How can I feel safe around clergy?


I was raised Baptist. When I was 13, I was abused by my youth pastor who was six years older than me. This went on for two years and I’ve had many struggles.

I’m 21 now, and I have been studying Catholicism since last April and am certain it is the place for me, but I still can’t get comfortable completely. I just can’t shake the fear of being hurt again, whether in the same way or differently. I’m afraid of trusting churches and so have trouble even going regularly.

What can I do to get over this fear so I can be strong in my faith? Will I ever get over this fear? I feel like such a bad Christian in thinking my fellow brothers and sisters are all fake and can’t be trusted.


I’m very sorry for all that you have suffered and am glad that God has given you the grace to want to become Catholic in spite of what you have suffered. Please do not feel guilty for feeling mistrustful. It is a natural reaction to having lived through a hideous situation; and, when you act upon such feelings in a prudent and just manner, feelings of mistrust may be considered an “early warning system” to keep you safe.

Please see the links below for information on how to address this problem and how to receive the sacraments while you are working toward healing. God bless.

Recommended reading:

Why does God allow people to be abused?
How do I handle my phobia of priests?

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