From today’s NYT…the results of an major investigation by Louis Freeh, the former director of the FBI:
Freeh’s investigation — which took seven months and involved more than 400 interviews and the review of more than 3.5 million documents — accuses Paterno, the university’s former president and others of deliberately hiding facts about Sandusky’s sexually predatory behavior over the years.
“In order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders of Penn State University” “repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse from the authorities, the board of trustees, the Penn State community and the public at large.”
Our church knows deeply the pain that is inflicted when cover ups happen when children are abused by child molesters. It is so tough to think that people could be that cold to not protect a child and it’s so easy for all of us to grow unforgiving and hateful towards them.
Are they in fact, too hard to forgive? If so, what does that say about us as so-called people of forgiveness? What does it say about justice if we dare to forgive them?
Justice is not blind. But do we sometimes become blind by not being able to forgive people–allowing our hatred to turn us into people who seem to be controlled by hatred.
And instead of channelling that justice that we can clearly see more positively, doesn’t evil have a way to keep us in our desolation? Where we seek revenge, rather than reconciliation.
I really hate Jerry Sandusky for what he’s done. But my hatred doesn’t help protect children who might be victimized by someone like him down the road. And I can’t change what Mr. Sandusky did in his horrible past, his monstrous, devious, sick life. I can only choose to move on and not let his vileness turn me into someone who can’t see that love always conquers hatred. We can’t seem to control our emotions–and I think we need to do that. And good religion teaches us to temper our dark passions and lead us not into the temptation that evil would rather have us turn to. Rather it hopes to deliver us from all that is evil.
They knew. And now we know that we know now. But where does that call us to be? May we be challenged today by forgiveness, justice and a sense that all may be brought to healing by God’s love.
Including those who find it hard to forgive.