Comments: Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse has preliminary hearing

I lived and worked in Ireland (Republic) for almost 20 years before 2014. I witnessed the publication of the Ferns and subsequent reports, the wriggling and evasion of the Catholic hierarchy, the ‘mental reservation’ of Cardinal Connell, and the relief that was almost palpable when Archbishop Diarmuid Martin began to speak honestly. It seems that the CoE has learnt nothing from the Irish experience, with alleged evasions, withholding of publication, past payouts coming to light years later, allegations of people now bishops being in the know. The effect of the abuse scandals on the Irish Catholic church has been dramatic, though I can take you to towns in the Irish midlands where there are still more than 200 at daily mass—every day. But for us in the CoE, where such support is unimaginable, I suspect that these CoE sex abuse scandals will be hugely destructive of morale, reputation. and of trust in bishops. As an urban PP myself, I feel I must ready myself for more verbal abuse from passers-by, and more doorstep rants in the wee small hours. This is quite the most depressing news of my 10 years in orders.

Posted by Fr William at Saturday, 19 March 2016 at 9:39am GMT
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