The priest who shattered my faith in the Catholic Church

The priest who shattered my faith in the Catholic Church

By Prof Chris Fitzpatrick, November 18, 2017, The Irish Times

Prof Chris Fitzpatrick, a Catholic, on how a revelation of sex abuse changed firmly held beliefs

Other than its also being a revelation of cataclysmic proportions, my road-to-Damascus moment was very different from St Paul’s. I was not on a horse, galloping along some dusty road in the Middle East. I was at a pre-Christmas drinks party in south Co Dublin.

 I was not a persecutor of Christians; I was one of them myself – a practising Catholic to boot. Nor was God the recriminating injured party on this occasion. (“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”) Instead it was the distressed voices of suffering children that I came to hear.

Unlike Saul, who changed his nom de guerre to Paul, I did not change mine; nor did I reinvent myself as a proselyte or epistle writer or even as a martyred saint. Unlike Paul, who, without a hint of concussion, was transformed into a believer and a follower, the faith I had tenaciously held, ever since my First Holy Communion, in the institutions of the Catholic Church was shattered  . . . 

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