The Good News of Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday reminds us of our mortality and helps in our resolve to repent of our sins and believe in the Gospel. What does Ash Wednesday remind a victim of sexual abuse like me? Ash Wednesday reminds me of how the consecrated hands of Fr. Ruben Tanseco, S.J. fondled my genitals and masturbated me. Those consecrated hands are used for the imposition of ashes during Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday reminds me of how the consecrated lips of Fr. Ruben Tanseco, S.J. sucked my penis. The consecrated lips are supposed to proclaim the Gospel and pronounce blessings. Gospel means good news. What can be good news for a victim of sexual abuse like me? For me, that good news is the good news of justice. The next question is: Is there a good news of justice to believe in? As of this time, I cannot believe in the good news of justice because it is not real. If the Jesuits preach “faith that does justice,” it is mere rhetoric, empty and meaningless. More than being preached, the good news of justice is to be practiced. Is justice selective? I can still remember a Jesuit rector telling me about the dismissal of two young Jesuit priests who sexually abused one of the staff in the infirmary. Two older Jesuit priests were also dismissed, one is already seventy years old or so, both are professors in Loyola School of Theology. But Fr. Ruben Tanseco, S.J. remains a Jesuit. There is another Jesuit professor in Loyola School of Theology who sexually abused a seminarian in San Jose Seminary who, by what kind of clout, continues to teach theology. A lay employee of San Jose Seminary once told me that he was sent abroad, possibly in Canada, for therapy. I asked therapy for what? For alcoholism or sexual abuse? The lay employee said both. Considering the circumstances, I can only think of faith that does cheap justice or faith that does selective justice….

6 thoughts on “The Good News of Ash Wednesday

  1. I was a victim of a different type of sexual abuse. There is not much I can say that comfort someone who has been abused like that, especially when the perpetrator was someone that you should have been able to trust. But please know that your abuser did not speak for Jesus, Your abuser was a fraud! I hope that you are one day able to separate what that beast did, from Jesus. My abuser was a militant atheist, and Jesus was the only one who gave me the comfort I needed to keep me from killing myself.

    Liked by 1 person

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