I recently had the privilege of talking with TL Putnam over on his podcast, Outside the Walls, about my article, The Place Where You Stand is Holy Ground: Recognizing and Preventing Spiritual Abuse in the Catholic Church.
We first talked about what spiritual abuse is before we discussed how it impacts the rise of the religiously non-affiliated (the “nones”). Then after a short side-bar into the dangers of purity culture, we dove into what healthy spiritual authority and spiritual conversations look like. TL wrapped up the episode with a biting sermon from St. Augustine that warned pastors of the responsibility that comes with spiritual authority.
“Listen like God’s sheep, and observe how well God has ensured your safety, whatever those in charge of you may be like; that is, whatever we bishops may be like, he that feeds Israel has ensured your security. Surely, if God doesn’t desert his sheep, then not only will bad shepherds pay the penalty they deserve, but the sheep will also obtain what they have been promised.” -St. Augustine, Sermon 46 from the Old Testament
Go check out this episode and consider subscribing and supporting Outside the Walls while you’re at it!
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Paul Fahey lives in Michigan with his wife and four kids. For the past eight years, he has worked as a professional catechist. He has an undergraduate degree in Theology and is currently working toward a Masters Degree in Pastoral Counseling. He is a retreat leader, catechist formator, writer, and a co-founder of Where Peter Is. He is also the founder and co-host of the Pope Francis Generation podcast. His long-term goal is to provide pastoral counseling for Catholics who have been spiritually abused, counseling for Catholic ministers, and counseling education so that ministers are more equipped to help others in their ministry.