Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

“denied the right to intervene in public debates..”

Mon 25 August 2008, 12:08am

Apparently the representative of Emperor Pope Benedict XVI in Ireland, Cardinal Séan Brady, “has suggested that EU hostility to religion may have prompted some Irish voters to reject the Lisbon Treaty. That wasn’t one of the options available in the Eurobarometer poll.. as noted previously by Mick. But the only option that was close only received 2% support. More from the RTÉ report

He warned that ignoring this trend had inevitable political and social consequences, not least on levels of support for the European project itself. He said it may be important for the EU to review its prevailing pragmatism that results in Christians being denied the right to intervene in public debates, or at least having their contribution dismissed as an attempt to protect unjustified privileges, such as the right to employ supporters of the Christian ethos of institutions like schools. [added emphasis]

He said the same might be said of controversies over stem cell research, the status of same sex unions, the primacy of the family based on marriage, and the culture of life. Complaining that Irish media are so secular, Dr Brady also warned that the founding ideals of the EU could not succeed unless public debate in Ireland reconsidered more strongly our traditional moral values.

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, and former Prime Minister Blair, would probably agree.. Although I’d suggest that it would depend on what Cardinal Brady means by “the right to intervene”. But it’s clear his real target is secularism.. “aided and abetted by secret sects, satanic groups and New Age movements..” no doubt..

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Comments (20)

  1. Ulsters my homeland says:

    What’s the Pope complaining about, sure he’s the universal Pope, so who can stand in his way?

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  2. ulsterfan says:

    The Cardinal complains that the media are secular.
    Long may it remain so.
    He is not happy that moral debates do not take place.
    Surely it is the job of the Churches to initiate such debates and the fact they are not very successful suggests no one is listening.
    The Catholic Church has ample opportunity to join in as one of many stake holders.

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  3. billie-Joe Remarkable says:

    “Cleric Criticises Secularism Shocka!”

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  4. cynic says:

    “Christians being denied the right to intervene in public debates”

    My Vatican – English Universal translator changed this phrase to

    ” holy shit, the old tactic of strong arming the Taoiseach to get what we want doesn’t work any more”

    Shows how out of touch they are. Church attendance falling like a stone and vocations dropping and they think that people aren’t engaging on European issues because there isn’t a sufficient religious influence on the EU?

    Errr,….. I think that actually the Church has a deeper problem, of engagement than even the EU does and the good Cardinal might be better to try and address that.

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  5. cynic says:

    PS Haven’t they tried prayer ……..

    Whoops sorry, yes that was in poor taste

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  6. Nevin (profile) says:

    Is COMECE being ignored by the EU Commission?

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  7. BfB says:

    Church attendance is falling. Bring on guiltless infanticide, murder, lying, cheating, stealing, cheating on your spouse, abandoning your children, refusing responsibility for anything, wow…. ain’t socialist europe great?

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  8. Greagoir O' Frainclin says:

    Surely the good Christ believing religious folk of Ulster would have to agree with the pope Benny here! Eh!

    But actually, cynic is right with……

    “Shows how out of touch they are. Church attendance falling like a stone and vocations dropping ….”

    …and let’s hope it remains so!
    It may be the death of Christian Europe, but fuck it, it served it purpose once in the Dark Ages but not anymore! It’s all about fate not faith!

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  9. cynic says:

    “Is COMECE being ignored by the EU Commission?”

    Interesting. At first it looks as though its a pan-church lobby group but only when you look at it more closely do you see that its a front for the Catholic Church.

    After 2000 years in the business of influencing KIngs Globalization has nothing to teach them

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  10. Greenflag says:

    Bfb,

    ‘ Bring on guiltless infanticide, murder, lying, cheating, stealing, cheating on your spouse, abandoning your children, refusing responsibility for anything, wow…. ain’t socialist europe great? ‘

    On all of the above ‘moral ‘criteria ‘socialist’ Europe by which I take it you mean Germany , Denmark , France , Sweden , Ireland, Holland , Belgium , the UK , Finland , Spain and Italy all have less murder per capita than the God centered USA , have less people in prison per capita . Thus one has to assume that along with a high penchant for God comes an even higher tendency to committ crime . As for childen there’s not a single country in Western Europe that has a higher neo natal mortality rate than the USA . As for no kids left behind -alas American educational standards are continuing to fall behind not only european countries but of those of the fast developing countries of East Asia . A Harvard professor was recently quoted as stating that if it was not for ‘affirmative ‘ action to help the African Americans and the Whites Harvards Medical School would have a student undergraduate intake of 50% Asian background ‘

    As for ‘political ‘ morality among the neo cons and Republican degenerates of this regime well the list is now so long that I don’t have time to print them all but not to worry you’ll soon see the full list :)

    But here’s just a few to jog your ADS memory

    Bill O’Reilly the Falafel or was that a Loofah Fetishist.

    Strom Thurmond the advocate of segregation of blacks and whites except of course for his penis .

    Rev Ted (‘Say No to Gay Marriage’ but say YES to GAY Hookers ) Haggard ‘ another born again hypocrite and Bush’s Christian ‘advisor ‘.

    Larry ‘Wide Stance’ Craig of R-estroom fame .
    Pervert number ? in the GOP House of Sodomy .

    Rev Jerry ‘Blow them away in the name of the Lord ‘ Falwell.

    Rudi ‘American hero and champion serial adulterer’
    Giuliani .

    Rev Pat ‘Fatwa’ Robinson .

    Anne “Coultergeist” the right wing telebimbo who fantasises about blowing up the NY Times building and making ‘torture’ a televised spectator sport . No need to hide Guantanamo ‘water board’ sports eh :(

    Bush had the first Republican governing majority in nearly 70 years . And what did he do with it . With Cheney and Rove holding tightly on to one side of the wheel and Bush and Rumsfeld to the other these four morons steered the economy , the military and America’s worldwide credibility straight into a ditch .

    It’s exactly what one would expect from the ‘compassionate conservative faith based ideology’ built on the premise that Government doesn’t work .

    It’s begun to dawn on tens of millions of Americans that the above four bozos would probably destroy anything they were put in charge of :(

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  11. Greenflag says:

    ‘Complaining that Irish media are so secular, Dr Brady ‘

    Ah the poor man . Shure he must miss the good old days when journalists to a man could be relied on to keep any ahem ‘unsavoury ‘ business with regard to paedofilic priests , mistress owning Bishops or church funds embezzling clergy off the front pages .

    The Cardinal fails to realise that the RC Church has lost much of it’s ‘moral ‘ compass. Many people in the Irish Republic are still ‘pissed’ that the Government bailed out the Church with millions of the taxpayers money as a ‘reward’ for it’s disgraceful ‘hiding ‘ of the behaviour of these clerical perverts over decades .

    No wonder the RC Church is declining in Ireland . We can look forward to achieving Belgian and English levels of Church attendance by 2020 if not sooner

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  12. joeCanuck says:

    “Christians being denied the right to intervene in public debates”

    If they mean Christian “leaders, all I can say is Halleluiah.

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  13. abucs says:

    When secular means neutral there is not a problem. When secular is viewed as elitist and anti-religious, then there is a problem.

    And the question mark over stem cell research should be clarified as EMBRYONIC stem cell research.

    And while i’m at it, can we drop any reference to the “Emperor” Pope Benedict as the European emperors and the Popes down the ages were often in open disagreement.

    OK, complaining now over.

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  14. cynic says:

    Greenflag

    I think you are a tad unfair in your comparisons with the USA and lack a little perspective.

    Bush is an idiot of the first order but you almost make me nostalgic for some of our own more colorful politicians who led such blameless lives.

    For example poor Charlie Haughty who spawned all those Tribunals which have been such a reaffirmation of Christian Values in irish political life and contribution to any future history of the brown envelope. And ‘getting the leg over’ was always a popular Irish political and social activity.

    Locally its a much more modest haul (probably because they have had less power and there’s much less to steal). So we are left those with sexual peccadilloes and minor hypocrisies involving sports massage sessions that ‘;went wrong’ or those who are so pathologically afraid of homosexuals that their ravings even embarrass our right wing bigots (most of whom know they have at least one family member who’s a bit queer).

    The Churches of course have always been bulwarks in the sexual misconduct field and many a young Irishman and Woman North and South has started their sex education in the firm but capable hands of a member of the clergy.

    And then of course we did spend 40 years slaughtering each other which the Americans haven’t done for at least 160 years (other than in domestic disputes, general crime and gang related drive by shootings which shouldn’t really count).

    And of course that nice Mr Hitler (an atheist too!) was European while Mussolini was a ‘devout’ Catholic and, at a pinch, we might throw in Stalin (who was from Georgia) on the basis that he paid the rent on half the content for about 40 years. Mass murderers to a man.

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  15. Nevin (profile) says:

    Séan’s comments on the ‘right to intervene’ would seem to be at odds with this snippet from a 2008 COMECE press release:

    Finally, the COMECE Bishops acknowledged the achievements of Mgr Noël Treanor, Secretary General of COMECE since 1993, and his efforts to assist the Catholic Church as a proactive partner in dialogue with the EU institutions.

    Is Noël’s ‘transfer’ from Secretary General of COMECE to Bishop of Down and Connor a promotion or demotion – or neither?

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  16. Greenflag says:

    cynic ,

    ‘I think you are a tad unfair in your comparisons with the USA and lack a little perspective. ‘

    I was making a comparison in the present time. There are I believe some 3,000,000 people behind bars/jailed in the USA . The educational comparisons have been around for at least the past decade . Your perspective takes in a much longer time frame e.g the Stalin etc references. Note to self -must not reply to BfB”s generalised rants .

    The rest of your post I won’t disagree with except to say that a full perspective of the RC and other Churches ‘roles’ in Ireland should go far beyond the revelatory scandals period and take into account a 1,500 year ‘presence ‘ on this and our neighbouring island .

    As for our home grown Il Duce? A reminder to all of us that when politicians who earn ‘modest ‘ salaries’ are suddenly seen flaunting great wealth it’s a sure sign that there’s something not just wrong in the State of Denmark but also much closer to home .

    The ‘motivations ‘ and ‘psychology’ behind the emergence of the politician mind set are complex and often contradictory . I put it down to not getting enough of their mother’s milk from birth :)

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  17. Big Maggie says:

    If Benny and Brady want a greater say in society they should consider paying taxes like the rest of us.

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  18. Comrade Stalin says:

    cynic,

    I think Greenflag was reacting to BfB. A big mistake, BfB is something of an intellectual black hole, no light can escape from it. I don’t think he was denying that Europe has problems. We certainly do. But suggesting that the USA is free of the problems that BfB listed is wide of the mark. In fact, BfB would probably characterize certain regions of the USA – let’s say, New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans maybe – with those same characteristics. A sad case.

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  19. Mr E Mann says:

    >Mr Hitler (an atheist too!)

    Cynic, since that one is a little pearl often related by religious people, I’m going to give you a little history lesson. It’s not clear we can say anything firm about Hitler’s religious beliefs, but there’s no evidence that he was an atheist. Hitler was a nominal Catholic for his entire lifetime. He said various things at different times about his religious beliefs, due to changing political expediency and also because he was insane. He sometimes said he rejected Xianity. So does the Dalai Lama, but that doesn’t make him an atheist.

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  20. BfB says:

    CS

    What kind of shoes am I wearing, and what am I having for dinner.
    Another mind reading, motive assigning, over educated, less than intelligent, socialist, prat.
    But well written.
    Imho, that is.

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