Monday, 18 July 2011

The apple or the tree

So I've been reading the so-called "Cloyne Report" today. This looked into the handling by the diocese of Cloyne in Ireland of allegations of child-abuse by priests. It strikes me that there is something in common between this report, the current phone-hacking scandal with its ever-widening implications, and other events such as the financial melt-down. Besides all being scandals, they all involve institutions or individuals who believe themselves to be safe from disaster, immune to the ills of the human race. Banks, politicians, journalists and publishers - and people in authority in the Church - can so easily see themselves at the best as "it'll never happen to me" and at worst as "it can't happen to me".
The apparent shocking lack of concern for victims in the handling of various abuse cases in different parts of the world, sometimes in favour of the protection of the good name of individual, diocese or the Church in general, is worthy of the condemnation it has received. It's akin to the fact that the very newspapers which have delighted in exposing the wrongs in society, now find themselves exposed. 
I like the word "systemic" - in so many things in life, the Church included, we have to look at the system that produces the individuals or institutions. Mind you, we may have to - sometimes - be open to the possibility that somewhere along the line the system may include us. 

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