What’s the New McQuaidism?
Well actually, it’s the old McQuaidism, dressed up in the clothes of tolerance, but it still hides a lead-filled crozier beneath its humble cassock.
Today on RTE, Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh gave a bravura performance of New McQuaidism when he came on radio to defend the comments of his colleague, Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin.
Kevin, you might recall, stated that gay people who have children are not necessarily parents, and that the jury is out on whether people are born gay. It was an unedifying spectacle, to see a 61-year-old celibate virgin pontificating on civil unions between people who have actual real-world experience of raising children, and it ran him into a storm of criticism, including a rebuke from Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, whose keenly-attuned political antennae are always twitching, especially when his fellow princes of the church blurt out ill-considered statements without first engaging their brains. Diarmuid went so far as to avoid expressing confidence in his colleague, so we can only imagine what kind of imbecile he called Doran in private.
Archbishop Eamon Martin (not to be confused with Diarmuid), popped up on radio today and treated us to the entire gamut of episcopal nonsense, including their beloved conditional apology, which normally runs something like I’m sorry if I caused any hurt. But Eamon added a nice twist to it by creating the Vicarious Episcopal Conditional Apology, since Bishop Kevin himself didn’t have the balls to come forward and defend his position. If Bishop Doran’s remarks caused offence, I’m sure he didn’t intend it, said Archbishop Eamon, or words to that effect.
It was a nice try by Eamon, close but unfortunately no cigar, since nobody cares what offence Kevin might have given. People were far more worried about the homophobic hatred he might have helped to stir up, resulting in assaults, attacks and physical harm. What people heard was a cleric demeaning his fellow citizens in a question that doesn’t affect him personally and has nothing to do with his day-job since it isn’t a church matter. Here he was, avoiding apology by employing the thoroughly-discredited clerical device of the conditional apology, while at the same time apologising for the wrong thing, in order to distract attention from the kernel of the issue, which is equality.
Martin then went on to compound the foolishness of his position by insisting that marriage (even civil marriage, over which he has no authority) must be open to procreation. Therefore, we must presume that the bishop is opposed to marriage for post-menopausal women or those who have had hysterectomies, and to men who have had vasectomies.
This prelate seems to believe that Canon Law is also the law of the land. They really must think we’re completely dense, and who could blame them considering the supine response of the RTE interviewer who failed to challenge the bishop’s ludicrous assertions?
Should his opinions on civil marriage equality be respected because they’re based on faith?
They should be respected if they’re based on facts, logic and common sense. Otherwise, they should be dismissed as the bigoted tosh they are, dressed up in the false clothing of clericalism. Our laws are not based on faith. As far as possible, we hope they’d be based on logic, on rational thinking and on justice, not on the irrational religious beliefs of some cleric who has never known marriage or parenthood.
Why didn’t the RTE journalist put it to the bishop that this is a Republic where laws are not based on religion?
Why wasn’t the bishop challenged to explain why his belief in the supernatural makes his views on marriage equality worthy of respect?
I think it’s because he didn’t approach it as John Charles McQuaid would have done, with pomp and arrogance, but instead tried to insinuate his nasty little prejudices into the public space in a fake-humble sub-Daniel O’Donnell monotone, repeating empty platitudes about equality while at the same time working actively to deny his fellow citizens the sort of respect he demands for himself and his fellow celibate virgins.
The bishops seem to want it every way. They can’t demand a change in civil law, based on their belief in the supernatural, any more than they’d tolerate civil powers interfering in the rites of their church, but that’s the New McQuaidism for you. The same as the old McQuaidism but without the purple robes.
They haven’t moved on at all since Cardinal Paul Cullen planted his magnificent episcopal foot in Ireland 160 years ago.
Was Bishop Doran right? Is it possible to have children and yet not necessarily be a parent? I suppose it is, in the same way that it’s possible for a man to be a Catholic bishop, but not necessarily a Christian.
Positions held by Kevin Doran prior to his appointment as bishop.
1977 – 1980, Catechist/Chaplain, Ringsend Technical Institute, Dublin City VEC
1980 – 1983; Diocesan Education Secretariat (Advisor VEC Schools)
1980 – 1990; Occasional Teacher of Midwifery Ethics, Coombe Women’s Hospital
1983 – 1990 Chaplain, University College Dublin,
1990 – 1995 Spiritual Director, Pontifical Irish College, Rome, Irish Episcopal Conference
1995 – 1998 Curate, Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Foxrock (Dublin)
1995 – 2001 Lecturer (Philosophy & Catholic Social Teaching) Mater Dei Institute of Education
1995 – 2003, Occasional Teacher of Midwifery Ethics, National Maternity Hospital
1996 – 2011 Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Bioethics, (Secretary) Irish Episcopal Conference
1997 – 2012 Member, Ethics Committee Saint Vincent’s Psychiatric Hospital
1998 – 2006 Diocesan Director of Vocations
1998 – 2005 Parish Chaplain, Saint Anthony’s, Clontarf
2000 – 2006 National Co-ordinator for Diocesan Vocations , Irish Episcopal Conference
2001 – 2007 Lecturer (Philosophy, & Catholic Social Teaching) Milltown Institute of Theology & Philosophy
2001 – 2013 Member, Board of Governors Mater Misericordiae and Childrens’ University Hospital
2001- 2013 Member, Board of Directors Mater Misericordiae University Hospital
2003 – 2006 Coordinator, European Vocations Service (EVS) Elected (approved CCEE)
2005 – 2013 Consultor, Congregation for Catholic Education
2005 – 2009 Parish Priest (Saint Kevin’s, Glendalough)
2009 – 2012 Parish Chaplain (Saint Vincent de Paul, Marino)
2008 – 2012 Secretary General, 50th International. Eucharistic Congress
2008, Diocesan Director for the Permanent Diaconate
2013, Administrator, Sacred Heart Parish, Donnybrook;
Midwifery ethics. Let’s just ponder that for a moment.