Here we are at page 34 of Joyce Rupp’s book, Inviting God In.
…with great tenderness I will take you back…says the Lord, your redeemer. Isiah 54:7-8
Joyce’s point for this devotion is the return of the penitent, essentially. That regardless of what it is you do, if you go back and beg God’s forgiveness, he’ll give it. I think this “loophole” is a bit of the reason why church sex abuse scandals and coverups are so disturbing. Not just that it affects so many generations of society by now, but that all these priests came into it with their own “get out of hell free” cards. Doesn’t matter what they do, heaven’s where they believe they’re going.
As of November 15, 2017, there were 56 alleged sex abuse lawsuits aimed at the Catholic Church in New Brunswick courts:
Thirty-two of the accusations are against one individual — Camille Leger.
Leger was the priest in the Sainte-Thérèse-d’Avila Parish in Cap-Pelé between 1957 and 1980. He died in 1990 without ever being accused or convicted of any crimes. His accusers all came forward after his death.
The archbishop said he was surprised by the sheer number.
“It seems that he was a predator all the years that he was in that parish,” Vienneau said.
According to the court documents, most of Leger’s alleged victims were young boys, generally between seven and 15 years old.
Altar boys and boy scouts. Abuse claimed to have been going on for years in some cases. There have been some cash payouts to victims, but how can money truly compensate for what say they went through?
“We were in a culture where everything was hidden,” Vienneau said. “Nowadays everything is open.”
“Sometimes we judge those 30, 40 years with the eyes of today,” he said. “That is very difficult too. Because in those days a lot of that was not seen as crime.
“It was seen as sin. Today we see it as a sin, but we also see it as a crime.”
It was a crime back then, too, I’m sure. It’s good that our society is moving more toward calling out abuse in all forms – mental or physical – and not remaining silent. It’s a brave thing to do, standing up and admitting what happened and seeking justice for it.