Here's one for ya.First of all, I want to say that I completely understand why you feel such a lack of trust in the Church. Some of her more wretched members have certainly treated your poorly, and I think it would be difficult for any of us to say with certainty what we would do if we were in the same situation as you. It's just tough.........extremely tough.
I left the Catholic Church about 25 years ago. I was sick of the hierarchical, misogynistic mess. And knowing I couldn't change a 2000 year old church, I left. Besides, my brother was raped by a priest as a kid. I just couldn't go there anymore.
Fast-forward 20 years. I'm now hooked up with a priest through volunteer work. He invites me to his parish. He offers to tutor me so I can come back to the Church. After 2 years of arguing with the guy, I decided to try it.
3 months later, he cuts off my studies, does NOT explain anything directly to me, and tells my best friend he has fallen in love with me. He then sends me a letter ordering ME to find another parish.
His reward? An eventual (2 years later) transfer and a promotion, to "Very Reverend". The Bernard Law School of Career Advancement strikes again.
I'm happily an agnostic now, and will NEVER trust "Holy Mother Church" again. NEVER.
Am I going to Hell? If so, at least I should have some company.
Also, I know the effect that sexual abuse by a priest can have on a person. Someone close to me was violated by a priest, and it has had devastating effects on his life. When I hear of things like this, the same sentiment wells up in me that motivated the words of our Lord when he said, "I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!" (Lk 12:49). We know that when He comes again, the weeds will be separated from the wheat, and cast into the fire (cf. Mt 13:30). But, until then, they must live among us.
Can it be any other way? None of us are perfect. That weeds will exist among the wheat is inevitable. We too have been weeds in the Church at one time or another. We all sin, and this has a wounding effect on the Body of Christ. We can only pray for the increase of our own personal holiness, and for this same increase in others.
Furthermore, we must not allow the scandal of the weeds to overshadow the nurturing effect of the wheat in the Church. There are sinners in the Church......but there are also saints, good and hoy men and women who love the Church and who try diligently and daily to bring the presence of Christ to everyone they meet. People like that seem rare, don't they? I'm sure you're asking yourself, "Where were the saints when Fr. So-and-So was doing this to me?" But, they are there. Seek them out and you will find them.
Remember that saints don't seek the limelight like sinners do. They don't want attention or glory from those around them. They seek only to go about humble lives in service to the Lord. This often means that they are overlooked and disrespected. No news reporters clamor to interview them or write articles about them. But, go wherever good is being done and you will find them.
The sins of Her members have caused the Church to be labeled many derogatory things. She is "misogynistic", "pedophilic", "selfish", "heavy-handed", and even "murderous". But, the representatives of any organization or group of people are the ones who are faithful to the organization. In the faithful is everything that the organization hopes to be in the world.
When they live lives of faith, hope, and charity, when they decrease so that He may increase, when they sacrfice themselves for love of neighbor, they "make up for what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ" (Col 1:24). They build up the Church. They heal the wounds and the divisions that are caused by sin in the world. Our hope is in them and we must pray that we can be more like them.
But, Therese, I'm sure that all of this is of little solace to you now. It's difficult to hope in the merits of the saints when so much sin has effected your life. I'm sure it's difficult to imagine that any good can come from the Church, when Her priests --the very people who are supposed to represent her-- have hurt you so deeply. I simply want you to know that much good has come from the Church, and that She is in the business not of hurting people, but of leading them to Christ. Unfortunately, some people within Her do not wish to live out this mission, but She seeks every day for the conversion of their hearts.
As to your question about hell, I cannot say what your eternal reward will be. I know that the abuse you have experienced surely mitigates how guilty you are for leaving the Church. I know that it is possible to achieve healing and resolution of everything that has happened to you. I know that, as long as you have breath in your lungs, you have the opportunity to turn back to God and to take back all the good that was stolen from you by the evil in this world. I know that, as long as wheat exists with the weeds, there is hope...........and hope is what keeps us alive.
Therese, I pray that this was helpful. Perhaps you were not even looking for my help, but it was help that I desired to give. I know that this response was not perfect. Please excuse the inadequacies found therein.