independent

Sunday 17 December 2017

We can build on this

GOREY Parish Priest Fr. William Howell hopes the Papal letter will be a step on the way towards a long process of healing.

'Personally I thought it was a good letter,' he said this week. 'I didn't expect the letter was going to be a magic potion for all the ills and hurts that have come from the whole child abuse tragedy, but I do think the letter in itself was certainly a very strong step in the right direction.'

He noted that the Pope had addressed various categories of people, including the victims, the perpetrators, the Bishops and the leadership of the Church, the priests and the laity.

'The victims are so hurt at this stage, that I'm not surprised that victims might not necessarily see that it was everything that they wanted. That's understandable,' he added. 'But to the victims of abuse, he says, "you have suffered grievously, and I'm truly sorry." There are tragedies that are hard to put words on at times.'

'My hope is that we will be able to build on this,' he added. 'It was an honest effort, where he was trying to say something about the terrible tragedy that happened. We can't undo that tragedy, but the onus is on us to put everything at the disposal of the victims to bring about healing. We have heard the victims speaking, and an understanding of their wounds has been brought home to us.

'You can't heal wounds immediately. It's going to be a long process, but we are on the way to doing that.'

'We are in a better position to continue that journey of healing and reconciliation.'

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