Friday, July 22, 2011

Irish Government Will Get Its Comeuppances

(Irish Guardian) The reaction of the Irish government to the Vatican's 1997 letter to the Irish bishops as outlined in the Cloyne Report has been one of almost complete hysteria. Taoiseach Enda Kenny's statement to the Dail on Wednesday was delivered against this background. In the sort of language normally associated with a Richard Dawkins or Ian Paisley, he accused the Vatican of "dysfunction, disconnection, elitism . . . narcissism" and effectively of not caring about the "rape and torture of children". Among other things, Kenny's speechwriters included a wildly out-of-context quote from the then Cardinal Ratzinger.

There is a difference between necessary and valid criticism of the church on the one hand, and unrestrained church-bashing on the other. In a similar vein, Kenny added his voice last week to those who believe the breaking of the seal of confession should be required by law. Kenny is obviously no anti-Catholic, but he needs to realise that, historically, only the most anti-Catholic societies have ever done such a thing. I was going to write this week about the need for the church in Ireland to do something very dramatic in order to categorically demonstrate it is deadly serious about child protection.
Read more a swingeing reduction in the number of dioceses and a new generation of bishops should be appointed to lead the church here. Something along these lines is badly needed, but the sheer intensity an..


Anonymous said...

Sounds like the Irish gov has new job openings for future seminary graduates: their own version of the stasi - camouflaged as caring (and necessary) clerics. And heaven has more openings too in a special section: martyrs (of one color or another!)

A new rite for the confessional may be necessitated as "how many venial; how many mortal; are you sincerely sorry; absolution"!


Paddy said...

I don't know about 'comeuppance,' but the tide of public opinion seems to be turning somewhat, if the letters page of this morning's Irish Times (the 'paper of record' in Ireland) is anything to go by. For the last few days it was mostly cheering the hounds on; today, there's still some cheering, but most seem to be finding Enda's latest speech a step too far. You can read today's letters at