|This kind of oath is not going to fly very far in Ireland anymore. The Vatican is beginning to find out the Pope no longer rules by proxy in Ireland|
The following article from Dublin's Evening Herald underlines one of points in the conversation generated by the last post on this blog. The Irish government is not going to give the Vatican a pass after information in the Cloyne report revealed that the Vatican deliberately undercut the program the Irish Bishops had put in place for the protection of children. Essentially the Vatican maintained this proposal superseded Canon Law. Vatican opposition opened the door for bishops to act on their own initiative when it came to clergy abuse. Hence Bishop Magee felt free to give one story to his diocesan review board about one priest, and an entirely different story to the Vatican. Oh yea, he gave no story to the Irish police. Since everything in the Cloyne report deals with cases from 1996-2009, the idea the Church can be trusted to clean up it's collective act is pretty well shattered on the Emerald Isle. Onto the article:
Papal visit now looks doomed after Cloyne backlash hits Church
PROPOSALS for a Papal visit to Ireland next summer are likely to be shelved in the wake of the Cloyne report.
By Michael Lavery and Cormac Murphy - Friday July 15 2011
The State and the Catholic Church remained on a collision course after the chairman of Fine Gael called for the Pope's representative in Ireland to be expelled. (This references the Papal Nuncio for Ireland, an office whose cooperation with the Irish government has been non existent if not outright oppositional, no matter who held it.)
It was also suggested that the Government could close our embassy to the Holy See as public anger grows over the failure of Bishop John Magee to publicly apologise for the scandal.
Asked for his reaction to calls for the Papal Nuncio to be expelled, Justice Minister Alan Shatter said the direct interference by another state in preventing the application in Ireland of child protection guidelines is unacceptable. (I would think so....except this isn't just another State like England for example. This is the Roman Catholic Holy See. Politics and religion mixed to the max.)
However, he stopped short of saying the Papal Nuncio should be expelled in light of the findings of the Cloyne Report. (Rest assured that if we were talking about England, there would be no stopping short.)
"I very much understand the view expressed by Charlie Flanagan. I think there are a number of people who would have a great deal of sympathy with that view," Mr Shatter told Newstalk.
"I believe the first step is that the Papal Nuncio provides to the Tanaiste the answers that are being sought. My central concern in this is that we truly protect children," he added. (that doesn't appear to be the Vatican's central concern. Their central concern seems to be protecting the authority of the clerical priesthood.)
The minister said there was a great deal of shock and outrage in Government, and right across all political parties.
Government plans to jail priests for up to five years if they fail to report information on child sex abuse, even if it was obtained in the confession box, put it in direct conflict with the traditional teachings of the Church. A Catholic Bishops spokesman said the seal of confession "places an onerous responsibility on the confessor/priest, and a breach of it would be a serious offence to the rights of penitents". (Now things are really getting sticky with the idea of the separation of Church and State. I hope Archbishop Dolan reads this, since he's one of the exalted tasked with resurrecting Irish Catholicism.
Separately, Fr PJ Madden of the Association of Catholic Priests, said the seal was "above and beyond all else" and could not be broken, even if a penitent confessed to a crime. (Therapists have to deal with this all the time. Besides, I thought restitution was part of reconciliation.)
Taoiseach Enda Kenny backed the tough new laws to compel priests to report paedophiles to gardai.
"The law of the land should not be stopped by a crozier or a collar," Mr Kenny said. He was replying to a question from journalists as to whether the traditional Catholic seal of the confessional would be exempted from the law. (The fact this is even being discussed is indicative of the anger level and lack of trust in the Irish clerical caste. My gut level feeling is there is some old history behind this angst.)
He described as "absolutely disgraceful" the attitude of the Vatican to complaints of child sex abuse in the Cloyne diocese.
Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald will publish new guidance on child protection rules today, along with a HSE plan to implement the rules consistently across the State.
Papal Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza was yesterday summoned to the Department of Foreign Affairs and told to get answers from the Vatican on damning revelations in the report that it allowed priests to ignore the law.
Tanaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore said he warned the Archbishop about the new law of five years jail for anyone who does not alert authorities about crimes against a child.
"I told him I believed that a response was required and I look forward to receiving it."
The hardline Government stance followed revelations in the Cloyne report that Bishop John Magee and the Vatican encouraged the concealment of child abuse allegations.
Pressure continued to mount today for Bishop Magee to come out of hiding and answer questions publicly about the Cloyne report. Some sources suggested he was visiting the southern states of the US. (Really?!? The Southern states? I'm not sure that's all that much better than hiding out in Rome.)
Holy cow, the speculation on Magee's whereabouts is getting as fun as playing "Where's Waldo?" Apparently he's not in Rome, Italy, he's in Rome, Georgia. Who'd a thunk? In any event, no matter what Rome Magee is in, the real Vatican in the Italian Rome is going to have very rocky sailing in Ireland. Somehow I don't think Archbishop Dolan's fondness for cigars and Jameson whiskey is going to be much help. Slight personal aside: I don't agree with Archbishop Dolan about too much, but Jameson's is one such point. It is very good whiskey. Best I've ever tasted.
This business with legally mandating violation of the confessional is probably not going to go forward. A good priest can usually convince a penitent it's in their own best spiritual interests to confess in places other than the confessional, and said priest could in fact withhold absolution until such a thing is done and proven. I can see where threatening the Church with this proposal would send a message to which the Church would hopefully listen. Especially since they don't seem to have really listened to any other message sent by any other laity or lay group. Those pesky elected political authorities sure can be a pain the butt for those unelected Church authorities. I find it fascinating how power seeks it's own balance no matter what the power brokers may think.
There was one other article in the Herald I actually found kind of sad. This one is an editorial by Andrew Lynch about Ireland's chief prelate, Cardinal Brady. Here's the sad parts:
Last year, Brady was accused of playing a small but crucial role in covering up crimes committed by the most notorious priest rapist in Irish history. (Brendan Smyth was a real piece of work. A Hannibal Lector kind of predator is the best way to describe him.)
A victim of the late Brendan Smyth alleged that in 1975, Brady used his position as a canon lawyer to persuade a 14-year-old girl and an altar boy to sign an oath of silence.
By his own admission, he believed that the children were telling the truth -- but he still did absolutely nothing to inform the Gardai. (Which resulted in dozens more victims, including victims in Connecticut and North Dakota, plus the collapse of the Irish government in 1995. Smyth's story is chilling. A simple Google search will yield more information and help illuminate why the Irish might be more than a little touchy about this subject.)
When this became public, Brady asked to be given time to reflect on his position.
To the surprise of absolutely nobody, he announced a couple of months later that he would not to quit.
With the support of Pope Benedict, he was given a second chance -- but God himself would struggle to explain why he should be given a third.
Everybody who knows Sean Brady describes him as a kind and decent man.
In some ways, that makes his sins even worse.
If such an obviously holy priest could become corrupted by the culture of secrecy and fear within the Church, it's hardly surprising that so many perverts took advantage of it as well.
Martin McGuinness once described Brady as "the most humble priest ever to become a cardinal".
One of the most important lessons I have learned on my travels in other dimensional realities is that cultures create their own energy. A corrupt culture will most certainly corrupt the pure and the innocent if they are not prepared to believe the corruption exists. Cardinal Brady is exhibit number one. The Vatican cannot play authority games in Ireland anymore than Cardinal Schonborn can play those games in Austria. The energy is changing. The good thing for Catholics, and I know it's hard to trust, is that the new energy will not tolerate the corruption of the old energy. Let me repeat that, the new energy will not tolerate the corruption of the old energy. We are beginning to witness the first signs of the incoming new energy. It will continue, and with the added prayers, hopes, and diligence of the faithful, it will grow.