Vatican rebukes Ireland

The above title is from an article written by Rachel Donadio of the New York Times.  In it she describes the Vatican’s rebuke.  Apparently Irish bishops feel they have been discouraged from reporting sexual abuse of minors to the police.  They also seem to believe the Vatican has undermined efforts to investigate abuse. Not true says Vatican City.

Aren’t accusations so wonderful?  Don’t they accomplish so much that is profitable and good?  Surely you know I am kidding, yet who of us is innocent of having accused someone of something?  Well, it seems the Irish are good at accusing the Vatican and vise versa.  Of course Vatican City denies ever having discouraged the Irish bishops from reporting and investigating sexual abuse.  Accusations of undermining investigations are labeled as ‘unfounded.’

Such is the war of words and it has gotten so bad that the Vatican has recalled its ambassador.  There is a report from last July that there is widespread cover-up by clergy members in the diocese of Cloyne, whereas Irish bishops adopted guidelines to report abuse cases to the police.

Whatever the truth is and what the Vatican calls misunderstandings really causes me to ponder Philippians 4:4.  In The Message translation the apostle Paul is inviting us to “Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side working with them and not against them. Help them see the Master is about to arrive.  He could show up any minute!  And then in verse 8″…you’ll do best by filling your minds on things that are true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious–the best, not the worst, the beautiful not the ugly, things to praise, not things to curse.”

Well, things that are true and authentic invite us out of denial and hiding so we can be free.  Then they can become noble, reputable, etc.  I can’t help but wonder why the Irish priests just have not gone ahead and reported  to the police no matter what.  Yes, there can be corruption in investigations; happens everywhere.  So what?  Corruption of investigation is not likely to be universal.  There are people of integrity out there and every report that finds them lands in good hands.  The Vatican may have tons of influence and who knows, even money to bribe.  So what?  Ultimately there are bishops and priests on both sides who are for one another and not against their brothers.

I invite the Vatican, Prime Minister Enda Kenny, and priests and bishops on both sides to drop the accusations.  I invite the Vatican to step up to their fears and shame and allow all truth to be known. The door is then open for God’s perfect law that gives freedom to heal and bring joy to all involved.   It is the survivors who are suffering.  Perhaps we might agree on both sides to that?  Openness to this topic of sexual violence instead of hiding and pointing fingers can make the above passage come alive and hope for those who are suffering.

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