolerent - just yesterday on soul-winning visitation, I had a lady throw an invitation card right in my face when I tried to invite her to my church's friend day saying that she was catholic. Now that is tolerent!"

    How is this hateful?? - he is giving a true account of rudeness by a Catholic in an actual experience....again, how is this hateful?

    "i'm just too intolerant and rude right now to respond to such nonsense"

    This is a "joking" response to being called rude and intolerant by a Catholic - so who's being hateful.

    BTW - none of the comments you referred to as hateful were posted by me. I'm just showing that there was no hatred.

  • findoutthefacts Apr 18, 2008

    Here it goes:
    "Catholics don't let their member read the bible."

    That is ignorant, not hateful - however, the biggest opposition group to the printing press was the Catholic Church because they wanted to keep their flock only knowing the "learned" prayers (ie. the rosary) and not reading the Bible to find out what it really says. There was a time they did not want the Bible to be available to read.

    "Prayers are usually selfish and self centered."

    Hmmm...I was under the impression that all faiths prayed, not just Catholics. And that statement is correct because a lot of people will only pull out the "prayer card" when they want or need something.

    "This is so ridiculous and sad. To say that I am intolerant because I think praing to Mary is not Biblical is just plain ignorant."

    This is in response to being called intolerant by a Catholic - sounds to me as though a Catholic threw the first "hateful" punch.

    to be continued....

  • TheAdmiral Apr 18, 2008

    "I fail to see where anyone has said anything hateful."

    Here it goes:

    "Catholics don't let their member read the bible."

    "Prayers are usually selfish and self centered."

    "This is so ridiculous and sad. To say that I am intolerant because I think praing to Mary is not Biblical is just plain ignorant."

    "You people are so hateful and bitter towards anyone who is not catholic and who believes the actual Bible. Do you even read the Bible?"

    "Why do you accuse others of bashing and being intolerent when most catholics I have run accross are the most intolerent and rude folks I have ever met (like just yesterday on soul-winning visitation, I had a lady throw an invitation card right in my face when I tried to invite her to my church's friend day saying that she was catholic. Now that is tolerent!)"

    "i'm just too intolerant and rude right now to respond to such nonsense"

  • crick127 Apr 18, 2008

    I don't understand something about most of these large religions. Why is it ok for a Catholic from one country to go to was with a Catholic with another just because there governments do not get along? That applies to just about any other religion with probably just one exception that I am aware of. If christians from one nation would not go to war with christians of another nation, the world would be a much better place.

  • findoutthefacts Apr 18, 2008

    I fail to see where anyone has said anything hateful.

    Do you all not know what a debate is? Or is this the same Catholic Church from the 1500's that said - "Question anything and you are a heretic?"

    If you question anything in my beliefs, then you can share your viewpoint and we can debate - it's not hatred if someone disagrees with you!

  • TheAdmiral Apr 18, 2008

    jf -

    A history that is made up from someone does not make it so. While there are 50 stories out there from every religion on the planet - there is only one story that I am concerned with.

    The Mysteries of Jesus Christ. His story and what he did on this earth and his evangelical methods of accepting everyone, even prostitutes under his wing.

  • TheAdmiral Apr 18, 2008

    "Saints = Human.........which can't do anything for you."

    You are correct - the entire intention of us to strive to be Saints includes helping other with their needs. See the evangelical work of Mother Theresa.

    But alas, it seems that the self-indulgent individualistic people have infiltrated the church and are now focusing on WWJD (What Wouldn't Jesus Do)

    Through this entire conversation, I have seen more hatred spewed against a Christian than I would expect coming from a Muslim/Christian debate.

    But the facts are facts - it seems protestant beliefs teach hatred (We often see the societal scumbags like the Klan preaching that God wanted what they are doing; The reverend Wright screaming at the assembly racist and hate mongering remarks; and we see church against church; Christian against Christian) and we often see groups who do a lot of good things for youth who need the assistance be kicked around because of a requirement for god.

    A very sad testament to the world today.

  • jetstream Apr 17, 2008

    When did I say that they could do something for me? I didn't. It is to show respect. God/Jesus is who we pray to. Don't you pay homage to important people in your life? That is what Saints are to us.

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