Sunday, June 8, 2014


I've often welcomed guest posts from those of differing opinions to me, and have had the pleasure of hosting several from those of people of faith. Today's post from a Catholic friend differs from these in that it has my full agreement.

Fiona Hanley writes from the perspective of an ordinary Irish Catholic. She's not speaking for an institute or a hierarchy, so it's a voice you may not have heard before.

Today is June 8. It’s Pentecost, marking the end of the Easter period and birthday of the Church. According to the Gospel, apostles have locked themselves in a room terrified. They get a visit from Jesus saying ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.’ Well indeed. Harsh but fair.

The Catholic Church has never said sorry properly for abuse meted out and covered up. Sure, there have been mealy-mouthed lawyer-approved expressions of regret for actions of individuals on the other side of the alter rail. All the words of apology jumbled up to mean nothing at all. Co-operation with enquiries proceeded like a snail under a brick. It’s difficult to understand why there was no full, unconditional apology and expression of responsibility. A professional Catholic of all people should know that without atonement there will be no forgiveness. There are only seven sacraments and that’s one of them.