My memories of sunshine in August may now have faded, but the sense of shock and shame that marked that month have not. In many ways it has been the most disturbing of times in the life of the Church for 50 years. The reports and revelations of abuse and neglect, and the dispassionate descriptions of the awful abuse inflicted on so many children, are truly shocking. How could this happen? But it did; and it still does, in many places.
It is right that these crimes are being brought into the clear light of public scrutiny. It is painful, but so necessary. My first thoughts go to those who have suffered. I know, even from my own limited experience, that every story of abuse refreshes the hurt, reawakens the wounds, of childhood terror in those who are victims or survivors of abuse. Their cry is a cry from the heart of Jesus, for they are his beloved and part of his Body. Their wounds mark the very flesh of our Lord.