Sunday, 31 July 2011

Ireland: an alternative point of view

I am not in a position to make my own comment on the controversy in Ireland over the Cloyne Report and the speech to the Dail by Taoiseach Enda Kenny. I was able to recognise that remarks about "the elitism, dysfunction, disconnection, and narcissism that dominated the Vatican" in all probability reached well beyond anything in the findings of an investigation into an Irish Diocese. I was also somewhat bemused by the recall of the Papal Nuncio from Dublin to Rome "for consultations". The language of the Holy See's spokesman -  that the recall "denotes the seriousness of the situation and the Holy See's desire to face it objectively and determinately, nor does it exclude some degree of surprise and disappointment at certain excessive reactions." - was diplomatic in the extreme. Such recalls for consultation are usually a signal of a serious disapproval of something in the relations with the host state, but I am not sure that this implication has really been taken up by the Holy See or by anyone else. Indeed, the reported appointment of Rev. Giuseppe Leanza to Prague has confused things even more.

An alternative point of view on these matters can be found:

How many questions on the Cloyne Report?

The Cloyne Report: tackling prevailing myths

There is a side story running, too, with regard to one of the possible candidates for the Irish Presidency: 1, 2 and 3. Is a different standard being applied to comment on this side story than to comment following the Cloyne report?

H/T Fr Tim (take care to read the whole post) and Fr Ray.

Two visits to Ireland in recent years have suggested to me both the strength and the weakness of the Church in Ireland. After one visit, I wrote about attending Mass one Sunday at Knock:
Mass struck me as expressing Irish Catholicism at its best - a very strong devotion on the part of the faithful - and at its worst - a complete lack of any real sense on the part of the clergy that this was Liturgy and was due some objective sense of honour.
I can't help but feel that the abuse scandals, and the ineffectiveness of the response of some in the Dioceses and religious orders of Ireland, must be eating away at the strength.

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