Archbishop’s advice to priests – not to be alone with children
Originally posted by Peter Inson at 08:35, September 3 2012
So, the archbishop tells them, priests should not allow themselves to be alone with children.
This may be prudent but it does makes effective and responsible behaviour towards children more difficult.
What should any responsible adult do when a child takes them by the hand?
What do we tell children about ourselves when we tell them to let go, or make some excuse based on our fear of responsibility, of misunderstanding or worse?
How are children to learn to speak, to tell the truth, to consider others, to seek help if they cannot trust adults?
To be adult is to be trapped with responsibilities for others who are less able, more vulnerable or simply dependent.
I’m surprised that the archbishop did not quote St Luke 17:2 – It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
The responsibilities that go with others’ trust and dependence are inescapable, tied to us like our language, the truth and reason.
Better to face and accept them. If we are entitled to ignore them, then so is everyone else and that way lies chaos.