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Swept Under the Rug
Today churches are often rocked with sexual harassment and abuse perpetrated by priests and clergy. Yet, sexual harassment and abuse to clergy, specifically clergywomen, is often swept under the rug.
A 2007 study by the United Methodist Church on sexual harassment and abuse found that nearly 75 percent of Methodist clergy women have experienced sexual harassment and abuse. The common settings for such harassment are church meetings and offices where perpetrators are mostly men and increasingly laity. “Sexual harassment destroys community. This alienating sinful behavior causes brokenness in relationships,” the study states.
Despite the prevalence of increased boundary training and education, the 2007 study found that only 34 percent of small churches and 86 percent of large churches have policies to handle such situations.
In 30 years of ministry, diaconal and ordained, I have seen that church politics, ignorance of or lack of policies and procedures, tolerance for inappropriate behavior, status of perpetrator, and money are obstacles to dealing with sexual harassment and abuse to clergy in a healthy way.
Armed with a Burning Patience
My family had been farmers in the rough terrain of southern Mexico for centuries. My mother, the oldest of 12, began working in her teens to provide for her siblings. My father, one of five children, lost his father at age 3. Neither of my parents completed primary school. My father was 20 when he married my mom, who was 18. They had my sister a year later. Two years after that, I was born.
Jan. 10, 1990. It's unusually cold tonight in the small, arid town of San Miguel, Oaxaca. There’s no soap to wash me, so to keep the ants away, I'm laid to rest on my mother's stomach as we sleep together for the first time. Only my grandmother is present to aid in the delivery.
Spring 1992. My mother and father leave, planning to work for one year in New York and then return to Mexico.
Spring 1993. There's been a change of plans; after a year of separation, our father has returned to take my sister and me across the border and to our new home in New York. The three of us, along with an aunt, cross somewhere in Arizona. I'm glad our family is together again. Amazingly, my mother will soon have another child, and we will be five.
Fall 1994. With much anticipation, I've begun school. Although my thoughts, wishes, and entire vocabulary are in Spanish, I'm not too worried about my ignorance of the English language.
As the parent of a middle-schooler with Tourette's syndrome (TS), I was truly disappointed in the way Amy Sullivan so flippantly referred to the symptoms of TS in the article "Democrats Talk Religi
Exactly Where I'm Supposed To Be
'Jesus himself was a child immigrant.'
Breaking the Veil of Darkness
The coming of the Word in the Salvadoran refugee camps of Honduras.
The Faces Of Olga, Yuri, And Volodya
Orthodox Christians in the Soviet Union.
Christmas Has Begun In El Salvador
Carrying on the work of the martyrs
I Was Hungry and You Blamed it on the Communists