Malicious misconduct by an ecclesiastical leader manifests in many ways – emotionally, sexually, or financially. An abusive bishop, metropolitan, or clergy exploits their authority in ways that manipulate and control a Believer.
A spiritual leader abuses in multiple ways to cover their own rooted hurt failings. Lacking reconciliation themselves, their own weaknesses and unrepentant actions are exposed by unleashing and inflicting untold harm onto an innocent person. The abused absorbs this destructive mistreatment, neither aware, nor understanding why a leader would inflict this harm onto them.
Spiritual abuse is based on trust and the ecclesiastical authority which is perceived by the believer as true and absolute. This implied authority can blunt the awareness that abuse is wrong because the abuser brands any victim’s questioning or dissent as a weakness. This further guilts the victim for doubting the Church. Spiritual abuse is a grave betrayal of trust that has no rational basis; no reason to it that is justifiable or easily quantifiable.
The Church teaches that “The Priest is a Physician of the Soul”. However, now victimized by this “physician”, one must silently endure doubt and fear. When that trust is shattered, one feels the ultimate refuge – The Church – now becomes a destructive force – crushing one’s faith.
An ecclesiastical leader violating their vows, destroys the trust that strikes at the very core of Church doctrine. It annihilates a believer’s personal authentic sense of soul and faith which is the essence of Orthodoxy.
The trauma – financial, sexual, or emotional can be healed. It takes time, patience, and strength to begin the process. Our licensed Orthodox counselors will help you through the healing journey. Emotional wounds of spiritual abuse are often healed by recognition and reconciliation. Restore a belief, thereby the soul. Conversations about this trauma are important because it breaches the wall of silence the abuser imposes in order to maintain his control over his victim.
SEEDS of HOPE, Orthodox Christian Healing & Counseling is available to guide you. Let’s begin a conversation. The emotional devastation of abuse by authority will begin to lessen. Take the first steps now. Contact us at: [email protected], 877.560.1249.