Post by Graham.
We have all been horrified in recent times by the dreadful stories coming out of the Roman Catholic Church concerning paedophile priests and the abuse of children in their care. And yet, in spite of these horrendous events (and let`s not kid ourselves that such things happen only in the Catholic Church ! ), we need to keep a sense of proportion and realise that the vast majority of priests, the world over, work selflessly and courageously for their people and deserve nothing but respect for their efforts.
I have recently returned from Poland where a charismatic Roman Catholic priest, Jerzy Popieluszki, was beatified earlier this month on June 6th. Whatever we Unitarians think of beatification, this was a man of outstanding bravery and character. He was born in 1947, lived under the oppression of a brutal Communist regime but he kowtowed to nobody. By continuing to serve his flock and to celebrate mass with them (another thing many Unitarians are not too keen on !), using his sermons to criticize the regime and motivating people to protest against injustice, he became an enemy of the authorities and was finally and brutally murdered by the Security Police in 1984 at the age of 37.
He was much loved by all his people and his life illustrates how little an affiliation to a particular church or doctrine matters. His life was dedicated to the service of others and it proves that the only thing that really counts in this life is selfless love. It is something, surely, to which we all aspire.