And, above all, remind Catholics that goodness and beauty are what attract people to our way of life… This country is charged with the beauty of God, our fellow non-believers are beautiful people made in God’s image and likeness…we must not be naive about the challenges nor under-estimate the Church’s enemies, but if we retreat into a them-and-us mentality we have reduced the Gospel to ideology… We win hearts by goodness and the beauty of Christ and his Church.
I would also say that care for priests needs to be prioritised: many priests feel isolated, alone, let down, not part of a brotherhood or presbyterate. They need to know that their bishops love them, that they care for them and have a passion for their welfare.
Archbishop Eamon must also try to find a space within the Church for those who have felt alienated, betrayed and abused. Spiritual healing is necessary: those who were abused by priests often lost their faith; this is a deep sadness for the Church that their most precious gift could be taken. Many survivors I speak to feel this acutely: they want to draw close to Christ through the Church and must be given every assistance in doing so. Others have walked away, but we must be ready to draw near to them if and when they need that and they must know this.
Greg Daly covers the U.K. and Ireland for Aleteia.