It’s impossible to ignore the stories that have come out over the last while; and nor should we. Sweeping the problem of abuse under the Church’s great big carpet has done nothing except allow it to fester, and this particular boil is one that should have been lanced a long time ago. In recent weeks, the extent of the corruption has started to see the light of day. There’s been a lot of commentary and discussion, and I don’t have the time or the energy to get caught up in it all (or dragged down by it all, as the case would probably be).
These are dark and difficult days for those of us who consider ourselves faithful Catholics but, as a Lay Dominican, I hold on to one of our mottos – Veritas. Truth. That is what we seek, and the Truth shall set us free.
I’d like to share my friend’s thoughts on the matter. She posted this on Facebook a couple of days ago and I thought it gave a good insight. So here is her post, shared with permission.
I was a whistle blower once.
It was concerning a very vicious bullying ring. The situation ended going to the very top. Though I wasn’t one of the main victims of this bullying (though they did try), it was a matter of justice for me because I was in a supervisory position and knew I was resigning immediately after my upcoming maternity leave. I could not leave the place in the state I found it where numerous adults could not go on holiday because their entire annual leave was being used up on days they were afraid to come to work. The bullies were in a position to dictate who got promoted and who didn’t. It wasn’t top down bullying, it was a ‘team’ spreading across positions suffocating anyone who wasn’t in favour.
It was just before laws and guidelines started to be put in place regarding bullying so I had no protections over and above that what I was saying was truth.
I thought I had convinced the victims to write their testimonies but as soon as I opened the case every single one backed out for fear I’d be unsuccessful and their lives would be even worse. So I did it alone. I can say it was the single most unpleasant experience of my life. Driving to work each day my hands could barely hold the wheel because of the sweat that would break out on approaching my workplace which was adjacent to the headquarters of the organisation branch. Nobody bar one guy would talk to me for months: the bullying cohort out of rage and everybody else out of fear. Even the union representative, whose job it was to protect these victims, who didn’t even work anywhere near me told me to only speak to him at home on his phone because he was afraid to be seen talking to or meeting with me. So I worked alone, ate alone and spoke to nobody.
The investigation spread out across multiple workplaces. I ended up meeting with the head of the entire organisation to give details. Since I had no documents and nobody would confirm or deny because of fear it was exactly my word v silence. My only lucky break was that the 2nd in command who sat in on the meeting knew my parents and family well and could vouch for me as well as my own immediate superior who was humble enough to admit that she had depended on a certain person, chief bully, as advisor regarding important issues.
Looking back I am thankful that social media didn’t exist back then, most people had barely heard of the internet. Because even then, every possible scrap of information about me, my family, my history was hunted down and circulated. Lies about me were commonplace and several times I had to go to high places to put those lies right. Had social media been there at the time I have little doubt what would have happened.
Anyway, to cut a (very) long story short the situation ended up being resolved, a result of which I am very proud. However, my memory of my work is so unpleasant it is the reason I NEVER identify as what my job was.
The reason I’m writing this is because of the current situation. Don’t believe character assassinations, don’t jump to take any sides. The only thing matters is TRUTH. Truth must out. Only TRUTH will set us free.
Being a whistleblower is a horrible horrible lonely road and I don’t wish it on anyone. Pray for all involved, someone is lying because it is impossible for all the versions to be true. Pray especially for whoever that is. Lies are a sticky web which ends up entrapping the web spinner. And on top of that, these ‘men of God’ will have to answer to God. Better to answer in this life.
Veritas image is mine.
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