Just copy and paste, and spread it abroad!
I was wondering when the Irish media would start the serious assault on the Sacrament of Confession, well The Irish Times is off the starting block today.
The paper's editorial relates the story of a priest who abused numerous young people who confessed his sin 1,500 times in confession and all he got for penance was prayer. The paper claims he said he confessed to thirty individual priests. Now to be honest I find it hard to believe that not one out of the thirty priests imposed a harsher penance or told him to confess to his superiors. But if it is the case those confessors need a course in moral theology (Orthodox Catholic school, not Curran/McBrien school). The whole scenario is disgraceful, I accept that.
The point of the editorial, as you will see, is that the Seal allows abuse to continue, and so Cardinal Sean Brady is wrong, "unfair and disproportionate" in his defence of the Seal. Ministers Shatter and Fitzgerald, no doubt heartened by this example, are intent on following their course. Well then, the State and the Church are on course for one hell of a battle. It may need to be said: we priests do not condone abuse, we are following government guidelines to the letter, we abhor the crime of violating innocent children and will do all in our power to protect them. But we will not break the Seal.
I only hope our bishops hold their nerve on this - we must pray for them. They must also turn to the Holy See for support, help and advice. I hope they have the wisdom to know they will not be able to face this alone, but will need the universal Church's historical experience to get around the legislation, if the government goes through with it.
By the way, remember what I said about the government using child protection to push aside religious freedom: well, the last paragraph of the editorial confirms my fears:
"Freedom of religion is an important principle in a pluralist society but all should remind themselves that the most important issue here is the protection of children. Other jurisdictions deal with the issue of priest-penitent privilege in various ways. With goodwill, it ought to be possible here to negotiate through conflicting rights and freedoms in the primary interest of children."
That's the soft sell, the hard sell is on the way.
So now, Catholic bloggers and readers, are you with us in this struggle? Are you just reading and passing on to another website, or are you interested in helping the faithful Catholics of Ireland?? If so let us know, pray for us, display the "Protect the Seal" on your site with a word to pray for Ireland! Come on now!!