Remembering and Safeguarding
Month of the Holy Souls: a Month of Remembrance and Love
Memory is a powerful thing. Wrongly used it can bring death. Rightly used it brings life, and is a form of immortality. It keeps the past alive. Those we remember never die; they continue to walk and talk with us. We want our loved ones who have gone before us to know that we haven’t forgotten them. We remember you. And your memory brings life to us today.
As I approach the month of November and start writing out my list of dead family and friends I go into an odd place in my head. I am back in childhood, I then am surrounded in my head by loads of people I miss and yet I find myself remembering funny incidents and am smiling and sometime laughing out loud. I love this time and have got better at giving myself permission to go back to photographs and ring brothers, sisters and cousins and talk about the family members who have gone before us. I am convinced that many of them are now with God but I still have a duty to pray for them and to ask them to intercede for us who are left.
Safeguarding in the Church Today
In the last twenty years or so, the evil of the sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church has been laid bare. This abuse is both deeply damaging to all those who have been its victims and a scandal against the faith we proclaim. From 28 October to 8 November, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, established by the Government, will turn its attention to the present situation in the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Earlier reports from Birmingham and the Benedictines in Downside and Ampleforth have made clear the extent of failures in the Church and more importantly, the lasting damage to all those who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
As President of the Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent will give oral evidence at the Inquiry. He will outline the efforts and procedures that have been put in place to minimise or eradicate to risk of further offending. The publicity will be uncomfortable for us as Catholics . But do remember in your prayers all those carry the heavy burden of childhood abuse every day of their lives.