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Archbishop washes feet of Irish abuse victims

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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-20-11 08:23 PM
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Archbishop washes feet of Irish abuse victims
"The archbishop of Dublin washed the feet of victims of clerical abuse on Sunday in one of the most visible acts of contrition for the systemic mistreatment of children that has shattered the Irish Catholic Church.

Addressing hundreds of people packed into Dublin's Pro-Cathedral, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin then made what victims said was the most explicit apology to date for the role of the church hierarchy in enabling the abuse.

"For them to get down on their knees, it was humbling," said Darren McGavin, 39, who was abused as a child by a priest in his west Dublin parish.

"I've found it hard to forgive, but today I found a small bit of closure."

It's a start, and something I'd like to see around the world this Easter. Instead of the great and good lining up to have their feet washed on Holy Thursday, why not invite abuse victims - especially in the cathedrals, where the cardinals and bishops should get down on their knees to them.

And if he wants to make an apology that has real meaning, the Pope should walk the streets of Rome wearing sackcloth, with ashes on his head. This is a custom long used in the church, and goes right back to Hebrew times. Benedict likes the old ways, so let him do this as a sign of his true remorse.

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