27 March 2010

The Church and Child Abuse

Lent Palm Sunday Yr C

If you listen to Thought for the Day; this morning you would have heard Catherine Pepinster, editor of the Tablet, talk of two types of silence: the prayerful silence of Mass and the destructive silence of child abuse cover ups. On the radio Ms Pepinster said:

Accusation upon accusation has led to an unprecedented apology from Pope Benedict to the people of Ireland in which he expressed shame and remorse for what has happened.

But for many it was still not enough.

...Catholics attending Mass on Palm Sunday will hear Luke’s Gospel story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a donkey. As the crowd shouts in acclaim, the Pharisees tell him to silence his followers. But Christ says: “I tell you, if these keep silence the very stones will cry out”.

Now it seems as if the very stones are crying out about child abuse. The damaging silence has been swept aside; the truth must be spoken.

My brothers and sisters in Christ: we face our darkest hour; we walk now with Christ to face our crucifixion. It will be a painful journey and there will be times when we doubt. Be not like the Apostles who left Christ to face his pain, his suffering and his humiliation alone. Rather, be like the centurion who saw “a great and good man”, be like Joseph of Arimathaea who “had not consented to what others had planned and carried out” and above all, be like the women who “took note of the tomb”, who “prepared spices and ointments” and who were the first to witness the resurrection.

My brothers and sisters, as the wolves circle and seek to crucify the Church, stand strong in your Faith, stay true to your love and know that you will overcome!

H/t to Ruth Gledhill for the Thought for the Day text. Thought for the day, here, at approx. 48 minutes into the programme.


  1. Couldn't agree more.

    It seems like all those who can't wait to criticise the Church are trampling all over the pain of those innocents who were grievously and appallingly abused in their glee at their opportunity to 'prove' and justify their hate of the Church.

    We, the ordinary men and women in the pews, are horrified at the abuses that happened as well as horrified at those who, for whatever reasons, let the abusers get away with it for so long. Therefore this is all the more reason to cling to the GOOD in the Church. It's all the more reason to work tirelessly towards cleansing and renewing the Church. It's all the more reason to listen to the words of the One who sacrificed Himself for us and try ever harder to live as He asks us to live. It's all the more reason to live our beliefs in our love and concern for our fellow men and we could not do that without Holy Mother Church.

    Holy Mother Mary, mother of the child Jesus, mother of the crucified Jesus, pray for all of us.

  2. Thanks for your thoughts, Tony, and hoping that all is well with you.

  3. What has happened has happened, and what's been done has been done. No words or deeds will ever recompense the hurt that has been caused; terrible as it is.

    Just like no words or deeds can ever recompense what we have done to Our Lord when we nailed Him to a Cross.

    He forgave us. Can we learn to do the same? Can we?



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