Is the church capable of any real change?
With just days before Pope Francis's official visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families, I found the comments of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin last Sunday hit the right note.
Many have been demanding to know if the Pope will meet with abuse victims and hear their stories face to face, while others are still wondering if he will truly address the damage that has been done to so many Irish people who placed their trust and faith in the Catholic Church.
Archbishop Martin is right when he says that saying 'sorry' is not enough. We have gone far beyond the need for simply apologies.
What people want is deep, meaningful and effective change within the Church, once and for all. Preserving the rules and doctrines that have isolated, excluded and punished so many people for generations is simply going to destroy the Church and continue to exclude those who want to be a part of it but who cannot accept all that is wrong within it.
Archbishop Martin is right, the Church must find a way of sanctioning and making those who done wrong.
This is obvious to most people, but considering the most grotesque criminal acts have been covered up time and time again, it needs to be said, and more importantly heard. We are gone past paying lip service here, and real action has to be taken.
Those who have been wronged and those who continue to practice their faith and support the Church deserve nothing less.
There is a 'deep-seated resentment' towards the Church as a result of all these wrongdoings and life-destroying failings and a few words from the Pope during a weekend visit will not fix things.
Once and for all, the Catholic Church needs to start listening to the people and hearing what they want and there can be no room for deceit, cover ups and lies or the protection of those who do harm to others. The fact that senior clerics criticised for their own handling of abuse scandals were due to speak during the World Meeting of Families speaks volumes and is an insult to those who have been abused, and others who will travel in good faith to be a part of the religious event.
After everything that has happened it is questionable if the Church is even capable of change or if those within it really want it to happen.