Editorial – BEYOND ANGER AND NOISE
In his presidential speech to the 2019 General Synod, Archbishop Clarke said: “If the Church is to
be – as Christ calls it to be – a beacon for grace and truth, it cannot live in a ghetto designed only for self-preservation and self- congratulation.” These comments are part of a sea-change happening in the Church of Ireland in recent years: one where we are looking out beyond ourselves more and looking afresh to the challenge of mission.
Looking out beyond ourselves is happening in more uncertain times. The Primate framed it thus: “… the world around us … is harking back to what it believes is a golden past but is also hurtling forwards intoa very different and somewhat menacing future.”
He added: “Men and women the world over now feel that they have been stripped of their dignity, and have become deeply resentful of what they perceive (and are encouraged to perceive) as corrupt and unaccountable elites who are taking their dignity and their identity from them. This is at the very heart of what we call, on an almost daily basis, ‘populism’, and it is something which is imperilling the very roots of democracy and which we can see growing in strength in many countries throughout Europe and further afield.”
Whatever our views on politics, or any other matter of importance to us, we recognise that something is happening to the tone and temperature of public discussion.
As the Primate describes it: “In the public square, anger has too often replaced decency … polarisation has replaced any supple, generous and complex discourse.”
These words were echoed in a recent interview by former ChiefRabbi Jonathan Sacks. Talking aboutthe need for a cultivation of respect for your opponent, he observed that “anger and noise now prevails.”
Amidst the noise and anger, there are two temptations. One is to simply join the clamour of it
all, regardless of our standpoint. The other is to become diverted from the challenge of mission.
Or as the Primate put it, “ … can we as individuals express the Christian faith clearly and concisely, and without using our ‘churchy language’, which, in the world we live in, increasingly conveys nothing at all – even to the most sympathetic of those who have no existing connections with the Church? Can we convey, by our lives, that everyhuman person has an infinite valueto us and to God?”
It was a message that the early Church brought. Looking through the centuries of the Church on
this island, it was a message that was carried across this island and beyond these shores. Whatever world we live in, the mission of the Church remains the same.
SUMMER GAZETTE ARRANGEMENTS
The new monthly Gazettehas 10 editions per year, as is often the case with other similar Church publications. In the future, this may mean either a month after Christmas and during the summer when a monthly edition is not published.
For this year, as we launched in January and with the transition to a new editor over the summer, the next edition of the Gazette will be issuedin September.
Thank you for support and good will as we look forward to the future.
As this is my last edition of theGazette, I want to express my appreciation to the Gazetteteam – our office, productionand editorial team, as well as the board.
The transition to a new format was one of the biggest tasks we undertook, and we are pleased with how well it has gone. It was truly a united team effort. Thank you to our advertisers, distributors and to you, the
readers, who make it possible.
The Board of Church of Ireland Press Ltd are pleased to announce the appointment of Karen Bushby as the next editor of the Gazette.
- CASHEL, FERNS & OSSORY DIOCESE:
A YEAR IN REVIEW
- GAZETTE APPOINTS NEW EDITOR
- DUO VISITS CHURCHES ON FUNDRAISING BIKE RIDE
- NEW SAFEGUARDING OFFICER FOR REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
- CHURCH LEADERS RELEASE DIALOGUE REPORT
- ARMAGH DIOCESAN MU FESTIVAL SERVICE
- 175 YEARS OF WORSHIP AT COLAGHTY PARISH
- COMBINING PARISH MINISTRY AND MUSIC
- ‘SPONSOR A SLATE’ PROGRAMME LAUNCHED
- MUSIC ACADEMY RELEASES TALENT IN LOCAL COMMUNITY
- BISHOP GOES BACK TO BASICS OF FAITH AFTER CANCER DIAGNOSIS
- DUBLIN STREET PASTORS REACH OUT
- Archive of the Month – ‘EARL’S GIFT’ MAP AT THE ‘VISUAL WINDOW TO AN ECCLESIASTICAL WORLD’ EXHIBITION
- BISHOP MEHAFFEY CELEBRATES 65TH ORDINATION ANNIVERSARY
- GRADUATIONS IN CORK, CLOYNE & ROSS
- CERTIFICATES IN PASTORAL CARE VISITING ASSISTANTS
- BETHANY HOME SURVIVORS MEET MINISTER
- BISHOP GOOD RETIRES FROM EPISCOPAL MINISTRY
MADLUG – MAKE A
THE GAZETTE TALKS TO DAVE LINTON, FOUNDER OF MADLUG.
MENDING – AS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
CARING FOR CREATION: A MISSION ISSUE? By Stephen Trew
STUDENTS – YOUR FUTURE CHURCH? By Barry Forde
THE DYNAMIC GROWTH OF GOSPEL MUSIC
IN IRELAND By Philip McKinley
THE PRAYER OF STILLNESS
AN INTRODUCTION TO CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER By Leslie Crampton
SUMMER MADNESS: THE COUNTDOWN IS ON
By Stu Armstrong
WHAT IS LIFE LIKE WITHOUT ‘BIN DAY’?
By Katie Lynch
GENERAL SYNOD 2019 – PAUL MCFADDEN REFLECTS ON THE THREE DAYS OF GENERAL SYNOD
OUR LEGACY By Jono Pierce
LITURGICAL NOTES – REVISED COMMON LECTIONARY
GENERAL SYNOD 2019 IN PICTURES
CHILDREN AND CARING FOR GOD’S CREATION By Andrew Orr
ARE YOU ON A CREATION CARING ADVENTURE?
By Christina Baillie
CIYD ANNUAL RETREAT BRINGS YOUTH LEADERS TOGETHER
- ACC-17: A CHURCH OF IRELAND DELEGATE REFLECTS
By Katharine Poulton
- ACC PASSES ENVIRONMENTAL RESOLUTION
- ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY VISITS JACKIE PULLINGER
- ACC ASKS CHURCHES TO ADOPT INTERNATIONAL SAFEGUARDING GUIDELINES
- GAFCON AND LAMBETH 2020
- ASIA BIBI LEAVES PAKISTAN
- PUBLICATION OF THE INDEPENDENT INQUIRY
INTO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
- BISHOP OF LINCOLN SUSPENDED
- RACHEL HELD EVANS, CHRISTIAN WRITER, DIES AT AGE 37
- JEAN VANIER DIES IN PARIS AT AGE 90
AN GHAEILGE IN EAGLAIS NA HÉIREANN IRISH IN THE CHURCH OF IRELAND
GATHERING GROUNDS: A NEW WAY OF BEING CHURCH By Lynn Glanville
RYAN COMMISSION REPORT – 10 YEARS ON
Ten years since the appearance of the Ryan Commission Report on child abuse allows us to reflect again on the awful experiences visited on incarcerated children in southern Ireland. They should never be forgotten.
The passage of time should also permit correction of mistakes anddeficiencies. The report stated thatbetween 1935-70, 170,000 children under 16 entered residentialinstitutions. Surprisingly, 170,000may be a gross exaggeration.
A contributor to the report wasTCD’s Professor Eoin O’Sullivan.With the late Mary Raftery in 1999, he co-wrote Suffer the Little Children, that exposed abuse in residential settings. O’Sullivan corrected the commission in 2014 with, “the figure is in fact 25,000”. The error is explained by the commission confusing the flow through with the total number of confined children. The 170,000 figure is still cited regularly. O’Sullivan’s uncontested revision of a main report finding is a fact that,for some reason, is not news.
Take another example, this time concerning incomplete information. Ryan reported a total of 1,500 former residents speaking to the commission, but not how many were from each institution. It is important to note that only those resident in institutions named in
the Residential Institutions Redress Board (RIRB) schedule could tell Ryan their story. In turn, the even more secretive RIRB also refuses to give an institutional breakdown for the 15,581 individuals compensated for child abuse.
Both refusals have serious consequences.
It affects research I have undertaken since 2009 into abuse in Protestant-ethos institutions.
My understanding is that former residents of such institutions(Smyly’s, the Church of Ireland Orphan House, etc.) applied to the RIRB for compensation but few, if any, spoke to Ryan. This may account for why Ryan investigated abuse only in Roman Catholic settings. It was made seem a singularly ‘Catholic’ thing.
The theory is untestable when basic information, which should be known, is refused. Without it, our knowledge of where those who were compensated for abuse resided is incomplete. These deficiencies can be rectified. Refusal to do so speaks of a government and civil service concerned more with optics than accurate information.
Attacks on Irish children took place behind closed doors. Awkward questions and questioners were ignored. If the Ryan Report is treated as a new equivalent of holy writ, history will repeat itself and information in the public interest will remain hidden.
Dr Niall Meehan
Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern addressed the Dáil on 11th May 1999, and said to survivors of residential institutions that he believed we were gravely wronged.
He also said that society must do all it can to overcome the lasting effects of our ordeal. In his speech, Mr Ahern announced the setting up of a commission of inquiry into child abuse, which resulted in publication of the Ryan Report in May 2009. Under pressure, and after an indemnity deal was done with Roman Catholic religious orders (only), a redress commission was instituted.
I was excluded from consideration by Ryan and was denied access to the redress commission. I was told that Bethany Home, where I resided, did not ‘qualify’. 20 years later, now that Bethany does qualify, Children’s minister Katherine Zappone, offers a lot less to Protestant-ethos Bethany Home survivors than the Taoiseach did then.
The state and the minister must apologise to the Protestant Bethany Home’s living survivors and to all survivors.
A few days ago there was a pro- life event in Times Square, New York, where legislation against the unborn is currently at its most harsh.
There was the usual mix of speakers, abortion survivors and prolife advocates, and a crowd of 20,000 supporters. A group of 2,000 pro-abortion supporters were also
in attendance but they got more than they bargained for. One of thespeakers prayed for the protesters;others who had had abortions themselves and had previously shared their views expressed their sorrow and regret.
Towards the close of proceedings, the former Planned Parenthood director (turned pro-lifer) Abby Johnson was in the back of a van hooked-up to a 4D ultrasound machine scanning her new baby in her womb. The sleepy baby’s face, in great picture clarity, was beamed to large screens on the stage and the audience fell silent.
After a few moments, thetechnician doing the scan amplifiedthe sounds coming from the womb, and a thunderous heart beat reverberated around the square.
A more concise or eloquent testimony cannot be imagined.
Stephen A. Clark Manila The Philippines
I was delighted to read Canon Jono Pierce’s devotional piece entitled ‘The Jersey’ in last month’s edition of the Gazette.
In the 31 years since Jono
left Wilson’s Hospital School,Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath, there have been many changes. However, I would like to assure him that the school remains a place where ’effort, teamwork and community’ are celebrated.
Leixlip Co Kildare