In the wake of the publication of Justice Murphy’s report into the handling of clerical sexual abuse cases in Cloyne diocese, Parish Priest Donal Neary SJ had the following statement read at all masses in Gardiner St: “The priests of the parish, the Jesuit community and the parish council record their shock and dismay at the findings of the Cloyne Report, and have prayed at Masses this weekend for all who suffered through such and other abuse. We promise to commit ourselves in the parish to the best possible Child Protection. This is a constant item on the agenda of the parish pastoral council.” Brian Grogan SJ (pictured here) is a member of the Association of Irish Priests and was in Cloyne on the day the report came out and was speaking at the Eucharist. Read his words below.
“The feeling was of being caught in a mudslide. I was a whirl of rage and depression, but what came to me after a garbled prayer was that I must not create a gap between ‘us’ and ‘them’, the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’.
This was a time, if ever, to pray for perpetrators, meaning those who had presided over this tragedy, locally and at a distance. Next, that if our anger could be channelled into working for systemic change in the Church, some good would have come out of this evil.
I offered the following, backed up with the first reading, which ‘happened’ to be God listening to the cry of the children in Egypt and taking corrective action through Moses. ‘I’m sending you to bring my people out of Egypt!’ Moses was only a shepherd, on the run. Poor man, he was being dragged out of his little comfort zone to take on Pharaoh, the highest authority in the land. Scary for him to challenge the system, and scary also for us, except for the promise ‘I shall be with you’.”