The Words of the Kiely Family

Reply to Ben Lorentzen

Michael and Maria Kiely
October 8, 2012

Dear Ben,

Maria and I feel we need to respond to your "Open letter about my relationship to In Jin Moon" letter because of the deep sense of betrayal and hurt that many, perhaps most, of us feel over what has happened. Your letter and In Jin Nim's written and verbal communications have only deepened that hurt.

We do value the substantial contribution that you have made to Lovin' Life. Your music was heartfelt and beautiful. We also value the new life that In Jin Nim infused into the American church and the excitement of many second gen who had, until a few years ago, distanced themselves from the church. There was much that was positive and healing about In Jin Nim's ministry. She has indeed touched our lives.

Nonetheless, as Hyung Jin Nim said to us at the Manhattan Center recently, we need to recognize that "sin is sin." In addition to the deep pain your relationship has reportedly caused True Parents, all the wonderful good that you have done among us has been seriously compromised by the clear difference between what In Jin Nim represented to us in her sermons and other communications and what she actually did in her personal life over the past year or so. She called on us to live by a much more principled standard than she herself was apparently prepared to live by. Please try to understand how painful the revelation of this inconsistency has proved to be for our whole community. And please try to understand how much it hurts to see our children -- in whom we have invested many tears and for whom In Jin Nim had recently given us reason to hope -- distance themselves again from the church because of your sin.

How can we all heal? If either or both of you had repented for the harm you have done, that could have contributed to healing. Unfortunately, in your communications you have both sought to justify your unprincipled position instead. You have both rubbed salt in the wounds of our community by emphasizing how happy you are in this relationship that has devastated our community. Both of you accuse your blessed spouses of being abusive and appear to accept no responsibility whatsoever in your public communications for the failures in those relationships. We cringe at the example this sets for our young people, most of whom face challenges in their own blessed relationships. What a contrast to In Jin Nim's inspiring message of July 1 of this year to the 8000 couples on their 30th anniversary in which she encouraged couples on their path of creating an "I-deal family." In retrospect, does In Jin Nim now gag on those words -- and on the many others she uttered with apparent sincerity from the national pulpit at the Manhattan Center?

Ben, it would have been better if neither of you had written these slap-in-the-face letters publicly seeking to justify your unprincipled, unjustifiable position. [In addition to Ben's letter there is In Jin Moon's Statement on Her Resignation] They caused us all -- and surely True Parents -- additional pain. Maria and I would have remained silent if you had not written these letters; we have no heart to accuse or judge you because you are our brother and True Sister whom we love and pray for. But your public stance attempting to justify this sin festers these wounds and thus demands a public response.

With regret,

Michael and Maria Kiely 

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