Catholic Interest

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    Saturday, December 10, 2005

    A Common Pleas Court judge, dabbing tears from her eyes as she told of agonizing over "the right thing to do,"

    "I do forgive you. I do forgive you for what you've admitted to here," he said to Behan. "I do forgive... . Anger will kill you."

    "Where I get stuck in this case is I don't know how to balance one very terrible violation... a teacher's abuse of a child," she said. "I don't know how to balance that against the 30 years that followed."

    "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay"


    Blogger Papalist said...

    I agree with the result and the judge's reasoning. At the end of the day, the question does become, what punishment can the state impose to restore balance to society? Happily, the balance was restored outside the courtroom.

    If it weren't (i.e., if there were no genuine repentance and/or forgiveness), I don't think I could agree with the judge. Certainly, the right to punish isn't the right of the victim, but his is the most immediate part of society that needs to experience restoration. Usually, that comes from enforcing criminal laws with a reasonable time for punishment. The time should fit the crime.

    In no case should punishment for one man's crimes be affected by concerns beyond his case--and that's, perhaps, what motivated the prosecutor in this case. She wanted this priest to suffer for the sins of other abusers. That's wrong.

    December 12, 2005  

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