TWO senior Catholic bishops ran a PR stunt last Sunday. First they lay prostate in a Dublin cathedral, then they proceded to wash the feet of eight victims of Church abuse.
Worshippers (and victims) looked on as Cardinal Sean P O’Malley of Boston and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin performed their act of contrition after hearing long sections of government reports detailing horrific abuse of children in Dublin parishes and church-run industrial schools.
So what is this all about? Well, they claim …
We want to be part of a church that puts survivors, the victims of abuse, first — ahead of self-interest, reputation, and institutional needs.
O’Malley is in Ireland at the request of Pope Ratzinger, who has charged him with conducting a review of the response to sexual abuse by the Archdiocese of Dublin.
The O’Malley-Martin stunt was performed at the “Liturgy of Lament and Repentance” held at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral.
O’Malley also said (Warning – lots catholic Buzzword coming up) …
On behalf of the Holy Father, I ask forgiveness, for the sexual abuse of children perpetrated by priests, and the past failures of the church’s hierarchy, here and in Rome – the failure to respond appropriately to the problem of sexual abuse. Publicly atoning for the church’s failures is an important element of asking the forgiveness of those who have been harmed by priests and bishops, whose actions – and inactions — gravely harmed the lives of children entrusted to their care.
Martin, who became archbishop in 2004 and has been highly critical of his predecessors’ handling of abuse cases, thanked those who had the courage to speak about their abuse.
The first step towards any form of healing is to allow the truth to come out. The truth will set us free, but not in a simplistic way. The truth hurts. The truth cleanses, not with designer soap, but with a fire that burns and hurts and lances.
What nonsense, he talks about healing, what about justice. The first step is to bring the abusers to trial, not seek forgiveness from the abused.
Martin added that there is more reckoning to come [no kidding] , saying:
There is still a long path to journey in honesty before we can truly merit forgiveness.
So there you have it … his final goal is “forgiveness”. This is of course Catholic theatre at its very best, for not only do we have this act, but they also had long stretches of soft, airy music along with bible readings.
Some, quite rightly protested and interrupted the proceedings twice.
Robert Dempsey, walked up to the altar and spoke of his failure to receive justice. He was allowed to have his say as he explained that he was speaking for all victims, and spoke of how he was placed into a mental institution when he was only three, and later of how he was raped by a cleric in another institution when he was 15.
He also explained that a court case, that he had taken up to obtain justice, had been stalled for 10 years. Mr Dempsey then handed Archbishop Martin a file of legal documents and urged him to use his influence with the judiciary to have his case heard and settled.
The second intervention came from Christopher Heaphy, who spoke of receiving “the lash and the whip” when he was aged five as a resident of Greenmount, run by the Presentation Brothers in Co Cork.
Speaking later, Mr Heaphy said that victims, many now elderly, still wanted justice and compensation, which he claimed had not been given by the hierarchy and religious orders.
A third victim, Paddy Doyle, a disability activist, approached the precincts of the sanctuary, before directing his wheelchair out a side exit. Referring to the presence of two gardai, Mr Doyle said: “Cardinal O’Malley is the most protected man in the building.”
It is claimed that all this was a clear and definite expression of repentance by Archbishop Martin on behalf of the Dublin archdiocese, but the evidence does not support that claim.
When the Ryan report was issued in 2009, it was originally intended that abusers would be publicly named in the Commission’s report. However the Commission was blocked from doing so by a legal challenge from the Christian Brothers. The Brothers sought and received permission to deal with abusers anonymously. To date, not one single abuser has been brought to justice, this wicked cult is still protecting them to this day
Doyle, one of the abuse victims, said he had been invited to have his feet washed, but he declined.
It’s a stunt. Another stunt by the Catholic Church to absolve itself of the rape and abuse of children all over the world.
And that’s it in a nutshell, you can wash as many feet as you like, but if you are still protecting the abusers, then its an obvious sham, a PR stunt that is motivated not by remorse, but simply because they got caught.