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Showing posts from March, 2010

The Pope and the Press ...

Thanks to Jack Valero (forwarded to me by email) for the information I am going to post here, explaining how the attack on Benedict XVI re two cases of child-abusing priests is - though sad and shameful in itself - just a stick with which to beat the Pope.

Valero writes: "The idea of some in the media was then to find a story that involved Cardinal Ratzinger directly, before becoming Pope. First there was a story based in Munich, where Cardinal Ratzinger had been archbishop and he had authorised for a priest from another German diocese to come to Munich for treatment. He was an abuser. Without Cardinal Ratzinger’s knowledge, he was placed in a parish situation where he abused again. By the time this was found out Cardinal Ratzinger had been in Rome for a few years. So he was not involved.

The second story broke in the New York Times on 25 March and was about a Fr Murphy who had abused deaf children in the 70’s. He had been reported to the civil authorities who investigated him but …

On us thy dear children ... St Patick's Day 2010

Singing 'Hail, glorious St Patrick' always brings a tear to my eyes, especially the verse about the exiles keeping alive the fire lit by the man at Tara, now spread throughout the world. In our own school we have the relics of a 7th century Irish missionary saint in our altar, one of the early spiritual sons of St Patrick.

This year my Irish sentimentalism was tinged with a dose of collective shame about the whole saga unfolding in Ireland regarding child abuse. It is just all so horrible.

But, let's get one thing straight: to pretend that priestly celibacy is the problem is a very myopic idea. How many women do you know who would have liked to marry one of these men? It is blindingly obvious that in the case of sexual abuse, we are concerned with men who enter the priesthood for false motives. In the famous case of Father Sean Fortune, and in almost all the others, the abuse starts as soon as the priest has the chance, shortly after ordination. The issue for ths Church is t…