Need Advice

Hello,
I need some advice but I want to give a full, clear picture of the background concerning this.
I was becoming a nun and in formation up until last June when I had to leave the convent due to what I’m about to explain.
I have grown children and grandchildren who were visiting me in the convent and all seemed to be going well, but then my granddaughter accused my son in law of sexual abuse. He is out of the house, but just down the road and my daughter is in complete denial. I now am partially raising my granddaughter.
My daughter pretty much does whatever my son in law tells her even though all of this court stuff is going on. Also, my daughter is protestant, but has stopped going to church completely (son in law has only went to church once since I’ve known him). This being said, my grandchildren are not Catholic.
Fast forward a little- my granddaughter stays with me every weekend and on school holidays and has been allowed to go to Mass with me. She’s said several times unprovoked that she wants to be Catholic (she’s been Baptized by her mom while at the convent since dad didn’t want her Baptized at all so mom did it while visiting me while I was still cloistered).
Mom didn’t have any issue with her going to Mass, doing the sign of the cross or learning about Catholicism at all until yesterday. Dad forbid her from doing the sign of the cross but is allowing her to still go to Mass, and dad told mom to enforce this, which she is. So as of today, my granddaughter is no longer allowed to do the sign of the cross according to her mom (and absent dad due to abuse).
My question is, does anyone know of another form of the sign of the cross that she can do where she’d still be obeying mom (as much as I think mom is wrong she still needs to obey her). My granddaughter wants to do the sign of the cross and has asked me this morning what other ways she can do it. I thought about having her make a cross with her thumb/finger and kiss it… ideas?
I know this sounds like a jumbled mess, but I’m tired lol
Thank you!

Maybe she can do it in her mind? Or only when she is alone?

I hope your granddaughters abuser is put in jail and I hope your daughter is able to come to terms with what happened and recover mentally and spiritually.

This is an interesting question.

If an (alleged) abuser forbids the abused person, a child, from making the sign of the cross, and the wife/mother enforces it, does the child have to comply? It almost seems like an unjust law/rule.

I would imagine that you can silently make the sign of the cross by just thinking “In the name of the father…”

There is a lot going on here.

Agreed!
I thought exactly the same thing, She can bless herself mentally. God sees everything and He understands completely. She can tell God that as long as she is a minor and not allowed to pray as she prefers, she will do so in her heart and in her mind. If someone asks me not to say Grace before a meal , for instance, I will simply say it mentally.

Tell her to picture a cross in her head and do the sign that way.

At one time I was a counselor dealing with people involved with abusive individuals, what you are describing rings true to me with the abuse allegation. If I were still in the state I practiced as a counselor, and counseling either you or your daughter, I would be under a legal obligation to file a report for suspected child sexual abuse and domestic violence.

Using the word “Abuse” is a very serious thing:

and all seemed to be going well, but then my granddaughter **accused my son in law of sexual abuse. **He is out of the house, but just down the road and my daughter is in complete denial.

This combined with the rest of your post causes every alarm-bell I have to ring.
If indeed your post is correct, then you need report the suspected child abuse to the authorities immediately. The longer this goes unreported the more mixed the evidence and the more likely this will happen again.

Keep in mind:

  • Reporting this will most likely cause some issues, so before you make the report, call your Pastor and arrange a confidential conversation about this ASAP and try to get your daughter involved with this too- tell Father the nature of the conversation directly. You will need a great deal of spiritual strength to walk this path with your family.

Don’t forget your convent, contact the leadership there too… they may very well turnout to have resources that your daughter and granddaughter could greatly benefit by!

Your daughter will need professional and most likely legal help along with your support. I never had an abuse case where we didn’t have to get a restraining order to prevent both the mental and physical abuse from occurring. It would be best to get your daughter out of the area before reporting the abuse; however, that shouldn’t delay the report… and neither should waiting for a meeting cause any significant delay.

Your daughter’s abuser’s next steps will be to get your daughter to isolate herself from her friends and family. (Speculation here - based on several years of watching this be done and my training), this might start with an attempt to pull your granddaughter into the house away from as much of the outside world as possible - refusing her the sign of the cross is already an attempt to cut off her access to her new found faith and this will escalate. Once the grandchild is isolated and under control of the abuser, the child becomes a weapon against the abused. :frowning:

Praying for you.

Wait…you were in a convent and you need our advice on the sign of the cross?
:confused:

Why are you concerned about obeying a man who doesn’t live with the daughter and is an alleged abuser? How will he know? Cannot the mother explain to the sign of the cross to this guy? If this is a real thing, then your daughter needs to have the sign of the cross explained for the prayer that it is. Because someone is telling a child she is not allowed to pray.
None of this makes sense.

I agree that these are all issues.

Also, I hope that whatever abuse is going on is being dealt with through proper legal channels.

Reread the post. OP explains this.

The daughter is *Protestant *and her man is not really religious. She is standing by her mans side because she is in complete denial of the abuse done to her child. He (as the father) said he didn’t want the child making the sign of the cross and the OP’s daughter agreed with him. The daughter then forbade their child make the sign of the cross.

I don’t think it’s that they don’t want their child praying. I think it’s that they don’t want the child praying in a catholic way.

But they both agree she can otherwise raise the child?
ok

I read the post. :rolleyes:
The whole thing sounds odd to me. I can’t offer advice, so I’m out.
Peace to everyone.

No, she said she only has the child on weekends and school holidays. That means during the week when not on school vacation the child is with her mother.

I actually just signed on as I woke up sick tonight and thought to check this thread. I saw your post and realized I hadn’t been as clear as I meant to be. Here are more facts:

*This was reported to both the police and social services the same day of the allegation.
*Dad is living out of the home due to a no contact order.
*Social Services has completed their investigation and has 'founded" the report, meaning there was evidence to show that abuse did occur.
*I was able to find a counselor for both my grandchildren and my daughter 3 days after the abuse took place and I have been taking my grandkids to counseling weekly since. My daughter however has only went one time and stopped.
*My daughter is in a serious denial about the abuse and has manipulated my granddaughter into telling everyone that it was just a dream (even though my granddaughter knows things now that no 8 year old should know). Since you were a counselor you know that 95% of abuse victims normally recant, especially when they don’t have support at home.
*There is a criminal trial scheduled in April, although I don’t know if they may do some plea deal or just drop it all together since my daughter is going to try to force my granddaughter to testify that nothing happened against the counselors advice (we live in a child hearsay state and therefore they could just use the taped interview)
*My convent is very aware of the situation and they are praying as well.

I’m sorry I failed to mention that this was reported and caused alarm. The fact is, even though all of this is going on, my daughter is in denial and therefore is doing whatever dad says concerning my granddaughter- especially concerning spiritual matters.

Yes, I was in the convent, and yes, I am seeking advice. Why is this so hard to understand?
Not everyone that is in a convent is a theological scholar you know.
As for me. I’m actually a recent convent (2010), and I joined the convent shortly after my conversion. I know of ONE sign of the cross, and I was looking to see if there were other ways to do it in maybe another rite or something.

As far as why I’m concerned: In reading my question again, you should see that my daughter is in denial and is doing whatever her husband wants, and since she has control of the children legally, she has the legal right to make them do what she wants. In the past, since this started, when I would mention to her something I didn’t agree with, she would cut me off from my grandkids. If I allowed my granddaughter to do something against what her mom tells her, this would create a situation where she would cut me off from the kids, and therefore completely cut her out of Mass and my life. Right now I feel as I’m the only one in my granddaughters life that is actually looking out for her best interest since mom is in such a denial and I don’t want to do anything to cut off her support if that makes sense. Not to mention, she’s under 18 and she is supposed to obey her parents (although at this rate, with what’s going on, I think only mom is who she needs to listen to. Unfortunately, mom is listening to dad) .
I hope that helps explain why I’m asking for some advice.

Just going into the basic angle here- avoiding the issues of child abuse…

The sign of the cross goes back to the very early Christians. Since the Catholic church is the Original Church of Christ, it is maintained to this day (although some traditional protestant churches, like High Anglican Church continue to make the sign of the cross); it is 'associated; with the Catholic church, which is obviously where they have their concerns.

It is only an affirmation of belief in the triune God- can you explain this to them? It might be a way to make inroads in the faith development of the child.

From what you have said, it would appear that your focus should be on the grandchild at the moment.

Thank you, yes, that is correct. I think if dad would chill out even mom would be Catholic (she’s asked me questions like crazy and seems to believe most of what the Church teaches). Dad however has a billion misconceptions about the Church and even forbids my daughter from stepping inside of a Catholic Church (I think he hasn’t forbid my granddaughter from this yet because right now I watch her most of the time as my daughter has to work now that he was arrested and lost his job, so I’m a convenient babysitter and in his mind, my taking her to Church is ok as long as she doesn’t participate.
He’s quite controlling as you see, and I expect that if for whatever reason they drop charges or issue a plea deal and he doesn’t go to prison that things will get much worse. I think this is just the beginning.

Praying for you for clarity and a clear path, too.

Yes, I’ve explained it, and my daughter seemed totally fine with it. Actually everytime before eating my granddaughter would do the sign of the cross before praying and mom had no issue with it at all until dad said no.

:coolinoff: (no smilies for :that’s a relief: )
When you are NOT present, but hear about contact by Dad in violation of the order, keep a dairy of the date, time, and if possible the context and who you heard if from. Although it is second hand, the courts will often allow this information to be considered in these cases. Additionally, when you are present, please report every time Dad violates the no contact order and be sure to record that information as well (get the desk officer’s name and badge - tell the officer this involves an active child abuse case when you call)

I remember learning about the early Christians making the fish sign to show they were christian with out others knowing about it. Kinda like a secret club…maybe she could use this sign on her while mentally saying the prayer…

It was hard for her on Sunday when we went to Benediction- she started to do the sign of the cross and ‘caught’ herself. I felt so bad because afterward when I was talking to someone else and others came over to say hi to her, she was telling them “daddy won’t let me do the sign of the cross and I almost did it accidentally.”
She also has been putting in prayer requests anytime she’s at Church and although she writes them in secret, I’ve sneaked a peek and saw that most of them are things like “please make mommy be Catholic” or “Please let me be Catholic.”
She’s also gotten into arguments with her brother/my grandson who is 9 about going to Church when I take them to counseling. My grandson stays with dad since dad moved out, with mom’s blessing- there is no protection order on him as the allegations are only on my granddaughter and social service said they couldn’t do anything about him staying there. He always says “I have to stay with daddy as much as possible in case he goes to prison” which I’m assuming he has heard from mom and dad.
I’m pretty sure that’s what started all of this with the sign of the cross. My granddaughter and grandson got into an argument when I was taking them to counseling about Church and my grandson went back to dad and tattled.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.