Archbishop: Church needs a reality check

How many abusers grew up Catholic?

 Archbishop Joseph Har­ris is calling on the Ca­tho­­lic Church to do intro­spection, in light of what he described as the horrific murders of three children, to see how many victims and perpetrators had a Catho­lic upbringing.

In a release yesterday, Har­ris stated there have been 28 murders involving children so far this year and the last three left everyone stunned, bewildered and even angry. 

However, the Church has al­ways

cared for all its chil­dren, and although they have failed them

in the past, they need­­ed to seize this

opportunity to deep­en the care and pro­tection of the children now. 

“We need to be­gin from a reality check as to how many of the victims and perpetrators are products of our Catholic families and our schools. The image of an ac­cused person wearing a rosa­ry round his neck must disturb any right-thinking Catholic. 

“We must also work more firmly with parents who choose to send their children to Catholic schools. These sug­gestions will be followed through in consultation with

the relevant Church com­mis­sions.”

He said this year, the Feasts of Holy Innocents and of the Holy Family fall together in one weekend, December 28 and 29, and the Church should use this opportunity to pray deeply about the children and

families in distress and to heigh­ten its awareness of this tragedy unfolding for several years now.

“I am therefore asking that on the

Feast of Holy In­no­-

cents this year, Satur­day 28 December, 2013, church bells will toll for one min­ute to remember all the children who have died. 

“This should be the single funeral toll, just before the start of the Holy Innocents’ morning service in the parish, at 3 p.m., to link our present tragedy to the moment when the most innocent of us all met his death, at 6 p.m., after the Angelus and just be­fore the parish evening Mass. 

“Where possible, when chil­dren are gathered in church or family at these mo­ments, the children should be told why we are doing this and the names of the victims may be read out,” he stated.

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