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Showing posts from November, 2009

Mise Eire

Musing on the sorrows befalling the Irish church at the moment (the Ryan Report etc.), I cannot but think of Pearse's words "I am Ireland ... Great my glory ... great my shame".

It seems to me that the complicity of senior churchmen in the covering-up of the clerical abuse of children is going to make modern Ireland something akin to Germany in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. It took Germany at least 40 years to escape from the shame of the Nazi atrocities and recover a sense of national pride and confidence.

Noone is pretending that what happened in Ireland was on the same scale. We are talking of thousands of vicims, not millions. And it is also true that the Irish church has done great and wonderful things for Ireland, and continues to do so. It is just that Irish Catholicism had so far to fall, and in a palpable and tragic sense it has now fallen.

Saying, and thinking, "I am an Irish Catholic and proud of it" is now as difficult as it used to be to say "I am a…

Special handshakes

I gave someone a left-handed hand-shake and scout salute yesterday for the first time after taking the plunge and making my scout promise along with 9 of our boys on Saturday morning at dawn. Being a scout is going to be fun, I have decided.

Of course, I am something of an honorary member, especially as the scout universe at Chavagnes seems to be all about covering incredible distances on foot across wild countryside, which is a bit tough for me.

The boys who took their promise all camped out around our little St Joseph Chapel in the woods on Friday night, and maintained a constant vigil before the Blessed Sacrament until dawn, when they each made their promise to serve God, their country and Europe, and to follow the Scout Law. I popped out to visit them once or twice during the night and was very impressed by their seriousness with regard to the religious aspects of what theyt were doing, their camaraderie and their responsible behaviour. Mr Crawford had given them a very stirring tal…