A SIGN OF THE TIMES
“The number 3 which governs 2019 is the number of the young and elderly. Bearing in mind that the 3 also directs this century, we can expect more injustices/issues relating to the young and elderly to come to the surface and be dealt with this year. We can also expect youth protests and walks to increase. The young and the elderly will have a greater voice and more power – let’s hope it is implemented and used in ways that benefit not only these two groups but also the greater communities and the world.” Anna Belcastro, “2019 The World”
Have we placed too much trust in our clergy?
The guilty verdict handed down to Cardinal George Pell has shocked many, even if the many doubted his claim to innocence. Have we placed too much trust in our clergy? Or did they demand this trust from us? Have we expected them to be above reproach? Or have they proclaimed themselves to be above reproach? I believe there is truth in all of the above.
As I watched the events of Pell’s trial unfold on national television, the words my mother spoke many years ago came back to me. “A priest is a reflection of Christ on earth only at the moment of consecration, during Mass. At any other time, he is a man capable of being the best and the worst any man or human being can be, and must be treated as such.”
Of late, it’s ‘the worst’ that’s come to the surface. When the worst of humanity is apparent, I am lost for words. We want to believe the good intentions of those who pursue and accept positions which demand the care of others. We want to believe that those who take care of the most vulnerable in our society, namely, children and the elderly, do so primarily out of love and compassion. Yet, in recent years, and especially in recent days, we have been forced to admit that this is not so. We must admit that power can distort a person’s integrity and honour as much as money. More so than money, I believe. And then, when we speak of the clergy, of those who have stood before us in a house of God, week in and week out proclaiming the evil of wrong doing and the tortuous hell that awaits those who do wrong, while all along some of these very priests were at the same time committing the most hellish of crimes against children. The very same children they claimed to protect and keep safe from harm. My heart is having a difficult time here…I cannot make sense of the lies upon lies, excuses upon excuses, that has been the Church’s response for far too long.
Where to from here? Or should I ask, is there an anywhere from here?
I believe the Church needs to have its hierarchies of power completely dismantled. Band aid solutions will neither be accepted, nor will they work. What is needed is radical surgery and amputations. As the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis needs to respond with radical justice here. Anything less will simply be loose talk. He needs to convey to us that he understands and acknowledges that any remorse on the part of the perpetrator, whatever rank they may hold, does not do away with accountability. And that neither does forgiveness from a victim do away with accountability. Of course, these statements must be made publicly.
In fairness and in truth, I must say how sorry I am for those priests and carers who are sincere, who are good and decent in their work and in the care they give. Unfortunately, they have become victims by default and deserve our support and prayers in having the love and courage to carry out their work with honesty and integrity.
Moving beyond pain, anger and frustration
When you feel overwhelmed by atrocities and ugliness, unfairness and injustices, when you feel anxious and fearful, or when you simply want to bring more of the good stuff into your life, I urge you to pray 3 words – ‘Love Peace Joy.’ Say these 3 words in your mind slowly, over and over, until you feel them in your heart. Then feel their immense, yet gentle power in every part of your being. Allow yourself to be infused with Love Peace Joy. In this way any acts or intentions that are less than good, are rendered powerless against you.
The reality of the injustices and crimes, such as we’ve witnessed in recent days, confirms the cleansing and releasing reflected in our current 225 Major Time Cycle. Acknowledging and letting go with love, of all that we don’t want to take with us to the new world order governed by the number of peace and light, set to begin in 2026.