Brady apologises to abuse victims

Thu, Jun 14, 2012, 01:00

The Catholic Primate of All Ireland Cardinal Seán Brady has asked forgiveness, for himself and on behalf of the Church, for failing abuse victims.

In a homily this afternoon at a Mass in the RDS on the fifth day of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress, he said he felt “deep shame” at his failings.

“May God forgive us for the times when we as individuals and as a Church failed to seek out and care for those little ones who were frightened, alone and in pain because someone was abusing them.

“That we did not always respond to your cries with the concern of the Good Shepherd is a matter of deep shame. We lament the burdens of the painful memories you carry. We pray for healing and peace for those whose suffering continues.

“I want to take this opportunity of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress to apologise for the times when some of us were blind to your fear, deaf to your cries and silent in response to your pain.”

Referring to the large granite healing stone unveiled at the congress opening ceremony last Sunday, he said he hope it might one day become a symbol of conversion, healing and hope.

“I hope it will become a symbol of a Church that has learned from the mistakes of the past and strives to become a model for the care and well-being of children,” he said.

“What this stone represents, what has happened in the Church in Ireland and in other places in the world, is a stark warning to all that there can be no passing by on the other side, no room for half-heartedness in our care for the vulnerable and the young.”

The stone, he said, will serve as a reminder of those children and young people who were hurt by a Church that first “betrayed their trust and then failed to respond adequately” to their pain.

“Every moral choice we make, no matter how small, has consequences. The smallest act of kindness can bring good far beyond our expectations. The smallest act of selfishness can contribute to a wider culture of evil and death that has harmful consequences far beyond our intentions.”

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