Take the chance to respond

As a priest who sat through most of the special commission hearings in Newcastle, and some of the hearings of the royal commission in Sydney, I have heard firsthand of the damage of sexual abuse on those who experienced it.

To see middle-aged men weeping as they gave testimony in the witness box, and to hear traumatic stories in personal conversations with some of the survivors, leaves me in no doubt at all about the emotional pain and damage caused by such abuse. I know that many clergy, religious, and lay people find it very difficult to face the dreadful reality of abuse of children, and also of vulnerable adults, by church personnel.

Still, for the sake of all who were affected by the abuse, I think it can be very helpful for people to view the video Lina’s Project and consider their individual and communal response. An opportunity to do this will be available at Toronto at 6pm on Wednesday 12 February.

In today’s culture, many have rejected the idea of the Transcendent. There is a consequence. Just offering to pray for survivors, for example, may not be all that helpful. It is important that the survivors find people who will stand in solidarity with them as they work through the trauma they have experienced.

For the leaders and members of the Catholic Church it is so very important they move strongly to address the abuse of clerical power in governance, in decision-making, and to embrace genuine dialogue with others.

In this way we can hope that greater awareness of institutional failure that led to the abuse taking place will help develop more courageous, compassionate, and vulnerable leaders and members, who may then be more supportive of those survivors trying to get their lives together.

Lina's Project will be held on Wednesday 12 February

at Toronto Multipurpose Centre, 9 Thorne St Toronto. 

6pm- screening will commence

6.30pm-8pm barbecue

For catering purposes RSVP at linasproject.com.au, 02 4979 1188 or linasprojecttoronto@mn.catholic.org.au

No personal information is needed to RSVP, only number of attendees.

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Geoff Mulhearn Image
Geoff Mulhearn

Fr Geoff Mulhearn is Priest Supervisor and Sacramental Priest at Toronto Parish.

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