Monday, March 22, 2010

Now it's just ranting...

...It seems that it was decided beforehand that the story from Ireland would be a general rejection of the Papal letter. In fact, this has not occurred - but that hasn't stopped the Internet from buzzing on the subject, the strong message being that of course the letter was deemed inadequate, that the Pope should have devoted his Rome speech to the subject, etc etc etc.

This is all gtetting gross. Trawling the Internet, one can see that the story is moving on from the real horror of events in Irish orphanages and parishes over the years to a general denouncing of the Church, of Catholic and Christian morals, of the idea of a belief in God.

There is a sort of bullying going on: if some one questioned after Mass in Ireland wanted to state that she or he had found the Pope's intervention useful and valuable, the result might be interrogation:"Why do you say that? Which bits do you consider acceptable? Does anyone else share your opinion? Are you likely to change your mind?" or even just ranting: Ireland is now losing the Faith, people want to loosen their bonds with a dreadful past, no one will ever trust priests again...

And of course there's an agenda: those who hate the Church's moral teachings are gleeful at revelations of priests' sins, and postively slathering at the dream of a great prize, the destruction of a large Catholic celebration. The forthcoming Papal visit to Britain has become the major goal for attack, and the attackers think they are going to enjoy doing it. Raw and wounded, the Church's defenders are only too well aware of the months ahead. We are also conscious of an ability to hang on and see the good finally emerge. We're in for the long haul.


Dru Marland said...

For my own part, I felt moved to blog about the Pope's letter to Ireland, not to rant or to gloat over the church's discomfiture, but in indignation at the words of Donal McKeown on Radio 4, when he claimed that abuse is 'not more prevalent among Catholic clergy than any other part of the population'. This misses the point in so many ways, and is at variance with the experience of myself and my friends and acquaintances, at least some of whom (myself included) have been condemned by the Catholic church, apparently, as 'threats to civilisation'. Which is a bit rich, in the circumstances.

Sharon said...

abuse is"not more prevalent among Catholic clergy than any other part of the population"is true but stating that truth doesn't mean of course that it is ok for Catholic clergy to abuse. Abuse is wrong no matter who does it but only the Catholic Church is singled out. The outrage of the media is very selective. The NY Times did not publicise the conviction of an orthodox Jewish Rabbi but agreed to leave the matter to be dealt with "in house". Where is the outrage re the abuse of students in the public school system in America? Are these children not worth as much indignation as Catholic children?

Please source the Catholic document in which you have been condemned as "threats to civilisation." Or are you going by media reports?

Dru Marland said...

I doubt that you could demonstrate that abuse is not more prevalent among the clergy, any more than I could demonstrate the contrary; but it seems natural to assume that it would actually be more prevalent among the clergy, given the circumstances that have prevailed in the church in Ireland since independence. And the tone of Donal McKeown's response to Colm Toibin was inappropriate, as I'm sure you would agree. All abuse of children is, of course, worthy of indignation. But so is his claim that we outsiders are as bad as his clergy.

Yes, regarding my apparent threat to civilisation, I'm going by media reports. As were Catholic commentators at the time, including Joanna Bogle on the Today programme. That it was subsequently shown that the Pope hadn't actually said what he was said to have said, didn't stop people on both sides of the argument, if argument it is, from commenting upon it as though he had said what he was said to have said.

If you see what I mean :-)

Actually, Joanna and I seem to have quite similar views on that subject, oddly enough... anyway, let's not get too sidetracked, eh?