In a post on our forum this morning in the wake of the Cloyne Report in Ireland and a film on child migrants, Oranges and Sunshine, AsOne, asked: "Where is God in all of this?" Here is the text of AsOne's original post and the trailer for the film he is discussing and our response which we present to you today as an editorial:
The post from AsOne...
The film uses the Flinders Ranges with a simulated building in a harsh landscape at the end of a long gravel road for Bindoon. In reality in the late 50s there was a bitumen road from Perth to the Boys Town entrance 80 km away and the landscape was more treed, with some agricultural paddocks. However that does not detract from the main story of some of the 130,000 child migrants sent to the dominions from Britain (some to Bindoon and Fairbridge, Pinjarra), some of whom were harshly treated and abused by some clergy and religious and some lay carers (not all Catholic).
The children's legal rights were abrogated by the British and dominion governments.
The discovery of the true story in the film by a British social worker takes place around 1986, and it was headline news in the UK and Australia, so one would imagine it filtered back to the Vatican's newsgathering "eyes and ears".
Place that against the alleged instructions to the Irish church about reporting of abuse emanating from the Vatican in 1997, which are in the latest Irish government report.
Did this all take place below John Paul II's radar? Was he not informed by his officials?
AsOne, you end by asking: "Where is God in all of this?"
I think the answer is that God has been where God has always been. The better question should be: "where have the consciences been of all these men who are supposed to be the representatives of Almighty God?" And that includes right up to the very top of the tree in the likes of the late John Paul II the Grate and Benedict Ratzinger.
The answer is Absent Without Leave — playing kindergarten-level games of "Oranges and Lemons" or "Round and Round the Mulberry Bush and tickle me under there".
It's time for the game of charades — playing pretend characters — playing pretend bishops, cardinals and popes — to end. We need "real men", and women, as our leaders — not these "forever 14, mummy's boys" trying to appease the insecure in the pews and playing "dress ups" in St Peter's as though that is "the work of the the Lord" or "the work of the Divine".
The Emperor has no clothes and has become a laughing stock in the vast ranks of the baptized — and now far beyond the pews.
I do continue to believe there is one God at the heart of Life, and each of our lives. That Divine Mystery is NOT this plaster statue our episcopal leaders have been inviting us to worship through these pathetic games like this new translation and this "red shoes, gold brocade and mitred circus" we now see in every image that emerges out of Rome. Back to sackcloth and ashes for the lot of them. It is time for every priest, every bishop, every archbishop and every cardinal to start examining their consciences as they have long been encouraging us to examine our consciences and to start standing up for real truth and for the broad masses in the flocks they are supposed to represent before the Almighty Mystery at the heart of each of our lives and of all Life. They are not going to "see heaven" by this constant, constant game of seeking to appease only the insecure children of God who process the insecurities of life through authority figures and simplistic rules and dogma.
Brian Coyne, Editor and Publisher, 17Jul2011