Archbishop Scicluna while answering question during RTK’s programme Follow-up said that he himself was helped, perhaps his life saved, by oa victim of sex abuse whose testimony he was listening to during his mission to Chile.
Archbishop Scicluna said that while in Chile he was not feeling well and was in pain. The abuse victim who was now a medical consultant, after asking a number of questions to the Archbishop advised him to immediately go to hospital for tests. Scicluna heeded the advice and following tests the hospital personnel said that he needed an operation.
Victims relive the abuse experience
Any minor who has been abused by priest or religious will automatically relive this horrible experience when he grows up and has children. Archbishop Charles Scicluna said this while being interviewed by Fr. Joe Borg during the programme Follow Up broadcast on RTK103FM.
Mgr. Scicluna, the Pope’s closest collaborator in the Church’s strivings against sex abuse, spoke at length about his meetings with victims of sexual abuse. Scicluna said that this was a difficult experience during which he faced a lot of justifiable anger. He felt like a lightning rod on top of a building with all the anger being channeled at him as the representative of the institution that instead of taking care of victims preferred to protect its own reputation. He emphasized that this had been a mistaken strategy as the Church could only protect its reputation if it cared for the victims.
“Where was God?”
An experience he would almost remember involved a Chilean man who was abused when he was 17 years old and recounted his experience during the Archbishop’s mission to Chile in February 2018. He asked the Archbishop point blank “Where was God when I was being abused?”
The Archbishop replied that God was suffering with him at that very moment as God was also being abused. Archbishop Scicluna cited the words of Jesus Christ who said that what is done with the least of man is done to him as well.
“Abuse challenges faith in God”
The Archbishop added that he was well aware that his words may not have necessary healed the man’s wounds as the effects of sexual abuse of minors by religious people are massive. Such abuse challenges the person’s trust in other humans as well as one’s faith in God explained Archbishop Scicluna.
The Archbishop also spoke about his meeting in New York with Juan Carlos Cruz, one of the victims of sexual abuse in Chile. After the meeting Crux said that the Archbishop cried with him.
”To-day Crux has a wonderful relationship with Pope Francis and meets him whenever he is in Rome.”
During his interview he also spoke about meetings he had with sexual abuse victims in Rome. Some groups were particularly vociferous. and who had wide support within the media. Describing the meetings with them as difficult due to their passionate anger at the church Mgr. Scicluna said that he understands their anger as they had suffered a lot and justifiably felt that their childhood had been taken away from them.