If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Men of God

I've spent the weekend in Ireland, and have passed a large chunk of the time with my nose between the pages of the Irish Times.  In each day's edition, there are several pages dealing with the monstrous issue of child sexual abuse by priests, and the lack of any meaningful action by the Church authorities when the allegations came to light. In comparison, the matter has hardly been touched on by the British media.  The story, or stories, are truly heartbreaking.

I am not a Christian, but there are many passages from Scripture which strike me as speaking a profound truth about the human condition.  One, which I first read many years ago and which came to mind this weekend, is from Matthew's gospel:
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
I don't like to use the word 'evil', but nothing else comes close to describing the sheer amoral wickedness of it all.  I wonder what Jesus would have done: turned a blind eye to avoid a scandal, or raged in like a hurricane and overturned a few tables?


  1. AS a victim..The need for forgiveness and personal healing overrides my need for revenge. But I get where you are coming from.

  2. I can, in some form, get my head round the abusers - they are either very ill or bad- either way lock them up to protect the vulnerable. And the abused need all the help society can give them to get back to as near 'normal' lives as possible.

    What I cannot think about without boiling with rage are the priests who interviewed young victims without parent or adult support present and then swore them to silence on the Bible (!!) and threatened excommunication if they spoke to anyone. That is calculated, cold blooded evil.

  3. Anon (welcome, by the way), I did not suffer abuse as a child, and I can't imagine how I would deal with it. I hope I would have the wisdom to take your approach, but I couldn't guarantee it. However, I was careful not to mention revenge in the post, as it rarely produces anything helpful. I'm with Derf on this - bubbling with anger at the actions of the priests who heard what happened, swore the children to secrecy, and then carried on as if nothing had happened. Revenge is not needed, but justice is.

  4. "Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more man's nature runs to the more ought law to weed it out." sir Francis Bacon


  5. Bacon is the answer, in all senses of that phrase.


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