Limits on Human Forgiveness
Can a pedophile be Forgiven?
My cousin Michael was a child molester. There I said it and there is no easy way to say something like this but his actions cannot be sugarcoated or made palatable in any way, shape or form. Michael sexually molested his niece when she was a little girl. How long the sexual abuse went on I don’t know since I did not find out any of this information until a few years ago. Michael’s behavior towards his children and his mother had always disgusted me but this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Once I found this out I no longer had any contact with him for any reason. Thank goodness he lived in another state so that made it easier to take him off my radar.
Just that piece of knowledge keep hidden within the victim for years, then suddenly coming to light served to reinforce my perceptions of my cousin and the discomfort I felt even as a child then young woman in his presence.
How do you forgive a sociopath? A man with all the characteristics of a Ted Bundy who has sown his seed with women of various races, so much so that at his death earlier this summer the niece whom he raped as a little girl, now charged with contacting said children, could not find them all.
A man so evil who in life created so much discord within the family that his grown children had abandoned him, as he did them; and no one outside of his immediate family saw cause to attend his funeral.
But what disturbed me more? The fact that his mother, my aunt praised him to the hills and constantly sent him money from her meager fixed income or that in recent years he had taken up with some addled white woman with whom he had two more children, one a little girl. Did he take up his sexual perversions with this girl child or as he used to tell us, was he so ill that sex was no longer an issue or a capability. One of Michael’s favorite lies he told his mother was that he had cancer or some other life threatening illness that had him knocking on deaths door. He told this lie for so long that he became like the boy who cried wolf so that when he did pass this year we were like well guess he really was sick after all.
Sickness. We all like to believe that illness does not come from God. God is merciful, kind, compassionate and loving. However God is also a God of wrath and justice. He exacts vengeance upon child abusers and child molesters. “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.” Luke 17:2, Matthew 18:6 & Mark 9:42.
I would estimate that Michael became seriously ill not too long after his last daughter was born. Final justice. God said no, not this little girl. He gave Mephistopheles leave to lay claim to Michael’s evil soul. As in the story Faust, Mephistopheles made good on that claim with another sexual deviant consigned to the levels of Dante’s Inferno.
When informed of his death I felt nothing but a sense of relief and justice had been done. There was no mourning on my part. Yes I do admit my forgiveness is limited. I can forgive crimes against property, hurt feelings, money disagreements, break-ups etc… but I have to draw the line with crimes against children. Pedophiles don’t just harm these children physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. A child’s soul has been stolen perhaps never to be returned. In my book those who commit assault against children will never be absolved.
New International Version (NIV)
When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.