A moving plea for justice so victim can forgive (Berlin Daily Sun)

I don’t want to hate anymore. Help us forgive

Published Date Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00

To the editor,

I speak not from hate, but from hope.

When I was diagnosed with PTSD over my priest rape, I thought it was bull. I believed that the ONLY people whom could be classified as someone with PTSD were soldiers or those in war zones. Then my therapist started explaining to me what a person whom they diagnose with PTSD goes through, what their life is like…it was like they wrote most of that definition for me.

Yet people still think what I went through can simply go away if I just get over it, forgive the priest, forgive the church, forgive those whom harmed me. That if I just forget…somehow this will make me all better.

To those who think this way do you may not realize, for 33 years I hid what that priest did to me. During that time I tried to forget, but it only made matters much, much worse. I felt guilty, I hated myself for what he did to me. I even called myself the Antichrist because of it. I actually took the name of Damien from the Omen series for my name. This is a fact. This is how evil I thought I was for what the priest did to me.

Yes I have spoken out in harsh language and foul words against this, because in my mind, in my heart and soul, nothing is more heinous than raping a child. Nothing deserves more condemnation than the rape or any harm done to a child.

The Church continues to deny us true justice. What is the harm in victims of crime asking for this? Wouldn’t you ask for justice if you were a victim of a crime? I hear it time and time again, that people would just wish we would shut up and go away. That we are Anti-Catholic when we speak out like this, when all we really are is anti-child rape and we seek justice for ourselves and far too many who, when they were children and teens, were harmed in this way. I do not only speak out against anyone in the RCC who do this, but to all who do this. In my eyes, it does not matter what position you hold when you harm a child, be you a priest, minister, teacher, or what have you. You rape a child, you harm a child and I will be all up in your grill.

We have been called liars, we have been told because we did not fight back, we are guilty of what was done to us. Imagine being told this? The thing is, when this is said of other victims of rape, people come to their defense and say how shameful this is. We who speak out about our crimes done to us at the hands of the Roman Catholic Church, sadly do not get the same treatment. We are victims of one of the most heinous evils that can be perpetrated against another, so much so that it is spoken of in the Catechism.

“Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them.” (no. 2356)

How can anyone expect a victim of such an evil act ever come to the point of healing, of forgiveness for those whom committed these crimes against us when we hear these things said about us? If YOU wish for us to forgive you, to heal from these evils, then you must stand with us not against us. All we ask for is justice? Is that wrong? Would YOU not want the same for someone you loved and was going through this?

I onced loved the RCC with all of my heart and soul. When I was a young boy taking my Catechism and doing my First Communion…I was hooked to the beauty and the mysticism and most of all…the love of God and Jesus Christ. That I just had the incredible honor of having my first Communion, of taking the Holy Body and Blood of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into me and that meant the world to me at that moment.

That was taken away from me in one night due to the perversities of a priest. How can I forgive this priest, when he himself will not even admit what he did to me? How can I forgive him when the church fights me at every step just to obtain some justice for the crime that was done to me?

So when you hear us survivors of these crimes against us, speak out in anger, pain, and in horror about the evils done to us…do not condemn us…help us…In the name of God and Jesus Christ, help us heal from all of this suffering and pain. In the name of God and Jesus Christ stand up for us. If you wish for us to truly come back, to be fellow followers of God and Jesus Christ, then help us do so by standing for us and not against us. We do not want to destroy your church, we want to clean it from these evils so it can be the church it is supposed to be.
I do not want to hate anymore, I want to heal and forgive those whom committed these crimes against myself and so many others.

In the name of God and Jesus Christ help us heal our pain, help us heal our suffering. Help us.

Frank Laferriere