Pin Prick

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This story makes me wince with embarrassment for the Church. Some boneheaded priest, aged 78, thought it would be a good idea to demonstrate pain during his homily for the kids' Mass - by calling them up and pricking their hands with a pin. He was gravely mistaken.

To start with, kids already know what pain is, Father. There's not a kid in the country who has never fallen off a bike and never tripped on a shoelace; landed hard on the ground, and bled, and experienced bodily pain. Kids don't live their lives stored in padded boxes.

The priest's conduct violated the parents' authority and gave a bad example: he intentionally imposed bodily pain on someone else's child -- directly: that is, not as an unintended side effect to some legitimate action. After the horrible cases exposed in the past few years -- about priests who used children's bodies for their own cruel purposes -- it is downright scandalous and therefore stupid for a priest to do a demonstration that comes anywhere near the category of physical abuse.

But Father says he'll apologize at Mass next week -- for not sterilizing the pin. As if the small health risk to which he exposed them were the main problem! As if sticking them with clean pins would have been just fine. Father needs to write on the board 100 times, "I will not stick pins in my parishioners."

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On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

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This page contains a single entry by Richard Chonak published on September 19, 2005 11:59 PM.

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