Saturday, September 30, 2006

Priest is horrified at body find

Angelika Kluk failed to turn up to work on Monday a Roman Catholic priest is "utterly shattered" that police looking for a missing woman have found a body in his Glasgow church.
Angelika Kluk, a 23-year-old Polish student, had been living at St Patrick's Church, where Father Gerry Nugent is the priest.
The police are looking for a man who worked in the Church as a handyman. Nowadays, following the scandals of a priest in our diocese, who was a serial paederast, and who after a period of treatment was deemed by experts to be "safe", and therefore allowed to resume some pastoral work by our then bishop, now Cardinal, Cormac Murphy O'Connor everyone involved with Church life who might have contact with children or vulnerable adults has to have a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check. This includes not only those who work directly with children: catechists, teachers, scout leaders but also adult altar servers and choir members when children are included, the sacristan, extra-ordinary ministers of Holy Communion etc, etc, etc. In this parish, as in many inner city parishes, some of these people have very good reasons for keeping their past lives secret, not because of any criminal sexual predilection, the only alternative we have is that we limit contact with children and vulnerable adults, to our maim Sunday Mass. It means that our ministry to children and the young is limited, which does not necessarily serve inner city children well.
If the man suspected of this murder is indeed the perpetrator, then it causes us some real concern. First of all the young girl was not a "vulnerable adult" and secondly the man used an assumed identity, he would not be picked up in a CRB check. I can understand the real anguish of the priest involved in this case not just over the murder of an innocent girl, and the sacrilege involved but the whole protection issue.
In an inner city parish one has a constant change of people involved in parish life, these are often lonely and damaged people. One is fortunate if one can get the types of things that might be happening easily in a leafier area to happen in such a situation. Inner city parishes are often poorer than their rural counterparts, and so in many ways are more dependant on volunteers. I for my part sympathise with Fr Gerry Nugent, I can well see myself in the same situation, though one tries to eliminate risk, the inner city is a risky place, people in my parish are dying all the time of accidental overdoses, suicide, at the hands of others.
The truth of the matter is that there is no way in which one can keep one's parishioners safe, children are abused by stepfathers and parents, the elderly by their children and the vulnerable by other vulnerable people they meet, and those who society thinks are not vulnerable at all, as a Pastor one knows just how fragile they are.
Pray for all who are involved, pray for priests especially those in the innercity.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pray for her and family and friends and for all young people who are far from home. Kyrie Eleyson, Christe Eleyson, Kyrie Eleyson.

Joee Blogs said...

hiya father, really interesting to read your post here and your personal thoughts on it all. so i linked you!

Maud said...

What reasons might one have to keep one's past secret?

Fr John Boyle said...

We priests are all very vulnerable. I have linked to you in a related post.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Maud,
1 If you are an illegal immigrant
2 If you are a young adult hiding from your parents, some are the victims of abuse
3 Former members of foreign governments who fear threats or even assasination
4 Wives hiding from husbands
5 People with ordinary criminal records
6 People hiding from the IRA
7 People avoiding the media

Anonymous said...

Holy Mother of God comfort her parents.

Anonymous said...

Eternal Rest grant to her O Lord.
And let perpetual shine upon her.