“The most difficult thing is to say it once. Then you get the strength to say it again and again and again. And then you’re free, or at least you are on the good path to freedom.”
French actor Laurent Martinez was abused by a priest when he was just eight years old. He lost faith in God following the abuse, but later learned that forgiveness is the key to his own healing.
Martinez attended the Conference of Bishops of France to seek forgiveness in the name of his abuser. “I gave my forgiveness to the priest that raped me.” After that, “I felt really completely free of the whole burden of anger, of the desire of revenge. All the bad feelings I had just had vanished, just because I had forgiven. Little by little the trauma is disappearing. What helped more was to be able to forgive the priest.”
Forty years after the abuse Laurent Martinez created a play, called “Pardon” to tell his story and show how forgiveness and speaking about abuse helps victims to heal and rebuild their lives. “Some come to see me and say thank you so much, because, you know, this is also my story. And you are the first person I’m telling that to”.