It has been an apology long in the coming. When Pope Francis tried to make amends to the eight survivors of clerical, religious and institutional abuse during the first papal visit to Ireland since 1979, it naturally grabbed eyeballs. It brought to the fore an acceptance that has been talked about but never really acted upon by the Vatican that a systematic abuse of children has been taking place.
But the more important sub text is the lessons that it holds out for us – that men of religion can be fallible. In India especially, we have seen, criticism of sundry godmen is enough to bring out people on the street who can unleash mayhem. The most recent example of blind faith being that of Ram Rahim and his followers who destroyed property worth crores just to prevent his arrest. And that is just one of the thousands of babas and fakirs who can be found across the country who use religion either to amass money or abuse men and women. Religion per se is not the problem of course, it is blind faith that we need to be vigilant about.