WITH reference to the article (CL 28/4/02) ‘Justice that sits at heart of Gospel’, I have not heard a more courageous, heartfelt call to the Church regarding ‘the demonic power that infiltrates institutions and I’m not just talking about prisons’ than what Fr Consedine has put forth.
As an employment consultant to hundreds of long-term unemployed over the past three years I have come into contact with young people who have lived within the prison system.
I understand the long-lasting effect that has on them and how they struggle with the stigma of having been ‘inside’.
One young man told me that they are released virtually without anything. Is this true? Another is harassed by police when he is out in the evening with his girlfriend even though he has served his time and by all apparent appearances is trying to fit back into a normal life.
It is difficult for past offenders to get work as they are forever plagued by what is behind them.
I understand what Father means when he says, ‘they (demonic powers) also infiltrate the government, various departments of many institutions, defence departments, even the Church itself’.
What I can’t understand is why the Church is not speaking out more loudly on this to its congregations.
While I know there are wonderfully dedicated people working within our Church and community to help disadvantaged people, I don’t think that the general attendee at Mass is given enough insight into how to work the Gospel into their own or other people’s lives.
It is becoming more and more likely that we, ordinary working parishioners and our families, are joining ranks with the disadvantaged of our society.
We spend most of our working lives inside these organisations that have less and less moral codes and more and more corruption.
We, mothers and fathers, young people and more mature, are faced with moral and ethical issues more and more as we try to go about the simple business of supporting ourselves and our families.
We are stressed and torn by what our responses should be when we are faced with fraud, dishonesty, bullying and/or a lack of leadership within our workplaces.
We don’t know how to live the Gospel and keep our jobs at the same time as an ever increasing number of us have to close our eyes to corruption or dishonesty on a daily basis or face being forced to leave.
Hundreds of job seekers I have worked with have told their stories to me about why they had to leave unfair bosses and/or organisations.
Our Church seems to be afraid of the words evil or demonic and does not seem to want to admit that no matter which way you look at it, our society will corrupt from the inside of these unhealthy and sometimes corrupt organisations unless we are brave enough to address the evil that is affecting the very hearts of our institutions, business structures and government bodies and therefore our families. But we need support in addressing these issues, we need our Church to know and understand what is going on.
And in noticing the sentence in his article, ‘He asked why the Church didn’t have the injustice on the front page of their newspapers’, I can only ask, ‘Why did The Catholic Leader put it on the back page?’ Is that equivalent to the front?
CHRIS CARROLL Maroochydore, Qld
The Catholic Leader has carried front-page stories about the problems of the prison system on several occasions in the past. Research into newspaper readership habits – and anecdotal information from Leader readers – shows that many people go from the front page straight to the back page when assessing whether to buy a newspaper, making the back page one of the most sought after pages in the paper. So, in answer to Ms Carroll’s question, yes, the placement of the story about Fr Consedine on the back page is as good as on the front page.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
The Catholic Leader acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Peoples of this country and especially acknowledge the traditional owners on whose lands we live and work throughout the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.