Monday, May 30, 2011

Saving Ryan

today's Gospel: John 15.26-16.4



There's a report in today's Irish Times about how, two years since the Ryan Report into the sexual abuse of children by clergy was issued, there hasn't been a single prosecution, despite the assurances that were given at the time of publication that it would certainly do so. Personally, I'm not surprised. After years of costly tribunals that have achieved pretty much nothing other than a slew of rich lawyers, should we really be surprised that the Ryan Report has proved to be, thus far, an insufficient basis on which to mount a criminal prosecution.  This country needs a way of investigating its scandals that is far less expensive and far more efficient. It's bad enough when corrupt politicians and business men get to thumb their nose at society as a result; it is unacceptable when the victims of sexual abuse are further wounded by the sheer ineptitude of our system. I'm not going to re-hash all horrors that have come out since these abuse scandals started to emerge. But there's a verse in today's Gospel that seems apt: Indeed, an hour is coming when those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God. There's a lot of people who are very angry with the Church right now. It's hard to blame them. By them I mean those who have truly suffered and those who have had their faith damages by what happened. I don't mean those who were anti-church to begin with and have adopted the mantle of righteous indignation in order to take advantage of this scandal to serve their own agenda. But leaving them aside there's a lot of people who are hurt and angry and rightfully so. There may have been no prosecutions in the two years since the report. But what have we done in those two years as 'Church' to help heal those who were wounded?

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