With that in mind don't you find it ironic that the men in that congregation would continue to submit to leaders who, by their own actions, took part in damaging a family and for that matter future families. The same leaders kept quiet about information that our family needed to help our child, information the police needed, information that the church body should have had in order to protect their own families from a predator.
I have no idea exactly what the leaders currently tell new members of the church about their past history, especially if one of the new families comes across my blog. But at the time, one excuse that was routinely given was, "that they (the elders) were only men and had made mistakes." Once, I heard this with my own ears from Jim Cameron and he seemed rather irritated and arrogant at the time. I want to address this in particular. Mistakes, I get. But let me be clear these elders continued to support the Rojas family way beyond anything that could be considered a "mistake."
#1. Jim and Dave (the elders) withheld details to the crimes Patrick committed against our child from the detective. (They will say that they thought we knew, that they had no legal obligation to report, that this was a matter for the "church" not the state.) I would reply: Jim knew exactly what we knew! Maybe they had no legal obligation but what about moral? The abuse of a child is absolutely the matter of the state and a matter that the "church" should take far more seriously than it does!
#2. Jim omitted information when he gave his statement to the police. You can request a copy of Jim Cameron's statement to the detective and see for yourself. There is no mention in Jim's statement about Patrick's detailed description of the crimes committed against my child. Jim actually implies the opposite! He lied to protect a sexual predator! Dave was not interviewed, nor did he call to report the information about the crimes that Patrick committed.
#3. Jim and Dave impressed upon the church the importance of not talking about the matter between the Rojas family and Schneider family. They tried very hard to control the information that was talked about. Dave even called my mom (the victim's grandmother) and told her she was in sin, for gossip, because she had talked to Dave's mother-in-law about some of the details with what was happening. The elders also put out a letter to the congregation stating it would be a sin to talk about the matter even amongst their own family members.
#4. Jim and Dave coined the phrases, "It was only a kiss." WTF: between a 22yr old grown man and an adolescent child, "just a kiss" and just "inappropriate behavior." They both knew that much more than "just a kiss" had taken place!!
#5. Jim and Dave tried to convince Eric (my husband) that we needed to be back in fellowship with Patrick. That we needed to forgive. That true forgiveness meant our family would be in fellowship with Patrick and the Rojas family.
#6. Jim and Dave refused to request a copy of Patrick's sexual psycho evaluation before his sentencing. Stating that the matter was in the states hands. REMEMBER, they already knew the details of what Patrick had done to our child.
#7. The elders helped Eddie Rojas hide his family.
#8. After knowing all the information about Patrick's crimes in our case, additional victims, other sexual deviant behavior, that were made public in an all church Heads-of- Household meeting, the elders continued to stand along side Patrick and support his silence about his additional victims.
#9. Even after finally reading the evaluation done on Patrick, that is primarily in his own words,the elders encouraged families with children to interact with Patrick.
Definition of a mistake:
1 : to blunder in the choice of
2 a : to misunderstand the meaning or intention of : misinterpret
3 : to identify wrongly : confuse with another
If one is actively living a mistake, is it still a mistake? They did not care about what was best for our family! They did not consider the other children that will be abused by Patrick by belittling the crimes he committed in our case. They did not protect the Rojas girls.
And if these men have seen the error of their ways, what has changed? Have they talked about the abuse in their own family against their own children that was never reported? Have they gotten their own children help? Stop the silence! Live in the light! Our God is a big God, do you really think He is only found in PHFCC under these men? Why do you still attend? I am really asking!