"It would be better for him ..."

The report of the Irish Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse has dominated religious reporting in England over the past few days. Here are the key documents:

Executive Summary

Full Report

They make sickening and heartbreaking reading. I don't intend to try and say anything clever or original in the face of this evil. Have a look at the above pious representation of Our Lord's love for children. Or this one:

Our Lord said what needs to be said in the case of one who commits scandal against children, let alone sodomy:
It were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matt 18.6)
I am reminded of the heartfelt words of Pope Benedict at his Homily at the Mass for bishops, Seminarians and Novices during his visit to Australia last year:
Here I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country. Indeed, I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured, and I assure them that, as their Pastor, I too share in their suffering. These misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal condemnation. They have caused great pain and have damaged the Church’s witness. I ask all of you to support and assist your Bishops, and to work together with them in combating this evil. Victims should receive compassion and care, and those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice. It is an urgent priority to promote a safer and more wholesome environment, especially for young people.
It is worth watching the homily in the clip below for the emphasis he places on the words "unequivocal cnodemnation". The quotation above is at 08:23.

I will offer Mass at Lourdes next week for all those who have suffered as children in these ghastly cases of betrayal of trust.

There seems to have been a local resurgence in the craze for rosaries. I keep a large box of blue and pink plastic rosaries to give out for free, and small boys have been ringing my doorbell all day asking for them. It is a nuisance to be interrupted but I take some consolation in the fact that they haven't yet decided that every Catholic priest is a bogeyman.

If you are puzzling in your soul about what is at the root of the child abuse scandal, one good book is "After Asceticism" which I reviewed for Faith Magazine last year.

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