Peter Day. It’s hard being a Catholic today.

The gut-wrenching  accounts coming out of Ballarat this past couple of  weeks are enough to bring a man to his knees: stories of young people crippled by sexual abuse; stories of utter betrayal; stories we would rather not hear – stories we must hear.

It is hard being a Catholic today.

It is hard being a Catholic priest today.

Our collective shame is deep, for some, even overwhelming, because good people are being condemned by association. But we must not fall prey to self-pity because as hard as it is for us, we are not nearly as innocent, or as damaged, as the children who are only now being given a voice.

It is a time to listen to them;

It is a time to be overwhelmed for them;

It is a time to seek the truth with them.  

Amid the carnage, it behoves us all in the church to be agents of change: to ensure that Christ’s exhortation to ‘wash feet’ is not left marginalised, but is embraced as a central and non-negotiable quality in our church leaders. 

When all is said and done, it is better for a man, for a church, to roam the streets destitute, foraging for the bread of truth; than to roam the corridors of power feasting on privileges and food that does not last. For ours is a profound responsibility: to humbly and gently walk alongside others, especially the most vulnerable, no matter the cost.

Peter Day is a Catholic Priest in Canberra.

print

John Laurence Menadue is the publisher of Pearls & Irritations. He has had a distinguished career both in the private sector and in the Public Service.

This entry was posted in Human Rights, Religion and Faith. Bookmark the permalink.

Please keep your comments short and sharp and avoid entering links. For questions regarding our comment system please click here.
(Please note that we are unable to post comments on your behalf.)