April 18, 2005

A Blind Eye, Even In Death

The Day

Day Staff Columnist, Enterprise Reporter/Columnist
Published on 4/18/2005

Hell, I have been told, is the absence of God.

When a priest rapes a child, he teaches his victim this lesson: Hell is here, now, on this planet. God was, is, and forever will be absent from your life.

Or so I have been told.

I have interviewed more than a dozen victims who say they were taught that lesson. Most were afraid to let me use their names. Only a few, like John Waddington of Groton and Donna Rolfe Walker of New London, had the courage to do so.

But they all had certain things in common. They were intimates of emptiness, of a world without God. True, some would come to find solace later in life in another church, but not before many of them had tried to end that emptiness with drink, drugs, even suicide.

Last week, the tens of thousands of victims of sexual abuse by priests could turn on their TVs and watch the world mourn a pope who had seemed indifferent to their plight; a pope who, apprised of the crisis at least as early as 1985, did nothing then to address it; a pope who rewarded one of the most heinous figures in the whole sordid affair with a sumptuous sinecure in Rome.

Posted by kshaw at April 18, 2005 06:00 AM