Sunday, 27 December 2009

Greet or attack?

There is an old series of TV adverts for The Guardian which showed a news event from one angle but when viewed from a different perspective the whole story changed. The moral was don't believe the first thing you read or see. I thought of these adverts when I saw the news articles about the attack on the pope at the Christmas Mass.

Early reports described the attack but it looked to me like the damage was done not by the 'attacker' but because she was pulled over by those who were protecting him. The reports went on to suggest that security would have to be tightened because of this breach. Later on Christmas Day I read that the woman only wanted to greet the pontiff.

I know that a secure life may be important to a lot of people, and it is, but it strikes me that the role of the clergy is to reach out to all and sundry. If you stop all risk you end up doing nothing. In fact the steps you take to improve security may turn out to be a cause of risk. For me the most serious aspect is the injury to Cardinal Roger Etchegaray who broke his hip. Let's hope he makes a speedy recovery.

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