Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

English cardinal says abuse scandal has made him ‘wounded healer’

Catholic World News - June 16, 2010

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the retired Archbishop of Westminster, told a gathering of Irish priests that he would bring the perspective of a “wounded healer” to the apostolic visitation of which he is part.

Calling for “interior conversion, newness of attitudes, and unstinted love,” Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor discussed his decision to reassign Father Michael Hill to ministry following credible allegations of abuse. Father Hill would subsequently abuse, among others, a 14-year-old, wheelchair-bound boy.

You know, the things I remember about my life as a priest are not the successes but rather the failures and one particular and painful failure occurred ten years ago when, owing to my grave mishandling of a priest who was an abuser, I was attacked and vilified for nearly two years. You probably know the story. How well I remember the feelings of failure and isolation and shame, not so much for myself but for my family, my Diocese, for the Catholic people of England and Wales who, to a certain extent, felt the shame of my own failure and of child abuse in general. But I also began to understand in a new way, by talking with victims, the pain and grave damage done to them. I say this to show, I suppose, that I myself am not free from blame but have had to learn from mistakes to become, as someone described it, a wounded healer. From that experience I learnt yet again to pray for perseverance, obedience to my vocation, and of suffering in a way which I did not expect and which, in the end, brought some positive benefit because of the national safeguarding policies, procedures and structures which are now in place and used in all our parishes and dioceses in England and Wales.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our September expenses ($20,911 to go):
$35,000.00 $14,088.73
60% 40%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Jun. 18, 2010 8:51 PM ET USA

    "Wounded healer" screams "I'm a victim, too". No, "moral coward" or "accessory" is more like it.

  • Posted by: jasoncpetty3446 - Jun. 16, 2010 8:41 AM ET USA

    ...as someone described it, a wounded healer. Henri Nouwen.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

New Ebook on Renewal and Evangelization 13 hours ago
More evidence that you can't trust the Pill 14 hours ago
Did Cardinal McCarrick compare Allah to the Trinity? 14 hours ago
An intriguing new Catholic publisher: Tuscany Press 15 hours ago
Calvary is a must-see Catholic film 19 hours ago

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days