Former Taoiseach John Bruton invested into the Royal Order of Codswallop

Former Taoiseach John Bruton was recently invested into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George and the Royal Order of Francis 1.

The ceremony took place in Westminster Cathedral in London.

The President of Ireland and Queen Elizabeth II sent messages for the occasion.

The Orders are dedicated to the promotion of the Catholic faith and charitable works.

Bruton will be joining such luminaries as Baroness Margaret Thatcher and Sir Michael Smurfit as members of the Royal Order of Francis 1.

I mean….what a load of codswallop.

RTE is in the process of making the biggest mistake in its history

RTE is in the process of making the biggest mistake in its history.

The national broadcaster had a simple choice following the finding that its Prime Time Investigates programme had grossly defamed parish priest Fr. Kevin Reynolds.

It could have made public all the relevant facts surrounding the case and taken severe action, including sackings, against those responsible for the debacle.

Or

It could have decided to creep into the dank cave of darkness where bankers, politicians, higher civil servants and the Catholic Church thrive on a diet of secrecy, obfuscation, denial and arrogance.

Sadly, the broadcaster is heading for the darkness of the cave.

Those in charge in RTE have clearly deluded themselves into thinking that they can bluff their way out of the affair while retaining the very high level of respect and credibility built up over many years by Prime Time and Prime Time Investigates.

They have, in effect, decided to inflict serious damage to the credibility of the organisation as a whole and 100% damage to the credibility of the Prime Time programme.

And for what?

So that those responsible for the debacle are protected from the consequences of their actions.

If they continue as they are Prime Time will rightly be seen as nothing more than a joke programme.

Lying politicians, priests, bankers and others who have, until now, rightly feared the dreaded call from Prime Time staff will now welcome the opportunity to strut the Prime Time catwalk and sneer at questions put to them by a totally discredited programme.

RTE should immediately apologise for attempting to avoid responsibility and follow that up by taking the painful but crucially necessary action to protect Prime Times’ hard won credibility.

There is no alternative.

Copy to:

RTE
Prime Time

Closing the Vatican embassy

It’s unlikely that the Government’s decision to close Ireland’s embassy to the Vatican is a deliberate insult but I suspect the Catholic Church will take it as such or at least I hope it does.

After all, being lumped in as surplus to requirements with far away East Timor and rogue state Iran is not exactly edifying.

John Waters' rant

Irish Times columnist, John Waters, is ranting today about the ‘ideological corruption’ of the Irish media regarding the David Norris controversy.

There are some very interesting comments on the article. This one, by ‘Adam’, is worth reproducing in full.

Adam

John, since this story originated with a blogger, I was hoping you were going to write an article retracting your view that blogs and bloggers are stupid. Who am I kidding?

As regards the comparisons with bishops, there is of course a large difference between a misguided appeal for clemency for a convicted abuser and the attempt to cover-up abuse so that an abuser may escape prosecution. That is why bishops are more harshly treated by the media, and rightly so. That doesn’t make Norris right, but the comparison with the behaviour of bishops is incorrect.

And John, you’re not immune to media bias yourself. You tried in your article last week to portray the Church as some sort of doddering old victim of the liberal media (and indeed you’ve portrayed the Pope – who’s a great chap altogether – as a victim in previous articles) when, of course, that is not the truth at all.

You see the church overall as a hero, as a “good guy”, so you are inclined to give it the benefit of the doubt. This is exactly what is happening on the other side of the political divide. People see Norris as a “good guy” and they are inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Is it right? No, of course not.

But, it’s like the way your fingers twitch instinctively for the words “aggressive” or “militant” when you write “secularist” or “atheist” when you really just mean someone who is is an outspoken advocate for both. You would never use the words to describe the Pope, even though in context he’s just as “aggressive” or “militant”, because your bias weighs heavily on your fingers.

You cannot seriously call for fair mindedness in journalism when you, only last week, called members of the Labour party “atheist ayatollahs”!?

You wrote an article once about Atheist Ireland where you claimed that if two of your friends were given half an hour and a microphone the would change the minds of almost every atheist in the room (without ever explaining what those friends would actually say). Only a person who was a slave to their own bias could make such a claim. Incidentally, Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion bemoans the fact that his entire book will not change the minds of but a relatively few religious people who read it, and your fingers will still twitch for the word “arrogant” when you write about him.

In short, John, there is a degree of truth about this article, but you certainly aren’t the one to be casting stones.

The sweet pleasure of torching a vile Catholic institution

Victim of the Catholic Church child abuse holocaust (Liveline, Wednesday).

I said to John Charles McQuaid; the Brothers are doing dirty things to us and he put his over my head and said – Young boy, say your prayers, I was eleven years of age.

What happened after you said this to the Archbishop?

I was brought into a room and flogged, I got a terrible beating from two Brothers. I’ll never forget it for as long as I live, that was my treat for my Confirmation.

I was one of the last children out of Artane in 1969, the place was burned down.

I know the two children who burned the place down, they were being abused by a Brother. They hid under the stage in the cinema and they set fire to the cinema.

It was the happiest day of my life, I was only twelve when it happened. I wouldn’t be alive today only that it was burned to the ground.

What great, great courage from those two boys. What sweet, sweet pleasure they must have experienced as they torched the vile institution that had caused them so much pain.

Scumbag priests are safe in our corrupt state

Letter in today’s Irish Times.

The last paragraph, which I have highlighted, is the crucial question.

Why aren’t the scumbags at the highest level of the vile Catholic Church, who have clearly perverted the course of justice, prosecuted?

The answer, as I wrote in a recent article, is simple.

Bishops, Cardinals and other senior priests are part of the ruling elite of our corrupt state and are therefore automatically immune from any kind of prosecution whatsoever.

Sir,

I am pleased to see that our Government is beginning to take seriously the unfriendly and aggressive activities of a foreign state on Irish soil.

The Government should make a statement to clarify that canon law is meaningless under Irish law. It has no bearing whatsoever on whether a person’s behaviour was legal or justified.

Referring to compliance with canon law is about as relevant as referring to a company handbook as justification for breaking the law of the land. What matters is Irish law, and no one should be under any illusion about the exclusivity of Irish law over human behaviour in this State.

It is important to note that the value in the proposed law will be that it will impose criminal liability on people who don’t report suspected abuse.

However, what has happened here and in other jurisdictions is that people have deliberately acted to hide crimes, by moving abusers around, and the like.

This is categorically different from simply not reporting, and it needs no new law to impose criminal liability.

Anyone who acts to pervert the course of justice can be prosecuted for doing so. The evidence that this was done on a wide scale is in the public domain.

For the life of me, I cannot see why people are not prosecuted for this.

Yours, etc.

Cormac MacGowan,
Minaun Crinnage,
Craughwell,
Co Galway.

Irish Catholic: Voyage of intolerance

The ‘Courtyard of the Gentiles’, a Vatican initiative to promote dialogue with unbelievers opened a two day event in Paris on March 24th.

The initiative, according to one Cardinal, is inviting non-believers to:

Come on a voyage with believers through the desert, to encourage exploration of the ultimate questions.

Writing about the event in this week’s Irish Catholic, The editor, Garry O’Sullivan, took the opportunity to attack the (unchristian) greed and anger prevalent in Ireland, the plan (conspiracy) by the State to take over many religious schools and, for good measure, threw in the standard attack on atheist, Richard Dawkins.

In a comment sure to encourage dialogue with unbelievers he declared;

Secularism has no answers to the great questions of life; those who do (Catholics) should step forward with courage.

So, best of luck with that ‘voyage of exploration’.

RTE journalist attacks media and Atheist Ireland

RTE journalist Damien O’Reilly took the media and Atheist Ireland to task in a recent (Feb.17th) edition of The Irish Catholic.

According to O’Reilly there’s a media conspiracy to damage the church by exaggerating the fall in numbers attending Mass.

It’s a tad extreme says O’Reilly to claim that the church is fighting for survival solely on the basis of church attendance numbers.

O’Reilly should really have a chat with one of the head honcho’s of the church Archbishop Diarmuid Martin who recently claimed that the Catholic Church in Ireland is on the brink of collapse.

On the question of Mass attendance the Archbishop said that it was down to 2% of the Catholic population in some of his parishes.

O’Reilly also attacked as bizarre the campaign by Atheist Ireland which asks citizens to be honest about their religion when filling in the Census form next April.

In a bizarre comment himself O’Reilly says:

I know plenty of people who don’t go to Mass every Sunday, but I wouldn’t for a moment call them heathens.

Atheist Ireland is not calling anybody a heathen but is quite reasonably asking for people to accurately reflect their actual religious beliefs on the Census form (See below for the full text from Atheist Ireland).

Further on in the article O’Reilly declares:

We live in a democracy, and we should be tolerant of all religions and none.

This tolerance, however, does not apply to teachers who are banned from teaching in Catholic schools when they are in conflict with the ethos of the Catholic Church.

Atheist Ireland

Be Honest in the Irish Census on Sunday 10 April. Think before you tick your answer to the religion question, and give an answer that matches your actual religious affiliation. If you still believe in God but you are no longer truly a Roman Catholic, please say so. If you are an atheist or agnostic or humanist and you have no religion, please tick the ‘No Religion’ box.

Atheist Ireland wants to see accurate answers to the question on religion. The last Census showed 3.7 million Roman Catholics (that’s about 87% of the population) and 186,000 people with no religion (that’s about 4% of the population). We believe the true figure for Roman Catholics is much lower than 87%, and the true figure for people with no religion is much higher than 4%.

We believe that this inaccuracy happens because many people tick their childhood religion out of habit, or tick a religion that they don’t really practice, or let somebody else fill in the answer for them. But you won’t write in your childhood home address unless you still live there. So don’t write in your childhood religion unless you still really practice it.

Why is this important?

The Census results are used to predict future demand for State services such as schools and hospitals, and other policies. If we get a falsely very high figure for Roman Catholics, and a falsely very low figure for people with no religion, it makes it more likely that the State will discriminate against people of other religions and nonreligious people when providing these services.

Also, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin says that it “does not make use of baptismal registers for calculating the Catholic population of the Archdiocese of Dublin. It relies solely on the data from the Central Statistics Office, obtained through the census, by which citizens themselves choose to record, or not, their religious affiliation.”

So careless answers to the question of religion will have an impact on the allocation of State resources, and on the political lobbying power of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. If you want a fair future based on accurate statistics, please answer this question honestly.

Catholic Church: We'd love to pay tax but…

Catholic bishops have warned that violence could erupt here if current levels of economic inequality are allowed to fester (Nine News, 09.59).

The bishops strongly criticised those who had lowered the minimum wage and promoted the bonus culture which has let us down badly and has given rise to what can only be described as reckless gambling practices.

The bishops were appealing to voters in a document entitled From Crisis to Hope: Working to Achieve the Common Good.

In it they urged people to vote for a more cohesive and fair society.

Yes, that sounds really impressive – Working to achieve the common good, a fair society.

Predictably, however, the Catholic Church is on the side of politicians, bankers, judges and higher civil servants when it comes to who should actually pay for the ‘common good’.

Bishop John Kirby said he would have no problem with a wealth tax being imposed on the windfall profits that the church has earned from the sale of development land. But he underlined that the church had charitable status

In other words; we would love to make a contribution but we don’t actually pay tax – suckers.