Friday, July 2, 2010

Australian Catholic Priest Jailed for Sex Charges



Another Priest falls from public grace. An Australian Catholic Priest, has been sentenced to nearly 20 years jail for sexual abuse and sex attacks on 25 children. The abuse happened on boys in New South Wales between 1968 - 1986.

John Denham will serve a minimum of 13 years in jail. When you speak to the average Aussie about these kinds of things, you hear that 'There is no forgiveness' and 'This is why I hate organised religion,' 'We put our trust in these people'. I recall something of the words of Jesus about putting a millstone around someone's neck if they should ever let a young one be hurt or abused.

So what is the response from the Christian community? We cannot excuse the actions of this Catholic Priest. We cannot tiptoe around trying to protect the image of Christianity while all the more ignoring the covering up abuse and neglect. Conversely, to label all Priests/Ministers as pathetic, or dump ALL of religion down the gurgler because of the actions of this man, (and others) I believe is over the top. It does give you questions about hypocrisy in the Christian faith, sure. It raises questions about WHO Jesus was, and WHAT he would have done had he known about this situation.

In defence of the Christian faith (not in defence of this man), we may hear a story of a school teacher who has a sexual relationship with a student. The teacher is reprimanded with jail time, and the public are disgraced. The point I want to make is this: We do not then, up and leave the education system, and throw out education with the bath water and vow never to enter a school again. No. We are disgusted by the actions on this teacher, and we recognise there are many other teachers out there with integrity, passion and leadership, who make a great difference in the lives of young people.

Please feel free to comment - let out the frustrations! I tell you - I hate it. I hate how it wrecks young people's lives and how it damages families. I am annoyed by the image that is portrayed about who Jesus was and is, and how this one Catholic Priest breaks and steals away the reality of the nature of a loving and caring God who wants us all of his children to faithfully follow Jesus.

You'll find more at BBC News: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/asia_pacific/10485407.stm

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