Tuesday, 25 August 2015

A culture of cover-up in the Catholic Church community

Love does not rejoice in the wrong or keeps a record of wrong doing. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.

Some Protestants may be rejoicing in the woes of the Roman Catholic Church with regard to the abuse allegations and disgrace of prominent priests, bishops and cardinals. Others, however, are saddened by the suffering of the victims of serious and criminal historic abuse. Catherine Deveney's investigations into this abuse in Scotland have been reported in the Observer. They first appeared in 2013, and last Sunday she reveals that there were decades of abuse and cover-up alongside moral and financial corruption.  Catherine Deveney contends that the Catholic church has been allowed for far too long to get away with these abuses, having been lawmaker, judge, jury and executioner in its own world.

The McLellan Commission was set up to look into abuse in the Scottish Catholic Church. It published its report on 18 August. It contains some very unedifying information but has positive recommendations concerning the welfare and safeguarding of children.

Looking into the micro-management methods of the previous pope, Ratzinger, it is obvious that on his careful watch, over some years, sexual abuses and criminal acts against minors were ignored, hidden away, deliberately overlooked, cleverly covered-up and denied.  Victims were dishonestly discredited and dealt with despicably. There has been a ruthless dismissal of victims and of criticism.

It is my prayer that those who have suffered as a result of these sad and sorrowful circumstances will live to see a good measure of repentance, justice and restoration. That means action! May justice and forgiveness flow. Words of apology are not enough.

The words of our Lord, recorded in Matthew 18:6, are sobering and seriously solemn.

If anybody causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the deep sea.

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