Pride and Punishment

Maura sent me a link to a Washington Post article on the recent trend in non-monetary compensation for priestly sexual abuse victims.

This is ridiculous.

I’m not saying that priests who sexually abuse children should go without punishment. The preventive programs in place for all people in church ministry are long overdue. The victims of such abuse clearly need healing and deserve help getting it.

But they do not need to exhume a priest who’s been dead for over 45 years because he is buried near their parents. Do they not think God has judged these men according to their deeds (Romans 14:10-12)? Do they not think that their parents in the “hereafter,” knowing about the abuse, would have forgiven their abuser? It’s the Christlike thing to do, and forgiving does not require forgetting. You can’t hold a grudge in heaven.

It drives me crazy when victims demand that the sites where their abuse occurred be sold. How many generations might benefit from that retreat center? How many dioceses are staggering under the debt of these multi million-dollar settlements? How many people have a false and negative image of the Church due to these outrageous demands?

These people need to spend some time in prayerful consideration of their actions and the effect on their brothers and sisters in Christ. Asking the Church to help you heal is one thing. Having a monument erected for yourself is a testament to your own unforgiving pride.

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