Anti-Catholic Ireland

From the January 2015 Print Edition

In July 2011, Ireland’s newly elected Prime Minister (or “Taoiseach”) Enda Kenny launched an unprecedented attack on the Vatican. Another report into child sex abuse by priests had just been published. Kenny decided to place the blame for clerical sex abuse firmly on the shoulders of the Vatican even more than on the local Church. He accused the Vatican of “dysfunction, disconnection, elitism,” and “narcissism.” He said it had “downplayed” the “rape and torture of children” and upheld instead “the primacy of the institution, its power, standing, and ‘reputation.’” He added: “Far from listening to evidence of humiliation and betrayal with St. Benedict’s ‘ear of the heart’ . . . the Vatican’s reaction was to parse and analyse it [child sex abuse] with the gimlet eye of a canon lawyer.”Nothing like this speech had ever been heard before in the history of the Irish State. Indeed, it was hard to think of any other Western leader attacking the Vatican in such strong terms.A large section of the public loved it, though, and the whole of the Irish media, too. It struck a chord. Why? Why did so many people in a country that was once so Catholic rise to applaud the speech? The answer is that we were so Catholic. Continue Reading »