chapter  8
20 Pages

Untold Tales and Skeletons in the Closet

Hurtful behaviors are often perpetuated in religious systems through the keeping of family secrets. When abuse or other inap­ propriate behavior is covered up, or the congregation is unwilling to recognize its presence, the causes cannot be addressed. As we have discussed, congregations may choose secrecy when the reputation or removal of a beloved or a crowd-drawing pastor is at stake, or when something has happened that could shatter the illusion of the perfect family, and/or cause open conflict. In these instances, confi­ dentiality is often confused with secrecy.