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Quotes and news

‘Teach youth to value human dignity’

In a message to the world’s Muslims for the close of Ramadan, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, said:

“It is our duty to help youths discover that there is both good and evil, that conscience is a sanctuary to be respected, and that cultivating the spiritual makes us more responsible, more supportive, more available for the common good.

“Christians and Muslims are too often witnesses to the violation of the sacred... We cannot but denounce all forms of fanaticism and intimidation.”

‘I beg forgiveness’

Bishop John Magee has apologised for the clerical abuse that took place during his tenure as Bishop of Cloyne in Ireland. He had been forced to resign in 2009.

The following were his first comments following the publication, some time ago, of a report condemning him very strongly for not putting into practice the guidelines of the bishops on sex abuse by priests:

“To the victims I say I am truly horrified by the abuse that they suffered. It all came to me very clearly when I read the complete report.

“And if by my not fully implementing the 1996 guidelines I have made any victims suffer more, on my bended knee I beg forgiveness.

“I feel ashamed that this happened under my watch. It should never have and I truly apologise.

“I am sorry.”

‘I should have resigned’

Mgr Denis O’Callaghan, former vicar general of Cloyne diocese, wrote to the Irish Catholic, saying he should have resigned in 1996 from his position given that he did not agree with the bishops’ guidelines insisting on mandatory reporting.

Mgr O’Callaghan had handled sex abuse complaints for Bishop John Magee.

In his opinion, this particular section of the guidelines, conflicted with the “Christian duty of pastoral care” for accused priests.

In its report, Catholic World News noted that Mgr O’Callaghan never used the term “pastoral care” to refer to the needs of abuse victims or for young people who might be endangered by the continued public ministry of priests with a history of abuse.

Archbishop Dermot Clifford of Cashel, who has served as apostolic administrator of the Cloyne diocese since Bishop Magee resigned, expressed his dislike for Mgr O’Callaghan’s stand, saying his approach was “not a sufficient response to allegations of child sexual abuse”. He said O’Callaghan’s position would only cause further distress and hurt to survivors of child sexual abuse and their families.

‘Do not pass by those who suffer’

Addressing youths after praying the Stations of the Cross at World Youth Day on August 19, Pope Benedict said:

“Be sure not to pass by on the other side in the face of human suffering, for it is here that God expects you to give of your very best: your capacity for love and compassion.

“Christ’s passion urges us to take upon our own shoulders the sufferings of the world,” the Pope said, “in the certainty that God is not distant or far removed from man and his troubles.”

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)

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