Hellfire and brimstone sermons

The editor of The Irish Catholic, Gary O’Sullivan, says ‘the Church should apologise to and seek forgiveness from people it has hurt.’ The Church? Hurt people? Oh surely not.

Commenting on Cardinal Se├ín Brady’s call on people to return to confession, Mr O’Sullivan warned that many feel it is the Church that needs repentance before they will darken its door again…Among the past wrongs he challenges the hierarchy to apologise for are frequent hellfire and brimstone sermons promoting a false God of fear and punishment, clericalism lacking any Gospel humility, and preaching about Limbo and the burden it placed on suffering mothers. Mr O’Sullivan wonders if the bishops will also apologise ‘for the way clerics spoke about sin and the unnecessary guilt it placed on people’s shoulders, the excessive piety which allowed a rich and rational faith to descend into folk religion and superstition, or for turning a blind eye to corruption among politicians and the elite of our society while excessively concentrating on the minor infractions of the poor’.

What I keep saying. It’s not just the horrible physical abuse, it’s the foul sadistic mental torture, the threatening and frightening and consigning. Bad, bad, very bad.

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