Tag Archives: Children

Shame and embarrassment

A Day of shame and embarrassment for the Catholic Church in Ireland. That’s how Roy Jenkins described the impact of stories about Roman Catholic run institutions who failed the children and young people in their care. A day of pain and anger for survivors too, who recounted nightmarish, horrific stories of how they were treated- and the burden and scars mental and physical that they carry to this day. The church is ashamed ,and rightly so,  and the whole Christia movement should be grieving about the way these young people were abused. We share in  the rebuke for trust breached. It is simply not enough to say sorry and expect to retain any respect and credibility when claim to love and care  for all people. We have a very real duty to protect those in our communities who are most vulnerable and at risk. We have shamed the Christ we represent. We have let him down and true repentance is what is called for.

This issue should not just be dealt with by our courts. I would like to see some sort of truth and reconciliation framework set up to help address the needs of these broken people and our broken faith. We need to show remorse and do what can be done to confront the pain of the past head-on. May we  be brave enough to cope with the consequences.

This week is one of  broken and failed institutions being found out for letting the people down. The people will have their say and their day. Who knows where this will all lead?

I share Roy’s view that In the tears of the  abused children Christ was weeping too.

Hear the full broadcast at http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/programmes/thought/

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Filed under bbc, BBC Radio 4, Broadcasting, Children, Christian values, Christianity, ethics, faith, faith Christianity, Jesus, morals, radio, religion

Court is no place for toys

teddy-and-dollYesterday I turned on the TV news to find that a child of four years old had given evidence in court that led to the conviction of a man who had raped her when she was only two. She gave her evidence via a remote link and used a teddy bear and a doll to illustrate how she was violated by a man also linked to the tragic case of murdered Baby Peter earlier this year. Now much will be written about the failure of social service to spot this kind of treatment of vulnerable children in their care, but I am not blogging about that aspect today. I want to ask God in a sort of open prayer through this blog entry-  why are people wired like this?  What is our God constructed DND causes  anybody to  desire sex with children, and particularly babies. These kids should be enjoying their time playing with friends and toys, not using them to illustrate vile deed done to their person. In the Bible God requires that vulnerable people should be given support by the society in which they live (individuals and institutions), and Jesus applauds child-like innocence and playfulness. So why do such depraved people live within our human skin who prey or young people in this way? I know theologically with my head that God would be present in this situation with the young child who was suffering, but how would she  know that? Could she feel his presence, or just to pain and hurt of what was being done to her?

A few weeks ago at Easter we read about Jesus feeling that God has deserted him at Golgotha as he endured the taunts of the people to come down from the cross and save himself. He came down from the cross in death and triumphed over that death through resurrection, but sometimes we need to feel him more directly and purposefully when we hear news  like this. This is not a natural disaster such as a tsunami ,earthquake or pandemic or the act of a fundamentalist or politically motivated terrorist; it is one human setting out to do willful harm to a vulnerable child for personal  gratification. And yet my God calls me to see his spirit in them both. Today this is a big ask, and sitting here in my anger and confusion  I hand this situation back to you God in this open prayer to ask why, what are you going to do about it, and why did you wire him (and I guess thousands of others) like that?

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Children…does God make mistakes?

In this week’s Radio 4 Lent broadcast Sister Frances Dominicatalks movingly and sensitively about her work with the children’s hospice- Helen House of which she is a trustee and founder. She doesn’t have much truck with religion, but sees church as an expressions of her need, and essential to her relationship with God. She sees God as allowing suffering in ways we cannot understand or explain, and accepts there are aspects of childhood suffering she finds unfair, yet knows deep in her souls that  there is no evil out of which good cannot be brought. “Not in our time but in eternity all will be well, we have the questions but only God has the answers.”

Sister Frances talks about how she sees miracles daily as people who don’t have the comfort of faith react in amazing ways when faced with worst imaginable tragedies,  discovering  reserves of strengths they never believe they had.

Sister Frances adds; “God hasn’t left any situation however tragic it seems- I can’t get my head around it but often  say to parents I don’t know, I don’t understand. I have  fewer answers to the big questions than I had 20- 30 years ago , but I know this  ago doesn’t spell  the absence of God. My faith has moved from my head to go deeper into the gut, not tangible in any way I can  reason or feel it but it is the very ground of my being and I thank God for that.”

What an amazing women and what amazing work our hospices do.

Six more days to listen to the broadcast from today here at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00j4hk6/Lent_Talks_Does_God_Make_Mistakes/

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Suffer the little children

Ivan with dad

Ivan with dad

This week we all shared in the unbearable grief of David and Samantha Cameron’s loss of their young son Ivan. In the House of Commons Gordon Brown, a parent who has also lost his first child, told the nation that the death of a child was something that no parent should have to experience – and unbearable sorrow. The business of the House of Commons was suspended as a mark of respect to Ivan and Nick Robinson’s moving BBC TV report said; “Ivan never spoke a word in life but now in death the commons speaks for him.”

Over 9 million children die before their fifth birthday but they don’t make headline news. To find out more follw this link http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/en/4112.htm . Suffer the little children- who speaks for them?

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