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