The Kingdom of Heaven Belongs to Such as These
In 2002, I was married, had two small children--ages two and four, lived in a beautiful suburb in northern California, and was a stay-at-home mom. The executive salary of my husband afforded me the luxury to not only support my daughters’ development and the upkeep of our home, but also allowed me to delve into my own personal journey of healing from child sexual abuse. It was a tricky time. As my daughters grew into the ages I was when I was abused, I experienced agitation, nagging discomfort, and fear. I did not allow the distress to obstruct my ability to parent, nor did it impede my willingness to be present with my girls. However, I built walls around my true self—the scary stuff that surfaced unexpectedly sending me to my immaculately clean floors, sobbing in the fetal position. These moments were not shared or witnessed by anyone.
On March 12, 2012, the New York Times reported, “In September 2011, human rights lawyers and victims of clergy sexual abuse filed a complaint urging the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate and prosecute Pope Benedict and three top Vatican officials for crimes against humanity for what they described as abetting and covering up the rape and sexual assault of children by priests.”On April 5, 2012, the Washington Post reported, “. . . Jackson County judge in Kansas City denied several motions to dismiss misdemeanor charges against the Roman Catholic bishop, Robert Finn and his diocese. Finn is the highest-ranking U.S. church official criminally charged with shielding an abusive priest.”
Now I say to the Church, be brave. It is not too late to be honest and it only takes courage to come clean. You can be the example the world needs in order to perpetuate truth and healing. If you stay the course, your victims are betrayed just as Jesus was betrayed by his friend the night he was arrested. Child sexual abuse casualties hang upon a cross constructed by you. Your leader, Pope Benedict XVI, should remove the nails that keep them bound, wash their wounds just as Jesus washed the feet of his friends, and then resign. I suggest he then consider a name change—Judas Iscariot.
Kimberly at Sperk*