Michael Voris is doing a very good job on many levels, yet he is unfortunately seen as an enemy in the eyes of many priests and bishops.  The reason this has happened is because so many priests and bishops are acting out of the dysfunctional codependency ways of dealing with crisis situations, namely, don’t trust and don’t talk.  Michael Voris intentionally breaks those unspoken rules, which, predictably, is met with hostility by many.  Voris “traps and exposes lies and falsehoods” through his Vortex videos and I applaud his efforts.  God bless and protect him.

Recently, ChurchMilitant.com has been assisting a former religious Sister to try to bring to light her experience and subsequent allegations of spiritually abusive cult-like dynamics in her former community.  I have left a comment in the comment section of that article, which I will post below.  First, here is the link to the article: https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/follow-up-letter-from-former-ive-sister

Now, here is my comment:





God bless this former Sister. The truth really does lead to freedom. As far as I can see from this article, she is on the right track. I think it can all be understood as untreated codependency. Untreated codependency can explain much of the abuse cover-up throughout the entire Church. For anyone willing to go a bit deeper than infiltration conspiracy theories and demonizing individuals, just research adult children of alcoholic syndrome and organizational codependency. Many of the attempted solutions, in recent past and also moving forward, are actually doubling down on the dysfunctional codependent controls, and are bound to have unintended detrimental effects.
The baby does not have to be thrown out with the bathwater, however. The Catholic Church is the Bride of Christ and Jesus is here, and He will never leave us. That being said, we all can recognize the devastating effects when a mentally ill person grafts his or her mental illness to religious concepts. Untreated codependency is a lot like that. When dysfunctional codependent ways are given religious language and made into rules, sometimes formally and sometimes unspoken, the result is detrimental to individuals and can rightly be labeled as spiritual abuse.
Keep speaking and exposing the truth, Church Militant. Exposing that which is being enabled through shame-based silence is essential in breaking the dysfunctional codependent cycle.
God bless. In Viam Pacis.

The solution is to treat codependency but it won’t happen.

Why won’t it happen?  Because very few individuals who operate out of codependency break through the denial that he or she has a problem.  For the codependent person, everyone else has a problem.  When a codependent person who lives out of perfectionism and work-a-holism takes a leadership position in an organization, they infect their sphere of influence with the same dysfunctional ways of behaving and thinking, and that becomes the lens to interpret reality.  Codependency is living out of particular coping mechanisms first learnt in dealing with volatile circumstances, often in the person’s childhood or with a volatile spouse.  These coping mechanisms become habitual and then are practiced in other areas of the person’s life.  In a work situation, the workplace then becomes overly stressful.  If a codependent person with a strong personality becomes a person of authority, the others, who are otherwise healthy, learn how to adjust to the boss, and in these adjustments they learn how to cope by unwittingly becoming codependent as well.  And so the cycle begins anew and is perpetuated.

How can a person break free from this codependency?  Sometimes when a person hits a bottom of sorts, through stress or burnout, such a person sometimes will get proper help.  Proper help can come through a very competent counselor or psychologist who may also direct the person to a recovery support group, such as Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA) and/or Al-Anon and/or Codependents Anonymous (CODA).   With such recovery methods a person can learn how to live in a more healthy dynamic in personal and work related relationships.

Often enough, however, counselling sessions will help only to a degree and will not confront the codependency roots.  This is due in part because many persons who grew up in alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional families enter the helping professions, and many have not dealt with their own issues sufficiently.  Don’t get me wrong; counselling, especially cognitive behaviour therapy can and does help, but I contend that a concerted recovery program directly aimed at codependency recovery is more comprehensive.

Recovery from codependency is not easy however, especially because the codependent dynamics become entrenched in virtually all of the codependent’s human relationships.  This means that when the codependent person starts to change and practice healthy boundaries and seeks more mutually respectful relations with others, he or she will experience tremendous push-back from virtually every person who they have considered to be friends and trusted co-workers.  If the person perseveres however, recovery from codependency can and does occur, and the person discovers a level of freedom and happiness that was previously unimaginable.

Anyway, just like those who become addicted to various substances, a surprisingly small percentage of addicts ever find freedom and recovery from all aspects of their addiction, an even smaller percentage of codependents ever enter into any concerted program of recovery to deal directly with the issue of codependency.  If I were able to get honest answers from bishops and religious superiors, I am very confident that a high percentage had at least one parent who was either alcoholic or overbearing, or their parents.  So on one hand the situation is bleak.  We can expect codependent structures to continue in the Church and it is probably the rare religious community or diocese that will not have a large degree of dysfunction.  On the other hand, those individuals who do see and do seek recovery for himself or herself, can and will recover.  Then they will know in a new and profound way, that Jesus really does offer a peace that the world cannot give.  God bless.  In Viam Pacis.  Into the Way of Peace!

4 thoughts on “The Solution is to Treat Codependency But It Won’t Happen on a Large Scale

  1. Jennifer Snell says:

    I was practically raised by the Sisters of St. Joseph, having many of them as my teachers from elementary through high school and then into nurses training and working with them as an RN. Thankfully, I had wonderful experiences and learned much from the good sisters. In fact, we named our eldest daughter Theresa Eileen after Sister Teresa Eileen who was my favourite high school teacher. I do however understand that the sisters in my life were not like many that I heard about. My own mother and one of my aunts told some hair rasing stories about some of the Sisters in their convent schools in Ireland. Thank you for your very instructive comment, Father.
    I will let Carmen know when you will celebrate the Holy Masses for her intentions. She needs to know that she is enveloped in prayer.

    • Thank you for your comment Jennifer. I removed Carmen’s surname from your post because the comment is public, just to respect her privacy, just in case. I sent her a Mass card. Her Masses will be on June 19, 25, 29, July 2, 10, 13, 16, 19, and 23. Yes, not everyone’s experiences in the Church are the same. One time I witnessed a group of Canadian Indians approach a religious Sister I was with at a shopping mall, and one of the men came and sincerely thanked her for being a Sister because he was so grateful for going to a residential school run by some Sisters. I asked him about negative experiences and he said he had none. He said he would not have the job he has now if it was not for the Sisters. I think there is varying degrees to dysfunctional codependency as well in various families and groups as well. I think it is very important that individuals have the freedom to discuss openly and honestly about the realities. It is the silent suffering that can be devastating for an individual and perpetuates problems, some of which are very grave. God bless. In Viam Pacis.

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