Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hallelujah! We've seen the light……..

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.

Pope Benedict

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

Crimen sollicitationis

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……


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Nobel Peace Prize speech: December 2009

"So let us reach for the world that ought to be - that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls. Somewhere today, in the here and now, a soldier sees he's outgunned but stands firm to keep the peace. Somewhere today, in this world, a young protestor awaits the brutality of her government, but has the courage to march on. Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty still takes the time to teach her child, who believes that a cruel world still has a place for his dreams.

Let us live by their example. We can acknowledge that oppression will always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the intractability of depravation, and still strive for dignity. We can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace. We can do that - for that is the story of human progress; that is the hope of all the world; and at this moment of challenge, that must be our work here on Earth".

President Barack Obama: Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Oslo, 10 December 2009