The Draw of the Eucharist

colourbox-paid-edited-for-hv-v2-n1-feb-vac-resized-smallerThe Bookworm[1]

This book about the Eucharist over time was like reading history and praying at the same time. For me, anyway. But what matters here for this Healing Voices issue is the last chapter of History and Presence which is titled “Events of Abundant Evil.” This chapter focuses on the relationship between the Eucharist and survivors of abuse by clergy. It is a brief, rich must-read for Victim Assistance Coordinators and Survivor Ministers.

Robert A. Orsi, the author, is a scholar who has traveled the country for years to get to know clergy-abuse survivors. (He also travels nationally and internationally speaking on this topic.) In this chapter above, Dr. Orsi explores how often the Eucharist draws survivors home. The longing seems inexplicable to survivors. (It did to me.) Most of us have to overcome many roadblocks to going back into a church at all. For me the hardest one to overcome were reasonable warnings people who really loved me kept saying about how if I returned to the Church I would only victimized again. That happened to several victims I knew. It didn’t happen to me for some reason. I don’t think God loves me less or wants to home any less. So, what does that say about the people who treat other victims poorly?

[1] This review is based on “Events of Abundant Evil” as found in History and Presence, by Dr. Robert A. Orsi Copyright © Robert A. Orsi 2016. All Rights Reserved. Dr. Orsi also posted on the Teresa Green YouTube Channel a recorded interview previewing his findings about faith among survivors of clergy abuse. It is a quick-listen and engaging. Even VACs and other ministers who already work with survivors of clergy abuse will find it enlightening.


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