Dublin Diocese Commission Abuse Report

The Dublin Diocese Commission report is ready and when published it will cause an earthquake. It will expose the collusion, callousness, self-interest and downright sleaziness of the Catholic bishops in Ireland. It will expose their lack of moral authority and their unsuitability to hold any position of power, especially when that power concerns defenceless children. It will reveal their conscious protection of clerical rapists and their deliberate concealment of grave crimes in order to protect their own positions and the institution they serve.

They couldn’t believe it when Diarmuid Martin decided to cooperate with the investigation.

They were speechless.

Old whey-faced creeping-jesus Desmond Connell was so appalled that he took Archbishop Martin to court in an attempt to prevent him from handing over confidential papers containing information about child abuse in the diocese.

Can you imagine his horror? Can you imagine his bafflement?

Can you imagine how he felt at the thought that lay people – the unanointed – would dare to question his princely, haughty, unfeeling, soulless, theoretical insipid, arrogant wisdom? This man, and all his bishop colleagues have been subject to a shared delusion, unchallenged for decades, that they have any authority whatever in this country. And successive governments have given them every reason to believe that they hold temporal sway over our fragile democracy.

After all, didn’t deValera give old John Charles McQuaid a veto over what went into the Constitution and what did not? And isn’t it ironic that McQuaid is one of the 19 bishops investigated in the report?

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin was put in place to manage a disaster created by his predecessors. He’s a pragmatist, unlike his colleagues who are, by and large, a bunch of pompous fools. A bunch of pompous, self-interested, unprincipled fools who just happen to control a large part of our education and health services.


It’s now the end of November and we still haven’t seen the report.

Lumps of it have been censored to avoid prejudicing court proceedings against a priest and his brother. Even more worryingly, publication of Chapter 20 has been restricted since a prosecution was initiated against another priest.  Chapter 20 contains severe criticism of an Garda Síochána, an organisation that gave the Catholic church a special status above the law and failed to prosecute any of their child-abusing priests.   This prosecution, which had the effect of silencing criticism of the Gardai, was only initiated in recent weeks, raising suspicions that elements of the police force don’t want the report published.


Also on Bock

Defending the indefensible

Bishops begin to crack

PR Guidance for bishops

Magee steps down

Brady stands by Magee

Bishops and education system

They just don’t get it

Seán (can I call you that?)


Half God, Half Biscuit

Horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, clairvoyance, mediums and tarot are the new Irish superstitions, according to Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh. (You might remember Seán from the open letter I wrote to him a while back – have a look at the end of this page).

You can see how he’d be upset, can’t you?

Sean would prefer people not to believe in superstitions, mediums and shamans. Absolutely not. Instead, he wants people to believe in perfectly reasonable things that aren’t a bit superstitious. For instance, people should believe that when Seán waves his hands at a biscuit, he can turn it into God. Hmm. That seems logical.

He’d also like them to believe, among other things, that

  • God has a mother and presumably therefore a grandmother, cousins and in-laws

(Holy Eamonn, second-cousin of God, pray for us sinners . . .)

  • The dead can walk


  • Seán’s boss, Ratzo, is infallible.  You remember Ratzo? The kindly old former Hitler Youth and head of the Inquisition.
  • Mother Teresa wasn’t a swindling crook
  • Seán and his buddies have the power to forgive sins
  • The church he represents has anything to do with the teachings of Jesus.

Seán is upset that people have become distracted from their faith, as he puts it. People, according to Seán, are seeking to control their own future. I’m guessing here that Seán would like people to place themselves in the hands of his priests, as they used to do in the old days.

Who remembers what happened when people placed themselves in the hands of priests? More to the point, who remembers what happened when priests with too much power and nobody questioning them got their hands on people? Especially little people.

These things – tarot, astrology and clairvoyance – Seán reckons are part of the new Irish superstition.

Hmm. That would be as opposed to the old Irish superstition, I suppose.


Open letter to Seán Brady: Brady Gets The Red Hat

Other deeply offensive posts:

They Just Don’t Get It, Do They?

Still Stuck in Knock

Mother Teresa, the Crook

Oh Those Feckin Old Bishops

Das papahund

Crime Religion

They just don’t get it, do they?

Bishop Willie Walsh is probably the best of the Irish Catholic hierarchy. He’s an affable, humble and self-effacing guy. He believes in reaching out to his people and he goes among them as an equal. He has a genuine sense of empathy with others and he is never arrogant, unlike so many of his colleagues.

Willie, as I said, is probably the best of them.

Fr Con Desmond came to Willie, his bishop, in 1995. It was just after Father Brendan Smyth, the notorious child-rapist, had been arrested. The country was enraged with the clergy and talk of clerical sexual abuse was everywhere. Fr Desmond was bothered by this new climate, with good reason, as it later turned out, and he turned to Willie Walsh for advice.

Now, put yourself in the Bishop’s place. Here comes this guy who works for you, and he says Willie, I’m bothered by this new climate. People are very annoyed at priests for raping kids and I want to tell you about something I did a few years ago.

What would you think he was trying to tell you? You’re the Bishop, and you’re thinking, Climate against raping kids. OK. You’re also thinking, He wants to tell me something.

Let’s see. What could it be? Maybe he didn’t pay his TV licence? Ah no.

OK then. Perhaps he stole some toffee-apples from a blind shopkeeper? No, Ted.

Right. Possibly he had two pints and drove home, the rascal? Nyet!

OK then. One last go. I know. I have it now: he knocked on a door and ran away! Ah-aaaaH!

Look, says Willie to this priest, I hope you’re not going to tell me anything about shagging kids, because if you do, I’ll have to tell the cops.

Father Con pauses for a second. Ah Jesus no, Willie. I was just going to say that I didn’t pay my TV licence, I stole a toffee-apple, I drove drunk and I rang a doorbell.

Right, says Bishop Willie. Off you go then.

Later on, Willie sent Fr Desmond to a shrink who said he was no danger to children.

That’s grand, says Willie. Carry on as a priest, visiting schools and hospitals, and blessing swimming pools. I’ll say no more about it.

Fr Con Desmond was recently convicted of sexually abusing a child in 1982.

As I said, Bishop Willie Walsh is probably the best of them. Imagine what the rest are like.


Sean, (can I call you that?)

Crime Religion Scandal

Seán (can I call you that?)

Archbishop Seán Brady
Co Down

18th December 2006

Dear Archbishop Brady,

May I call you Seán? I read your comments in the paper today, and I have to tell you that I agree completely with almost everything you said. You’re quite right that there’s more coarseness and aggression in Irish society than there used to be. You’re also correct in saying that there’s a lot more drinking and sexualisation of children at too early an age. Fair play to you for pointing it out.

I’m glad for you that you’ve learned so much in the last ten years about the suffering of abuse victims. This is a good thing for you. Also, I’m sorry you’ve seen a decline to zero in the numbers of people joining your priesthood. That’s terrible, for you.

I’m glad you’re so committed to child protection. This is very encouraging.

Seán, (can I call you that?), I grew up in an Ireland where your church demanded complete obedience. I grew up in an Ireland where your church thought it had the right to dictate to the government on what laws it passed. I grew up in an Ireland where bishops like you thought they could tell the Irish people how to vote.

Seán (can I call you that?), you’d do well not to be talking about the sexualisation of children. Your colleague and predecessor, Cathal Daly, declared that he had no authority over that child-abuser, Brendan Smyth, because he was a member of a religious order. It didn’t stop you, Seán (can I call you that?) from silencing an Augustinian priest in Dundalk who did no more than share an act of communion with some protestants. An act of love.

Seán (can I call you that?), if you think there’s a moral vacuum in Ireland, you’re dead right. You see, in the Ireland I grew up in, people like you demanded total obedience, and the Irish people set aside their critical faculties in your favour, because they thought you knew everything. No civic society developed because you, Seán (can I call you that?), took charge of the whole lot and decided where people could dance, what they could wear and who they could talk to.

So, Seán (can I call you that?), is it really any surprise that, when your people are exposed as money-grabbing, child-abusing, power-mad hypocrites, there might be a small bit of a moral vacuum?

I think not, Seán (can I call you that?).




They just don’t get it . . .


Jehovah’s Bystanders

I thought we fought for years to get rid of religious maniacs in Ireland, but it looks like I was wrong. After struggling against SPUC and SPIC and SPOCK and all the rest of the Catholic religious right, I failed to notice a whole new crowd of lunatics trying to re-write our laws.

On September 21st, Ms K, from the Congo, was given a blood transfusion against her will because the Coombe hospital refused to let a patient die in their care. This seems reasonable to me. If you don’t want medical care, don’t come to the hospital. The end.

However, it now seems that the Jehovah’s Witness congregation is seeking to be joined as a party to the action. Why? They aren’t having a baby. They aren’t the father. They have no involvement.

For decades, the Catholic clergy demanded a special place in Irish public and legal life. John Charles McQuaid meddled disastrously in our Constitution and in our law. Bishops for years sought to interfere in Irish legislation, and people of my generation fought to get rid of these fuckers, though we’re not done yet. They still control too much of education and health care, and the last thing we need is another crowd of religious maniacs taking their place.

Anyway, what kind of religion demands the right to let a woman die? No religion demands that.

I never thought I’d find a religion crazier than Scientology but here it is.

I wonder if they have Jehovah’s Witness hospitals in the Congo, and if perhaps Ms K would have been happier dying in one of those?

Crime Religion

Oh those feckin old bishops!

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.

The reason?

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.