Clericalism and My Experience of Sexual Abuse from the Hands of Fr. Ruben M. Tanseco, S.J.

A little past six in the morning, I left home for work. Feeling the warm air as I was traveling on a tricycle, the word “clericalism” entered my mind. Immediately, I remember Pope Francis mentioning that word referring to it as an illness in the Church, blaming it as one of the root causes of crimes and injustices and abuses in the Church. It is an evil in the Church. Clericalism emphasizes the authority of the clergy over their obligation of service. The culture of clericalism fostered the culture of abuse in the Church, highlighting sexual abuse. For a prolonged period of time, I was experiencing flashbacks of my own personal experience of sexual abuse from the Jesuit priest whom I knew and encountered as a seminarian in San Jose Seminary, Ateneo Campus, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. His name is Fr. Ruben Tanseco, S.J. With some intensity, my remembering of this abusive Jesuit priest was just vivid. I cannot help but situate my own experience of sexual abuse in the context of this culture of clericalism. Fr. Tanseco is a Jesuit priest who has his vow of chastity. It means that he is not an ordinary priest but a Jesuit who went through long years of spiritual, intellectual and pastoral formation prior to ordination. In sexually abusing me, he simply violated his vow of chastity and betrayed his priesthood. He does not deserve to remain a priest and a Jesuit. Fr. Tanseco was trained in the United States of America and went home to the Philippines to introduce the Marriage Encounter movement. He spent most of his priestly life in family ministry and counseling. I am thinking of how this training made him an expert and a pioneer in his particular ministry and yet he has the capacity to sexually abuse a vulnerable seminarian like me. Fr. Tanseco was also professor of pastoral counseling teaching a lot of seminarians. I am imagining a professor of pastoral counseling sucking my dick. Fr. Tanseco initiated the Center of Family Ministry (CEFAM). His name was already attached to the name of the center to be now called RMT-CEFAM. He would conduct counseling sessions in the center. He also has a programs called “Discovery Weekend” and “Christian Parenting for Peace and Justice.” These must be pioneering works by a Jesuit who fondled my genitals. As a Jesuit, Fr. Tanseco was also assigned as Rector of the Loyola House of Studies. As rector, he was a formator of Jesuit scholastics. And I am imaging a rector masturbating my dick until I ejaculate. That is how clericalism is at work in my experience of sexual abuse from one of those intellectually, morally and spiritually superior Jesuits.

8 thoughts on “Clericalism and My Experience of Sexual Abuse from the Hands of Fr. Ruben M. Tanseco, S.J.

  1. You can’t absolve it until you can ratioize it, you can’t ratioize it until you come to terms with it, for you can’t be free of it until you absolve it. A journey of servival and redemption all blessings on to you my brother

    Liked by 2 people

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