View Larger Image Why Should I Stay in the Catholic Church? A Discussion with Fr. David Nix Joseph Sciambra2020-09-15T20:31:54+00:00September 15th, 2020|Blog, Podcast| Share This Story, Choose Your Platform! FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditPinterest Related Posts Gallery My Conversation with Fr. James Guirguis of the Antiochian Orthodox Church February 7th, 2021 Gallery Orthodox Iconography – Theory and Practice: A Conversation with Shayne Swenson January 27th, 2021 Gallery The Persistence of Grooming in the Catholic Church January 26th, 2021 Gallery The Catholic Family at a Time of Crisis in the Church: A Conversation with Paul and Kristen Ciaccia January 21st, 2021 Gallery My Conversation with Former SSPX Priest, Francis Palmquist (I Am Judas Project) January 15th, 2021 10 Comments Jane Perdue September 15, 2020 at 11:28 pm Writing this from the beach where powerful waves are rushing onshore & ships out at sea are being tossed & turned. It reminds me of our present situation in the Church. The true Catholic Church, the Barque of Peter, is sailing along & will soon sink Vati-Titanic. Good priests like Fr. Nix & strong survivors like Joseph are brave fishers of men, plucking drowning people from the waves. Our Lord is never outdone in generosity, and your faithfulness will be rewarded. You can count on our prayers & active support. Christus vincit. Jerry Stawarski September 16, 2020 at 12:45 am You are a strong man Joseph. David Long September 16, 2020 at 1:25 pm Joseph, may God bless you and grant you the strength, courage and wisdom to continue your Catholic ministry. You are an inspiration to many. Mary Mother of God pray for us. Amy McSween September 16, 2020 at 8:22 pm Satan, it would appear, is swallowing the Church. Survivor September 16, 2020 at 10:13 pm This was a difficult listen. I absolutely appreciate Fr. Nix’s willingness to come on and discuss this. Everything I’m going to say is a “challenge” for him and the clergy at large to do better, and I can see that he means well. I sincerely hope he’s checking back to read the comments. I echo some of the others who have commented on this with concerns over how survivors are seen and spoken to within the church. What it really comes down to is that I think Joseph is trying to share a theology of trauma with the Body of Christ…..as am I. It has not been received and the church has made no effort to ask it’s members to understand it. I’ll try to go in order here…..the comment about McCarrick’s adult male victims made me cringe. Firstly, there is no way to predict what someone will or will not do in a traumatic situation. Fight, flight, freeze, or fawn….you’re brain picks for you. Anything you imagined or thought you might do goes right out the window. I know that personally. Power dynamics are big players in grooming. What is profoundly sad is that many heterosexual men who have been sexually abused will not come forward to anyone because of statements like that. This has to change. There should be mandatory trauma literacy built into seminary. We can’t afford to lose another generation of individuals who need spiritual care. I felt myself wanting to reach through the screen and call for a time out when Joseph was told he had to stay to minister to people like himself. It’s similar to managing a hostage situation by asking someone who’s been shot nearly to death to drag their bullet ridden body back into the building to save everyone. He already knows what it’s like to get shot, so he’ll be best at helping those inside. It’s crazy. What would have happened if St. Damien told the lepers to minister to themselves because they’d be better at understanding their own problems? Somehow we not only have to endure being blown to pieces in every way, but we’re expected to be responsible for fixing all of it. What’s the solution? ENTER IN. Let the suffering of those who experience this pierce you. Marinate in it. You will come to understand it and understand how to love us in it if you make the effort. This will really really hurt, but it would also really help people who can barely help themselves. If we don’t stay we’re giving them permission to abuse? They’ll continue to do so whether we’re here or not. I just honestly can’t remember the last time my food gave me permission to eat it. The Holy Family saw corruption but they weren’t sexually abused. I never had a problem staying in the church through corruption until I became the victim of two different priests. The comparison doesn’t work and it won’t translate for us. Some of us literally don’t know if we can take another day in the church. It’s a life or death proposition. Clergy abuse is a terminal illness. One day, we’ll die from it whether it’s self inflicted or due to constant stress. I’m a mother of small children who has been told repeatedly to reduce my exposure to triggers if I want to live. One day the stroke like symptoms I experience during episodes of stress will turn into a real stroke. None of this is part of “God’s plan”, and sometimes people suffer immensely for no reason at all beyond the malevolence of human evil. I love the sacraments, but I may have to leave so I can live and be there for my family. Joseph read something I wrote during the interview. I wrote to him because he helps me to not jump off the nearest bridge, not because this makes me stay in the church. I honestly struggled immensely before I knew of him with guilt and the inability to go on under the crushing pressure of church attendance and adherence to the sacraments. What he has helped me do is love myself, and feel confident that God loves me in my difficulties. That happens through giving people like us choice. Choice that is necessary to live, and maybe heal. Thank you both for participating in this discussion. Pax Christi Anonymousth September 17, 2020 at 2:56 am I listened to the whole 2 hour video and read the comments. A priest sexually abuse me, and I allowed that trauma to greatly damaged my life. I read your first book and have followed your blog and videos for years. These are my thoughts: 1. Joseph, I don’t why you allowed that commenter above, Michael Rakestraw, to post since he is advertising “Narth.com”, a website that seems to be encouraging people to live a gay life. 2. Despite being an abuse victim, I have never been seriously tempted to leave the Church because: (A) Jesus died on the Cross to found the Catholiic Church and told us that He and it are the way to heaven; (B) I fear the infinite misery of hell, and any pain in this life is literally nothing in comparison; (C) When heresy and evil behavior in the Church make me angry, if I turn my focus to what’s holy, the rightness of the Faith returns to the fore. 3. Joseph, I’ve wondered for a long time now whether you should be stepping away from Church controversy and your homosexual ministry. To keep yourself steeped in circumstances where you are perpetually thinking about leaving the one church Jesus founded sounds exceedingly dangerous to your soul. No ministry is worth risking your eternity, and your value to others will be greatly diminished if they see you leaving Jesus’ Church, which is the same as leaving Jesus. 4. When I read that you had been chaste for 19 years, including abstaining from masturbation, I was greatly inspired. That was a miracle that God worked in your life through the Church. 5. I have often told others about the many things that I have learned from you and how you inspire me. 6. It is tempting for abuse victims to wallow in self-pity, and for would-be helpers to enable us. Many people in history have experience a lot more acute pain than that experienced by priest abuse victims. Jesus told us life would be tough, but not to worry for He has conquered the world. Life in this world is brief and eternity is forever. 7. In writing the above, I am also bucking myself up. Let’s pray for each other. Joseph Sciambra September 17, 2020 at 3:46 pm Narth.com used to be the website for The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality; thank you for letting me know that this address is no longer good. Michael September 17, 2020 at 3:37 am Joseph, thank you for courageously sharing your struggles with Catholic Church and your ongoing inner Cross of repentance. Your story has inspired me in my own struggle with same sex attraction and helped me endure many temptations to leave Christianity for a life of debauchery. May God bless your ministry, whether you stay Catholic or try Orthodoxy, or find another way to be faithful to Christ. I will say as an Orthodox Christian that I was relieved to hear you say that the Orthodox have their own problems, which we certainly do. Just as you have the Jesuits and Fr. James Martin, we have our Fordhamite theologians and the liberal-modernists over at “Orthodoxy in Dialogue” who advocate for blessing of same sex unions within the Orthodox Church. I say this out of brotherly concern that should you convert to Orthodoxy it should be because you believe Orthodoxy to be the True Faith, and also because I would hate to see you become Orthodox then burn out of Orthodoxy altogether in a few years. It is a hard faith, a beautiful faith, a true faith, but very difficult to find much help apart from the ascetical life (and even there the teachings are regarding lust, not particular to homosexuality) in regards to fighting same sex temptation. Some priests are uncomfortable with addressing the same sex attraction piece (as most are married men), but with the few priests I have shared, including one priest monk, they are very compassionate and certainly do not approve of homosexual unions of any kind. You just have to be very cautious, because there are liberal Orthodox priests (like Bp. Kallistos Ware) who a will give you similar trite modernist soundbite advice. May the Lord illumine your path and grant your heart His peace which surpasses all understanding. Pray for me. Michael. Mary September 25, 2020 at 3:33 am Thank you, Joseph for such an honest discussion. I found your comments and questions so validating. I am so grateful. Thank you for challenging the good priest. These things need to be spoken. Gail M Ezell September 27, 2020 at 4:06 am Joseph, the only voice that matters is the one in your soul that shouts I Trust in You Jesus! Your love in discerning the Will of God is beautifully palpable on these pages and in the conversation with Father Nix. Your life and your strength have given me hope today. I will pray for you. Comments are closed.