independent

Wednesday 23 October 2019

Priest says thank you to One in Four for 'healing' the Church

INVITATION TO COLM O'GORMAN TO SPEAK HAD TO BE WITHDRAWN

Credit: Colin Bell

Hubert MURPHY

FR Iggy O'Donovan has issued a 'thank you' to Colm O'Gorman and the One in Four group for doing so much to 'heal' the Church.

And he has admitted that the Church has been both 'inept and uncomfortable' in dealing with the whole issue of sexual abuse.

'I speak to victims of abuse, the most vulnerable and defenceless members of our society and the people who carried it out, those who should have set the bar at the highest level and who would have expected the same from others,' he stated.

'We have to accept institutional sin happened but there has been reform by amnesia.

'I salute John Kelly, Colm O'Gorman and others for their work and there is still much to be done.'

His sermon was then greeted by a sustained round of applause from the entire congregation.

He was speaking during 1.15pm Mass on Sunday at the Augustinian Church, just days after an invitation to Colm O'Gorman to address the gathering had to be withdrawn.

The weekly bulletin contained a short statement: 'It is with regret we announce that the invitation to Mr Colm O'Gorman to speak at the Mass of Reconciliation this weekend has had to be withdrawn. Certain (unnamed) parties complained to the ecclesiastical authorities.

'The letter deemed that the proposed event was 'inappropriate'. We have complied with their wishes and Mr O'Gorman will not now address the congregation.'

But in a show of solidarity with Fr O'Donovan, Colm O'Gorman attended the Mass, sitting close to the top of the church.

There was standing room only at the Mass, where the readings were given by SJ McArdle and Mayor Michael O'Dowd.

Fr O'Donovan also made reference to the visit of the Pope, 30 years ago and his own experience in Galway where the crowd was led 'by two gentlemen who were then the public face of the Church'.

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