Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Clergy abuse and the affect on the "person in the pew">

I recently received the following from a parishioner:
" On another matter. I am concerned with the high number of priests ( at all levels) linked to sexual abuse and the fact that there is very little discussion abut the impact this situation has on ordinary people (like me) who look up to priests for guidance. Is this something that you ( or another deacon) can help me to understand? My faith and trust in Jesus remains strong,  nevertheless I have to admit I am struggling with these demons."

Let me be quite clear, one case of abuse and one cover-up is one too many. There must be an absolute zero tolerance policy on this issue. Studies would seem to indicate that around 4% of priests have been credibly accused of abuse around the world. The vast majority of these cases took place in the past and sadly the climate at that time indicates that there were cover-ups to try to protect the image of the Church as an Institution rather than protect the reality of the Church as the people of God.

What has happened has happened and we cannot undo the crimes that took place no matter how much we would like to. What I can say is what steps are being undertaken in Britain to try to ensure that abuse does not take place in the future. All candidates for the priesthood and permanent diaconate have to undergo the highest level of DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checking. Candidates before final acceptance undergo rigorous   psychological testing and evaluation. Each parish and Catholic institution has Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection policies and a lay group to oversee the implementation of these polices and to be a port of call in the case of suspected abuse.

Finally I would urge you all to pray. Firstly pray for the direct victims of abuse and their families. They are hurting and we must do all we can to support them. Secondly please pray for the vast majority of the clergy who are innocent of any wrong doing. They are as hurt and bewildered by what has happened as you. 

Monday, 18 February 2019

Abuse - Follow the money

Theodore McCarrick was charged with the sexual abuse of minors and adults - aggravated by the abuse of power - and solicitation in the confessional. The administrative penal process imposed a penalty of laicisation. However the process should not stop there. He was known to have access to large sums of money and was fond of distributing largesse on his frequent visits to Rome.  
A very interesting article on this can be found at

This is well worth a read and you can then draw your own conclusions.

Clerical Abuse in the Catholic Church

Why is being reduced to the lay state a punishment? Is that really what the Church thinks of the laity that it is a state to be reduced to? 
I for one expected better from Pope Francis. It is clericalism at its worst. I also think that it is a disgrace that the Papal Nuncio to Great Britain has seen fit not to make documents readily available to the government sponsored enquiry looking into the abuse that took place at at Ealing Abbey and St Benedict’s school in west London.

Friday, 25 January 2019

Rise in violent crime

I do not believe my ears & eyes. I have just seen & heard Nick Hurd the minister responsible for policing claim that losing 20,000 police officers has nothing to do with rising levels of violent crime. What planet does this guy come from? Talking about trying to defend the indefensible.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Why all the fuss?

I see that the home secretary has come under fierce criticism for the comments that he made about refugees/economic migrants -click here.

He is only stating what is international law - refugees should seek sanctuary in the first safe country that they reach. So is France not safe?

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Migration and the NHS

With the threat of reduced migration to the UK I see that the NHS is saying that we will not have enough medical staff. Am I the only person that believes that is wrong to base our recruitment policy on "stealing" staff from other countries? Particularly when many of the staff come from developing countries who need the staff to look after their own populations. 
If people wish to move to another country that is up to them, but to base recruitment policies on using migrant labour seems wrong. We should train more people in the UK - and if NHS staff were paid a decent wage then maybe there would not be a retention issue