An excerpt from an article at https://onepeterfive.com/clergy-abuse-soul-murder/
Why do so many victims of clerical abuse take their own lives? What causes the high incidence of suicide among victims of clerical sex abuse?
The answer may lie in the hideous nature of child sexual abuse by a man of God. The grooming words of notorious sexual predator Cardinal McCarrick are instructive. They portray the depth of depravity and spiritual torture employed by clerical abusers.
James, the 11-year-old McCarrick victim, recalls the spiritual power trip utilized by the offending priest: “He would always tell me that I was his special boy, that God gave me to him, so we could worship together and be happy together. He told me he had the power to get God to forgive me all my sins. That my father didn’t have that power. That’s the aura.”
The predator priest often uses God to groom the victim. How perfect, to subdue and intimidate a child! When the powerful predator invokes God as a consenting participant in the abuse, the child victim is left defenseless, devoid of spiritual help. The abuser supplants God as a willing cooperator in order to diabolically silence the victim into submission. As James recounts, McCarrick told him hundreds and hundreds of times, “God will only listen to you when you are with me.”
The unique and heinous spiritual abuse perpetrated upon clerical sex abuse victims robs these children of hope and escape. Their world is turned upside-down, with God not as their savior, but as their tormentor. The priest, portraying himself as in persona Christi, sadistically warps any sense of good and evil for the child. He loses all hope. For the soul tormented with utter hopelessness, no belief in a better future, no chance of recovery, it seems that only suicide remains.
In his response to the Archbishop Viganò testament about McCarrick’s history of predation and the Vatican’s knowledge of it, Cardinal Marc Ouellet callously dismissed McCarrick’s crimes and thus exposed the Vatican’s disdain for the suffering of clerical sex abuse victims:
I strongly doubt that McCarrick was of interest to him [Pope Francis] to the point that you believed him to be, since at the moment he was an 82-year-old archbishop emeritus who had been without an appointment for seven years.
In essence, Ouellet provides the excuse that since McCarrick is an old man, despite decades of abuse, which was never prosecuted or investigated by the Church, he is given a papal pass.
Pennsylvania attorney general Josh Shapiro referenced the number of suicide victims in his press conference when he unveiled the damning Pennsylvania clergy abuse report in August.
In the 2004 John Jay Report on the U.S. clergy abuse scandal, the authors described the particular impact on clergy abuse victims (p. 217):
The effects of sexual abuse on the victims vary, but the impact is long lasting and may result in sexual depersonalization, depression, sexually acting out, and suicide. When a child has been victimized by a priest, the impact of the abuse effects how the child perceives God, the Church and the clergy. The abuse also raises the question as to how these institutions will view the victim.
Australia, Ireland, and America seem to be especially vulnerable to the suicide ticking time bomb among clergy abuse victims.
The Catholic Church in Australia is particularly noteworthy for incidents of suicide among its victims of clergy abuse. Aussie law enforcement has documented the high incidence of suicide among these victims:
CONFIDENTIAL police reports have detailed the suicides of at least 40 people sexually abused by Catholic clergy in Victoria, and have urged a new inquiry into these and many other deaths suspected to be linked to abuse in the church.
In a damning assessment of the church’s handling of abuse issues, the reports say it appears the church has known about a shockingly high rate of suicides and premature deaths but has “chosen to remain silent.”
The reports state that while conducting lengthy inquiries into paedophile clergy, investigators have discovered “an inordinate number of suicides which appear to be a consequence of sexual offending.”