On April 30, 2012, a group of Irish men and women, lay people and religious, held a silent demonstration outside the Papal Nunciature in Dublin. They wore gags over their mouths to protest at the censorship that has been brought to bear by the Vatican against five priests Brian D'Arcy, Tony Flannery, Gerard Moloney, Seán Fagan and Owen O’Sullivan. What awful crime did they commit? They simply said aloud and in public what many Catholics believe and feel.
After Vatican Two, as children, we were taught that 'church' means family of believers. Well from a therapeutic perspective, this 'family' is in big trouble. The father (Pope Benedict) is punishing his most loyal sons, for daring to ask questions! Furthermore, if they 'persist in disobedience' they are faced with the real possibility of having their priestly role stripped from them. In family terms, they are under threat of being disinherited and shunned.
I have worked with adults who had tyrannical fathers for many years. There are only a few possibilities. The sons cave in to the tyrant and are broken for the rest of their lives. The sons leave before they are pushed out by the tyrant. The sons are expelled by the tyrant. All the children of the family unite against the father. (This is rare.)
Often the tyrannical father sees no harm in what he has done. He believes he is doing what is right and the fault lies only with the disobedient children. But there is no love in what the father is doing. He is the father who as he beats his children tells them 'I do this only because I love you.'
As I listened to Brian D'Arcy on radio on Saturday, I was once again impressed by the love and care for his people he demonstrates all through his life. His honest responses to the pain caused by the Catholic Hierarchy can only be respected.
"I will not stop addressing this issue, however. As someone who was abused, it would be wrong for me as person and as a priest to stay silent,'' he said. "Silence on child abuse leads to more child abuse and I will not be a part of that."
As quoted by Greg Harkin, Irish Independent Newspaper April 30th 2012
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