Posted by George Morrison

When St Peter was promised the Keys to heaven at Caesarea Philippi it was never imagined that his successors would use them to lock up so many childhoods as has been revealed in the Dublin diocesan report on clerical child abuse. The devastation caused to so many young lives by an organisation alleging to control the toll road to heaven reveals again the corruption that stems from a flawed theology. The inability to accept that one may be wrong is fairly universal but when an organisation claims to have a handle on the moral authority in the land it becomes doubly difficult to make amends. Looking into the abyss of ones self-righteousness is not a pretty sight and it is not surprising that people recoil in denial at what they see. After all St Peter reacted in denial to the accusation that he was a follower of Jesus. It needs the grace of God to produce the repentance which he showed when in reply to Jesus he said, “You know everything, you know that I love you”. St Peter’s reinstatement shows that failure in God’s economy need never be final. But note the reinstatement followed repentance which led to a changed life. Never again did St Peter deny his Lord. So what about the keys? (St Matthew ch.16 v 19). St Peter seems to have used them to unlock the door to the Samaritans (who were a mixed race of Jews/Gentiles) and then to the Gentiles. (Acts ch.8 and 10). With the Gospel now global the keys had done their job. But what about the authority to bind and loose that seemed to go with the keys? This was given to all the disciples by the risen Christ (St John ch.20 v 22) and mightily used by them and their fellow workers to proclaim the saving work of Christ throughout the known world. St Peter never forgot the lessons he had learned and was able to write to the churches, “God wants you to be …eager to serve, not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock”. ( v 2) We need a life changing repentance today in Ireland.