In the new issue of America magazine, the Jesuit weekly, Sister Camille D’Arienzo takes a thoughtful look at the question of forgiveness for clergy sexual abuse.
D'Arienzo acknowledges the difficulty of even discussing this issue:
"One hesitates to approach the suffering created by sexual molestation, especially by clergymen, as one hesitates upon entering a surgical ward. We dare not touch the pain. We choose, instead, to leave it to the professionals. Unfortunately, the professionals may not always provide wise counsel."
But she wades in nonetheless, exploring the impact of forgiveness, or the absence of forgiveness, on victims in other contexts, and writing, "to remain immersed in suffering is to extend its power.'' And she expresses her concern about hearing someone declare that abusers are beyond healing:
"What does such a statement imply about the power of Christ’s redemptive love? Has the church, from top to bottom, determined that those who have sexually abused minors are outside of the circle of those whom God can forgive? Is there no grace left for them?"
It's a provocative piece that is sure to generate a lot of discussion. Feel free to weigh in here, but please remember that if you use obscenity, your comment will not be posted.