Scottish Bishops Punish Faithful With Annual Reminder of Abuse Scandals

From the Scottish Catholic Observer…

Church establishes yearly Day of Prayer for victims of abuse

The Bishops of Scotland [pictured above] have established A Day of Prayer for those who have suffered abuse, to be marked on the Friday following Ash Wednesday.

The Church issued resources to every parish in Scotland to be used this Friday, March 8, during a ‘holy hour style Service of Acknowledgment, Prayer and Reflection,’ or during Mass.

A spokesperson for the Catholic Church said: “The Bishops of Scotland have established A Day of Prayer for those who have suffered abuse to be marked each year on the Friday following Ash Wednesday.

“This allows the Church to renew its apology to anyone who has suffered and to stress its commitment to the essential work of safeguarding across our parish communities.”

In February, Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen Diocese, president of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, attended a Vatican meeting of Episcopal Conference Presidents from across the world in Rome to discuss the Protection of Minors.

The format of the day of prayer on Friday—after the SCO went to press—included prayers for victims of abuse of all kinds and a penitential rite to seek forgiveness for abuse committed by Church personnel.

The Church has proposed that during Mass on Friday the intercessions provided could be used either as intercessory prayers or as an extended Penitential Rite.

An opening hymn reads: “We cannot measure how you heal, Christ be beside me, Christ be our light, Be thou my vision.”

In Dundee, the service took place at 7pm in St Andrew’s Cathedral.

In Motherwell Diocese St Columbkille’s Church in Rutherglen held a ‘Day of Prayer’ for those who have suffered abuse.

A spokesperson for the parish said: “Our parish community will acknowledge and pray for all those who were the innocent victims of some in the Church whom they trusted to protect them.

“We shall pray that survivors of abuse will experience healing, justice and renewal in their lives.

“We shall also pray that the Church, which has been scarred by the grave sin of abuse, will, through repentance and reparation, resolve always to protect the young and the vulnerable.”

The Divine Mercy Novena at 3pm in Rutherglen’s St Columbkille’s would help provide a ‘focus for acknowledgement, prayer and reflection.’   END.

Comment:

Read the current edition of Catholic Truth, which you can download on the Newsletter page of our website here, to uncover the years and years of neglect on the part of the Scottish Hierarchy, where dissident and sexually deviant priests have been (and continue to be) allowed to live as they please, without suffering so much as a  rebuke. Not even discipline-lite.   All, of course, except Father Matthew Despard who had the temerity to write a book exposing the level of homosexual clergy within the Church in Scotland 5 years ago and remains suspended from priestly ministry for his trouble.   

Yet now, we find these same Bishops subjecting faithful priests and laity to an annual reminder of the abuse scandals – as if the clergy don’t feel tainted enough – whereas, what the Bishops should be announcing is that they will be making a Lenten retreat of repentance for their own negligence in so many ways, such as allowing dissidents platforms to spread their poison, and failing to discipline priests who have been promoting the LGBT+ agenda, and in certain cases continue to do so at the present time. 

They’re good at superficiality, the Scottish Bishops – that’s for sure. And this is just one more example of it. Makes a change, I suppose from the annual “Lentfest” – where the faithful in the Archdiocese of Glasgow were encouraged to use the six weeks of Lent, not to do penance for our sins but to get better acquainted with the arts and to, well, enjoy ourselves.  That seems to have fallen by the wayside – or at least, I didn’t find any mention of it just now on a quick visit to the archdiocesan website.  So, hopefully, the penny has dropped that having fun isn’t really true to the spirit of the, er, penitential period of Lent.   I heard a priest tell a really comic-tragic story about this Lenten “fun” mentality just last week during his sermon, when he mentioned a young woman who had decided to throw a party on Ash Wednesday to mark the start of Lent and the main dish was some kind of fancy Ham dish.  Truly, it was impossible to keep a straight face. Father didn’t bother to try. 

This annual service to remember clergy abuse is pointless.  It is but one more way to scandalise the faithful and to belittle Christ’s Spotless Bride, the Church, which has not, and cannot sin.  Only the members of the Church can sin, and we make up for those sins through prayer and penance, certainly, but not in a manner which suggests that “the Church” is to blame.  Churchmen certainly are to blame – priest abusers and their negligent bishops – but  not “the Church”.   Such priests should always be removed from active ministry and again, this would be the case if only the Bishops would invoke Canon Law.  Unless the Bishops add a prayer acknowledging that they are refusing to use their authority to rid the Church of these deviant priests, then such a “Day of Prayer” is nothing but a pretence.  Indeed, this annual reminder service is  not only misleading – it is, in and of itself, a cause of scandal. 

Or maybe you disagree?  Let’s hear it!  

30 responses

  1. What this is is yet another example of the clegy sucking up to a hostile world with feigned sorrow for a situation of their making. Most, if not all, of our bishops created the climate for clerical abusers when they abandoned the old seminary formation methods and spirituality for a more worldly approach, the training of ecumenical social workers.

    Before Vatican II any form of sexual deviancy in seminarians was quickly spotted by the professors and superiors and the deviants were put out. Then came that fateful Council and everything changed, the supernatural went out of the window in preference to the worldly social and wisdom was lost. That’s when all Hell was let loose and the Church ended up with a cohort of sexually deviant priests and a global army of doctrinal deviants. Between the two evils I think the latter is worse because it is the more widespread and still popular. Sexually deviant clergy do great harm to young minds and bodies but doctrinal deviancy kills immortal souls.

    At any rate, the facts demonstrate that the greater majority of sexual abuse of children by clergy has taken place since Vatican II. That, for me, is the greatest indictment of all against the so-called “conciliar reform”. And yet they either cannot or will not see it.

    By having this day of prayer for abuse victims, the hierarchy is giving substance to the myth that the Church is full of clerical perverts when in fact only a tiny minority have offended in this way. It is also highlighting that not one of them is fit to remain in office since any abuse that did occur happened on their watch, sometimes even with their knowledge.

    But they won’t have a special day of reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, or a special day of reparation for sins committed against the Blessed Sacrament, etc., because these are unseen abuses that the world cares little about. Hence this scandalous example of human respect they have come up with knowing that the powerful worldly enemies of the Church will use their foolishness to further attack the Church. That’s what I mean about lost wisdom, the penalty for religious men gone worldly.

    It should be stated over and over in the face of this ecclesiatical lunacy that 99% of priests worldwide have never and would never harm children. Those who have and do are by far a tiny minority, though you would never think so by the disgraceful bias of hostile media outlets and the cowardice of worldly bishops. Please God the Church will soon be restored to Tradition and full moral voice. The Vatican II experiment has been a disaster!

    • Athanasius,

      You are so right – this is just an example of the clergy and bishops feigning sorrow for a situation of their own making. That’s it.

      I agree with your every word. I find myself wondering more and more, how these men can remain in their posts as bishops when they don’t seem to have any genuine Catholic beliefs.

  2. I completely agree with you, Athanasius. This is a really disgraceful thing to do, keep reminding us of the abuse scandals, and giving the impression that “the Church is full of clerical perverts” as you put it.

    I also agree about them, the bishops being the ones needing to do reparation and you make a brilliant point about the need for a special day of reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Blessed Sacrament. Only for those sins, the abuse sins wouldn’t have been committed.

    And you closing words, “The Vatican II experience has been a disaster!” cannot be denied, not by anyone thinking and observing what is going on, objectively.

    • Fidelis,

      That really was a brilliant point by Athanasius, about the need for a day of reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart and the Blessed Sacrament.

      I would also be up for a day of reparation for the neglect of the bishops, who let the new Mass loose on us and lied, pretending that the traditional Mass was gone forever, indeed “banned”. They really do need to make one of their many apologies, this time to the Catholic people who have had our religion taken from us.

      • Laura,

        I SO agree about the apologies. It’s way past time the bishops apologised to all Catholics for their stupid “reforms” of our holy religion. I’d really like to tell them what to do with the “reforms” but I know better than to use that kind of language on this blog, LOL!

  3. “Yet now, we find these same Bishops subjecting faithful priests and laity to an annual reminder of the abuse scandals – as if the clergy don’t feel tainted enough.”

    Hear, hear. That is exactly right. We want to try to forget that we’ve had these shocking scandals, caused by priests and bishops, not an annual reminder of them, for goodness sake. What kind of mind would dream up such a gimmick?

    • Nicky, et al,

      Once we grasp that the entire purpose of the hierarchy since Vatican II has been to appease the world, the reasons for all the madcap schemes becomes crystal clear. The supernatural life has been replaced with the social life and an endless list of innovative ways to remain relevant in apostate times.

      If only the Vatican II embracers of the world would have remembered Our Lord’s own words to His disciples:

      If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept my word, they will keep yours also.

      But all these things they will do to you for my name’s sake: because they know not him who sent me. If I had not come, and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. He that hateth me, hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no other man hath done, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated both me and my Father. But that the word may be fulfilled which is written in their law: They hated me without cause. John 15: 18-26

      I always recall these lines whenever I see the hateful media spewing out more negative propaganda against the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. It seems little has changed in 2000 years, they still want to crucify Him while His disciples hide in fear.

      • Athanasius,

        “Once we grasp that the entire purpose of the hierarchy since Vatican II has been to appease the world, the reasons for all the madcap schemes becomes crystal clear.

        That really is “it” in a nutshell. The bishops are in love with the world, not with Our Lord. It is very sad and the faithful it is who are suffering the consequences of this capitulation to the devil, the world and the flesh.

        Your quote from John’s Gospel is perfect and if only the priests and bishops reflected on that a bit, they wouldn’t fall into the trap of these “madcap schemes”.

        It is very hard work sometimes not to despair over what is happening, but I know that is the wrong thing to do, just can’t help pointing out that it is a real temptation these days.

        • Margaret Mary

          I understand that temptation to discouragement only too well. I don’t think there are any Traditional Catholics who haven’t experienced it at some point.

          But like every storm this one will pass and calm will be restored, in God’s good time. Think of the Gospel story of the discouraged disciples on the Road to Emmaus. They too thought all was lost; Our Lord had been Crucified and the Apostles had fled into hiding for fear. It looked pretty bleak and then the dawn came and everything changed. That’s the story of Christianity throughout the centuries and the story of today. But it will change, and very soon. I firmly believe this.

  4. I, too, agree with Athanasius – well said, spot on, and beat that!

    Will check in later to see if anyone has had the temerity to “beat that”!

  5. Well I don’t know about Vatican 2 or Vatican 2 this and that as I’m too young to remember the way things used to be. All I know is that the Catholic Church seems to have gone mad. I struggle as to what to teach my children. The modern Church seems to tell me heresy whilst the pre Vatican 2 church seems to tell me Jansenism. Talk about a mess of pottage! Sometimes I’m tempted by the Baptists as they teach a coherent christian message!

    • Well, Helen, don’t be too quick to leave us for the Protestants. Look at what happened to two street preachers here in Scotland, in Ayr, to be precise: this video was sent to me today by one of our Protestant readers…

      Note underneath the video on YouTube:

      Yet again Police Scotland have unlawfully arrested Christian street preachers Adam Campbell & Billy Lee. This is 1 of 9 trials between the 2 Scottish preachers in less than 4 years. They have been acquitted in 7 cases thus far with 2 cases still pending. This arrest took place on Ayr High Street on 13th November 2018. They were both detained over night again to appear at Ayr Sheriff Court charged with a breach of the peace with a homophobic aggravation and religious prejudice with bail conditions imposed on them that they cant use any form of amplification in any town in Scotland and that they can’t enter Ayr Town Center. The subject of homosexuality was never mentioned by either preacher on this day and Adam never even used amplification.

      There’s a very serious issue here, since increasingly our freedom of speech is being taken away.

      And not a bishop in sight to ask for an apology from Police Scotland!

      • Police Scotland were totally out of order there – those men were only quoting bible verses, they didn’t say anything objectionable about anyone. I wonder if the annoying woman in the blue coat who looked like she was filming on her mobile, is the person who sent for the police? I don’t suppose we’ll ever know but I’m sure she was the one being so ignorant and openly laughing at the men.

        We should pray for their conversion to the Catholic faith as we could use their courage and zeal.

    • Helen

      I would be very interested to see what examples of Jansenism you think the Church taught before Vatican II.

      Jansenism, as you are doubtless aware, is a heresy condemned by the Church. It ‘s a complicated heresy because it’s based on a mindset rather than a denial of doctrine per se. One of its principal errors was to deter Catholics from receiving Holy Communion on the grounds that most were simply too sinful to receive God into their souls.

      The heresy primarily affected parts of France in the 18th century, though its effects spread also into parts of Ireland and remained deeply rooted there for longer.

      In terms of the Universal Church, however, I am not aware that this heresy had any great influence in most countries, so I would be interested to know why you think differently.

      Before Vatican II the Church was very healthy indeed, led by very strong Popes who were respected and feared for their moral authority throughout the world. There were no empty seminaries or abandoned parishes in those days, and the parish churches were full.

      • I do so agree Athanasius. The Church when I grew up in it, was indeed strong and gaining more and more converts who were impressed with the strength exhibited by the Church. I well remember walking from Leeds Cathedral to Kirkstall Abbey in a procession of Catholic Men. That procession was huge! At the Abbey we had Benediction and everywhere there was a crowd of people on the grass. It was a beautiful day and gave inspiration to thousands! It has lived in my memory for over 50 years.

      • For starters my granny, and my mother to a certain extent, have strange ideas about their worthiness to receive Holy Communion without prior, on the day, Confession. Also, my mother told me that she often found the holy pictures in her mother’s (my granny) bedroom turned to face the wall! You can imagine the inference there.

        Mabe calling it Janensism is a tad harsh but it was / is a puritanical attitude. Most of my Irish family were like that too. Maybe some of it was a backlash to the moral laxity which abounded at one time and, my, have we not gone full circle!

        • Helen,

          Not to be offensive, but I am now of the opinion that the majority of the Irish were crank Catholics. You’ve just confirmed my opinion and set it in stone!

          I’ve never heard of anyone putting holy pictures to the wall – why did they put them up in the first place if they thought they were evil? Again, not meaning to be offensive, but your granny sounds like she wasn’t the full shilling!

          Yes, there was a mentality about not receiving Holy Communion without first going to Confession but I don’t see that as a major fault. The opposite is happening now with people going to Communion who are living in mortal sin, with same-sex partners! I think God would be more appreciative of those who take maybe too much care not to receive unworthily than those who go to Communion, hardly ever, if ever going to Confession and when they do, not thinking their lifestyle is a sin.

          • Josephine, no offence taken as I’m not Irish! You might have a point but why do you think they are “crank Catholics”?

            About the holy pictures, you misunderstand me! They weren’t thought to be evil (!!!) but the other way around. I didn’t want to be indelicate but, in the interest of truth, here goes: the pictures were turned to the wall during intimacy.

            Also, my mother told me that, after giving birth, the woman went to be churched “in order to get rid of the sin”. And that’s a fact that I’ve checked with a good few women.

            No, my granny IS the full shilling!

            • Helen,

              I’ve had an email from a Protestant reader today – you’ve confirmed his view about us Catholics, so well done!

              I don’t know if I’d describe the Irish as “crank Catholics” – my own preferred term is “pseudo-Catholics” – about as Catholic as Sadiq Khan. And you’d say the same if you read the letter I’ve just placed in the May newsletter, Letters page, from an Irish reader. They’ve really gone to the dogs (as she said).

            • Helen,

              To add a few words to my previous, hastily penned comment…

              That’s a new one on me – turning the pictures to the wall during intimacy, but the answer to that sort of thing is, quite simply, that – with all due respect to your grandmother and others like her who felt they had to do that – it boils down to being not properly educated in the Faith.

              I remember a colleague telling me that he had a friend, an Irishwoman brought up in Dublin, who was no longer practising because, among other things, she objected to being told it is a sin not to bless herself every time she passed a church. According to said colleague, her priest had chided her for that.

              Now, that is plain ridiculous. How would any priest know if any of us blessed ourselves every time we passed a church – or at all, for that matter. I pointed out to him that there were so many churches in Dublin that no priest would have the time to follow his parishioners around, even if he felt inclined, perversely, so to do. It’s a piece of nonsense.

              What seems to happen in such cases is that, ignorant of the Faith to the point where their “Catholic sense” is faulty, if not non-existent, people fall prey to rumours or skewed ideas from others about the “Catholic” thing to do.

              I come from a wholly Irish Catholic background and, while my own grandmother was “guilty” of perhaps over worrying about receiving Holy Communion unworthily (I’ll come to a story about that in a second), it has never been the teaching of the Church that intimacy is a “sin””.

              The “churching” service to which you refer is still conducted, to this day (and I remember a friend of mine attending it, following childbirth, on 2nd February, Feast of the Purification of Our Lady some years ago) but it is in commemoration of the presentation of the new-born baby Jesus in the temple, in keeping with the Law, which we recall today as the 4th Joyful Mystery. I can’t say whether there is any theology behind the churching service which might relate to the fact that pain in childbirth is a consequence of the sin of Adam & Eve, and thus – like all other suffering in the world – the “purification” service takes account of our sinfulness. I don’t know, but if not, I may just have contributed some theological insight all by my little self. 😀 Certainly, if Our Lady did not object to participating in a purification ceremony following the birth of the new-born Messiah, I can’t see why any Catholic woman today would object.

              Individual priests may have been, themselves, lacking a true Catholic sense and so passed on unhealthy attitudes to others, but I think it is a mistake to present it as “the Church” teaching that intimacy is sinful. A wrong emphasis by certain churchmen at various points in history is not the same as “Church teaching” and I think we all need to be careful not to lose sight of that, and not to give the impression that this or that daft practice is from “the Church”.

              Just as it would be wrong for a future Helen to say that her grandmother told her that people locked up their children to keep them safe from the parish priest in the 20/21 centuries, when we know that only a tiny number of priests have been guilty of these heinous crimes, so it is wrong to give the impression that these wonky ideas were part of the fabric of authentic Catholic life in recent times, let alone Catholic teaching. They arise from false teaching or erroneous understanding. As a friend of mine said in a different context, “if these people had a brain they’d be really dangerous”!

              About my own grandmother and Holy Communion. My mother had two brothers. One, named John, had made his First Communion and was to make his second Communion on the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, 15th August. I think he was 8 years old.

              On the night before the Feast, he asked his mother (my grandmother) if she would be receiving Holy Communion next day and she said “no”, she would not be going to Holy Communion. Little John replied: “O mum, you should because tomorrow is going to be a great day in Heaven.”

              He was knocked down by a bus and killed after the Assumption Day Mass, having cajoled his father (my grandfather) into letting him stay out and play hide and seek with some of the children, including his siblings, outside his home.

              Anyway, I actually agree with Josephine that being over-careful about receiving Holy Communion worthily, is better, by far, than the current attitude where it is taken for granted that everyone will receive Holy Communion at every Mass, to the point where in some parishes they have ushers indicating line by line that everyone should approach to receive the Blessed Sacrament.

              Obviously, better still to frequent the Sacrament of Penance regularly, ignoring any modernist exhortations to the contrary, and receive Holy Communion as often as possible.

              My final word on this is that, while I don’t doubt your word that your grandmother and probably many others, held these wrong-headed ideas about purity, sin, etc. when recounting them, I think the point needs always to be made that these ideas were rooted in flawed theology, wrong thinking, from whatever source. That lessens the danger of spreading false ideas about the nature of the Church in the bad old days before the enlightenment of Vatican II when it would be easier to fly unaided to Mars than commit a sin – mortal OR venial! 😀

          • Josephine

            Scotland once had many holy Irish priests, great parish priests, and none that I know of were cranks. Of course there were cultural anomolies with some in Ireland regarding the Faith, but generally speaking the priests were really sound.

        • Helen

          It’s certainly true that Ireland was a country badly affected by Jansenism. Many of the irish adopted the habit of only going to Holy Communion once in a while, a throwback to the Jansenist error.

          Your granny turning the holy pictures to the wall might have a different reason behind it, however. I have heard it said, and actually seen it, that some Irish Catholics, if they didn’t get their prayers answered, turned the image of whoever they were praying to to face the wall. It wasn’t done in a nasty spirit but in a spirit of familiarity, like a family type spirit. I never agreed with the practice myself but I don’t believe there was ever any malice in it.

          There were a lot of issues creeping in with the Irish before the Council and it affected the rest of us badly because our Scottish parishes had so many good Irish priests. One of the issues, I’m told, was the rivalry between families that at least one son had to be a priest or religious. That mentality of course was completely wrong as it will have forced many young men into a vocation they were never called to.

  6. From the website of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors:

    “In the experience of our members, victims/survivors have often expressed a desire for prayer as an important element in their healing process. It was a survivor of clerical child sexual abuse who, in fact, first made the proposal to the Commission for a “Day of Prayer” for all victims/survivors of abuse. The Members then tasked the Working Group on Theology and Spirituality with drawing up the proposal on these pages. The Members accepted the proposal at the February 2016, Plenary Assembly and submitted it to Pope Francis for his approval.

    The Holy Father welcomed the initiative and has asked that each episcopal conference choose an appropriate day in their nation or territory to hold a “Day of Prayer” for the victims/survivors of sexual abuse.”

    The Scottish Bishops are responding to the Pope’s request.

    • William,

      If you’re looking for an argument to convince us that this is a good thing – i.e. perpetually reminding us of these abuse cases which involve a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the clergy, and thus confirm the impression already widespread that the Catholic Church is full of pervert clergy – this is not it.

      We have a top archbishop (Vigano) calling on the Pope to resign over his duplicity and complicity in the abuse scandals, so following HIS wishes is not something anyone, including the Scottish Bishops, ought to consider – on any subject, least of all the scandal of clergy abuse.

    • William Spencer

      I would like to know exactly what abuse victims mean when they call themselves “survivors”. Generally speaking, survivors are people who escape places like concentration camps or who live through accidents or serious illness.

      I don’t like this misuse of the term “survivor” for abuse victims because, horrible as their experiences have been, they were never threatened with death. It sounds like a word deliberately chosen for impact and that irks me. They are victims, not survivors. Besides that, the Church should not be taking the advice and ideas of lay people, that’s why the Church is in the mess it is. Reparation is for all sins committed against God, not individual groups. If that were to change, which I don’t advise, then it should change only in favour of babies murdered in the womb. Unlike abuse victims these little ones, a much greater number, did not survive. That should put matters into perspective.

      • Athanasius,

        I don’t like this misuse of the term “survivor” for abuse victims

        I completely agree, the abuse cases are bad enough without such sensationalism.

        “Survivor” is completely inappropriate – as it implies the intentional deaths of others at the hands of clergy/religious – “victim” is the term which should be used.

  7. Editor,

    “Lentfest” – That seems to have fallen by the wayside

    Alas, no – it in fact AGAP (which runs Lentfest) its own website!

    This year it is running an art exhibition regarding family life:

    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lentfest-2019-art-exhibition-the-family-hope-of-the-church-and-of-the-world-tickets-57264673179

    Of course, rather than the Christian family, we can expect this to showcase “gay parents” and trans-fathers and all the rest of it.

    I say that, because the AGAP homepage says:

    we seek to provide an inclusive, positive environment

    http://agap.org.uk/

    The words “inclusive” and “positive” are invariably code for “LGBT-friendly”.

    • Gabriel syme,

      Maybe that’s why it’s not advertised on the archdiocesan website?

      Still, they’re an agency of the archdiocese, so that is disgraceful – the “inclusive positive environment” baloney is definitely code for “we support the LGBT+ agenda”

  8. That’s just more proof of the LGBT dominance in the Scottish Church – as Father Matthew Despard claimed. Read the pieces in the newsletter about him and now looking at that Lentfest website I can see why they don’t want him back in ministry. I think the Scottish Church is probably riddled with homosexual priests.

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