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About Apologies

July 14, 2009

When I resolved this case with the Missouri Jesuits in 2003, Frank Reale (provincial number one) told me he was surprised I didn’t need an apology.  I turned it down.    (“I suppose you want an apology too.”  “No.”   “No?  I’m surprised.”)

I explained that the Jesuit abuser already apologized a long time ago.  What does anyone else have to apologize for?   They didn’t do it.   And when an abuser calls so memorably and apologizes, and then denies it later, what is an apology worth anyway?

I had not told my story often over the years, but when I did, people who didn’t sexually assault me apologized on behalf of the Jesuit who did.   They looked stricken, and felt a need to apologize “on behalf of the church I love and dedicated my life to that failed you, harmed you, didn’t protect you….” and then the words ran out.  Too hard to find, or worried about being sensitive enough.

But I asked for an apology this time from the Missouri province — if I don’t have to fight too hard for it.   Because this time it is the Missouri Province of Jesuits that harmed me, that put me through this unnecessary shit, having to do this all over again……

I don’t know why, but I am clear on apologies, when they are needed and most of the time when they are not.

Last time, it was about the Jesuit abuser, who had already apologized.  This time it is all about the Missouri Province of Jesuits.  I need a sensitive, dignified, heartfelt apology.

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