IT is disturbing and heartbreaking to hear the stories of victims of sexual abuse at the hands of clergy, both in Australia and in the United States.
The perpetrators have betrayed not only the whole Church but also society.
So it comes as a powerful demonstration of faith to read how some victims have found it in their heart to forgive their abusers and to return to the Church.
These are people who have overcome their hate and can show all of us what it means to be truly compassionate.
The fallout from the abuses of the past will continue to dog the Church until a new spirit of total openness is embraced by everyone.
As Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide said in his speech to the US bishops in Dallas, Texas: ‘This is a moment of crisis and one of the elements of a crisis is that it’s always a moment of opportunity and if we’re willing to admit the truth and prepared to do what’s right, it’s also an opportunity for renewal in the Church and for real growth’.
It needs to be remembered that the vast majority of clergy lead exemplary lives and devote themselves entirely to serving God and his people.
Pray for them as they seek to find meaning and purpose through these difficult times – as we all do.
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.