Saturday 3 December 2016

Why I have a problem with the Church

Let's start with the arrogant denial, contempt and neglect of its abuse victims, says Emer O'Kelly

Published 21/02/2010 | 05:00

ASMALL boy with a snub nose and a devilish grin has just finished serving Mass and benediction. He and his mate have had a silent competition in recent weeks to see who could swing the thurible the highest without tipping the smoking incense on to the altar floor. He's quietly confident that this morning's performance will declare him the winner.

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The priest has removed his vestments, and comes over to him. For a moment, the little boy is terrified the priest has copped on to the competition. But, "I've something to show you," the priest says, and takes the boy from the vestry to the space behind the altar. When he turns to the boy, his trousers are unzipped, and he takes the small right hand and he starts to groan, the sound a blasphemy in the empty church.

The small boy is very silent for the rest of the day. He wets his bed that night.

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