Last weekend I was a slight muppet and muddled dates. I was supposed to attend my nephew’s First Holy Communion back in Galway. I’m sorry that I disappointed my sister and all the effort that she would have gone to to celebrate the occasion, but how on earth could I stand in a church and endorse such nonsense especially when so many of their leaders are people whom one cannot take seriously.
On ITV’s News At Ten last night, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, the chap who became the latest Archbishop of Westminster, most senior Catholic in the UK, was asked about the 2,600 page report on clerical abuse in Ireland published yesterday.
“It’s very distressing and very disturbing. And my heart goes out today, first of all to those people who will find that their stories are now told in public.
“Second, I think of those in religious orders and some of the clergy in Dublin who have to face these facts from their past, which instinctively and quite naturally they’d rather not look at.
“That takes courage. And also we shouldn’t forget that this account today will also overshadow all of the good that they also did.”
I’m trying to think of something articulate and measured to say here, but the only word coming to my mind is ‘muppet’. At least Patrick Walsh, a spokesman for the Irish Survivors of Child Abuse, has more eloquence, describing the archbishop’s utterances as ‘the verbiage of unreason’.
After all these years, I’ll give the Church one thing, it still knows how to get our attention.
However, it stopped deserving our respect a long time ago.
Read more: The Executive Summary [pdf] of the Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse and the full Report.
Also: On April 10, 2009, Nichols rejected the calls of former Prime Minister and Catholic convert Tony Blair for the Church to change its views on homosexuality, saying, “I am afraid the way the Catholic Church thinks is rather different to [Blair’s thinking] and…I will take my guide from Pope Benedict actually.” Daily Mail