Keep the Faith, Change the Church.

Inside a Healing Circle: On healing from scandal

Inside a Healing Circle: A presentation promising a path toward healing from clergy sexual abuse

Voice of the Faithful® is committed to helping to heal the wounds of clergy sexual abuse for anyone harmed by the scandal. Our program for accomplishing this uses a model of Restorative Justice called Broken Vessel™ Healing Circles, and on Nov. 7, 2017, two of the program’s dedicated facilitators presented “Inside a Healing Circle” at The Paulist Center in Boston to a group of interested individuals.

Bill Casey (left in photo), a former VOTF Trustee and Restorative Justice expert, and Jayne O’Donnell, also a former VOTF Trustee, as well as former VOTF Development Director, explained to the group how Broken Vessel™ Healing Circles offer a path toward healing for anyone who has been harmed by the clergy sexual abuse scandal.

Jayne and Bill expounded on the necessity of healing, even for those who may not feel harmed, in order to move on from the scandal, on how the Church has not provided for such healing, and on how damage from the scandal has rippled out from survivors to families, faith communities, and the entire Church.

Bill introduced the broken vessel, used as a centerpiece in all Broken Vessel™ Healing Circles, and explained the crack in its side by using a quote from singer/songwriter and novelist Leonard Cohen’s Anthem: “There is a crack, there is a crack in everything, that is how the light gets in.”

Though the clergy sexual abuse scandal has torn open implacable wounds, which are symbolized by the crack in the Healing Circle vessel, the deep speaking and deep listening during these totally confidential experiences can “provide a sense of trust rarely felt when baring pain,” as one participant said.

“I have come to realize that I have experienced hurt on different levels as a result of the abuse crisis,” said another participant. “The Circle gave me the ability to share another layer of harm, and I healed a bit more.”

Such comments underscore how Broken Vessel™ Healing Circles are valuable for “anyone” who has been harmed.

VOTF wants to spread the word about the efficacy of Broken Vessel™ Healing Circles far and wide. If you think you might be interested in finding out more through an “Inside a Healing Circle” presentation, please email office@votf.org or call 781-559-3360.