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Irish prime minister accuses Vatican of ‘narcissism’

By on Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Prime Minister Enda Kenny (CNS photo/Reuters)

Prime Minister Enda Kenny (CNS photo/Reuters)

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has accused the Vatican of adopting a “calculated, withering position” on abuse in the wake of a judicial report that accused the Holy See of being “entirely unhelpful” to Irish bishops trying to deal with abuse.

During a parliamentary debate, Mr Kenny said an independent judicial investigation into the handling of clergy sexual abuse in the Diocese of Cloyne “exposes an attempt by the Holy See to frustrate an inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic as little as three years ago”.

“And in doing so, the Cloyne Report excavates the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism and the narcissism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day,” he said.

The Cloyne Report, published last week, found that Cloyne Bishop John Magee, a former secretary to three popes, paid “little or no attention” to child safeguarding as recently as 2008. It said he falsely told the government that his diocese was reporting all allegations of clerical child sexual abuse to the civil authorities. It also found that the bishop deliberately misled another inquiry and his own advisers by creating two different accounts – one for the Vatican and the other for diocesan files – of a meeting with a priest-suspect.

The report accuses the Vatican of being “entirely unhelpful” to bishops who wanted to fully implement the 1996 guidelines, “Child Sexual Abuse: Framework for a Church Response”.

Mr Kenny said that “this calculated, withering position” was “the polar opposite of the radicalism, humility and compassion upon which the Roman Church was founded.”

He said that “the Irish people, including the very many faithful Catholics who – like me – have been shocked and dismayed by the repeated failings of Church authorities to face up to what is required, deserve and require confirmation from the Vatican that they do accept, endorse and require compliance by all Church authorities here with, the obligations to report all cases of suspected abuse, whether current or historical, to the state’s authorities.”

Referring to a tendency identified in the Cloyne Report to put the rights of accused clerics ahead of victims, Mr Kenny said “clericalism has rendered some of Ireland’s brightest, most privileged and powerful men, either unwilling or unable to address the horrors” of abuse.

He 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 and the human heart.”

Mr Kenny said the Church needs to be “truly and deeply penitent for the horrors it perpetrated, hid and denied”.

Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, rejected criticism of the Holy See in an interview with Vatican Radio. Emphasising that he was speaking in a private capacity, he said that much of the criticism failed to take into account the efforts of Pope Benedict XVI and other Church officials to prevent future cases of child sexual abuse and to address past cases with openness and determination.

He also said it was unfair to criticise the Church for failing to insist on mandatory reporting in a country that had not deemed it necessary to make it part of civil law.

  • tessa

        
    Most people would rather be  guided by ‘rabid’ (your word) atheists who have the good of humanity on their side and are fighting on behalf of the victims of abuse, than be guided by the Pope who uses his ‘rabidity’  to fill the Vatican coffers and shelter his abusive clerics.

    And what about the ‘woeful ignorance’ of your Sir Ernest Satow ..long dead by the way, whom you hold up as some sort of authority on the matter. He was the ‘gentleman’ who said in the 1800′s,
     ‘the submissive character of the Japanese will ensure that it is easy for foreigners to govern them’. (?!)
     Not exactly an expert there then!

  • DB McGinnity

    There are powerful forces within the EC who intend to enact legislation to reverse The Lateran Treaty (Lateran Pacts of 1929 or Lateran Accords). It is within the power of the EC to bring the Vatican (acting like North Korea and Burma) into line regarding transparency. This would enable Interpol and EC legislation to issue search warrants for paedophiles, sex abusers and embezzlers hiding within the Vatican to be brought to trial. The Vatican have used their statehood for too long to shelter and right wing criminals who have escaped justice. It is also anticipated that a “Simon Wiesenthal” type of facility may be set up to hunt down Roman Catholic Priests, Brothers and Nuns who raped, tortured and sodomized children (just like the Nazis) and bring them to trial. The power of the Vatican is waning fast. We need people like Geoffrey Robinson to bring about the demise of world wide organised crime behind the Vatican walls.

  • Harper

    This Da Vinci Code level of answer is so intemperate and irrational; it should not be dignified with a response.

  • tessa

    Well said DB.   I cannot understand why some Catholics are so head in sand about all the atrocities that have gone on/are going on,  in the name of their religion. If I were a Catholic I would be deeply ashamed of the behaviour of the Catholic church hierarchy and would attempt to expose and eradicate it..not pretend it doesn’t exist. 

  • Harper

    Who elected/appointed you to speak for “most people”?

    Long-dead Satow is still read widely by diplomatic services as the acknowledged authority on the origins of diplomacy, and the historic role of the Holy See in this is duly noted. Satow’s views on the Japanese character, even if he was married to one, are neither here nor there; the historic role  of the Holy See stands.

    Posh Aussie Republican Q(!)C Robertson Republican can’t distinguish between what he thinks is the case from what he thinks ought to be the case, which is why his campaign against the papal visit to GB failed so miserably. In his Pope-baiting article, “Put the Pope in the Dock”, in The Guardian (May 2010), for example, he states as “evidence” for his view that the Holy See is not a sovereign state, a supposed refusal of membership by the UN after 1945, the Vatican being offered “Observer Status” instead. This is nonsense. The Holy See did not want membership and only sought Observer Status. He then goes on to contradict himself by accepting/lamenting that other states have conducted relations with the Holy See on a state-to-state basis. The Lateran Treaty of 1929 did not create Vatican sovereignty, it merely recognised and delineated it. The sovereignty of the Holy See is absolute, as is that of the Sovereign Order of Malta. When Robertson says, therefore, that the Holy See is not a sovereign state, he means that he, Robertson, thinks that it ought not be a sovereign state, which is a wholly different matter.

  • Harper

    You tried “eradicating” the church many times, and it only became stronger. You are not a Catholic. I hope you take as keen an interest in the covering up of such scandals in other churches and in secular institutions, Welsh care homes, for example, as you do in this.

  • tessa

    You misread me;    It is not of course, the church I suggest be eradicated. It is the covering up of sexual abuse within the church that I suggest is eradicated.
    And of course I take a keen an interest in eradicating sexual abuse wherever I come across it. 
    Pretending it isn’t happening and moving abusive clergy to other countries instead of exposing them to the civil authorities is something you surely cannot advocate?

  • Harper

    I certainly do not advocate avoidance of this issue or moving abusive clergy about. In a related post I supported Fr Twomey’s call for all the pre-2003 appointed bishops to resign immediately. I am shocked, scandalised and horrified by these scandals, which fortunately I never personally encountered growing up and going to school in Ireland. I believe that all scandals must be fully disclosed and the victims, as far as is possible, compensated for the immense damage done.
    However, I do object to people on here who are using these scandals to pursue other agendas, including attempts to attack the current pope, or to suggest that child abuse is the result of sexual repression caused by celibacy (it isn’t), or that the church as a whole (rather than those who have abused children or have been involved in the cover-ups) is collectively guilty.

  • ms catholic state

    I think Tessa it’s time to look in your own backyard!!  Paedophilia seems to be on the increase in the secular world….and travel for evil against children to poor nations like Thailand goes on unabated.  Are the authorities even working on these cases of tourist abuse….or are they turning a blind eye?!! We never hear anything about it??!! 

  • ms catholic state

    Yeah…..but are atheists ever worked up over the increased incidence of paedophilia in the secular world.  Nearly every day there are reports of abuse of minors.  And surely part of the problem is that atheists have no abiding commandment against paedophilia.  There are even disturbing calls from some pillars of secular society  for it to be legalised….as long as the child gives their consent.  Evil and wickedness beyond belief. 

    But no outrage among the general public!!  Very very disquieting indeed.  Atheist society is sure becoming a hell on earth.  And as always…..it is the children who are the victims. 

  • Harper

    Yes, witness the way that secular society rallied around Roman Polanski, who abused a minor, doubtless  because Polanski is that secular equivalent of a cleric: an Artist. Peter Tatchell, who was grandstanding his anti-Catholic views, has described in print his view that children under 14 should be able to engage in same-sex relationships with adults. Irish Senator and presidential candidate David Norris advocated much the same “right”, but at least he has had to answer some awkward questions.

  • ms catholic state

    To be honest…..I don’t know why Peter Thatchell and his friends weren’t investigated!!  Evil has been done to these children! 
     
     

  • DB McGinnity

    TESSA IS RIGHT !!! Somewhere in the bowels of the Vatican there is the equivalent of old men writing with quill pens who have no idea that the world has moved on. The Pope and the Cardinals in their fancy dress are for show only and the Pope is only a puppet figure with no authority whatsoever. For example, at this present time the Vatican is threatening China with excommunication if they do my comply with Vatican wishes for the ordination of bishops. The Chinese president Hu Jintao must be petrified. These old men are still trying to excommunicate Elizabeth I, and are still issuing instructions to Cortez. This proposition may sound very silly, but it is not too far off the mark.. I am reliably informed that according to EC proposals, within a few years all Christian religions will be classified as superstition like astrology, chiromancy (palmistry), fortune telling, spiritualism (talking to the dead), aromatherapy, reflexology etc. Any organisation that does not have a rational, logical, or scientific basis for it’s existence, will be prevented for exploiting and stealing from vulnerable superstitious people. It is an outrage that collection boxes in Catholic Churches are unsupervised and allegedly are used in some places for money laundering purposes. It seems that no income tax is paid for these collections because no one outside the church knows how much money is donated. Accepting money for celebrating mass (average fee is £50 per time) in terms of indulgences, for the repose of the souls incarcerated in a metaphysical fictional prison called purgatory. Money scams at religious shrines are unsupervised, and no one outside the church knows how money changes hands.Judaism and Islam, strictly speaking are not religions, but philosophies and cultures, insofar that their belief is inculcated within their every day lifestyle, unlike Christianity whereby, religion is an reason to get dressed up for a Sunday outing and “The sign od Peace”. The rest of the week is spent in material, worldly and pecuniary pursuits.

  • JonnyB

    I see you are still spouting the same “don’t look at us, look at them – they are worse” avoidance ‘defence’.

    *All* good people are horrified/worked up at *all* paedophilia, but this article is about a subject which includes the complicity of the Vatican in covering up abuse by it’s own priests and, so, there is no relevance to your misdirection regarding others. It is only about the actions/inactions of the RC church, nobody else.

    As I have already explained to you, Atheist ≠ evil (or anything else negative OR positive). It simply means a person does not believe in the existence of God(s)/deities, no more & no less.

    Again, as I have already explained to you, the actions of the Vatican appear worse when held against it’s own claims to be THE church of God and, thus, it’s own assertions of piety et al.

    Finally, your elitist bigotry is far removed from Christianity.

  • DB McGinnity

    I am not being adversarial or confrontational, but can you please tell me in what context you use the term secular. At one time there were clerical and secular Catholics. The Clerics were those who were ordained as priests, religious orders, nuns, and brothers. The rest were secular, including the third orders. Also, if I accept a metaphysical (non-biblical) God, am I an atheist? If a priest uses a “blackberry” or downloads a sermon, is he a modernist. A nomenclature or taxonomy of your terms would be helpful, and would assist those less learned than yourself to decipher what you are communicating.

  • ms catholic state

    I am just pointing out a sinisiter hypocrisy in the attitude of secularists.  Remember….nobody wants the Church cleared of paedophilia and justice done for past evils more than practisicing Catholics.  I believe hardly any new cases have been reported within the Church in the last year…..which I’m sure you will agree…is great news that we can all rejoice in.

    Also it is time to look at the doube standards in attitudes to paedophilia among secular society.  And it is about time that all people of good will called for an increase in the age of consent! 

  • ms catholic state

    There are many aspects and definitions of secular.  Secularism states that a nation can run its affairs without reference to God.  (This doesn’t mean that secularists don’t believe in God…they may well do).  There is also the definition where Secularism states that all religions are equal….equally true or equally false.  One final definition…..Secularists are those who take no orders from God in the public sphere. 

    Hope this helps

  • DB McGinnity

    When a person develops secondary sexual characteristics (pubic hair breasts and menstruation) then they are ready for reproduction. In many preliterate societies there were strict rules and taboos and severe penalties for those who transgressed. There were clear ‘rights of passage’ and lengthy initiation rituals so that there was on ambiguity about what was allowed and what was forbidden. The age of the person is not the issue, but it is the context of the sexual interaction.Only recently, I attended a wedding. One of the bridesmaids was 13. However with heavy makeup and appropriate padding I would have taken her for 18 or older. So this is a conundrum. Of course nothing excuses unwanted sex of any gender or any age, but the concept of child and children is a fading phenomenon

  • Mark Castelano

    IN GOD WE TRUSTAccording to the BBC Today Programme (literally today) the USA is virtually bankrupt and their constitution is formulated by the word of God. In the same programme I learn that Godless China is thriving and will soon be the worlds greatest power. In the same programme, I learn that the Vatican is throwing it’s weight about and ordering China to be obedient to the Pope.Your premise does not make much sense.IS GOD ON HOLIDAY?

  • Harper

    Please note: it’s=it is; its=belonging to it.

  • Harper

    When I was growing up, “secular” meant a priest who was diocescan/living “in the world”, without a vow of poverty, who was not a member of a religious order; the “Age of Reason” didn’t mean the Enlightenment as defined by Thomas Paine, but the age that one could be said to know right from wrong, and “ejaculation” meant a prayer, usually urgent or hurried, rather than a sexual action. How times have changed!

  • Honeybadger

    What. A. Load. Of. Sheep’s. Bellies. With. Bells. On. And. Fireworks. Zooming. Out. Of. Its. Rear. End.

    Ah, Geoffrey Robertson QC, who famously defended that hardcore pile of junk called ‘Oz’ which glorified all manner of immorality and child sex…

    Full, unbiased report on the actions/inactions blah, blah, blah, blah… and blah some more!

    I would not trust Geoffrey Robertson QC with defending the rights of my pet rat.

  • Honeybadger

    Precisely. I think the militant secularist and anti-catholic vatican baiters conveniently forget the filth and slime in their own back yard and disguise it as art and fashionable, ‘intelligent thinking’.

    It’ll be a case of ‘God Help Ireland’ if Senator Norris is elected Irish president.

    They just want the Roman Catholic Church to disappear. End of. No other religion, just us.

    Well, sorry to disappoint you Vatican baiters – well, actually, we are NOT sorry! 

  • Mark Castelano

    Your coarseness crudeness and low level of sophistication is evident. Have you ever met with or heard Geoffrey Robinson QC in court? He is just brilliant. However, to give you the benefit of the doubt, and to give you the opportunity to express objective thought, perhaps you could give intelligent reasons for impugning Mr Robinson’s personal and professional integrity. If you cannot or do not do this, then you declare yourself to be guilty of calumny and detraction, which is to take away the good name of another. I do not expect you to do this because it would be beyond your academic ability. You are known as “the kneeling laughing boy” who recites the stations of the cross for all to see, whilst in the spirit of mockery, you scorn anything you cannot comprehend and anyone whose opinion differs from yours. Geoffrey Robinson QC would listen objectively to your opinion and he would not pass judgement on you. You are the disgrace to the eight commandment of God.

  • Aisake

    Please those of you who are supporting the government policies for priests to break confession is unacceptable, the government try to intervene on the church issues. Does the government has solve it’s own issues?. The government should concentrate on it’s role to the public. The church will deal with it’s own issues and affairs. Those of you who are using this article to crucify the Catholic Church on this issues of child abuse please, are only Catholic Clergy commit these crimes try to research the issues compare it with other religion and comment. The Church has done great things on the spiritual aspects of all members and the whole world humankind’ s welfare but the government has accused the Church for any abuse. The Church has addressed the problem of hunger, war, and all activities that lead to death of innocent people which are created by humankind, but any government has listen or practice, NO, it’s very disappointed in the sense that government has turn deaf ears and don’t want to listen. Please let all government solve their issues and the Church solves their own issue, do not mixed the Church and politics cause it’s against the teaching of Christ.PLEASE LET THE CHURCH SOLVE THEIR ISSUES AND ALL ANTI- CATHOLIC DON’T BE UNFAIR ON YOUR COMMENT

  • ms catholic state

    To be honest…..you sound like you are paving the way for paedophilia to be legalised. I notice, with a shiver, that you referred to ‘unwanted’ sex……as though you think underage sex is all right….as long as it is ‘wanted’.  As though any immature person could give their consent to such a thing….regardless of whether they are physically mature or not!! May God protect us from this sort of evil…..which is just paedophilia in disguise.  The cats are really coming out of the secular bag now…..and what filth they are.

    As I said before…..all people of good-will will support the raising of the age of consent to 18…..for the protection of our immature vulnerable youth.  Mandy Smith has proposed this some time ago…..I think we should all give her our backing!

  • ms catholic state

    Ireland is in need of urgent prayers….and there are many good Catholics left there still.  I don’t think this Senator Norris could ever be elected Irish President……that would just make the whole nation of Ireland out to be proper hypocrites before the eyes of the world…opposing paedophilia ONLY when it involves Catholic priests.  Can this really be the case?!!.  Seems some sort of diabolical lunacy has taken hold.

    Let’s hope they show their opposition to paedophilia is genuine and heart-felt….and not just a stick to beat the Church with…..by resoundingly rejecting this individual.

  • D B McGinnity

    Clearly, you are not a student of anthropology or ethnography. Get out of your chair, and get out into the real world (as it really is), instead of prognosticating about second hand knowledge. The Catholic Church of Constanine (CCC) is about 1650 years old. There were literate tribes of prople in excess of 50,000 years ago maybe longer. There are preliterate socities in existance today and it might shock you to learn what they get up to sexually . No amount of Hail Mary’s or soap box preaching is going to change that.

  • ms catholic state

    There are a lot of tribal practises that were and are wrong.  What are you on about?!  We don’t learn from ancient tribal practises…..(unless they are in accordance with Christ’s Church)…..whose teaching shows us the right way!  And when Tribes convert to Catholicism….they do change their ways.  It happened in Europe…..and now it is happening all over the world.

    Sadly….when nations fall away from the Faith…..it seems many unacceptable and disturbing practises return!!  Not good at all.  BTW….the Church was born at Pentecost.  Constantine merely made Catholicism the state religion…..and a good thing too.

  • ms catholic state

    If the US were truly Christian…..they wouldn’t have legalised abortion.  China is thriving in the sense that it is catching up…..and very shrewdly investing in and forming links with Africa.  However China’s future is in jeporady due to its aging society.  They need to follow the Church!  Eventually…..the Chinese will realise that the Church is THE force for good in a disordered fractious world. 

    I believe Catholicism is very popular in Eastern China!!

  • ms catholic state

    Hmmm…..could it be the BBC has an agenda here….an anti-Christian agenda?!!  Surely not!!!!

  • D B McGinnity

    su1 wrote, in response to D B McGinnity (unregistered):

    Oh dear! Poor Ms catholic! We have to understand that it is very difficult for a woman brainwashed into this repressive religion to have a healthy logical and curious approach to sex. From day one she will have been taught that it is a pretty dirty thing to do and that if have to do ‘it’ it must only be for purposes of procreation. The ‘virgin’ Mary will have been held up before her as an ‘immaculate’ role model to emulate. It is difficult to have any conception of the continual brainwashing, sometimes subtle, sometimes not, if you have not experienced it.
    They tried to make me a catholic, but I was a rational child and eventually managed to escape its grip. It wasn’t easy.The reason Catholics are preoccupied with virginity is because Constantine & Co sacrificed virgins as part of the Sol Invictus ritual. The same applies to martyrs, suffering, torture blood and guts. The church have never believed and do not believe that sex abuse is wrong, they believe it is their right to rape, beat and bugger as a means of inflicting their incomprehensible dogma.CTEditor and mscatholicstate are now trying to shift the blame for child abuse to parents and protestants by using bogus statistics. It would be interesting to check the veracity of the research they mention. These people probably need a good night out on the town, to see how others live.It is astounding the there are those who think that wearing lingerie is an occasion of sin and a bikini trims is a mortal sin. To have sex for longer than 10 minutes or to enjoy multiple orgasms is so wicket that self flagellation and self mortification are required. Also any thought or act of solitary indulgence (self abuse) is the epitome of wickedness. These people are telling us how to live our lives, No wonder the Church is on it’s last legs.

  • Honeybadger

    The Roman Catholic Church (those loyal to the Pope) is growing in China. Christianity is thriving there, as are other faiths, albeit underground. The Church may be suffering but it is growing in spite of the communist regime.

    President Obama and his government (don’t talk to me about that wet lettuce ‘catholic’ called Biden, who is his vice-president) is trying to tear God out of the equation with his disturbing fixation on abortion, embryonic stem cell experimentation, contraception, gay issues, Libya etc.

    If he paid as much attention to the financial mess he promised to clear up when he took office, the USA would be better off. Instead, he’s caused more grief and discomfort to the American people.

    The atheist USSR was a superpower… now look at it! Gone. They are building churches in Russia whilst, in the rest of the West, they are closing down.

    God is not on holiday. Humanity has used up all its sick leave.

  • Honeybadger

    Yawwwn. Yawwwn. And yawwwn some more.

    Change the doggone record, DB McGinnity!

    Bored now…

  • Honeybadger

    Good point, ms catholic state!

  • Honeybadger

    Well said, Harper.

    I couldn’t have put it better myself!

  • Honeybadger

    Are you still here?

  • D B McGinnity

    Intelligient people are never bored. The Jesuits taught me that. You resort to rudeness because you do not have the intellect or knowledge to formulate a cogent answer. You do this with others, not just me.

  • D B McGinnity

    You would never have thought of that. You rely on second hand information from other people to make your points, that are usually facile and witless.

  • D B McGinnity

    Oh Yes I am, You are not a Ivy League or Oxbridge man, are you? I could imagine you at the Oxford Union stuttering and spluttering about some homespun hillbilly philosophy.

  • Honeybadger

    I posted a suggestion on this board  for Ireland to pray for the nation as a major intention for this year’s National Novena to Our Lady of Knock – Queen of Ireland, Mother of the Church, Mother of the Eucharist.

    Prayer is all Ireland has got left… if it bothered to search its own heart and soul deep enough to wake up, face the dawn and smell the tea and cooked breakfast!

    I, for one, am disappointed that no candidate for the Irish Presidency has really stood out as a good, solid, level headed, statespersonlike contender for the Aras.

    If Ireland decides to elect Norris as the new President of Ireland, it only has itself to blame and nobody else.

    If it wants to take making the nation into a laughing stock to a new level, then so be it.

    Let Ireland learn the hard way that playing the Victim Par Excellence in the clerical sex abuse department will - sooner rather than later - become annoying and overbearing to other nations that have also suffered and are dealing with similar crises that are not just confined to the Roman Catholic Church but in other areas, too.

    Let Ireland start a deep clean and work on healing the wounds which have festered for far too long with pro-action.

    Let Ireland learn the hard way that, when money is available and the economy grows, they cannot continue this ‘mad lotto winners mentality’ then start asking for a handout when chancers have mishandled it and politicians take their eyes off the ball … except on the exclusive golf course!

    Norris has nothing to bring to the Aras except a narcissitic charm, a grinning face and – behind all that – a questionable agenda.

    God help Ireland!

  • Honeybadger

    Urgh! You are repulsive!

  • Honeybadger

    Your attitude is patronising, supercilious, beneath contempt.

    Don’t attempt to hide your true colours by claiming some intellectual high ground with your ‘you are not a student of anthropology or ethnography nar nar narny nar nar…’

    It’s a favourite ruse of those who would like contemptible things to be made normal.

    You make me sick.

  • Honeybadger

    Thank All That Is Holy that you, too, saw through this thinly-disguised filth!

  • Parasum

    “Deeply shocking as this report is, who does Kenny think he is to lecture Rome on the origins of the church.”

    ## A Catholic with a conscience & a “moral compass”, perhaps. No wonder the Vatican doesn’t understand his (evident but well-controlled) anger; for it wouldn’t know conscience or morals from a hole in the ground.

    “Successive Irish governments have been complicit in these cover-ups and
    culture of secrecy, in this as in their financial dealings, and they
    have been all too willing to use the services of the church they now
    discard.”

    ## That just shows the Clerical Church is like a floozie with an STD. Having infected the State, it plays at being the victim, by trying to blame the State for the corruption of which the Church was itself the cause. Sorry, but that won’t work. Why should the laity have to endure these people ? And why should Kenny not “lecture Rome” ? It would have been a dereliction of his duty to his people if he had not castigated the “cabal” (Abp. Martin’s word) of creatures in the Vatican. He was far too polite; the entire speech lasts 12 & a quarter minutes, and is nothing like as severe as its reputation may suggest. Matthew 23 is much harsher; presumably Jesus was wrong to “lecture” the earlier Pharisees. If Jesus is not speaking out of turn – & Kenny did not call the Roman part of the Church today a “brood of vipers”, nor even “hypocrites”, whereas Jesus used both terms for the Pharisees of His time – then it is impossible to see what Kenny said that was amiss. Other Catholics are not as kind as he was.

    “…kicking the issue back to Rome”

    ## As a POI: all the power to make the necessary changes is in Rome; nowhere else. Not with the laity, nor the priests, nor the deacons, nor the bishops (regardless of rank), nor the religious, nor the cardinals, nor a Council, but only with the Pope.  The Church is in effect a Paparchy: all laws in the Church are nothing, if the Pope objects, for he is the supreme law-giver in the Church. He alone has authority to summon, adjourn, continue & conclude Ecumenical Councils. He is the supreme judge in all disputes. He is the judge of what counts as Catholic Tradition. It is an offence punishable by excommunication to appeal from Pope to Ecumenical Council. He cannot be judged, not even by an Ecumenical Council; nor can he be sued. The Papacy we are now lumbered with cannot be what Jesus intended for His Church. It wants authority over every last Catholic on earth (see Vatican I) – so it must take responsibility for them. If it won’t imitate Jesus, & take this responsibility, it can have no right to the authority. They are not separable.

  • D B McGinnity

    Once again you resort to insult and abuse because you allow twisted emotion to cloud logical and objective reasoning. You do yourself a disservice and disclose to others just how ignorant you actually are. Had you had a seminary or had the benefit of academic training you would not be doing this, you would reflect upon and examine the proposition in question. It is people like you who have caused the Catholic Church to be described in disparaging terms as been fit only for Italian waiters and Irish navies  What do you think people (in terms of sexual practice) got up to, and still get up to in parts of South America, Africa and Polynesia. They do not give one damn about a persons chronological age or the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. So you and people like ms catholic state feel free to pass judgement and call me repulsive because I refer to actual documented practices.  Only recently the sexual practices on Pitcairn Island came into focus. I didn’t make that up.  However, you have summed up most succinctly the main problem within the Roman Catholic Church and that is: “The silk hat syndrome”: putting a silk had on a pig. Clearly, you been nowhere (Lourdes or Benidorm maybe), seen nothing and you still spout second hand knowledge as thought you had thought of it.

  • Claude Gavroche

    Mr McGinnity is correct and you are very discourteous and disrespectful to his premise. I have worked in several countries and studied sexual practices all over the world including England, Scotland and Ireland. What do you think goes on in Glasgow? And some parts of upper and middle class England, not to mention sexual outrages in Dublin and the rest of Ireland. The clergy were to be the role model of the citizens, my God what an shining example they have turned out to be. I am completely indifferent to all religion and I respect those who worship and those who do not, but I notice that you are very harsh and intemperate to anyone who has a different view to yourself. This characteristic denotes a lack of education and self discipline, not to mention a loss of dignity.

  • Parasum

    Why blame the Vatican? It happened…in Ireland…on Irish citizens…by
    Irish citizens….seems like Kenny should pick the log out of his own
    eye first and address the failures of successive Irish governments to
    ensure adequate law and order in his country. 

    ## Last time I looked, it claimed to be part of the Catholic Church. Cardinals do tend to be Catholics, and Vatican personnel. If ther are Baptist Cardinals, please educate me. Sionce they come from Rome, and hardly any are from Ireland, it is not unreasonable for an Irish head of state to complain of the behaviour of the agency responsible for creating them – which is not the State.

    The devils in soutanes who did these things, covered them up, obstructed the Law, lied, perverted the use of mental reservation (Sean Brady), ordained men they knw to be paedophiles (Sean Fortune, by Brendan Comiskey), tried to ensure that religious would not be sued, are the responsibility of the Vatican & of the Papacy & of the Catholic clergy. It is useless to try to pretend that the the Irish Government inflicted the Vatican’s policies for dealing with these actions on the Vatican – it is Rome that said how the clerical caste is to be manned & formed & ruled, not the State or the laity.

    Self-criticism is no excuse for not calling the evil done by others evil – attempts to save the reputation of the criminals in soutanes, or mitres, or cappa magnas by diverting criticism to blame their critics show only how threadbare the moral characters of the Vatican apparatchiks are. Abp. Martin – who is evidence that a bishop need not be a conscienceless toady – complained of a Vatican “cabal”. Kenny has not conspired against the safety of the State as the Vatican State has done by threatening to punish, with excommunication, those who complained of the crimes of the clergy. Either the Vatican State can be a foreign power – or, a Christian Church. It cannot be both. If it wishes to be the former, it cannot claim the liberties a religion might be accorded. If it is a foreign power, it cannot expect to be well-regarded when it commits crimes against Irish citizens. There is no way in which it can escape blame for its crimes, whether it be state, or Church, or a hybrid confusion of both.  

  • Parasum

    Heard of all that ages ago. And it absolves the criminals in the Catholic clergy how ? Not in the least. A defence of them, that relies on slinging mud at others, is a very very bad one. And besides, it is the CC  that goes on about how wonderful & faithful & Apostolic & Holy & all the rest of it it is. So it is judged by a stricter standard than they. Far from being better than others, it is probably much sicker.

    It’s interesting how people will say “The Irish scandals are indeed shocking”, only to add a “but” – they make their statement mean little, because the scandals are reduced when they are excused. And that makes it all the more likely that they will occur all over again. A qualified apology, is no apology – that is what these Vatican types don’t get :( They too seem to think it’s “business as usual”.

  • Honeybadger

    Oooh er! Do I detect a sensitive nerve being touched? Eh?

    Ah, ha! How convenient! Wheeling in your Jesuit education to prove you are intelligent and superior to the rest of us!

    The Catholic Church gave you an education… and you bite the hand that feeds your brain with your superior-than-thou anti-Catholic bilge.

    You make me puke!