There has been something which has been bugging me for the past few weeks that I need to get off my chest. Because I’ve been so busy with ‘Fastian’ of late, I haven’t found the time to give this blog the attention it deserves. Well, this morning, all other things get pushed to the side for I need to vent.
This morning, as well as a number of other mornings, I have picked up a newspaper to see the Catholic Church coming out and speaking out against the new legislation in Ireland regarding abortion. For those not up on the story, the Irish government is currently working on legislation to allow abortion ONLY where there is a real and significant risk to the life of the mother either physically or if they are suicidal. This has been voted on by the Irish people in TWO separate referendum in the past 20 years.
That is the background.
In the past few weeks, bishops, cardinals and others within the church have come out in force to speak out against such legislation, citing the right to life as their reason against it. Threatening excommunication to TD’s who vote for the legislation and calling on the Irish public to make their voices heard.
Now, this piece is neither pro life or pro choice. The Irish people have spoken and the legislation will go ahead. This is democracy. Whether I agree with the legislation is neither here nor there. I was old enough to vote in the second referendum with regards to this topic and I did. I had my voice at the polling station as did the entire country.
What bothers me is very simple. The absolute gall and hypocrisy of the Catholic Church. Over the past 70 years or so, we have found out about the abuse, the torture, the rape and following cover ups by the Church of what some of their members did to the youth of my country. In every county, children were being raped and abused by a minority of the clergy of the church. SEVENTY YEARS that we know of. In the mid 90’s the first of these stories came out and ever since then the flood gates have opened and other victims have been brave enough to come forward. Priests have been jailed for their crimes and rightly so.
Yet the church had to be dragged kicking and screaming from behind their pulpit to acknowledge the crimes of their church and to apologise to the victims. Still to this day, the compensation, which the church also fought tooth and nail to drag out for as long as possible, still has not been paid to all of the victims.
Yet here they stand now, rushing to speak to any media outlet that will have them, to preach about the sanctity of life. Where were these same men when the time came to apologise for their churches crimes? Where was the sanctity of life excuse when the victims were being raped and abused by pedophile priests? In fact, these men rush to a TV camera now to speak about the value of life, yet some of these same men knew all about the abuse within the church and none of them rushed to a police station to inform the police of sexual abuse that was going on.
One of these men is a man called Sean Brady. A cardinal. Who knew of numerous instances where children were being abused by certain priests and who did his best to cover it up and keep it quiet. The same man who not so long ago stood in front of a TV camera asking the people of Ireland to make their voices heard in the abortion legislation. Who preached about the right to life. The gall and the hypocrisy of the man is unbelievable. WHERE WERE YOU SEAN BRADY when the children of Ireland needed you??? What did you do about the abuse and rape of children when the information reached your ears??? That’s right, you helped cover it up. You and the rest of the church hierarchy, did all they could to keep it quiet and sweep it under the carpet.
My blood is pounding around my body as I write this. The anger inside me towards these men and the institution that is the catholic church is too much to portray through words. Yet anyone with an ounce of common sense can see the hypocrisy of the church in this matter. Again this is not a piece about abortion, or even about religious beliefs, this is about the men (and women in the case of the magdelende laundries) who knew all about the systematic rape and abuse of children by members of the clergy, covering it up, failing to apologise when it all came out and who are now, running to any camera they can find to speak out about the sanctity of life. If I am alone in seething in anger at this, then perhaps the world is as bad a place as it seems to be these days.