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Touching our wounds
Conway, Eamonn
These have been harrowing weeks for the Church on both sides of the Atlantic. Grief has displaced Easter glory. The readings of the liturgical season have scarcely been heard over the statements, clarifications and letters of apology from bishops read out over the last number of Sundays. As a Church, we are in a state of grief and of unrecognized mourning. We are experiencing shock, denial, anger, guilt. At the same time, the Easter message is that God is to be found in the darkest and most dismal moment of our personal histories and of our history as a Christian community. There has to be Good News in this awful mess and the Christian community has a responsibility to discern it wisely and proclaim it humbly. This must be done in a way that acknowledges fully the hurt caused to the victims of child sexual abuse, not only by the abusers but also by the institution in its mishandling of cases. Members of the Church feel let down and betrayed; bishops, priests and religious feel vulnerable and wounded. This must also be acknowledged. And regardless of how counter-cultural it may be, the Christian community cannot turn its back on those who have committed the crime of child sexual abuse either. Their sinful and criminal behaviour has resulted from their failure to ground their lives in God's unconditional love. How can we mediate compassion and forgiveness to them?
Keyword(s): Priests; Catholic Church; Wounds; Implications; Bishops
Publication Date:
2002
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Language(s): English
Institution: Mary Immaculate College
Citation(s): Conway, E. (2002).‘Touching our Wounds.’ The Furrow 53(5), pp. 263-270. ISSN: 00163120.
Publisher(s): The Furrow
First Indexed: 2018-12-08 06:45:07 Last Updated: 2018-12-08 06:45:07