This weekend (10th October), Fr. Paddy spoke about the terrible news which emerged during the week about the revelations of Clerical abuse in France.
He reminded us of the words from Pope Francis in 2018 condemning these crimes;
“Looking back to the past, no effort to beg pardon and to seek to repair the harm done will ever be sufficient. Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated. The pain of the victims and their families is also our pain, and so it is urgent that we once more reaffirm our commitment to ensure the protection of minors and of vulnerable adults”. (Pope Francis)
He went on;
“With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives. We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them”.
Finally, the Holy Father said;
“I am conscious of the effort and work being carried out in various parts of the world to come up with the necessary means to ensure the safety and protection of the integrity of children and of vulnerable adults, as well as implementing zero tolerance and ways of making all those who perpetrate or cover up these crimes accountable”…”It is essential that we, as a Church, be able to acknowledge and condemn, with sorrow and shame, the atrocities perpetrated by consecrated persons, clerics, and all those entrusted with the mission of watching over and caring for those most vulnerable. Let us beg forgiveness for our own sins and the sins of others”.
There is an excellent interview with a senior Cardinal on the report from France here;
If you, or anyone reading this has been affected by the issues raised here, please find help and support in the ‘Towards Healing’ organisation. The Towards Healing Counselling and Support Service reflects the commitment of the Catholic Church in the thirty two counties of Ireland to meet the support needs of survivors of Religious, Institutional and Clerical Abuse and their families. The Towards Healing Counselling and Support Service was established in February 2011.