[Opinion] Catholic Church Sex Abuse: What Is Suitable Compensation for a Life of Trauma?

National Catholic Register

January 27, 2021

By Janet E. Smith

The Church really needs to do some deep thinking on how it should respond.

If you had a choice between losing a limb or being psychologically traumatized your whole life, which would you choose?

By “psychologically traumatized,” I mean suffering debilitating lifetime depression and anxiety, having difficulty holding onto a job, not being able to enter into satisfying personal and intimate relationships, unshakeable (and unwarranted) self-blame and even being rejected by family who don’t understand consequent behavior.

Many sex abuse victims struggle with substance abuse throughout their lives, undergo repeated hospitalization, attempt or commit suicide, and many without anyone knowing why they were so troubled. Many of them live in poverty or near poverty their whole lives.

In addition, victims of priestly sexual abuse often lose their faith and are deprived of the healing and consolation that come through the sacraments and the rich spiritual life that faith facilitat

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