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Was ‘berating’ encounter spiritual abuse?

06 September 2019


If a visitor to a church, with a view to finding a regular place of worship, asks politely whether women sometimes officiate there, is it spiritual abuse for the cleric to berate him or her in response?

Your answer: Berate is defined as “To scold or rebuke harshly” in my dictionary. Most churches now state either on notice boards or in writing who is on their staff; so the enquirer could have obtained the information required thus.

The verbal response, referred to as a berating, may have resulted from the tone, manner, and phraseology of the enquirer. There is no excuse for rudeness, but the clergy are frequently accosted by persons whose approach is provocative.

“Abuse” is a term now applied to almost anything that a recipient dislikes or opposes, but may be merely the result of his or her own demeanour or history.

(Miss) Primrose Peacock


Your question: Can anyone explain what are apparently silver reliquaries in the form of busts of mitred bishops in the churches at Omegna (four on each altar) and Sant’Albino, Pella, close to Lake Orta in northern Italy.

H. L.


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