...instead of recognising the bad results of the close interlocking of Church and State as revealed in the shocking child-abuse cases, the Government has decided to waste time and energy by announcing grandiose nonsense that will achieve nothing whatever: trying to intervene in the sacramental life of the Church. This is pointless: we are dealing here with spiritual realities where Government legislation has no role at all. It is no use whatever announcing that Catholic priests must reveal to the police some sins mentioned to them in the sacrament of confession: they can't and they won't. Announcing prison terms for priests will make no difference to this.
Debate on BBC Radio 5 about this topic this evening:I was invited to take part but got very little chance to speak as much time was spent by the interviewer endlessly berating a Catholic priest and urging him to betray sacramental secrets.
The Irish government's announcement is just ludicrous: a classic example of attempts to deflect from the real issues at stake.