Categories
Crime Religion Scandal

Seán (can I call you that?)

Archbishop Seán Brady
Armagh
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?).

Regards

Bock
Limerick

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They just don’t get it . . .

Categories
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.