Wednesday, 18 August 2010

It was a Jubilee Celebration...and more

I have been wrestling with posting this for a couple of weeks now. I may still take it down.

Recently, we were present at a Jubilee Mass for 3 priests in our dioceses. One of these priests had been very much part of our lives and was present at Brids’ Holy Communion and Confirmation. So we wanted to be there for him.

There was a buzz in the Cathedral and it was great to be present. Many of our Diocesian priests had assembled to celebrate with their brothers.

Everything was just right until Dermot said ‘there are people outside with posters’, the next thing we saw was posters being carried down the aisle of the church. It was a protest against the actions of a Priest. These were victims of abuse. It was a horrible sinking feeling to realise this was happening. I was moved to tears for our Priests and felt uncomfortable in this situation. It took the shine off the celebration that should have been special for these three men of God.

Our Bishop looked saddened and tired at the public protest. He has been under fire for a very long time. These wounded men did not leave and made their presence felt. As a church is a public space, there was no way to move them on.

Our Bishop under the circumstances did not give a Homily, but instead instruction to us all to not antagonise in anyway. His words were very clever as He was directing his words to everyone present.

Although it was a very upsetting, the people assembled to celebrate the Jubilee, sang and prayed like angels. It was an amazing atmosphere, but on of confusion as well. Brid was very upset by all of this. She really didn’t understand. It was the first time she had been exposed to this type of situation.

On reflection, although this was a difficult situation to be involved in, it was also a time of being gentle and kind to these wounded people. I viewed several priests talking to them afterwards and I felt upset for both parties, but I was not moved to talk to them, ‘what would I say that hadn’t already been said’. All I knew was that I wanted to get our daughter into a safe environment to gently talk her through it. My thoughts were not with the victims at that time, but it didn’t take long for my feelings to change and feel sorrow for there grief.

As I stated in the beginning I have been tossing around this post, as I know my words may offend, or they may not reflect the way others may see this situation. This is purely my reflection on a situation that we found ourselves in, and how I have struggled to write on it.

1 comment:

Erin said...

Oh Leanne{{}}

I can feel the pain of everyone:(:(
First for yourself as a parent, having to talk about this topic to our children at the best of times is tricky.

Our priest is rather..blunt and he used the precise words in a homily, I've since had to explain to the children. In the end I thought perhaps it was best to introduce the topic via the Church anyway, still it wasn't' my initial choice of time.

I digress, your poor Bishop and the priests and congregation.{{}}

Ultimately though, those poor poor victims. I pray daily for healing of abused 'children', a topic close to home for me:(:(:(