The Jesuit Way of Leaving the Church

i am on my way out of the church. i am just maintaining my social ties with some priest whom i consider friends. my work in a catholic college is purely for economic reasons. but as far as anything spiritual is concerned, i no longer entrust my spiritual welfare, that is if there is such a thing, to the church. i do not see any significance or meaning in prayer and in going to mass and the sacraments. i have survived without doing so for years already. i am not sure if any retreat will be helpful to me now. if ever i have a soul, i cannot entrust its welfare to the church. should there be a need for spiritual nourishment, i might as well seek it somewhere else.

my experience of sexual abuse is an experience of injustice that created a deep wound in me. in my woundedness, i cannot see any significance in many things. there are times that i do not see the significance of my existence. my raison d’etre is put into question by my experience of sexual abuse from the hands of a jesuit. psychotherapy might help me manage my anger, my depression, my low self-image, my distaste in doing what i used to enjoy doing. psychotherapy might help alleviate my stress and anxiety. i am not sure if  any psychological intervention can address certain medical symptoms i am experiencing now.

given that sexual abuse is an injustice, it is justice that should heal. and justice is an absolute necessity, according to cardinal tagle. what is owed to me who has suffered at the hands of the church is incalculable. no amount of money can compensate for the lasting, if not lifetime, effects of sexual abuse. as i told your before, the wealth of the jesuits cannot restore what i lost from the sexual abuse done to me by tanseco. even the defrocking of tanseco cannot repair the damage he has done to me. the dignity i lost from the sexual abuse i experienced from the hands of tanseco is not subject to liquidation as if i owe some money to the society of jesus.

i sought justice from the church and from the society of jesus that strongly advocates justice. until now i am still seeking for that real justice that i know i deserve. to say that the church should be prepared to grant real justice to victims of sexual abuse is mere rhetoric for me now, in the same way that the jesuit advocacy towards social justice, for me, remains mere rhetoric if not hypocrisy considering my personal experience of seeking justice. by asking me to liquidate whatever therapy-related expenses is simply ridiculous. i cannot allow myself to appear stupid.

in as much as i want closure and end to my interior suffering, the way it is now i am ready to die, sooner or later, without achieving justice and healing.

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Ignatian Flashback…

Last night, my mother woke me up. I was crying in my sleep. I woke up gasping for breath. And there came the flashback of the first night that Fr. Ruben Tanseco, S.J. sexually abused me. It happened during that one cold night in their family home in Baguio City. I can still remember a lot of details of the house, of the room, of the hot shower in the bathroom, of the heater in the room that looked like an oven toaster with a fan. It was my first time to go to Baguio City. It was stormy. I was on my semestral break from school. Every now and then I would experience flashbacks of how Fr. Ruben Tanseco, S.J. sucked my dick and masturbated me. Every now and then I would feel depressed. Every now and then I would feel like crying. Aside from being an injustice, my experience of sexual abuse from the hands of Fr. Ruben Tanseco, S.J. was an experience of betrayal and manipulation. And the pain is real, sometimes almost paralyzing. As I put my thoughts into writing, I want to be heard. I want people to know the priest who sexually abused me, how he sexually abused me, and how this Jesuit murdered my soul, murdered my vocation, murdered my faith.

Nothing Ignatian in Sexual Abuse

When Fr. Ruben Tanseco, S.J. sexually abused me, I cannot think of him as being moved by love. He was moved by lust. During those times that Fr. Ruben Tanseco, S.J. was sucking my dick, I cannot think of “faith that does justice.” He was an embodiment of “FAITH THAT DOES INJUSTICE.” During those times that Fr. Ruben Tanseco, S.J. was masturbating me until I ejaculate, I cannot think of such acts as bringing about the redemption of the human race. He was not saying Yes to God in the concreteness of his life, he was not bringing love and salvation into this world. Instead of redemption and salvation, he brought about brokenness in me who is his victim. I cannot think of Fr. Ruben Tanseco, S.J. as called to share in the fulfillment of God’s plan or how God saves the world. He was simply going against everything Ignatian, despite his being a Jesuit. He was violating his priesthood and does not need to stay a priest any minute longer. If there is one important apostolic preference Jesuits should have is to ensure that justice is attained by victims of sexual abuse by Jesuits.

Ignatian Silencing of Sexual Abuse Victims

Confidentiality is the name of the game. All the while I thought it is the welfare of the victim that is the priority of this bunch of brilliant, discerning, spiritual men in white robes. However, in their hypocrisy, they would employ every means to silence victims of sexual abuse like me. I remember one of those times that Fr. Ruben Tanseco, S.J. and me would first talk in his office. From his office, he brought me to his room in Loyola House of Studies. It was day time. He would make me lie down on his bed. He would strip me of my shirt and pants. With nothing on, he would fondle my penis. He would make it erect and play with it. He would suck my dick without making me cum. It was his style of making me cum by masturbating my dick. He would know his own timing. He would make me cum at his own timing. My body reacts with pleasure even in that abusive situation. After I clean myself, I would put on my pants and shirt. He would give me money before I go out of his room. I would go out alone and fast and with fear to be seen by other Jesuits who live on the same floor. Without me realizing it at first, giving me money was a way of telling not to tell anyone about what happened. Looking back to such experience, I realize how vulnerable and naive I was. I never mentioned the secret to anybody. I have hidden the episodes of abuse from my classmates and my family. It is not enough to characterize my experience of sexual abuse from the hands of Fr. Ruben Tanseco, SJ as unfortunate. It was horrible, devastating, humiliating, and traumatic, all suffered interiorly, psychologically. I have suffered quietly, in the interior silence and brokenness of my being. I cannot be silenced now. Gone are the days of closed door meetings. Until now, I still get indications of being silenced. I have to face this dark part of my past with courage, frankness and transparency. I feel relief every time I see myself having the courage not to be silenced.

The Kind of Person That Have Become of Me as a Victim of Sexual Abuse

There is no denying it that I am a victim of sexual abuse by the Jesuit priest, Fr. Ruben Tanseco. I say that categorically. I say that with courage. I have become an angry person because of that experience, full of negativities, full of uncertainties. Having this angry disposition for quite some time already is never a desirable situation for me. At times, I would notice how anger characterizes the way I deal with people and the way I discharge my professional duties. Perhaps, being angry is my way of saying “do not touch me,” or “do not talk to me” or “do not get near me.” Being angry is my defense mechanism from getting abused again. There is no denying it that my anger is directed at the person who abuse me. He failed me when I trusted him. He failed me when I looked up to him and admired him in his work for families and his work for the poor. In sexually abusing me, he took away my optimism and my cheerfulness about life. (to be continued..)

Defrock Fr. Ruben Tanseco, SJ

An aged Chilean priest was defrocked by the Pope some months back. The same thing should be done to Fr. Ruben Tanseco, S.J. In sexually abusing me, he does not deserve his priesthood and being a religious with a vow of chastity. In sexually abusing me, he violated everything involved in the priesthood and the religious life. He may have occupied important positions as a priest, formator, counselor, spiritual director, retreat master but there was a double life and hypocrisy all along. Aside from committing a crime, Fr. Ruben Tanseco, SJ represents the rotten sector of the priesthood, the Catholic Church and the Society of Jesus. He represents the hypocrisy and scandal in these institutions. For the sake of justice and the restoration of decency, he should be stripped of the priesthood he does not deserve for abusing my trust in him, my trust in the Church and the Society of Jesus to which he belongs. He may be old now and shit in his pants but to defrock him is the best thing to do for the sake of decency in the Church. Doing so is not unprecedented.