Priests are afraid to engage youth

Dear Editor, David Quinn’s article of August 28, “We won’t reach young people without being evangelical”, made important points about the importance of prioritising youth ministry.

As a young person back in the 1980s, it was the work of young and not so young dynamic priests that influenced me most in terms of living the Christian faith and developing a set of person-centred values. Priests actively worked with and befriended young people, without concerns. I wonder if one of the unfortunate consequences of the child abuse scandal is that it may have resulted in child protection policies that actually discourage priests from working with young people. 

I think it is a tragedy that the hierarchy failed to communicate the fact that it was a only a small percentage of priests that abused children, and also to develop child protection policies that would actively encourage priests and religious in working with young people in a safe way such as exist in most other child related services.

Yours etc.,

Frank Browne,


Dublin 6W.