Church Sign of the Week 16

He who angers you controls you.

I was going to write about the life of controversial Australian Nurse Sister Elizabeth Kelly, who first came up with a version of the words of our sign. (Her words were, ‘He who angers you conquers you’) but given events in the last few days I want to say something else.

There are a lot of stories inducing public anger in the media at the moment (being realistic, there always are). The Slipper incident, yet another pedophile discovered in the Roman Catholic Church, the radio star that many wished video had killed to name just a few.

If you have followed the story of the alleged child abuse within the Roman Catholic Church (not just in Victoria but nationwide and, indeed, globally) you will know that the Victorian Police have said that the Roman Catholic Church is actively stalling the investigation.

Now, the Bible never instructs us not to get angry but it does warn us to be slow to anger, to keep control on our temper for anger is not always the wisest of emotions. We have all said and done things ‘in the heat of the moment’ that we have regretted later. A word or action that once released cannot be taken back. However there are some cases where anger is truly justified, and this,I believe, is one of those cases.

Why, oh why has the Roman Catholic Church not been as open and helpful as possible to rid the Church of these horrible atrocities? Priests, Bishops, Archbishops, Cardinals and Popes should have spoken out against and stopped protecting the evil, child abusing priests years ago and their failure to do so is seen in the public anger against the Roman Catholic Church and rightly so.

I know of a priest who was forced to leave the Church after he was outed as gay and yet, within the same diocese, a priest accused of pedophilia was quietly moved to another job and no further action taken. Is this right? In the country where this happened only one of those ‘offences’ is illegal and yet it seems the real crime wasn’t investigated.

Our society sees child abuse as one of the most heinous of crimes and there should be no place for child abusers to hide from prosecution especially not inside the Church!

Tim Minchin has a song around the whole issue of pedophilia in the Roman Catholic Church. Called ‘The Pope Song’ it cleverly asks the listener to question their attitudes to child abuse within the R.C. Church. It is not for the faint of heart, for as Billy Connolly would put it, “There is swearing in it” but it makes the point well. Many will find the language offensive but if you listen to it all the way through even that issue is addressed. To paraphrase; Mr. Minchin says that if you don’t like the language but are prepared to tolerate the behaviour then you need to have a long, hard look at yourself.

I should say that I haven’t cleared this blog with the Elders of the Melbourne Welsh Church and these are my feelings but I feel confident in saying that all the Elders would agree that there is no place for child abuse in any church.

So to Cardinal Pell and Archbishop Hart I implore you to open up your Church to a full investigation and not protect those accused of terrible crimes done to innocents placed in their charge. Disobey the Pope if you need to because, in this policy of silence and non compliance, he is wrong.

I pray to a God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that you will seek justice for the wronged and help in the healing of many broken lives.

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