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Enda Kenny’s attack on the Vatican reflects ferocious public anger

Fr Lombardi’s response to the Cloyne scandal is legalistic: the Vatican still has serious questions to answer

By on Thursday, 21 July 2011

Enda Kenny: playing to the gallery (PA photo)

Enda Kenny: playing to the gallery (PA photo)

Never before has an Irish Prime Minister attacked the Vatican so virulently as Taoiseach Enda Kenny did yesterday, when he said: “The Cloyne report excavates the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism, the narcissism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day.

“The rape and torture of children were downplayed or ‘managed’ to uphold instead, the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and ‘reputation’. Far from listening to evidence of humiliation and betrayal with St Benedict’s ‘ear of the heart’… the Vatican’s reaction was to parse and analyse it with the gimlet eye of a canon lawyer.”

The Taoiseach was moving an all-party motion that “deplores the Vatican’s intervention which contributed to the undermining of the child protection frameworks and guidelines of the Irish state and the Irish bishops”.

As Ireland is a 90 per cent Catholic country, you might assume that there could be some political risk in so eviscerating the Holy See. Yet Kenny is in fact playing to gallery: his speech merely reflects the ferocious public anger at the Catholic Church.

In the wake of the publication of the Cloyne report last week, senior Irish politicians have called for the expulsion of the papal nuncio to Ireland. The Irish government, meanwhile, has promised to introduce laws requiring priests to break the seal of confession to report confessions of abuse to the civil authorities, with penalties of up to five years’ imprisonment for those who fail to do so.

In all this, some see signs of hysteria, such as the ever-contrary columnist Kevin Myers, who last week sardonically suggested: “As the next step in the current calm and rational debate on child protection, what about this: why don’t we kick a Catholic priest to death every day?” Although Mr Kenny’s speech was sympathetic to “the good priests” – now effectively in the role of “the good German” in the 1930s. Kenny said: “
This Roman clericalism must be devastating for good priests, some of them old, others struggling to keep their humanity – even their sanity – as they work so hard to be the keepers of the Church’s light and goodness within their parishes, communities – the human heart.”

Ireland has seen heartbreaking reports into child abuse before. So what makes the Cloyne report so different? Let the Taoiseach inform you:

“After the Ryan and Murphy Reports Ireland is, perhaps, unshockable when it comes to the abuse of children. But Cloyne has proved to be of a different order. Because for the first time in Ireland, a report into child sexual abuse exposes an attempt by the Holy See to frustrate an inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic… as little as three years ago, not three decades ago.”

The charge against the Vatican is quite specific: it relates to the Cloyne report’s finding that the Vatican’s 1997 response to the Irish bishops’ proposed norms for dealing with child abuse cases was “entirely unhelpful”.

In early 1996 the Irish bishops had drawn up the “Framework Document” for dealing with child abuse cases. It required the mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse to the civil authorities in Ireland.

The Cloyne report cites a 1997 letter by the then nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Luciano Storero, summarising the concerns of the Congregation for Clergy regarding the Framework Document. The letter said:, “In particular, the situation of ‘mandatory reporting’ gives rise to serious reservations of both a moral and a canonical nature,” and referred to the guidelines as “merely a study document”. The Cloyne report found that: “This effectively gave individual Irish bishops the freedom to ignore the procedures which they had agreed and gave comfort and support to those who … dissented from the stated official Irish Church policy.”

Bishop Magee of Cloyne was one such bishop. During his tenure, between 1996 to 2008, only six of 15 reportable complaints of abuse were in fact reported to police by the diocese.

It was this finding that caused the Taoiseach’s comments that “the law of the land should not be stopped by a collar or a crozier” and MP Charlie Flanagan’s call for the expulsion of the papal nuncio, on the basis that “The Vatican has broken the law in Ireland.”

However, did the Vatican’s 1997 letter really amount to a breach of Irish law?

The Irish state awaits a formal Vatican response, but Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, the director of the Holy See Press Office, has issued a statement which he emphasised was not “an official response from the Holy See”.

He argues that “there is absolutely nothing in the [1997] letter that is an invitation to disregard the laws of the country. During the same period, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, then prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, in a meeting with the Irish bishops stated: ‘The Church, especially through its pastors, should not in any way put an obstacle in the legitimate path of civil justice… while, at the same time, she should move forward with her own canonical procedures.’”

He notes that “the objection the letter referred to regarded the obligation to provide information to civil authorities (‘mandatory reporting’). It did not object to any civil law to that effect, because it did not exist in Ireland at that time…”

This is true: there was no such law at the time. Therefore the accusations that the Vatican’s 1997 letter broke the law in Ireland are probably false – leaving aside the morality or wisdom of the intervention.

Fr Lombardi continues:

“Therefore, the severity of certain criticisms of the Vatican are curious, as if the Holy See was guilty of not having given merit under canon law to norms which a state did not consider necessary to give value under civil law. In attributing grave responsibility to the Holy See for what happened in Ireland, such accusations seem to go far beyond what is suggested in the report itself (which uses a more balanced tone in the attribution of responsibility) and demonstrate little awareness of what the Holy See has actually done over the years to help effectively address the problem.”

Fr Lombardi’s somewhat legalistic defence of the Holy See’s 1997 intervention was met with short shrift from Justice Minister Alan Shatter, who on RTE radio yesterday called the comments “unfortunate and disingenuous”.

Mr Shatter said: “The Cloyne report is very clear in saying that there could be no doubt that the letter that the papal nuncio sent in 1997 greatly strengthened the position of these in Cloyne who didn’t approve of the Church’s Framework Document for the protection of children.”

He also said that the letter made it very clear that the papal nuncio and the Congregation of the Clergy regarded the Framework Document was “a mere study. It cautioned against mandatory reporting. It essentially laid down a marker that where there was an allegation of child sexual abuse, if in compliance with the framework document, a member of the clergy in Ireland reported the matter directly to the civil authorities it clearly indicated that that could be contrary to both moral and canonical law”.

It is perhaps significant that, unlike some of his colleagues, Shatter – himself a formidable lawyer – stopped short of saying that the papal nuncio’s 1997 letter actually broke Irish law.

Even if there is some technical merit in Fr Lombardi’s defensive statement, does it not in itself reflect the “gimlet eye of a canon lawyer”, in Mr Kenny’s memorable phrase?

For the truly substantial questions remain unanswered: did the papal nuncio’s 1997 letter reflect an attitude of greater concern for clergy than for abused children? Did some in the Vatican intentionally hamper those bishops who wanted the truth to be aired?

The motion before the Dáil yesterday asked: did the Vatican’s intervention “contribute to the undermining of the child protection frameworks and guidelines of the Irish state and the Irish bishops”?

The motion was carried.

  • JonnyB

    You seem to justify assuming people
    only “feign” horror on the basis of comparing apples with
    oranges. Sexual abuse & abortion (a crime in your opinion –
    something you are entitled to believe) are completely different
    ‘crimes’ – do you, also, believe that shouting at a child is on a
    par with raping them?!?!? They are, after all, both forms of abuse.

    We all have our own opinions on the
    level of depravity (et al) of ‘crimes’, but to claim others’ horror
    is not genuine by looking at other ‘crimes’ is, frankly, seeking to
    avoid/detract from the issue at hand – an issue which is, without
    question, horrific on it’s own merit. It needs no comparison to
    anything else for anyone with any decent set of moral beliefs,
    Catholic or otherwise.

    As for your last point, I agree that
    anyone behaving in such ways should not be called a Christian (be
    that Catholic or other denomination), but does your own argument not
    mean you should question the ultimate position of the Pope, himself?

    History is littered with many cases of
    Popes being directly responsible for killing/murder/slaughter (Pope
    Innocent III was one that stands out for the irony of his name &
    the fact that Catholics were included in his slaughter). How does
    this sit with the ideology of the absolute & unquestionable
    succession of the Papacy, from Peter, when you consider many of the
    (so-called) successors to be guilty of breaking one of the
    Commandments? In your own words, by doing so, “… They don’t even
    believe in God, let alone adhere to the fullness of the Catholic
    faith.”

  • http://twitter.com/thirstygargoyle Thirsty Gargoyle

    Magee didn’t have support for that at all — indeed, that’s why he was forcibly deprived of his authority a year before his resignation was formally enacted. The 1997 Vatican letter directed all bishops to ensure that canon law was “meticulously followed” and neither Magee nor his henchman O’Callaghan made any attempt to do that. Indeed, O’Callaghan was outspoken in his opposition to any “rules-based” attempts to resolve matters.

    Magee’s and O’Callaghan’s handling of matters was disgraceful, with Magee being particularly duplicitous and O’Callaghan arrogant in his assumption that he knew best. Although the Report claimed that the Vatican’s 1997 letter gave support to those who opposed the new guidelines, it doesn’t substantiate this at all, save in the one case of O’Callaghan. That should ring at least two alarm bells. First, one’s a rather inadequate sample. Second, O’Callaghan neither may have scorned the guidelines, but he scorned canon law too, despite the clear direction of the 1997 letter, and he later argued that the CDF’s 2001 letter was really about protecting priests not helping abuse victims, saying that this was its “subtext”. The reason why he said it was its subtext was that it blatantly wasn’t in its text.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    David Ayalon,

    Are you for real?  I’m some gobbledegook thinker because I use terms like “right and wrong” – you gotta be kidding.  So, it is emotive to say that murder  is “wrong”; thanks for the newsflash.  Remind me to contact Sky  News. Oh, and am I expressing a subjective opinion when I say that it’s wrong to burgle an OAP?  Or that it’s right to help a blind man cross the road?  Lunacy sheer  lunacy.No  wonder that chemist thought you’d lost it.  There isn’t a “Lost & Found”  in the land could help  you.

    How shocking that (if it is true)  you stole the Blessed Sacrament on  two occasions and took the Hosts for scientific examination. Are you daft, or what?  If you think for a second that such a blasphemy  would be rewarded in the way you’d hoped, trust me, you need help. Lots of it. From a convergent concrete thinker even  – from any kind of thinker.  Thinking, clearly, is something you don’t DO. Crackers.

    Study this link to a well documented eucharistic miracle and then go away and repent, sincerely and urgently, with the intention of atoning for your sacrilege against the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of  Our  Lord Jesus Christ.  presence.org/eucharst/mir/lanciano.html

  • http://twitter.com/Logmion Logmion Pilon

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    At C.1:Q.96, Nostradamus foretells of an iconoclastic prophet, using
    refined language to continually educate, who is raised in the Last
    Days.

    Logmion is here and says “Bring Back Petrus
    Romanus”

    Facebook Logmion
    Pilon

  • Tiggy

    Like I say, in your own way you are as guilty as those evil Priests an Bishops. Apology my fat aunt. You are just using this crisis for your owm warped ends and beliefs. I do not know you, nor have any desire to know you sir. You are an a abberation.

  • Tiggy

    What would you know about Europe being an American?

  • Tiggy

    Your nuts.

  • ms catholic state

    Satan is everywhere……and no place more so than the dark heart of post-Christian empty secular government.  They rejoice and procliam that which is evil…..but under the mantle of compassion and caring of course.  (And notice how incompetent they are in dealing with the ordinary running of a nation!  Unbelieveable)

    There are plenty of Saints in the Church too you must acknowledge…..and remember Christ God Himself’s words to St Peter…’Upon this Rock I build My Church…..and the gates of Hell will never overcome it’!  No doubt many are doing their darndest to overcome the Catholic Church……..they will fail in the long run.  Be careful not to put yourself on the side of the Enemy against Christ’s Church.  Still the Church does need purging and cleansing…..and I trust the Pope to do this forthwith.

  • Nat_ons

    Thank you, TG,

    Apologies to Mr Kenny. True, the Report doesn’t show that the 1997 letter undermined anything; but its application clearly did .. at least anecdotally and it would seem catastrophically. The indictment in mishandling of the cases, non-application of the rules of the church, and malfunction in involving the Irish state in resolution rests with the local ordinary authorities – not the Vatican Offices. 

    Yet, like it or not, the Vatican Offices have had their part in this shameful affair. Side stepping this issue – as a bureaucrat like Fr Lombardi must do – will not address the fundamental deficiency in the service offered in regard to such risk and its handling. It may be that risk assessment, risk control and risk management seem all too secular or professional for a voluntary service – such as a Vatican congregation – to consider, but good management always seems to be aware of and ready to implement these values in a timely manner (even if not in a hyped-up, corporate-international-guru, expense-no-matter-ideological way).

    God bless, Nat.

  • Nat_ons

    Thank you, TG,

    Apologies to Mr Kenny. True, the Report doesn’t show that the 1997 letter undermined anything; but its application clearly did .. at least anecdotally and it would seem catastrophically. The indictment in mishandling of the cases, non-application of the rules of the church, and malfunction in involving the Irish state in resolution rests with the local ordinary authorities – not the Vatican Offices. 

    Yet, like it or not, the Vatican Offices have had their part in this shameful affair. Side stepping this issue – as a bureaucrat like Fr Lombardi must do – will not address the fundamental deficiency in the service offered in regard to such risk and its handling. It may be that risk assessment, risk control and risk management seem all too secular or professional for a voluntary service – such as a Vatican congregation – to consider, but good management always seems to be aware of and ready to implement these values in a timely manner (even if not in a hyped-up, corporate-international-guru, expense-no-matter-ideological way).

    God bless, Nat.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    That link I posted isn’t working. Here’s the correct address
     

    http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/lanciano.html

  • David Ayalon

    5 years at LSE and Oxford. 10 years at Chase Manhatten Bank (London). 15 years in Rome and Paris. I know quite a lot.

  • David Castilano

    Regarding the outrage in Norway. Please take note of the dangers of what Right Wing Christian fundamentalist indoctrination can do. You display deplorable Roman Catholic inflexible, narrow minded right wing attitudes. You display rudeness and ungraciousness to anyone who does not agree with your point of view. Essentially, it is because of people like you that secularism and modernism has taken hold and is now ubiquitous. Ireland was a right wing Catholic state from 1921 until the late 1970’s and Catholicism has destroyed Ireland completely, from which it will never ever recover. Roman Catholicism is a world wide fulminating cancerous tumour that needs radical excision, and that is what is happening, faster than you may think. It is virtually finished.

  • ms catholic state

    Any act of Terrorism is against the doctrine of the Church.  So obviously Christianity isn’t the source of any so-called ‘Christian terrorism’.  That is an oxymoron.  And thanks for the judgement……though I don’t put much store on your judgement of me….pompous much.

    Secularism is an empty false promise of an eternal earthly self indulgent paradise.  Sadly the Irish took it too much to heart…..and will now pay for it.  Right Wing or left wing are alien concepts to Catholicism….which is just One Truth.  Right and left wing are secular divisions….as secular democracy must have division to work.  I believe in neither left or right.  So get it right!  Catholic Church is the Church established by Christ God HImself.  Funny how you have so little regard for it.  Shame really.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Name even ONE fully believing and committed Catholic who carried out an act of terrorism against innocent civilians such as that carried out by this Protestant Norwegian.  Name ONE.

    And forget Hitler.  He renounced his Catholic faith very early in life and made no secret of his vehement hatred of the Catholic Church.  Next?

     

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

     Spot on.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Why is it that you non-believers resort to accusing believing Catholics of being “angry”.

    I’ve actually typed posts in response to some atheist claptrap, smiling and thinking how easy you  folks make it, only to be accused by one of these numpties of being “angry”

    I get angry  when the local baker runs out of fresh cream meringues. Everything else has to be measured relative to that disaster.  A few folk who want to believe in nothing, don’t make me angry. They just make me laugh, as I head, full of faith, for the baker’s shop.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Let’s wait to see if he actually gets the Nobel Pride Prize before showering congratulations on him.  Patience!

  • David Ayalon

    Bloody Mary Tudor, Queen of England, Bernardo Gui. Juan Peron, General Franco, Benito Mussolini etc.
    The list is long. Using the phrase “this Protestant Norwegian” demonstrates that you have a racist and a bigoted attitude. The whole history of the Catholic Church is concerned with greed, theft and mass murder.

  • JonnyB

    Name ONE? Do Popes count as “fully believing and committed Catholics”? If so, take your pick…

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Baloney.  I  note you fail to name a single pope who perpetrated an  act of  terrorism, such as we are witnessing today.

  • http://www.catholictruthscotland.com EditorCT

    Baloney.  I note you fail to identify any single act of terrorism such  as we  are witnessing today, carried out by any fully believing Catholic.

    I thought the Norwegian guy was a “Christian fundamentalist” – that makes him, by definition, a  Protestant. Believe me, if he were  a Catholic, that’s how he would have been described.  No question.

    You, David Ayalon, need help if you think it’s “racist” to call a Norwegian, a  Norwegian.

    I called Wee Jock a “Scotsman”  (taking a wild guess) – was that racist?

    Get a grip.

  • Dr PJ McFall

    Well now Miss Tiggy. It may surprize you to know that we Americans own 35% of British Real Estate. Even people who work in American embassies all over Europe are American. Are you from the wilds of Connemara or Milton Keynes. You just sound to be a little bit  of a ‘Hillbilly” and not very knowledgeable.

  • DB McGinnity

    “Fresh Cream Meringues” sums you up when there is famine in East Africa. It is rare to see a thin priest, Bishop or Pope. If you are so committed to God, then why do you not according to Matthew 19:21 sell everything you have and give it to the poor. Anyone can spout piety and religious zeal as they feed on “Fresh Cream Meringues”.

  • JonnyB

    I, mistakenly, assumed you would know enough about your own church’s history to be able to understand the obvious without the need for explicit example.
    However, in response to your flawed assertion that I “…fail to name…”, I already did, in response elsewhere, give one example – Pope Innocent III.
    His “crusades” included the slaughter of Catholics, too, just to be sure he didn’t miss the “baddies” in between them.
    Explicitly, some sources estimate around 20,000 men, women & children were slaughtered – I think that is more than on a par with that witnessed in the awful tragedy the Norwegians are currently enduring.

  • ms catholic state

    The Crusades were defensive measures against military Islamic expansionism in the Middle East.  The Orthodox asked the Pope for help…..10 years after splitting from the Catholic Church.  And Western Catholics went to their aid.  Courageous and noble don’t you think.

    And speaking of slaughters….what do you think of the slaughter of 200,000 innocent men women and children at Hiroshima. Seems modern warfare now is mostly civilian deaths.  Disgusting really.

  • Purdie_ken

    Yolu have some neck calling anyone bigoted. As you so clearly are against anyone/anything Catholic.

  • Tiggy

    You could live your life in a stable, but it would not make you a horse. Or think like a horse or act like a horse.
     LSE well there is a surprise!!

  • ms catholic state

    Ha ha….Bloody Mary was herself hounded from pillar to post….While her erstwhile father had 72,000 innocent Catholics murdered.  Mussolini was a depraved atheist…..while Franco was a Catholic Dictator…and as we Catholics say about him….he was better than the brute alternative.  Your own bigotry is showing.
     
    So let’s be clear….Catholics are not allowed commit terrorist attacks!!  Can atheists say the same thing?   How about the millions of innocent Christians in the evil labour camps of Siberia….simply for following their faith.  Many died there…..forgotten.   Atheism sure has a lot to answer for….. 

  • Tiggy

    I thought in the UK there was “property”.Real Estate, is in the USA. I wonder if there is False estate also? Perhaps you could enlighten me, as you appear to be a world authority.

  • Tiggy

    I don t think there is anything “Christian” about this person. Of course the Media would love us to think so.

  • JonnyB

    Oh dear, you really should learn about your own church before you spout drivel, in public, at others.
    There were other “crusades” perpetrated by the RC church – the one I mentioned was against heresy, not Muslims. It is commonly known as the ‘Albigensian Crusade’ or the “Cathar Crusade’ & was in the Languedoc region of France. Catholics who lived among the Cathars were indiscriminately slaughtered. If you are going to respond, at least have the decency to look up the subject matter, first.

    As for your comments about the better known Crusades, the initial intent may well have been noble (depending on individual perspectives), but some of the resulting atrocities committed in the name of The Church were far from noble and/or courageous.

    What does Hiroshima have to do with this subject? Are you trying to say that slaughter is any more (or less) horrific depending on the numbers?? Should a murderer of one person be treated preferably to a murder of two… or three… or anon??
    As a Christian, you should deem *all* murder to be equally sinful (you, yourself, made a similar point in comparison to abuse of children) – whether that be by a lone Norwegian, the USAF or, ironically, your own Pope.

  • JonnyB

    Eh? What is it with people on these comments trying to justify “sins” by pointing out that someone else sinned more?? We are each judged upon our own deeds, not by keeping score with others. Persecution does not free a Christian from their moral obligations – isn’t that the main essence of Jesus’ existence on Earth?!?! (according to the Bible).

    Atheism has nothing to answer for, it has no doctrines or dogmas to push anyone to do anything. Period.

    As a Christian you should be aware that we are all, simply, humans born with free will to do as we please. You will find moral, immoral & amoral Atheists, just the same as you will find the same in people who call themselves Christian, Muslim, Buddhist & so on…

  • ms catholic state

    Crusades were in the main military campaigns…..to regain lost Christian lands.  And in view of contemporary and medieval war practises…..the Crusades were not out of the ordinary ….indeed they probably incurred much less civilian deaths than today.  World Wars were shocking in comparison.

    Hiroshima was a slaughter that should never be forgotten.  Isn’t it time secularists owned up?!.
    .

  • ms catholic state

    Atheism is the most brutal of all ideologies….precisely because atheists don’t believe in giving an account of their deeds to God.  This presumed ‘freedom’ gives them license without limit…..if needs be.  Frightening.

  • JonnyB

    Huh? You belong to a church which claims to be “THE Church” led by a man claimed to be appointed by God, himself. As such, the Pope & the RC church should be beyond reproach – anything less makes the claims meaningless.
    A *true* Christian would not base their morals on the times they live in (medieval or otherwise), instead, they would take them from the Bible only. Thus, what anyone else was doing, is doing or, even, may do in the future, is entirely irrelevant.
    Again, I point you to the fact that the crusade I referred to was against heresy, so your comments regarding other crusades have no relevance. Just as your comments regarding the acts of others have no relevance to the acts of the RC church.
    The issue is not whether it was more/less evil, but whether it was ever evil, itself. The answer is a resounding YES.

  • Michel Roi

    I knew a physicist who received the Nobel Prize for his work with partical physics.  He was a practising Catholic who had no problem with “teaching and dogma…no longer credible in contemporary society.”  Nor does another physicist friend who studied at MIT.  I find the more intelligent and better educated of my Catholic friends are the ones who are most orthodox in their beliefs. 

     The materialist outlook of modern society and the difficulty with believing in the supernatural that it neccesarily entails, is by no means self evident.  What is it Shakespere has one of his chacters say “There are more things in Heaven and Earth Horatio, then are dreamed of in your philosophy.

  • JonnyB

    Wow! That is, aside from  being completely incorrect, one of the most sweepingly judgemental statements I have ever seen. Are you sure you are a Christian??
    Perhaps you should look up the definition of Atheist before you speak of them in future and, while you are at it, you could try looking up the definition of ‘Christian’, too.

  • Fr. G T Walsh

    I am a committed Catholic and have been for over 7 decades. I spent time in India with The Venerable Bede Griffiths, and I have seen and experienced hunger and suffering. I can celebrate Holy Mass (Low Mass, Missa Cantata and Solemn High Mass) in Latin. However, I do have a gross antipathy towards ‘soapbox’ Catholics who pronounce truth, morals and dogma whilst scoffing dozens of cream meringues. I admonish someone who wants to set up a Catholic state in the UK whereby HM the Queen and the Government would be subject to the Papal Nuncio, and to the rule of the Pope as though it was still the sixteenth century. This sort of thinking and conduct is called sedition, and is a potential breach of national security that should be in the sights of the police. The concept of a Catholic State failed drastically in Ireland, Spain and The Philippines and all over the world. There is only one Catholic State left in the world, and that is the Vatican, and it’s days are well and truely numbered. I object to a feckless, witless blogger who advocates that people perform the Stations of the Cross whilst he viciously pours mockery and opprobrium on anything and anyone with whom he does not agree. It is this blind medieval and Byzantine empty headed, semi illiterate religious zeal that has harmed the Catholic Church most, because by and large atheists are quite indifferent to what goes on in any religion. The soapbox preachers ought to read Luke 14:11 and Matthew 23:12

  • Wee Jock

    I’m deeply grieved by your anti-Caledonian bigotry, EditorCT.

  • Wee Jock

    You claim that holy communion contains the body and blood of Christ. I can prove that this is not true. I took two pieces of communion (one from the Latin Tridentine Mass and one from the Novus Ordo Mass). I had both of these objectively tested by an experienced university chemist. I insisted that he test for occult blood. The results were very embarrassing for me because he told me that he thought I was mad in the head. Both specimens contained simple starch and water. (A pinch of corn-flour and a few drops of water). We actually reconstituted a piece of communion bread in the laboratory. He would not even accept a professional fee as he thought ‘I had lost it’. Therefore who is right?

    May God have mercy on you for your gross sacrilege.

    You obviously do not understand transubstantiation. Read Aristotle’s Metaphysics on the concept of substance. There are 10 categories of being: one of substance and nine of predicamentals. The material structure of anything is an attribute not the thing itself – it inheres in the substance as a subject. Proof: if a tree puts forth a new leaf is it the same tree? Of course it is. The substance of anything is not directly accessible to empirical science but is discovered through philosophy. In transubstantiation the substance of the bread and wine becomes that of Christ’s Body and Blood; the accidents remain as before.

    What you have an done is an evil act; may God grant the grace to repent of your terrible sin.

  • Michel Roi

    Father, perhaps I’m missing something but I’m not sure what this has to do with the one simple point I tried to make; namely, that the universe is mysterious and the supernatural real, and therefore Catholic beliefs are something intelligent, educated people can and do accept.  The faith of my scientist friends is anything but “empty headed” and “semi-literate”.  I would hope miy own faith is informed.  One of my degrees is in theology.  As for a Catholic state, I said nothing regarding the idea.   I live in Canada and am happy with our parlimentary system under HM Elizabeth II (though it’s hard for the French in Canada to feel enthusiastic for the English monarchy).  As well, I detest cream meringues!  You write “in reply” to me but I’m at a loss to understand to what it is you’re responding.

  • Mgurkha

     WRONG

    People who believed in “Bible Only” have committed crimes.  Jim Jones is a “Bible Only” preacher but ended up murdering his whole congregation.

  • Fr. G T Walsh

    Daer MichelI deeply apologise to you. I made a mistake and answered the wrong blog. Please forgive me.

  • Fr. G T Walsh

    I should have written Dear Michel, again I am sorry

  • Fr. G T Walsh

    I think that it is time that your double checked the content, context and possible ramifications of your blog. You radical offensive thoughtlessness is the stuff ‘far out’ right wing religious bigots.I am a committed Catholic and have been for over 7decades. I spent time in India with The Venerable Bede Griffiths, and I have seen and experienced hunger and suffering. I can celebrate Holy Mass (Low Mass, Missa Cantata and Solemn High Mass) in Latin. However, I do have a gross antipathy towards ‘soapbox’ Catholics who pronounce truth morals and dogma whilst scoffing dozens of cream meringues. I admonish someone who wants to set up a Catholic state in the UK whereby HM the Queen and the Government would be subject to the Papal Nuncio, and to the rule of the Pope as though it was still the sixteenth century. This sort of thinking and conduct is called sedition, and is a potential breach of national security that should be in the sights of the police. The concept of a Catholic State failed drastically in Ireland, Spain and The Philippines and all over the world. There is only one Catholic State left in the world, and that is the Vatican, and it’s days are numbered. I object to a feckless, witless blogger who advocates that people perform the Stations of the Cross whilst he viciously pours mockery and opprobrium on anything and anyone with whom he does not agree. It is this blind medieval and Byzantine empty headed, semi illiterate religious zeal that has harmed the Catholic Church most, because by and large atheists are quite indifferent to what goes on in any religion. The soapbox preachers ought to read Luke 14:11 and Matthew 23:12

  • ms catholic state

    Then don’t lambast the Crusaders without examining your own secular record…especially the devastating World wars.  In other words….take the log out of your own eye….then you can take the splinter out of your neighbours.  In terms of civilian deaths…..Crusades were not uniquely evil as some atheists like to imagine.  On the contrary….they incurred much less civilian deaths……

  • ms catholic state

    Sorry that I haven’t been around as long as you….or haven’t served in India etc….but I like to think of myself as a devout Catholic too.  Let’s leave final judgements to Jesus Christ shall we?!

    And there is something odd when Catholics are happy to leave all earthly matters in the hands of secularists and secularism…..as though they are somehow more competent than Catholics and Catholicism.  Isn’t that some kind of heresy?!  Neither do I understand Catholics who have more contempt for a Catholic State (and pretending they failed)…..than for secular states with their blatant anti-Christ evil.  Something very very wrong there….scary even!

  • Abdulla Hakim

    You are being grossly insensitive and insulting, especially at this present time. Your prose and syntax depict that you are not very bright, but nevertheless, that is no excuse. Your bishop and pastor should prevent you for speaking on behalf of the catholic church. The catholic church is a good compassionate church and does great good in the world. Narrow minded bigots like you should go to the sacrament of reconciliation, and receive admonishment and absolution, and be barred for writing anything ever again pertaining to the Roman Catholic Church. I hope that they make you go into a Trappist convent for the rest of your days, so that the world will be a safer place.

  • Mark Castilano

    You are very, very scary, and the priest is right. I hope that someone from national security is watching your antics. Why do you not take a holiday and loosen up a bit.