I did not know whether to write this on my Catholic blog or my Survivor blog. I finally decided it fit in both places because I fit in both places.
Thanks goes to Catholic Fire, who posted a quote that I could not quite believe I was reading. I went to read the full article in Irishtimes.com about a quote made by a Cardinal about the child sexual abuse crisis in Ireland. The headline read "Abortion worse than child abuse, says Vatican figure".
The Quote? "What happened in some schools cannot be compared with the millions of lives that have been destroyed by abortion. It (abortion) has legally destroyed 40 million lives."
I needed a couple of days to calm down and to pray about what I needed to say.
Here is my venting:
1. One cannot compare abortion and child sexual abuse at all - period. As a pro-life Catholic, I do not argue that abortion is a crime against humanity. But so is sexual abuse. How can we compare one evil to another? How can we say one is worse than another? Does he really think that God is thinking like that?
2. And how do we compare pain and loss? To minimize someone's pain is to add to that pain.
3. Both abortion and child abuse have endless ripple effects, increasing circles of pain and grief in victims' friends, relatives, future spouses, children, etc.
4. The number of children sexually abused since the beginning of time is beyond trying to figure out or even guess. For sure, it is an under reported crime. I did not report mine. Neither did my sister. Neither did most survivors I have spoken to in support groups, etc.
Statistics these days say 1 in 4 girls are abused and 1 in 5 boys are abused. It is estimated that there are over 39 million survivors of child sexual abuse living in the United States alone. God only knows how many there are in the world.
5. There are different kinds of death. Soul death. Survivors of child sexual abuse have had their lives destroyed in many ways. Every aspect of a survivor's life is affected by the abuse - physical, emotional, spiritual, sexual. Survivors suffer for many years, many for their entire lives. Unless they experience major healing. But even so, it is never really gone. Especially when our suffering is minimized by someone we may look up to or respect. Someone like a Cardinal in the Catholic Church.
I am praying.
I am praying that both abortions and child sexual abuse stop.
I am praying for this Cardinal. Why on earth, especially in light of what we went through in the United States with our own sexual abuse scandal, would he make such a statement?
I am praying for the Irish survivors of sexual and physical and emotional abuse. I am praying that God will help them to heal. That they will know that they are not alone. That they will know the love of their Mother, Mary.
I am praying for all survivors of child abuse, that we will all find healing and hope. And that, in this time of darkness, we will find the courage to speak out and be the Light of Christ.
And I will keep praying. Please pray, too.