This site belongs to Jay Nelson, a survivor of clergy sexual and ritual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, and a long-time activist for survivor issues.
Despite my intense upbringing in the Catholic Church, I fled the dogmatic prison of the Church of Rome as a young adult long before I even realized I had been sexually molested while serving at the altar.
Eventually, I found a liberal church where I could I pursue my spiritual interests without sacrificing my intellectual freedom. I “went legit” on August 24, 1991, when I was ordained in the Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch. I contributed largely as a designer and writer, doing the Church of Antioch at Santa Fe‘s newsletter, and the official Church website, too. I worked my way up to the rank of Archpriest or Monsignor, too, before I retired.
However, less than a year after my ordination, on April 17, 1992 (Good Friday no less, while visiting my old parish church), I first realized I had been a spectacularly “unlucky” altar boy, who had been raped and ritualistically abused by a parish priest for years.
Recovery proved a lengthy, tearful, and difficult struggle; in some ways, an unending task. Survival was due to therapists, the unwavering support of my family, friends, and church, and largely to the inspiration of countless other victims and survivors. Plus, of course, the mysterious grace of God.
The discovery completely overturned my life, and my efforts to found a parish soon withered. My main focus turned to outspoken clergy abuse activism. I participated in local protests and led the only group of victims to demonstrate at World Youth Day in 1993 – 5 of us against 500,000.
For over a decade, I published both the newsletter and website for The Survivors of Clergy Abuse Linkup (now sadly long gone), at the time the leading national clergy abuse victim support and advocacy organizations in the US. Most of the articles I wrote then, plus historical “smoking gun” documents and much else, will be republished here.
Many of them — along with nineteenth century academic histories, Church decrees, and much else — form the basis of my self-published exposé, Sons of Perdition: New Mexico in the History of the Catholic Sex Scandals.
Before that, I’d also written a novel: The Harrowing, a psychological horror tale about a survivor struggling against a diabolical cult in the Southwest. Personally therapeutic even if universally ignored.
At my own request, I’ve been voluntarily granted a full and complete excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church. However, my spiritual adventures did not end there. By the merciful grace of God, I have also received a truly miraculous spiritual healing, which has empowered my research to continue.
I am now retired from the ministry of the Church of Antioch, living as a desert hermit studying Scripture and the stars, but I continue to work for the cause of victims. See my other site, Gleaners Chapel, for my current discoveries and spiritual efforts.