What is our response? At one level: weary acceptance. We lost the battle of Mass attendance years ago. Generations of Catholics now have very little connection to their faith. We compete amid a plethora of options, jostling to be heard amid glossy brochures and slick, upbeat services. Even those calling themselves Catholic generally do not find any value in participating in Sunday worship. Then there is the suffering and betrayal caused by the institutional failings of the Church in response to child sexual abuse.
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In preparation for Child Protection Sunday, Sally Wellington, Manager of the Adelaide Archdiocese Child Protection Unit, has sought creative ideas for a symbol for Child Protection Sunday, preferably a symbol that is also environmental.
The temptation is to find a quiet corner, coffee in hand, and type in my response to the plenary question on my smart phone, sending it sailing into the iCloud heaven, hoping that my voice will sway the bishops to make some change to something I am not happy about. I finish my coffee, and get on with my life. If things don’t change, well, I tried my best to make a contribution, didn’t I? Isn’t that what plenary is all about?
In the Second World War, Germany contended with both the Western Allies and the Soviet Union and lost. Conventional wisdom warns against fighting an enemy on two fronts. So what happens when priests in parishes of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia become similarly beleaguered?