Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bishop of Galway downgrades 'service of reparation' to parish event

THE “SERVICE of reparation” scheduled to take place in Galway Cathedral at 3pm today has been downgraded from a diocesan to parish event by Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan.

In a letter to priests of the diocese on March 9th, he said each parish was invited to send representatives to the service which would take the form of “readings, prayers of intercession and hymns”.

He continued: “We’ll be asking God’s forgiveness for crimes of physical, sexual and emotional abuse that have brought shame on all of us. In our prayer we’ll remember all who are survivors of abuse, all in need of healing, in need of the peace that only God can give.”

He said “it would be ideal if each parish could be represented and bring a bunch of palm to place on the altar.

“Parishes may decide on particular ways to express the penitential mood of the day before setting off for the cathedral.”

He concluded by expressing “sincere thanks in anticipation for your help in organising your parish to take part in this important event”.

However, it has since emerged that on March 16th last a second letter was sent to priests indicating that Bishop Drennan had a change of mind and now favoured the event taking place at parish rather than diocesan level.

This letter said that: “After consultation the bishop has requested that the afternoon of prayer with the Most Blessed Sacrament which is held in each parish church on Palm Sunday should focus on the need of God’s people at this time, in the light of this the service of prayer due to take place in Galway Cathedral will not be a diocesan event.”

A spokesman for Bishop Drennan said yesterday that the change was due to the fact that the bishop “felt there was not enough time to prepare for it” [diocesan “service of reparation”].

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