Kathryn Lopez

"It's a terrible tragedy that he never sought professional help for dealing with the legacy of the abuse," Ed Mechmann, who oversees the Safe Environment Program of the Archdiocese of New York, comments.

"Sadly, it is very common for people who were abused in childhood to keep their victimhood secret indefinitely," Dawn Eden, author of "My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints," reflects. "A recent study indicates that about one-third of children who were sexually abused by an adult never tell anyone. The same study reports that more than 80 percent of children abused by a peer likewise keep it a secret."

"Speaking as a victim," Eden says, "I do believe that an adult who is in denial about his or her abuse is more likely to be a danger, first, to himself, and, second, to others. But if he gets help, he can, over time, not only improve, but flourish, psychologically and spiritually in ways that did not seem possible. There are no quick fixes, but your life begins to get better the moment you begin the hard work of getting well."

Loskarn's death is tragic because there is help available. His death was a response to a lie that he was beyond help and redemption. It is cause for reflection on what we watch and read and say and cover. "The news coverage of my spectacular fall makes it impossible for me to crawl in a hole and disappear," Loskarn wrote. "I've hurt every single human being I've ever known and the details of my shame are preserved on the Internet for all time. There is no escape."

No one should ever feel alone and imprisoned in thoughts and memories. Pope Francis has described the Church as a field hospital for the wounded after battle -- and it's an institution that has experienced its own battles against abuse and secrecy, and learned valuable lessons from them.

The Pope's quote "suggests that the world has become a war zone, where countless people are lying spiritually wounded and in dire need of help. Our pornography-saturated culture wounds people, even and especially in their tender early years when they are exposed to pornography, or to the kind of sexual abuse that pornography encourages. Loskarn was one of these wounded souls."

Loskarn's innocence was stolen from him, and he never recovered. He needed to encounter the depth of God's love and grace. So many do. That's why society needs people of faith who feel that obligation to serve, out of love of God and thanksgiving for His mercy.

Don't settle for pain and false encounter. Don't just curse the darkness, either: Turn on a lamp, insist on light.


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.