Speaking at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima on Sunday, 15 October, Bishop Clyde Harvey said there is no place in the church for those who abuse children.
The bishop reminded the large congregation at Battle Hill that October, the Month of the Rosary, is also the Month of the Child. He said he was shocked to hear that Grenada is reputed to have the highest level of child abuse among Caribbean countries. He emphasised that verbal violence inflicts deep and lasting hurt on children.“Children are entrusted to all of us. Speak well to children,” he said. In response to questions after the event, the bishop noted, “Some people do not know how to treat children and they must be taught. However, those who persist in abusing children are a contradiction of the Gospel and the Church. They must be dealt with firmly and clearly.”
He urged mothers whose children are being abused, not to be afraid to speak out. “Abusive men must be made to leave and the church must be there to support the mothers of abused children!” Speaking to the many young people present, he asked them to commit a percentage of their pocket money to support the refuge for women who have had to leave their homes because of domestic violence.
Further he urged the congregation to see suffering as a reality, and not as a sign that God has abandoned us; as such we should remember the suffering of Christ as well as the suffering of His Blessed Mother, therefore, ‘the Rosary must not be just the repetition of words but a real entry into the mysteries of Christ and His Blessed Mother.’
The Blessed Virgin Mary was not a young and beautiful woman all her life as she is normally portrayed. She was a mature woman as she mothered the early church, a woman who knew suffering. As we meditate on the joyful and sorrowful mysteries of her life and that of her Son we must celebrate the joy and the sorrow in our own lives. As we meditate on the glorious and luminous mysteries we celebrate the moments of glory in our own lives and our insights into the word of God.