(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.
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...be 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..