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Wonderful post. We have no right to forgive in the name of another, nor to forgive crimes done to another. It is a gross injustice to presume to do so. If we care to forgive Maciel for the scandal to us, then we should be sure to take some scandal. Otherwise, as you said, forgiveness is simple denial, and a denial of justice to those injured. It compounds the injury, and prevents redress.

I believe the following explains part of why the LC/RC members have a hard time facing the whole truth about all of this; that it is so much bigger than Fr. Maciel.

The Truths We Want to Deny by Sharon Begley

If someone’s self-image as competent and smart is challenged by the truth that he made a mistake, he is more likely to deny the truth.

A man who resented his parents’ favoritism toward his younger brother was receiving psychotherapy in Boston for relationship problems. His therapist thought they were making progress, but she knew a problem loomed. Pregnant, she worried that her fragile patient might view her maternity leave as abandonment or rejection. She held off revealing her situation until she was six months along, last year. “Have you noticed anything about me?” she asked. The patient said he had not, so she told him she was pregnant. Looking at her bulging abdomen, he said she couldn’t be; he was a keen observer of women’s bodies and had made a habit of scrutinizing her because he worried this would happen. No, he said; you’re not pregnant.

Denying the evidence of your eyes is the most extreme form of the coping mechanism called denial. But denial comes in milder forms as well. Parents refuse to believe their child is on drugs; that baggie under his bed contained oregano. A husband maintains his wife cannot be cheating; those late nights she spends with a friend are purely platonic. A wife denies that her husband is gay; he’s just been too tired for sex with her these last few years…

…People resort to denial when recognizing that the truth would destroy something they hold dear(RC/LC/MM). In the case of a cheating partner, denial lets you avoid “acknowledging evidence of your own humiliation,” says New York psychoanalyst Leon Hoffman. Short of catching a spouse in flagrante delicto, evidence of infidelity is usually ambiguous. “It’s motivated skepticism,” says psychologist Peter Ditto of the University of California, Irvine. “You’re more skeptical of things you don’t want to believe and demand a higher level of proof.” Denial is unconscious, or it wouldn’t work: if you know you’re closing your eyes to the truth, some part of you knows what the truth is and denial can’t perform its protective function.

One thing we all struggle to protect is a positive self-image. “The more important the aspect of your self-image that’s challenged by the truth, the more likely you are to go into denial,” says Ditto. If you have a strong sense of self-worth and competence, your self-image can take hits but remain largely intact; if you’re beset by self-doubt, however, any acknowledgment of failure can be devastating and any admission of error painful to the point of being unthinkable. In their new book, “Mistakes Were Made,” psychologists Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson argue that self-justification and denial arise from the dissonance between believing you’re competent, and making a mistake, which clashes with that image. Solution: deny the mistake…

http://www.newsweek.com/id/34765/page/1

Hi!
I also like this post very, very much. Also that you said that the proper reaction is not confrontation, which I chose to do the last days;(.
Yeah... most RC-members spoke of forgiveness the first day the info popped out.They want to go on. It is good, but I feel so odd. There are rumors that Maciel had a Multiple Personality Disorder, which actually could be true. What makes me feeling strange is, that I tries to discuss that with my favourite condecrated via mail by using information from books etc. And she wrote back that now is the time to focus on other things: doing good, helping the church, etc. Ok she is right, but I want to deeply understand what happened, you know? I have the feeling no one else tries to analyze this and wants to come to a conclusion. I am so confused. I can speak best with ex-RC members and with atheists, isn´t that pathetic? What is this? I don´t know what to think. May be I am too harsh on RC, I don´t know?
God bless!

Wow - this post is absolutely phenomenal. There is so much wisdom, level-headedness, sobriety, prudence, and sound judgment here. And it's a post we can apply to many areas of our lives, not just the problems afflicting the victims of Maciel. God bless you!

I believe all the mistake and doubt of our self start my our home. Family has a big role of it. So cherish every moment together with your family now.

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