Sister Camille: Forgiving Abusive Priests

 

In response to an avalanche of responses regarding her article in America on forgiving pedophile priests, Sister Camille D’Arienzo, sat down with Michael Paulson, the religion reporter for The Boston Globe, for an interview that ran in this Sunday’s edition of the paper to discuss the original article and the reactions it engendered.

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Here is Sister Camille: ’I’m hoping that the conversation that I started will improve and will draw on deeper wisdom than I have to offer and that somehow the larger community will engage in creating a climate where forgiveness can flourish, where those who have been harmed by sexual abuse may find solace and relief, and where those who have perpetrated the abuse will be brought to repentance, and I suspect many of them already have, and will be given another chance at continuing respectable lives.’

James Martin, SJ

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10 years ago
Thanks very much, Father Martin. I know Sr. Camille's original essay engendered some very strong feelings and deservedly so, given the deep wounds that sexual abuse leaves and the failure of some in the Church to adequately acknowledge the great harm done to victims. Aside from issues of justice and reparation, I think the difficulty that many people have concerns how one begins the process of forgiveness. We have images of John Paul II in a prison cell as he forgave Mehmet Ali Agca. That he was able to forgive his would-be assassin so seemingly easily is difficult to fathom for most Catholics. I'm sure it was a spiritual journey for him to do so; however, I think we tend to see it as a resolution that all are called to, but few can realize.

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