30 April 2015, The Tablet

‘I will always look back on my decision with sorrow and shame’

by Cormac Murphy-O’Connor

Within months of becoming Archbishop of Westminster, Cormac Murphy-O’Connor faced calls to resign for allowing a priest who abused children to remain in ministry. In the first of two exclusive extracts from his memoir, he reflects on an issue that caused him more pain than any other in his life as a bishop At the time of my appointment to Westminster in February 2000, the abuse crisis had already inflicted terrible damage to the credibility of the Catholic Church. The perception was – and who could question it? – that decisions had been made to move priests who were paedophiles, rather than to report them to the proper authorities. Church leaders had put the reputation of the Church first, rather than the suffering and needs of victims and survivors. When some victims a
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User Comments (1)

Comment by: Douglas Krefting
Posted: 02/05/2015 17:32:02

"AT THE FOREFRONT OF MY MIND WAS THE CARE OF THE PRIESTS OF THE DIOCESE. I WANTED ANY PRIEST WHO WAS IN A HOLE TO BE ABLE TO FEEL THEY COULD COME TO ME TO TALK ABOUT IT. THE CHURCH HAD, IN A WAY, BECOME MY FAMILY, AND THE PRIESTS BROTHERS." Within this quote is the real problem. Is not the hierarchy (here I deliberately choose to use a small 'c' rather than a capital 'C') only one small part of the church? Are not all of us catholics only a small part of everything (the Cosmos if you like)? We are not ALL, not centre, not separate. Having experienced abuse as a child I know the lasting pain of which Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor speaks--know it in a way that only an abusee can know it. And it is only in the knowing that I am part of something far greater than myself that I find solace and peace.