Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dublin archbishop, Boston cardinal lead atonement service for abuse

Catholic World News - February 21, 2011

At a special liturgy of lament and repentance in Dublin’s pro-cathedral, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin rued the sexual abuse of children and the response by Church authorities to the abuse.

“I can ask myself how did this happen in the Church of Jesus Christ where as we heard in the Gospel children are presented to us as signs of the kingdom,” he said. “How did we not see you in your suffering and abandonment? The Church of Jesus Christ in this Archdiocese Dublin has been wounded by the sins of abusers and by the response to you for which we all share responsibility.”

“All survivors are indebted to those who had the courage to speak out and let it be known what had happened and how they were treated,” he continued. “The Church in Dublin and worldwide and everyone here today is indebted to them. Some of you in your hurt and your disgust will have rejected the Church that you had once loved, but paradoxically your abandonment may have helped purify the Church through challenging it to face the truth, to move out of denial, to recognize the evil that was done and the hurt that was caused.”

“I was asked who should preside at this liturgy,” he added. “My answer was not a Cardinal or an Archbishop but the Cross of Jesus Christ. We gather before the cross of Jesus which presides over us and judges us. It is the Cross of Jesus that judges whether our words and our hearts are sincere.”

The service, which was largely planned by abuse victims, included the washing of the feet of eight victims by Archbishop Martin and Cardinal Sean O’Malley, whom Pope Benedict appointed as apostolic visitor to the Archdiocese of Dublin.

“On behalf of the Holy Father, I ask forgiveness, for the sexual abuse of children perpetrated by priests, and the past failures of the church’s hierarchy, here and in Rome — the failure to respond appropriately to the problem of sexual abuse,’’ said Cardinal O’Malley. “Publicly atoning for the church’s failures is an important element of asking the forgiveness of those who have been harmed by priests and bishops, whose actions — and inactions — gravely harmed the lives of children entrusted to their care.’’

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!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($34,016 to go):
$35,000.00 $983.54
97% 3%
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!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Final Liturgical Year volume for 2014-2015 now available 24 hours ago
Church Fathers: The Third Century and the School of Alexandria August 29
Every Aspect of the Catholic Thing August 28
News Posturing: How the dramatis personae use each other August 28
The intractable practical problems with the Kasper proposal August 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: welcome with compassion those who have remarried outside the Church CWN - August 5
Pope Francis: SSPX priests will licitly and validly absolve sins during Jubilee of Mercy CWN - 7 hours ago