The more priests, bishops and cardinals that are accused and prosecuted for child sexual abuse the more danger there is that the clerical collar becomes a symbol of paedophilia.
I wear my clerical collar every day for two reasons:
As a sign of Christianity and Jesus Christ.
As an invite to anyone who wants to approach me to do so.
However I am aware that more and more priests are not wearing the collar in public out of a fear of being called a paedophile or even being attacked.
I have only been abused on the street twice – and called a paedophile – and both instances happened in Dublin.
I have never been verbally abused for being a priest in Belfast or any where in Northern Ireland.
Maybe that is because religion matters more in Northern Ireland than it does in the Republic?
Ireland is fast becoming anti religion and anti clerical.
And who can blame the people – given the fact that we clerics are most often in the news these days for abuse and abuse cover up.
There is an old story of the time that Napoleon Bonaparte met a cardinal. He tld that cardinal that he was going to destroy the church. The cardinal answered: “You have no chance. We priests have been trying to do that for hundreds of years.
Currently the Roman Church is being destroyed. And it is not being destroyed by secularism, materialism or pluralism.
It is being destroyed by priests and bishops and by rampant clericalism.
George Pell is the latest, big, nail in the coffin!
HOLY COMMUNIONS, CONFIRMATIONS AND A WEDDING IN PORTLAOISE
I am in Portlaoise yesterday and today.
Yesterday I had a ceremony in which some local children received their First Holy Communion and the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Today I am celebrating a Catholic marriage ceremony for a young couple and meeting other couples who wish to marry in the future.
Portlaoise is home territory for me. I am a Midlands man and was born in nearby Tullamore.