Catholic World News

New nuncio to Ireland: Pope ‘relentless and consistent’ on clerical abuse

February 20, 2012

Preaching at the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin on February 19, the new papal nuncio to Ireland said that Pope Benedict was “scandalized and dismayed” by abuse committed by clergy and religious.

“Pope Benedict knows as well that these recent years have been difficult for Catholic believers in Ireland,” Archbishop Charles Brown preached. “Again I speak from my own experience when I tell you that Pope Benedict was scandalized and dismayed as he learned about the tragedy of abuse perpetrated by some members of the clergy and of religious congregations. He felt deeply the wounds of those who had been harmed and who so often had not been listened to.”

“From the beginning, Pope Benedict was resolute and determined to put into place changes which would give the Church the ability to deal more effectively with those who abuse trust, as well as to provide the necessary assistance to those who had been victimized,” Archbishop Brown continued. “Pope Benedict has been relentless and consistent on this front, and I assure you that he will continue to be.”

Archbishop Brown urged the Church in Ireland to turn to Christ in the Eucharist:

The Church herself is wounded by the sins of her members. And just as sin produces a kind of spiritual paralysis in the individual, a radical lack of the spiritual energy which is grace, so too there can be a kind of spiritual paralysis in sections of the Church, where that energy seems to have disappeared, enthusiasm is dissipated, liturgical life grows cold. When this happens in the Church, in a certain sense, we need to do exactly what an individual does – come again into the presence of the Lord, of Christ himself, so that he can heal and restore us to life. The Church, my friends, does not live because of offices, committees and structures (as important as these may be). She lives by the presence of Jesus Christ – our way, our truth and our life. And his presence is experienced in many ways, but most powerfully in his word and in his sacraments – above all, in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

He concluded:

Ultimately, it is renewed faith and love for the Lord in the Eucharist that will renew our lives and renew the life of the Church. It is his true presence in the Eucharist which can heal our own spiritual paralysis, which fills us with light and joy, which gives meaning to our lives, and which prepares us for the life of the world to come.

It is a great joy for me to be in Ireland, beginning my time here as Pope Benedict’s representative, especially in this year of the International Eucharistic Congress. Something new is indeed happening. I am convinced that the Lord is preparing something beautiful for his Church. May I ask your support and your prayers for my mission, as I thank you from the heart for being here with me today. Let us ask the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, to intercede for us and for Ireland as we strive to follow her son more closely.


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