BY Peter Diamond | October 12 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Bishop lies prostrate at altar for sins of Church abuse

Two Scottish bishops took up Pope Francis’ call to make a special effort to say the Rosary in the month of October—with one lying prostrate in front of the altar in reparation at the sins of abuse in the Church.

In Paisley diocese Bishop John Keenan aided by Fr Matthew Carlin held a Rosary Under the Cross in St Mirin’s Cathedral for the reparation of the sins of sexual abuse by some members of the Catholic Church.

During one part of the prayers Bishop Keenan lay prostate in front of the altar in a powerful gesture usually only seen on Good Friday or at Ordinations.

The event in St Mirin’s was one of more than 170 gatherings in Great Britain for the ‘Rosary Under the Cross,’ which was led spiritually by Bishop Keenan and promoted in Scotland by Sancta Familia Media.

Speaking at the Rosary, Fr Matthew Carlin said: “Merciful Father, we bring to you all the sorrow, hurt, pain, violence, abuse, shame, helplessness, condemnation and judgment of the unspeakable crimes of sexual abuse towards children and other abuse of the young and vulnerable committed by cardinals, bishops, priests, religious and laity.

“We also witness to the rage of the victims of such abuse, the abject denial and often-token guilt of the perpetrators. The hurt and suffering of each child victim cries out before your throne for justice and mercy. This cry is erupted in our midst, spilling out in fury.”

In Motherwell diocese on Sunday October 7 Bishop Joseph Toal led the parish of St Francis Xavier in Carfin in the Rosary and torchlight procession around the Church to mark the end of pilgrimage season.

In his address Bishop Toal said: “By reciting the Rosary publically and saying these prayers we have fulfilled what Pope Francis has asked of us to do throughout the course of October for the protection of the Church from evil.”

He added that the Scottish bishops spoke with the Pope about abuse during their Ad Limina visit.

“During our conversation the Holy Father brought up the difficulties the Church is facing and he was quite animated about it and he made his points to us about praying the Rosary and praying to St Michael the Archangel.

“He warned us of the presence of evil which manifests within the Church in some ways and also from people from outside of the Church who want to get at us when we are weak. So it was a heartfelt plea and we extend that on his behalf to pray for this protection from evil, particularly the work of the devil.

“I think as Catholics we know of the need to admit our failings, particularly those who are responsible for ministry within the Church. We need to be honest and seek to do better in the future. But we need to have a strong sense of being united in our Faith and being together in Faith.”





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