I myself left the church on my eighteenth birthday, but the message of love I have always followed, because I think it's a basic attitude that people should have among themselves.
This attitude was not good for me when the destroyer bothered into my life, via All Saints Church, Katarina parish, Stockholm. After suffering from how vulnerable he and his six-year-old children were – after many hours of listening to his despair – I opened my home to them over the summer. You who have read the book know where it led. Most people know this without having read the book today, it seems.
It was empathy, responsibility for the other, in this case a father and a child – the basic responsibility for the other that I believe we all have for each other, who spoke in me. It is called compassion, a necessary building block in all functioning societies. But if he had been a person I had met in another context, compassion would not have been enough. I trusted him because he was affiliated with the Church of All Saints, which is part of Katarina parish. The fact that he since five years back, when I met him, was actively tied to it was absolutely crucial. He had stood at the altar wearing a cloak and held the chalice at the popular masses held by the popular pastor Olle Carlsson, several times. He was a regular member of the Church, with his choir and he held many concerts. He also moved with predilection in the church café where all sorts of people gathered, where he was respected and appreciated, a man who spread joy, wisdom and comfort. I myself have seen Olle Carlsson punch him in the back, as if they were best friends, and heard the pastor throw appreciative words at him. I had this on my retina when I finally decided to let him and the baby live in my empty apartment over the summer, the different episodes when I had seen Olle Carlsson and Sam in mutual throbbing. Sam certainly seemed to be an esteemed person at the church and he had free access to all the rooms as if he belonged entirely there. The second time I met him, he invited me to one of the Church's meeting rooms, in front of several priests, because he moved in the church as if he belonged there. Det gjorde han också. He was invited to Christmas dinners, gatherings and meetings.
But I happen to know that the then man in charge, Pastor Olle Carlsson, understood that Sam was not reliable. I happen to know that he called a person in Sam's choir- long before I joined the choir – because he wondered about the person in question ” too bad of Sam ” because he suspected Sam was borderline. Because the person in question was very involved in helping Sam who he / she felt sorry for – which was Sam's method – the person denied that she / he too ill.
But the suspicion that Sam was borderline and possibly exposed his choir members and others to something bad may not have come from nowhere. Nevertheless, Pastor Olle Carlsson had Sam held. He continued his activities at the church for many more years. When I joined the choir, he had been in the choir for five years and for five years after that he continued his activities in the church.
Everyone involved knows what happened to me. And many readers and others take it for granted that the Church of Sweden or the parish has contacted me, to regret what has happened. After all, it was the Swedish church that gave the destroyer Sam ”credibility” a word that Sam himself loved. According to a person close to the then pastor Carlsson, he knew that Sam had to be kept short and did so; ”kept him short”. What I know about the pastor's responsibility is to protect his congregation. But he let Sam continue his activity and left him standing at the altar, as a Church representative wearing a robe, and hold in the lime- The blood of Jesus. With insight into Sam's limitlessness, it is not to keep him short. It is not to protect the church. But Sam gave some cool air to the priests, to the church itself and to the masses. Maybe that gave the pastor a couple of pluses on the edge, superficially, something that benefited him. Vem vet?
Jag, like most others, thought that some representative from the Church of Sweden or at least Katarina Parish would contact me, maybe even ask how they could help me. Not a sound. Not a sound from anyone at all. One of Sam's choir members is now married to Olle Carlsson and knows everything because I told about everything already when I had registered and told that I would write the book – for the sake of other people. What Sam had done upset her so much that she felt very bad. Då. Then came the book. But no representative from the church has heard from him. Mr Carlsson is no longer active there but is, as far as I know, still a real person. He was in charge then, but even if it is now others who have it, it is about representing the congregation, and the Church of Sweden. Silence. It surprises most people, but no longer me. Such is the great cowardice. It does not benefit the Church of Sweden, kan vi enas om, that its representatives are flat and spineless.
I was advised by friends to contact Katarina parish to ask for financial assistance.
In October, I wrote the following:
My name is C. H. I am a writer and playwright and have written the book The Destroyer Beginning in All Saints Church where I met the man who ruined my life through mental and physical violence, ruined me and made me homeless- known as Sam Paris. He had been running the church for ten years. Now I want to seek assistance from your funds, to manage the rent a few months ahead and to be able to buy Christmas presents. How should I proceed?? C. H
After two days, an answer came:
Hello and thanks for your mail! You are welcome to apply for funding if you live and are registered in Katarina Församling. GOD'S PEACE!
from a deaconess official.
This deaconess official had then asked a mutual acquaintance if she knew me, because we had both been in Sam's choir. And our mutual acquaintance knew about this brief exchange of letters and thought that the Church's response to my letter was shitty. The deaconess had wondered how else she would have answered? Our common acquaintance pointed out ”But she no longer lives in Katarina parish because of his crime against her and you can not help her because she does not live in parish – because of his deed?” The deaconess shrugged and left. I understand that it is not an individual deaconess official who should be responsible for the flatness of the church, but my letter to the congregation opened, a beginning of a communication if they had been receptive to it. They obviously are not. They feel no responsibility.
My acquaintance said something like ;” And the only thing you have done is to have followed the message of love. But this is how Katarina parish and the Church of Sweden practice the message of love!”
Ja, I just continue to marvel at how common hypocrisy is also among people who give other people blessings and communions and comfort , collects collections for charitable purposes, bury their dead and baptize their children and marry them in love. Priests should have an ongoing critical self-cleansing and reflection – not as a superficial occupation to write mediocre daily verses to heel for the public, while sitting and cuddling in their large parsonages and going abroad on spiritual retreats for tax money, but to preserve its dignity, carry their cold and be role models in courage, heder, responsibility and in being able to practice the message of love, for example.
Merry Christmas to you all!