A Catholic bishop has warned that, “If we dismiss our past as a source of shame and embarrassment only, we risk depriving a new generation of connection with deep wells of spirituality.” He believed that attacks on the Church had now gone too far.
Bishop William Crean of Cloyne made the remarks at Knock Shrine in Sunday.
He said, “The odium of the nation has been poured out on virtually all religious women and men from previous generations.” He indicated that this overlooked the fact that “All who responded to a vocation did so with generosity and humility and having expended their lives in nursing, teaching or social outreach they left the world without a cent in the pockets of their shrouds. They gave of their all for others.”
He told the congregation: “We need a vision for the 21st century that acknowledges both the light and shadow of our religious legacy, appreciate its richness, learn from its failures and take forward all that was best in forging a shared future”.
“We need to come to accept our religious heritage as part of what we are. Memory can be both painful and powerful. It should never be dismissed. If we dismiss our past as a source of shame and embarrassment only, we risk depriving a new generation of connection with deep wells of spirituality and inspiration for living. Without these riches we risk walking headlong into the arms of a sterile secularity where political correctness robs us of genuine colour and sense of joy and humour,” he added.