As a survivor of child abuse I am going to find this somewhat difficult to write. I forgave my abuser many years ago, and it helps that he is long since dead. As a Christian, forgiving those who hurt us is not optional – it is a commandment if we want his forgiveness. I am having to remind myself of this today as for the first time in many years as the news comes out that the Cardinal (higher even than a Bishop) of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia is being sentenced to jail for sexual abuse of young altar boys bringing the Christian Church and the Roman Catholic denomination in particular, into ill-repute. Followed up by the all the news about singer R. Kelly also being accused as an abuser. I loved his song, “I Believe I can Fly”.
The first thought that goes through many minds is that there is a special place reserved in hell for paedophiles. As a survivor you would imagine that I would hope so, but truth is that the vast percentage of child sex offenders are already in hell. They were themselves abused in the same way and never received any help or counselling as victims. Too many offender programs offering help using methods to re-program the offender, fail to also treat the offender as a victim within. Someone with a damaged fractured soul and spirit often requiring serious deliverance ministry as victims of child sex abuse are left wide open to satanic possession.
With help, support and love; a victim does not need to turn into an offender. In the case of offences caused by priests or someone in the church being the offender that makes it more difficult for a victim to turn to God for help when they feel God has betrayed them. They are cut off from the greatest source of help and healing which is why we should intercede for them with God, they greatly need our prayers as many would be unable to pray for help themselves.
Each offender creates multiple victims who without help can go on to make multiple victims. But each offender is often living in his own personal hell. I want to say to all survivors of this today that God understands. Go and read Lamentations 3 and you will know He understands. God loves you and I pray for peace and healing for your soul and spirit.