Pastor's Desk: First Sunday of Advent

Posted 26th November 2009 in Pastor's Desk

Dublin Report

It is with a sense of sadness and empathy for those who have being so cruelly victimised at the hands of Priests of this Diocese that we write these few words for our Pastor’s Desk. There is no doubt that the Dublin Report leaves us all with a sense of anger and shame, with the question in mind, how could so many children be so harshly treated in actions that are not of God and are therefore evil by nature.

Now is a time for the survivors and victims. It is a time to support them, appreciate the experience of their pain and hurt, to let them know that we hear their voices, to acknowledge both what is being said with humility and also the personal trauma that they have experienced at such a young and vulnerable age.

What they have suffered not only impacted them at the moment of their abuse, it has, sadly, marked their lives in a way that is very self-destroying. The impact of abuse affects every aspect of one’s personality. One’s identity as a person is thrown into chaos, that is how the victim understands themselves, the lack of confidence to engage life in a normal manner is a real struggle, all of this and much more contributes to a real and tangible sense of loss that the victim feels. Their anger and pain are real and, what’s more, very justifiable.

Their voices now are the important ones. They are the priority. From our perspective as a Church it is so important that we live up to our moral and Christian obligation to hear, acknowledge and support them with our help and prayers. It is our strong belief that we need to honour their experience, empathise with their pain and humbly ask for their forgiveness.

Under the guidance of Archbishop Martin, we as a Diocese totally condemn what has happened in the past and have put together with professional assistance child protection procedures which are now fully implemented to ensure that this kind of abuse does not happen again, because it has no place in our Church.

Our children and young people are very important to us here in Holy Trinity. We understand our primary responsibility is to protect, support and affirm them in their quest to make the best possible contribution they can to our community and society. If any parishioner has concerns or wishes to make a report of abuse they can do so by ringing the Child Protection Officers in the parish (see this page) or ringing Coolock Garda Station 666 4200 or the duty social worker in the HSE 816 4200.

So let us pray for all those who have suffered sexual abuse; let our prayer be that, through a spirit of openness and transparency, they will find healing and wholeness in their lives.

Frs. Eoin & Gary

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