Taking the lead from the text of the weekend Gospel, let us take a moment to reflect on and celebrate the precious gift of ‘freedom of expression’ or ‘freedom of speech’, an important symbol of our dignity and liberty as children of God.
St Mark tells the story of the healing of a man “with an impediment in his speech”. After Jesus touches the man’s ear and tongue, “the ligament of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly”.
Clear unimpeded speech can be an important source of healing and catharsis for people, including members of the Church. Those of us following the international news media may be somewhat shocked at the torrent of abuse being directed at the leaders of the Church, who, as Pope Francis says, “showed no care for the little ones” and allowed sexual abuse to occur. Here we find not simply wild excessive anger. We have arrived at a moment when, for the victims of abuse and their families, “the ligament of their tongue is being loosened and they now speak clearly.”