Thursday 19 October 2017

Sinners, too, are precious to God

Madam --As a Christian I was saddened by Eilis O'Hanlon's description of the late Fr Brendan Smyth as a "loathsome scrap of human filth". So much for the noble Irish tradition of not speaking ill of the dead.

Christian teaching tells us that Fr Smyth, as a sinner, is as precious to God as Ms O'Hanlon or me or anybody else.It is what, I expect, informs Cardinal Brady's view of Fr Smyth who, in spite of the latter's well documented crimes, is capable of forgiveness by his creator.

As a victim of clerical sexual abuse myself, I have used my Christian beliefs to forgive my abuser. I am glad to be comforted by my beliefs rather than succumb to the nihilistic worldview suggested by Ms O'Hanlon's comments.

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