A RESOLVED DILEMMA ~ MANY THANKS
As one of the Commentors sensibly suggested, a quick check on the internet provided more than enough evidence to show that the Petition referred to below was a very dead duck indeed - if only because the two young men were released in 2001 !
However, I think that it was worth posting, if only as some thoughts about forgiveness at an important time of year for it.
The Jewish practice is to have a period of ten days between Rosh Hashannah ('Jewish New Year') and Yom Kippur ('the Day of Atonement') where one can put straight the things one has done wrong during the year, pay any outstanding debts, and generally try and straighten things up so that one enters the New Year with a fresh start; and I think that is probably a good custom, and one which we Catholics might profitably emulate.
For example, a thorough Examination of Conscience can only be a good thing, and if it is possible to go to confession then that, too, must be beneficial, so that we can enjoy tonight's festivities with the clearest possible conscience.
At the same time, perhaps it's worth considering how we shall spend this evening.
A party is obviously a perfectly normal and proper thing to do; but am I alone in wishing that there were more churches which offered Exposition this evening, ending with Benediction at midnight ?
I realise that there is a clear caveat against turning such services into condemnation of secular merrymaking; but that's not what I was thinking of. It just seems to me that the pleasure of Our Lord's company - if I may put it that way - as one secular year turns into another, an opportunity to thank God for His blessings in the past year, and to pray for His grace in that to come, are quite sufficient reasons for doing this.
I note that Fr Finigan is having a solemn Te Deum at midnight, and also a solemn Veni Creator tomorrow morning; to both of which Plenary Indulgences are attached on these occasions on the usual conditions. I just wish that more churches offered these opportunities; and I am sure that the Holy Souls do too !
As the comment says, prayers for those involved with the Jamie Bulger case - and probably also for those who, for whatever reason, have sought to bring this up again now - are clearly called for; let us pray for them, and all of us, to have - by God's grace - a fresh start tomorrow morning.