I’ve only ever been to confession twice, both times when I was a young child. The first time I couldn’t think of anything to confess to so I made up some sins and was rewarded with penance of two Hail Marys.
In hindsight the Hail Marys were probably for lying to God. Our parish priest was a good man who would have known when an 8-year-old was talking it up.
But even then it felt very weird to me that children would be expected to enter a dark little box on their own and open up the conversation with: “Forgive me Father for I have sinned”.
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This is just getting sad now. Defiant Lance has turned to Denial Lance, a man who oozes guilt like he used to ooze sweat while climbing Alpe d’Huez but who just won’t ’fess up and spit it all out.
To draw a parallel to a classic movie scene, Lance has become Monty Python’s Black Knight. He is on his knees, blood gushing from severed limbs with nothing left to fight with but his tongue. So he fights on with hollow words, even as the threat of perjury hangs over him.
If it wasn’t such a comical farce, it’d be downright pathetic. In fact, it is pathetic to see Lance now, each move now more aimless than the next. First he declines to fight USADA’s 1,000 pages worth of charges, yet still admits no guilt. Then he takes the title of Tour de France winner off his Twitter bio, yet still doesn’t ‘fess up to a thing.
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It’s heartening to see Australian politicians taking a stand around Catholic clergy abuse, but the calls to action this week by Senator Nick Xenophon and Victorian MP Anne Barker don’t quite go far enough.
We now need a Federal Government led, transparent national inquiry and mandatory reporting of all crimes revealed within the Church environment.
The Cloyne report, an independent state report released in Ireland into Catholic clergy abuse last week is the fourth inquiry in six years. All of the reports have been damning, chronicling the repeated failure of the Church to protect children, bring the guilty to justice and make the welfare of victims paramount.
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