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I have been struggling with this decision for a while.  I have decided to archive this blog, at least for now.  I think I have accomplished as much as I can using this forum.  I have been working on two other projects, one of which was completed over the weekend.  The second will take a lot more time and most of my energy when I am not dealing with other important aspects of my life.

There have been a great many changes in my life since I came out publicly about what happened to me all those years ago.  The discoveries made along the way were, at the same time, shocking, disappointing and liberating.  I have spoken with other survivors, some whom I knew as a child, and shared a similar experience.  For many of us, the stories are frighteningly similar, the aftermath intensely personal and for some the damage is just much more than can be expressed in words.

I am still frustrated by the lack of a coherent, organized voice to unite the survivors and advocate for a meaningful change in our laws and the way society looks at the problem of pedophiles targeting children.  It is so much bigger than the Catholic Church, Penn State, the Boy Scouts of America or any other institutions that based their handling of the sexual abuse of children or vulnerable adults on a risk calculus more suited to protect their financial status and reputation.

Perhaps there will actually be a viable network of survivors at some point.  There are groups who are making a difference in their own back yards.   I wish them luck and I will lend a hand when I am able to do so.

It is just time to do something else.   I will keep the blog on-line because people are still coming to it.  I really don’t understand the numbers that still come everyday.   But, for now, I do not think I will be posting unless something significant occurs.  I will keep the email account open as well.  I will delete the vitriol from the apologists who regularly spew their venom and ignore the trolls, I will monitor the rest.

I wish you all well.

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Thanks to some clever programming by my developer, the Child Sexual Abuse Survivors Blogroll is up and running pretty well at this point.  I have 13 blogs currently feeding into the website.  The entire point of this centralized point was to allow readers to find many different voices blogging on the topic.

If you read a blog that covers the topic of clergy sexual crimes against children or vulnerable adults or if you write one of your own, please consider sending me your link so that I can add it to the Blogroll. You can send the contact information to me at mbbaumannblog@gmail.com or at the blogroll’s contact page.

I am approaching my 50th post in the blogging experiment I began back in October, 2008. My focus has been on the continuing rape/sexual molestation/sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. Over the last 6 months I have linked to several blogs and websites that support victims to my blog.

Let me be clear at the onset of this post that the problem has not gone away. The flood waters have not receded, the crisis has not passed. Don’t believe what the Catholic Press is saying for one moment. Don’t think that the token masses for victims are the bandage that will heal the wound. One only has to look at Abuse Tracker by Kathy Shaw everyday to see that there is fresh information daily on the abuse of children, both male and female, and vulnerable adults. I secretly wish some day to go to Kathy’s site and see a week or so of posts that simply read, “Nothing significant to report”. Perhaps this is the only thing I may have in common with the people who run the Catholic Church in the United States and at the Vatican. Alas, everyday, I take a look at Kathy’s blog and there are reports from across the country and the world of the latest vile acts committed against victims by predator priests, clergy from other religions and employees or volunteers for religious organizations. You also get the rundown on the apologists and protectors of these monsters, their lobbyists, lawyers, public relations people who claim that all is well and that the church cannot be held responsible for the actions of a few. You see the tactics used against victims and survivors to shut them down and prevent the truth from coming to light. It should be don’t miss reading for anyone following this pedophile epedimic.

I am not the only survivor blogging. There are other voices. Please take a minute to check out some of the links I have to other blogs and websites. Many of us unofficially subscribe to a “do no harm” philosophy that tries to balance information, opinion and the sharing of resources that can aid others who have been the victims of crime and abuse, their families and their friends. I do not use the names of victims or family members that contact me without their permission. I will edit out full names of people that comment on my blog to protect their privacy. Some comments never make it to the web because they are deeply personal and not meant for general consumption. I also reserve the right to delete posts that are malicious. Hey, it is my blog, deal with it. I do not feel the need to “fair and balanced”. If that is what you want, check out Fox News.

Those of us in the “blogosphere” are seeking the truth from the people that have it and are either reluctant or unwilling to share it. Unfortunately, those people tend to wear Roman Collars or work directly for someone who does. We seek the support of public safety officials who are wary of investigating religious organizations for religious, political or cultural reasons. We implore prosecutors at the municipal, county, state and federal levels to actively investigate and prosecute not only the crimes of the individuals committing these acts but the organizations that protect them. For the life of me, I cannot understand why police or district attorneys would allow religious organizations to investigate and regulate themselves.

We would like to see more legislatures take a proactive stand and pass window legislation that will accomplish 2 specific goals. First, extend the statute of limitations on reports of rape, sodomy, sexual molestation, sexual abuse or other inappropriate acts committed against minors. Second, open a window for victims to bring cases against offenders and those individuals and organizations that gave them protection, aid and comfort. States like California and Delaware have passed laws to allow victims to seek justice and redress for wrongs committed against them. New York is currently considering such measures. Other state legislatures have buried similar bills in committee because key chairman have not allowed the bills to go for a vote. I am sure that the Catholic Church and their paid lobbyists are working hard to deny justice in state capitals across the country.

I know it is difficult to come up with new posts that do not loop over material already presented. There are times I feel like I am beating my head against a wall. I see the numbers of visitors to my site. Some days I am amazed that I am reaching so many, other days I wonder if anyone is listening at all. I have also noticed that some of the blogs I read when I first began to search for my perp priest have gone silent on the net. Voice from the Desert comes to mind. I find it exhausting at times to deal with all this. I imagine that some of the blogs that are no longer active had writers that felt the same way and chose to just go silent for a while.  I hope some of them will come back up and let us know that they are well and update us on their own situations.

I have recommended to SNAP that a session during the annual conference this summer be dedicated to bloggers. I think that there is merit in linking our blogs together and linking the organizations that are operating around the country together on the world wide web. If there is to be an effective grass roots effort to seek justice for victims of predator priests and the dioceses that protect them, we have to be focused and united. If not the Catholic Church will win and dioceses around the country will remain safe havens for pedophiles.

If you write a blog on this topic or know someone who does send me the link to your blog. If you are a member of an organization that is actively seeking justice for victims, send me your organization information and web address. I will be happy to put the link on my blog. Recently I came across a new blog by called Anti-Catholic League by David Fortwengler that is worth the read. (don’t be put off by the title).

For SNAP, let me and the rest of the attendees know what you are planning to do for bloggers during the conference in August. If you decide to pass on this as a breakout session, I will meet with anyone who wants to talk about this as a sidebar.

If you are a victim, seek help! If you don’t know where to go, email me at mbbaumannblog@gmail.com. There are resources out there that can help. If you have been frustrated by the church stonewalling you, speak out. You will find, as I did, that you are not alone and your experience, while unique, is not an isolated occurrence.

Copyright

This site is copyrighted by my statement.
Michael Baumann


Credit: Michael Baumann at "Off My Knees"

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