Tuesday, 15 December 2009


The aftermath of the so-called Murphy Report into the handling of child abuse cases among the clergy of the archdiocese of Dublin continues. Archbishop Martin of Dublin has been in Rome with Cardinal Brady, and he seems to be a man of integrity, having opened up all the files of his archdiocese, and of courage, where his tenacity must surely affect his relationship with other bishops. I remember how his appointment a few years ago was greeted with some scepticism, as he had a reputation as a Vatican "pen-pusher" - not someone who would have attracted many votes if it were left to local feeling, as some people wish episcopal appointments were, like a sort of ecclesiatical X Factor...
It seems that some kind of major "reorganization" of the Church in Ireland will be promulgated in the New Year, including, presumably some high-ups being "reorganized" out of a job. It does seem impossible to imagine continuing as a bishop with such negligence behind you, and the consequent lack of trust around you.
Personally, I believe that all these horrific matters must come out. The New Testament urges us that the truth will set us free. Sounds nice - until the truth hurts. In early 1998 when I was in Penarth, with the wonderful parishioners there handling their parish priest being on trial for abuse, the Lord seemed to give me a line from the letter of St James "Humble yourself before the Lord - and He will lift you up." I decided that God wants a truly humble Church, and if we don't do it ourselves, he will allow others to do it...

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