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Just because a priest is accused of abuse doesn’t mean he’s guilty

The media — newspapers, television and radio — have all highlighted the evil activities of a minority of priests or religious but seldom is there much coverage given to clergy who are subjected to threats from unscrupulous people who demand money or else they will claim to have been abused by the priest in question.

The people know that even to be subject to an investigation, even if it is a nonsense, will seriously impugn the reputation of that priest.

With regard to sexual abuse of children many have paid for their sins in jail, some are still in jail, others are under investigation, while there are those who were called by the ‘Man Above’ before their sadistic ways were revealed. We can only assume that the latter had questions to answer to St Peter when they reached the Golden Gates.

But we must not rush to judgement in every case as we are not in a position to act as judges and juries. When we read or hear of a scandal involving a clergyman or religious we should not open our mouths in general condemnation; ‘innocent until proven guilty’ must be kept in mind.

We all have a duty to make sure that, even in criticism, we should be constructive. We should not make a general mockery of a group like priests particularly when we know deep down that a majority are good and solid people.

We can only pray for those who were the innocent victims. whose lives were destroyed by men who left a trail of misery in their wake.

In the words of Holy Scripture — “Do unto others as you would have they do unto you.”

Cllr Noel Collins

St Jude’s

Midleton

Co Cork


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