From the Associated Press (7/19/2011): "The incoming Roman Catholic archbishop of Philadelphia has pledged to help sex-abuse victims by working harder than anyone to heal 'the sins of the past.'"
Abuse victims will never receive satisfaction from their abusers, not matter how humble and contrite the offenders become. No more what indemnity an offender pays, no matter how many apologies are offered, those harmed by sexual abuse will never be restored by those who offended them, by those who denied the abuse outright, or by those who deliberately covered it up.
Contrary to the well-meaning yet ill-conceived hope of the incoming archbishop, neither Msgr Charles Chaput nor the Catholic Church can ' heal the sins of the past.'
Only One can restore to those who lost their safety, whose trust was betrayed, whose sense of hope and respect where damaged by those who perverted their authority.
That one is Jesus Christ.
God poured out His righteous wrath upon His Son, that we sinners may all be made the righteousness of God, no longer condemned because of our sin to endure eternal separation from God. As the prophet Isaiah foretold:
"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." (Is. 53:5)
Though people in high places may have harmed us, though institutions may have failed us, though friends and loved ones have betrayed our trust, we can rightly place our confidence in Christ's death and resurrection. By His Great Sacrifice, we are not only forgiven our sin and restored to right standing with God, but we can rest assured that all that was taken from us will be restored to us double!
"To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified." (Is 61:3)
"For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them." (Is 61:7)
Let's not forget the Apostle Paul's joyful promise:
"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Rom 8:32)
No human being or institution can heal the pain and shame of the past . . . But Christ through His death and resurrection at the Cross offers redemption and restoration to all who suffer.