I have been reading newspapers for 70 years. I have seen headlines about wars, disasters, assassinations, tragedies and horrors. But never have I seen a more moving, heartbreaking, tear-producing headline than “Days before her abuse-related death, (this) girl told parents, ‘I feel like I’m dying’ ” (Dec. 13, Page A1). Even now, just typing that headline constricts my throat and raises my blood pressure. How can anyone be so inhuman, so unfeeling, so spiritually dead as to abuse a child who so needed love and care?

Our faith teaches us to forgive. Our forgiveness is not sufficient; full forgiveness comes about only when the sinner seeks forgiveness. God will always offer His mercy to those who seek it.

But our faith also teaches that God is just as well as merciful. It is not our place to wreak vengeance. But we can cry out for justice, just as Marissa Kennedy must have cried for an end to her suffering.

Our society will do justice for this child by taking away the liberty of these parents. God will decide whether that is enough to balance the scales entirely.

William Richards


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