Tuesday, February 27, 2024
23 C
Sydney

Fr Peter Kwak: The sound of freedom must ring in our consciences

Most read

Jim Caviezel and Bill Camp’s portrayal of HSI agent Tim Ballard and former cartel accountant respectively, succeeds in placing the spotlight on the victims rather on the heroes. Screenshot: Youtube/AngelStudiosInc
Jim Caviezel and Bill Camp’s portrayal of HSI agent Tim Ballard and former cartel accountant respectively, succeeds in placing the spotlight on the victims rather on the heroes. Screenshot: Youtube/AngelStudiosInc

By Fr Peter Kwak

Sound of Freedom is a movie based on a true story. Tim Ballard worked for the US government and was assigned to the special division which dealt with child abuse crimes.

During 12 years of service, he worked undercover to prosecute those involved in crimes against children.

- Advertisement -

But he had no jurisdiction whenever his investigations established no direct link to US citizens, even when the victims were within the reach of his help.

So, he courageously quit his government career and founded a private organisation called Operation Underground Railroad, dedicated to rescuing child victims around the world.

Mr Ballard explains that over six million children are estimated to be enslaved or trafficked for the purpose of sex, labour or organ-harvesting, thereby making up one of the most lucrative criminal enterprises.

The internet has facilitated the satisfaction of depraved sexual desires and the past several years have seen an exponential increase in the economy of pornography involving children.

But who are the myriad consumers responsible for the existence of millions of abused children? The US has consistently been the number one consumer in the diabolic market of commodified children.

If so, then, who else has been a big consumer and how has this impacted upon culture and politics, especially those aspects which target our children?

What else is horrifying about all this is the deafening silence on what is surely one of the greatest scandals in history.

No one becomes a child-abuser overnight. First come the thousands of small transgressions, all of which become justified and normalised in the mind of perpetrators, such that even when the unthinkable transgression is committed they are ready and willing to excuse themselves.

Sound of Freedom does not shy away from the harsh reality of child trafficking and sex abuse but portrays it in such a way that it does not deter, but stirs the soul. Screenshot: Youtube/AngelStudiosInc
Sound of Freedom does not shy away from the harsh reality of child trafficking and sex abuse but portrays it in such a way that it does not deter, but stirs the soul. Screenshot: Youtube/AngelStudiosInc

In other words, they have blinded their conscience. But what are the thousands of lies our society tells itself, to the point of blinding its conscience, such that even when the most heart-wrenching truth cries out to be heard, our society is ready and willing to turn a deaf ear?

Tim Ballard did not want to be in his line of work, for fear of bringing the darkness of the work into his home, where a young wife and children awaited him.

But his wife (another true hero in the story) told him that that was precisely why he should accept it—for the child victims who were no less precious than their own.

After all, the superiors had chosen him for being a Christian, wisely aware that, without faith, such work would be soul-crushing.

Later his wife even said to him, “You’re not going to jeopardise my salvation by leaving those children and coming home!”

Tim learned the only way to complete his mission was to subject himself to God like a little child.

Christ has conquered the world and we are defeated only by forgetting this. Sound of Freedom reminds me of the line from Gladiator, when Maximus cries out to his soldiers: “What we do in life echoes in eternity!”

Yes, what we do in life echoes in eternity, but it first echoes in our conscience. Hence the reason why God’s rescue operation hinged upon Christ’s death and resurrection, the primary effect of which is to cleanse and perfect our conscience.

If a compromised conscience can become a conduit of evil, including of the worst kind, then the converse is also true: a cleansed and therefore courageous conscience can make present on earth the kingdom of heaven, such that myriads of souls are saved and the sound of freedom resounds in our world.

Fr Peter Kwak is parish priest of Regina Coeli parish, Beverly Hills.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -