Another senior church figure has been accused of child sexual abuse. An Australian cardinal denies it. But it has once again brought a problem to light.
This has become a fairly frequent banner in the papers and it's not just Catholic priests, I regret to say that the Church of England has had its own problems.
We used to be able to say that Roman priests had a sort of an excuse by virtue of the rule forbidding marriage.
Some men still needed love and the traditional way round it was seen in some close relationships with their housekeepers.....
But child abuse is different and not confined to the Roman church.
It is using your authority to dominate a young person in a way forbidden by natural law as well as church law.
The young people used in this way by figures of authority have to come to terms with it in their adult lives and often fail...or become abusers themselves as adults...
To damage a child in this way is the worst aspect of this problem I think. Years after the events they have to come to terms with what happened to them as children and find ways of relating to their partners with love.
And that for me is the most shocking aspect.
To pervert what should be a loving relationship into something dirty, something disliked and dreaded , that is the real sin.
Victims often then find difficulties in adult life and relating to their partners...and that is the legacy of child abuse..
Those who suffered as children in their youth are now feeling able to report their experiences...and it's not just the church....footballers have also been found guilty and lots of other professions too I'm sure.
And almost the worst thing is that some of those used in this way in their youth are those who now continue it as adults.
I pray for all those involved, the innocent and the guilty....that they are able to find love in their adult relationships...please God.
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