Monday, September 5, 2011

They Just Don't Get It

How will the Taoiseach and government respond to the Vatican's report?   Well if the newspapers are any indication, there will be no attempt to pull back on the unfounded allegations thrown at the Vatican.  The Irish Times has an article exploring this.  It seems the media, finally getting over the shock has found its mantra: "the Vatican just don't get this".  The Times's editorial is trying to give the impression of being balanced in its reflection, but fails - as expected.

I think this will be the government's response at the end of the day.  They are shocked, I think, at the Holy See's refusal to take the attack lying down.  Irish politicians and the media have got used to bashing the Church and getting away with it.  Whenever they attack the Church in Ireland, for the most part, Irish Church representatives have been silent and even fearful.  When politicians and media mention child abuse, which they tend to do most of the time when dealing with Church issues, the Church here tends to draw back.  Kenny expected this to happen, but the Holy See was not going to play that game: the truth is on their side and they were going to get the truth out.  As it is becoming very obvious ,as opinions leak out from members of the government, if I may quote Jack Nicholson, they can't handle the truth.  So all we will probably get is the usual liberal mantra, wheeled out when there is no defence: "The Vatican just doesn't get this!"

How ironic, if ever there was a mantra to describe the media and political elite in this country it has to be that very phrase.   What do they not get?  Well first of all they don't get the fact that child abuse in an Irish problem and the incidences of child abuse outside the Church is far greater, as Caroline over at the St Genesius blog points out. 

Why do they not get this?  Because they know that to look at abuse in Irish society will open a can of worms and expose many people, including, no doubt they fear, many of their nearest and dearest.  There is already a cover up of child abuse and protection of abusers in Irish society: we know all too well of the media's attempts to protect certain personalities.  Ironic really, for all the talk of mandatory reporting, I wonder how many of the movers and shakers in Ireland's elite really want it?  It might just put them in a difficult position.

They also do not get that the Vatican is not to blame for child abuse in Ireland. They do not get that Enda Kenny's defamatory speech was wrong, stupid and ill-judged.  They do not get that they are isolating Ireland diplomatically not only from the Holy See, but from other countries that can see the reality of the situation. 

Personally I do not believe the government will take this report on the chin - they will not apologise, as they should.  Enda Kenny will not withdraw his remarks - he sees himself as the great hero of Ireland because he has managed to convince some people in Ireland that what he has said is the truth.  He has dug a hole for himself and he will keep digging, and his party colleagues and coalition partners will be there to lend a hand.  I am sure that many in Fine Gael, and perhaps even Labour, realise that they have gone too far, but by gum they cannot back down: can't let the Catholic Church win this one! 

Archbishop Martin has now challenged the Taoiseach to give full details of the incidents of the Vatican, we must come right in behind him and demand an explanation.  We must not allow Kenny to wriggle out of this. Speaking with many people yesterday at the day's retreat, there are many out there who are deeply ashamed of the Taoiseach. 

UPDATE: On the Pat Kenny radio show Labour's Pat Rabbitte has called the Vatican's response as "pettifogging detail". 

Patsy McGarry of The Irish Times on Pat Kenny show is rehashing old news - well done Patsy, ignore the report, just keep banging on with the old, worn out arguments which have already been answered time and time again.  He's defending Irish bishops and saying Rome stopped them from dealing with the issue effectively.  They just do not get it.  As far as I can see, it seems the Irish media are creating a fog to distract from the Vatican's devastating response.  Surprise, surprise - journalistic standards my eye! 

Oh no! Gina Menzies is on now!  She is defending the government's plan to force priests to break the seal.  She says the Seal is not inviolable because it only came into force in 1215. And this lady calls herself a theologian! 


  1. We ought not to buy secular newspapers. As long as Catholics buy the newspapers, they are financially propping up the corrupt media. Instead, buy faithful Catholic publications, and get your news free online.

  2. I see some Northern bishop is having a good dig at Kenny

  3. Martin,

    Interesting that you should say that. When the scandals broke in the US I was working in a parish in New York City; I remember well the articles in the New York Times which went way beyond reporting the news - they launched a crusade against the Church. The NYT had to put up with the overwhelmingly positive coverage of the Church which proved itself heroic during the 9/11 disaster - when the scandals broke it was pay back time for the Catholics.

    The pastor of the parish I was in was so angry at the coverage (which to my eyes seemed libellous) he cancelled the parish's subscription to the NYT and announced it at all the Masses: a number of pastors throughout the city did the same. Many parishioners followed suit and I believe the NYT felt the hit, though they would never admit it. The gesture, however, did nothing to chasten the paper.

    Such a tactic would not work in Ireland because people tend not protest in this way. Though we invented the boycott (or at least perfected it), we tend not to use it anymore. The Irish Times is in financial difficulty, perhaps a large scale boycott of Catholics might effect them - though I doubt it - its readers tend to be the liberal elite. Such a gesture, I do not think, would make the paper more objective, its roots are well and truly sunk in anti-Catholicism.

    But you are right with regards to not supporting them and using the internet for free news - this is what I do. Ireland, however, needs a good Catholic newspaper, one which is mainstream, professional and credible and well able to take on the likes of the Times. The problem here, however, is that Catholics in Ireland do not support such papers. When it comes to our faith we tend not to be very literate - no offence intended.