HOW FR RICHARD BEGAN MASS 24/02/2019
Today in Rome, Pope Francis has gathered bishops from around the world to confront our failures as a Church, especially as the pastors and leaders of the Church, to deal appropriately with the crimes of child abuse. As Pastors we have failed the People of God, we have failed our children, young people and families, we have failed the Gospel of Christ. I do not ask you to repent as the sin is not yours as God’s People, it is ours, priests and bishops, as your shepherds. And so in communion with the Shepherds of the Church, I repent of these failures and sins and beg the mercy of God to purify the shepherds so that we can bind up the wounds of the flock of Christ.
A CALL TO PRAYER FOR THE BISHOPS’ ‘ABUSE SUMMIT’ IN ROME Cardinal Vincent Nicholas, Archbishop of Westminster, is representing the Bishops of England and Wales and the Church in our two countries at this incredibly important meeting, called together by Pope Francis. I am sure we are all aware of the great publicity surrounding the failure of the Catholic Church to deal appropriately with the crimes of child (and vulnerable adult) sexual abuse perpetrated by priests and religious over the last 50 years or more. Public enquiries in USA, Australia, and here in UK have uncovered a catalogue of abuse and the attempts to minimise and/or cover up these crimes. We have comprehensively failed the victims and survivors. And so this ‘Summit’ of our bishops from around the world must face up to these searching questions and open to the challenging truth of the Holy Spirit for our times
WHY HAVE THESE TERRIBLE THINGS BEEN DONE?
WHAT CHANGES MUST WE, THE CHURCH, URGENTLY PUT IN PLACE TO KEEP ALL OUR COMMUNITIES SAFE?
WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE CHURCH AND THE CLERGY AND RELIGIOUS THAT HAS MADE AN ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH THESE CRIMES HAVE BEEN COMMITTED?
WHY HAS CLERICALISM BEEN ALLOWED TO GROW IN THE INSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH AND SO DISTORT THE MEANING OF PRIESTHOOD AND RELIGIOUS LIFE?
HOW CAN WE BRING HEALING AND PEACE TO THE SURVIVORS OF THESE CRIMES?
HOW CAN OUR SCARRED CHURCH REGAIN CREDIBILITY AS WITNESSES TO JESUS AND THE GOPEL OF LOVE?
So let us all pray for the outpouring of the wisdom and courage of the Holy Spirit at this pivotal and crucial meeting of our pastors, as Cardinal Nichols and Bishop Declan have asked us. Let us all recommit ourselves to building safe and loving communities where our children will be valued and protected, where the wounded will find safe places to recover and be healed, where there will be transparency, honesty and integrity. COME HOLY SPIRIT!