Bock is not big into religion, as you might have gathered. Bock, in fact, never sets foot inside a church, synagogue or temple unless, at the end of the ceremony, there is the certain prospect of free drink. I’d say that pretty much rules the mosque completely out, along with the Kingdom Hall.
So why am I haranguing you about religion tonight? Well, I’m not. I’m ranting at you about double standards and hypocrisy, or in other words, the Catholic hierarchy. In particular, I’m talking about this recent event in Drogheda where, it seems, two priests concelebrated a Mass. Not a big deal, you might think. Not a big deal I thought, and in reality something that would normally be well below my radar. But no. It seems to be a mighty deal indeed, involving an investigation by the bishops and Jesus knows what else. The Donegal Gardai, perhaps. Garda Joan Gallagher, even, interrogating them in the Garda dialect. “What the fuck are you fuckin doin’, concelebratin’ Mass, ya wee fuckers?”
No. Stop now. We’ll leave that there for a minute.
Well, if you’re truly one of Bock’s People, you won’t believe this, but here we go anyway. The reason is that one of the priests is Roman Catholic and the other priest is Anglican Catholic. Fuck, of course!! Hand me down my priest-gun, Martha, there’s gonna be trouble tonight. The bishops, both of them, it seems, RC and Prod, have ordered an investigation. Now watch this space carefully, because you won’t often hear Bock saying anything good about witch-doctors, but both ministers seem like thoroughly decent fellows. In the RC corner we have Father Iggy O’Donovan, an Augustinian, which is relevant, and which I will come back to, I promise you. In the Prod corner, we have Rev Michael Graham, the rector of some church whose name I can’t remember, an all-round decent skin, heartily admired and liked by the entire populace of Drogheda. So far so excellent, or so you would have thought.
What’s bothering me is slightly off the track of the present controversy. You see, I don’t understand this bit about the bishops having an inquiry, and I’ll explain to you why. Whatever about the Church of Ireland bishop, who has authority over his rector, I don’t get the RC part. And the reason I don’t get it is because I thought secular bishops in the RC tradition had no authority over priests who were members of an order, as Iggy O’Donovan is.
How do I know this? I don’t. I only believe it because Cardinal Cathal Daly said so, and he should know. I’m old enough to remember that vile bastard Brendan Smyth, a priest of the Norbertine order who sexually abused children for fifty years or more with the connivance of his superiors. He was the first such clerical pervert to be outed and I can remember an interview on RTE with his local bishop, the saintly Cardinal Cathal Daly, or Whistlin’ Cathal, as we used to call him affectionately. Now, when asked why he didn’t intervene to stop this bastard Smyth from raping children, the saintly Cathal explained that Smyth was a member of an order and therefore outside his control, as he only had authority over the diocesan priests. Right, Cathal, that’s ok, so. Incidentally, in the same interview, Cathal explained that the bishops were slow in dealing with child-abuse because they had no experience of it. Right. I see. And yet, despite their vow of celibacy, they seemed to have no difficulty ranting about contraception, another thing they had no experience of, or so you might reasonably think.
Anyhow, that’s getting off the point. What I want to know is this. If Sean Brady, the present Archbishop of Armagh, has the authority to investigate Iggy O’Donovan for carrying out an act of reconciliation and love, why couldn’t his predecessor investigate a child-hating pervert? Why not, indeed? Maybe he really did have the authority all along and could have stopped Smyth if he wanted to. Maybe Whistlin’ Cathal was just telling big fat fucking lies, the saintly bastard.