Ireland is somewhat at the center of the Church’s shameful sexual abuse crisis, what Pope Benedict XVI has deemed “a dark cloud of filth”. In response, the Vatican has firmly cracked down on the Irish Church: bishops who helped cover-up these travesties have been removed and punished, seminaries have been reformed, and most importantly, apologies and help have been offered to the many victims.
The picture above, though, is one of the most powerful symbols of reform. The man on the left is Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the Archbishop of Boston who was sent to the Dublin diocese to help oversee the reforms. The man on the right is the current shepherd of the Dublin diocese, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. The picture was taken at the start of a special Liturgy of Repentance for sexual abuse victims in the diocese.
Their prostration perfectly symbolizes the sorrow and repentance the whole Church feels toward these disgusting abuses, and our humility toward God because of them.
(HT: Deacon Greg Kandra)