“Does there now need to be a re-examination of the theology of salvation, in the light of the experience of survivors of abuse, who did not sin but were sinned against?”
So asks Fr Jim Corkery SJ, of the Gregorian University, Rome – in a podcast published by safeguarding.ie – the Internet outlet of The National Board for the Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCC).
Emphasising that point – that sufferers of abuse within the church were ‘sinned against’ rather than ‘sinners’ – Fr Corkery goes on to point out that Jesus was always in solidarity with those in the Gospels who had been sinned against by indifference and injustice. Salvation for them happened ‘now‘ – the realisation that these experiences had not been punishment by God – who was instead suffering with themselves.
Do we not need therefore a new emphasis on salvation for this new life, now – to balance the emphasis on salvation from sin, after this life, that has tended to dominate our theology and thinking in the past?
Still processing the remainder of Fr Corkery’s presentation in this video, my first impression is that his question is relevant for all of us, as well as for survivors of abuse and for theologians and pastors. It is profound and timely – proof that Irish theologians are thinking hard and profitably – ‘in the thick of it’.
To listen to the talk – which takes less than twelve minutes – you need to note that it is the July 2021 offering on the ‘2022 Conference’ page on the NBSCCC site. To access that page click here – and then please get back to us with your comments.
Sean O’Conaill, 10th July 2021