Today is a wonderful day. A day for all thinking,believing people to celebrate. Today the following happened:
The Pope has said he is "deeply disturbed and distressed" by the sexual abuse of children by priests in Ireland.
The Vatican said the Pontiff shared the shame felt by so many in Ireland
He said he shared the betrayal and shame felt by Irish Catholics after meeting senior bishops in Rome.
He now plans to write a letter to the Catholics of Ireland.
In a statement issued by the Vatican, Pope Benedict said he discussed the harrowing detail and cover-up of allegations against priests in the Dublin Archdiocese as detailed in the inquiry report with Cardinal Sean Brady and Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.
"The Holy Father was deeply disturbed and distressed by its contents," it said.
Which appears, at least appears, to indicate a total change of heart and purpose on behalf of the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Josef Ratzinger.
Readers of this blog will remember that many times we have referred to the document
issued by this Prefect on 24th January 2001, in which persons reporting child abuse to civil authorities faced ex-communication.
Regrettably, this present PR exercise is not exactly a meaningful 'mea culpe'. I do not read how Cardinal Ratzinger himself accepts the responsibility he has – if only by the document named above – in the 'cover-up' that is by far the worst aspect of the Church's role in all of this.
But hey, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe 'the light has shone'. But I am mindful that doctrine states a relationship between forgiveness and repentance……gg