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FOLLOWING the Murphy report revelations there have been many understandable calls to protest against the inaction of certain members of the hierarchy – agents of the Catholic Church – by leaving the church or simply no longer attending Sunday mass.
However “the Church” is more than simply the hierarchy – it is all of its members, clerical and lay. To quit would be to pass up an opportunity to reform it from within. By way of parallel, the Morris Tribunal revealed that members of An Garda Siochána – agents of the state – were prepared to send innocent people to jail, harass and fabricate evidence. These despicable acts were barely punished – no garda has served time in jail despite a willingness of those in question to deprive innocent people of their freedom.
Where were the calls to protest against this action through a boycott garda stations? Or has there been any pundit on record as saying they no longer believe in the law or the concept of justice because of this?
The Morris Tribunal revelations must have been a major embarrassment to all the hard-working and honest gardaí doing the community a good service. In the same way the Murphy report must be hard on the many hard-working and sincere priests trying to follow their vocation and serve the community.
Walking out on them just serves to demoralise them further, as well as removing one more support they might have in trying to effect change. There is another important consideration for any practising Catholic. If mass is simply a social event there should be no difficulty in staying away any more than one less trip to the shop or café would do any harm.
But a practising Catholic would know that the mass is principally the mystical sharing in the body and blood of Christ and thus it makes no sense to turn one’s back on that.
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