It's interesting to watch another large and respected organization - the BBC - struggle to come to terms with child abuse in its midst. So much of what has emerged in recent weeks has echoes of the Catholic Church handling these matters - or not handling them...When I was faced with many of the issues back in 1997 and the following years, I came to realise how powerful denial is, for individuals, but even more for systems and organizations. To admit that you've been "had" is a mountain for directors, editors, governors, priests, bishops, and indeed most of us, a mountain that some seem unable to climb or get over. The revealing of shocking facts about your own Corporation - or Church - I felt was like coming to realise that the scorpion was crawling out from under your own stone. However, it must come out, the boils must be lanced, or as Jesus said "The truth will set you free" (John 8:32).
Things seem to have gone quieter nowadays in Britain on the question of abuse and the handling of it by the Church. It erupted of course in Ireland, and has had an enormous effect on the Church there by all accounts.
How strange that the BBC is now facing all this in its own backyard. Back in 1998 I sometimes upset people by thanking the media for bringing it all out - otherwise it could have gone on. I came to the conclusion that the Lord will have a humble Church. If we do not do it ourselves, he will allow others to do it.