Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Few words for the abused

THE Christmas period normally brings an upsurge in attendance at Mass as families seek to recognise the true spiritual meaning of the day. 

It provides an opportunity for reflection and to break away from the hustle and bustle of the last-minute gift shopping and the frenzy of food, drink and television that dominates the festive season in many households.

The larger numbers in the pews also provides an opportunity for the Catholic hierarchy to state their desire to learn from the child abuse scandals and introduce the necessary reforms to ensure there can never be a repeat of these.

After a year dominated by the continuing fall-out from a horrific series of revelations about paedophile clerics and institutional abuse, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin made the only noteworthy mention of the biggest crisis for the future credibility of the church.

Most of his counterparts chose to focus instead on the chill winds of the weather and the economic climate.

Incomprehensibly ignoring their internal crisis simply won't make it go away.

Archbishop Martin concluded: "In every generation the church has to renew itself and strip itself of false symbols."

His colleagues would do well to consider his words rather than wonder in vain if the number of Mass-goers drops again next year.