May 09, 2005

Pastor helps abuse victims heal

The Argus


SAN LEANDRO For the past decade, Pastor Michael Chalberg has helped victims heal from the damage of childhood clergy abuse.

Now, he is writing a series of books about the spiritual and emotional healing process, including 2003's "Shattered People: Journeys to Joy," which relates the story of one victim of Monsignor Vincent Breen at Holy Spirit Parish in Fremont.

"Clergy abuse is the worst kind of abuse because the abuser implants lies into the victim's psyche about who God is, and how he reveals his love and mercy toward us," says the soft-spoken Chalberg, his hands folded on the kitchen table beside a forgotten cup of coffee.

"These untruths not only affect the survivors' trust relationship with God, but also every relationship connected to the

person representing God. The lie that God will kill them for telling about the abuse takes on an eternal quality that is difficult for survivors to overcome, unless they encounter the truth of God's love."

Posted by kshaw at May 9, 2005 08:00 AM