Bishop warns on blame culture

Sun, Jul 25, 2010, 01:00

Pilgrims attending mass on the summit of Croagh Patrick this morning were warned against the dangers inherent in a culture of blame. In a homily the Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary said that “the truth of past pain is certainly coming to the surface. But this is good news. We should embrace the truth even though this can be a painful task.”

He continued “however, we should also be aware of the dangers contained in what some have called a ‘culture of blame’. We seek out the negligence of doctors, the health service, bankers, the Church or the school. Maybe this makes it easier to deal with our own shortcomings, the neglect and indifference of others and the tyranny of blind chance.”

But “Christ did not encourage us to imprison people by their human failings. Instead he taught us the way of forgiveness.”

He said that “in the storm and stress of current controversies, and with the struggles of the Church to adjust, we come to this sacred mountain to get things in their proper perspective and seek the guidance of God.”

For years “people have said that we Catholics have gained a reputation for dwelling on sin and guilt along with the idea of a vengeful God. Yet the God of the scriptures is slow to anger and his nature is always to have mercy”.

Jesus “does not ask us to be hammers of judgement or seekers of condemnation but to be the leaven, the yeast in our own parish so that, in our small ways, we may make God’s love rise among us. The essence of faith is not a grim recognition of our guilt, but the reality and certainty of pardon.”

He said that “perhaps in the past we have been preoccupied with fault-finding, failing to appreciate the heroic struggle of men and women to make ends meet, rear their families and provide an education for them. Today, I think we listen more willingly to witnesses rather than to preachers.”