“a somewhat Jesuitical distinction..”

The RTÉ report contains signs of a potential power struggle involving various parts of the Irish arm of the Catholic Church, and the Irish State, in the aftermath of the Ryan Report – noted by Brian here. For the State, as the Irish Times’ Mary Raferty notes, former Irish government Minister, Michael Woods, has been defending the government’s 2002 agreement with the Church [indemnity for the religious orders inolved from all redress claims made by victims in exchange for payments and property transfers totalling €127 million], and former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has been defending his actions. For the Church, the “18 congregations that signed the Redress Agreement with the Government in 2002” released this statement – “Rather than re-opening the terms of the agreement reached with Government in 2002, we reiterate our commitment to working with those who suffered enormously while in our care.” As the Irish Times also notes, that statement runs contrary to the expressed wishes of Cardinal Seán Brady and others, who had called for the 2002 deal to be “revisited”, and Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, “The religious congregations should look now at what has emerged and ask themselves is that the picture that we understood nine years ago, was that the reality nine years ago” – more from Archbishop Martin here. And, as the gardai examine the report, Cardinal Brady is to take it upstairs.. [To the Emperor? – Ed] The current Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, is waiting to hear what the Church decides to do.. Adds Brian has similar thoughts.Additionally, WorldbyStorm has a number of interesting posts on the Church/State issue, the latest one is here.

And As does P O’Neill.

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  • Catholic state for a Catholic people

    “Since the coming of St Patrick 1500 years ago Ireland has been a Christian and a Catholic nation….she will remain a Catholic nation”.

    “If I had a vote on a local body, and if there were two qualified people who had to deal with a Catholic community, and if one was a Catholic and the other was a Protestant, I would unhesitatingly vote for the Catholic”. (Eamon de Valera)

  • Pete Baker

    Try to keep to the actual current topic.

    Rather than discussions over historical statements.

  • dona nobis pacem

    your blog is of an opaque and unintelligible constitution – it’s almost as bad as Brian Walker’s. I can barely make it out – tell me, are you referring to the exact same topic Walker posted about a few minutes ago?

    and why the need for 19 hyperlinks, a pointless and laughably uncomical ‘ed’ intrusion, plus 2 ‘adds’?

  • Pete Baker

    “it’s almost as bad as Brian Walker’s.”


    But try thinking before commenting next time.

  • Greenflag

    “Rather than re-opening the terms of the agreement reached with Government in 2002, we reiterate our commitment to working with those who suffered enormously while in our care.”

    These terms need not only to be reopened but reviewed in their entirety and a new one drawn up which compensates victims while they are still alive ! . These ‘orders’ have apparently been using the civil law as a means to slow down and restrict even the payment of their share of the 2002 agreement ?

    These people are hypocrites plain and simple and it appears that even the hierarchy of the RC Church in Ireland is no longer prepared to defend their obstinacy ?

    The material dragged up in this debate i.e from Waters, O’Brien , World by Storm etc should be enough to convince most observers that the while the State is culpable for it’s neglect in oversight – the prime responsibility has to lie with the RC Church in Ireland as an institution.

    We have seen what has happened in the ‘economic ‘ world when the ‘bankers ‘ of Wall St were allowed to regulate themselves ? What we are seeing in Ireland is an organisation (the RC Church ) which has been able to run rings around the Irish State and even in earlier times around the British administrations in pre independence Ireland .

    The Irish State needs to return to (one wonders did it ever have ) true Republican principles and separate the Church /Churches from having any control over State institutions.

  • Big Maggie

    For me the best comment on these atrocities came from Libby Purves writing yesterday in The Times under the heading:

    Catholic Church is living with one foot in Hell

    Purves pulls no punches, quoting among others Colm O’Gorman:

    “How can it be,” asks Mr O’Gorman, “that a church hierarchy who comment on a children’s film [Harry Potter] can fail to comment on a report, commissioned by this State, that found Rome culpable in the rape and abuse of Irish children?”

    Purves goes on to say:

    “Now the wider, more terrifying Ryan report has met with almost equal evasion and the Church — which raked in millions from government subsidy over decades — has even managed to slough off most of its financial responsibility.”

    It’s an article worth reading. The comments are also worth a look. I thought this one was spot on:

    “The basic problem in Ireland is the involvement of church in government. In19th Century England, the church were responsible for running the parish poor houses & later the government legislated Workhouses to imprison the poor. That wicked partnership is long abolished, but not so in Ireland.”

  • Greenflag

    Excellent article from Libby Purves -thanks BM

    We’ve yet to see however if the Irish (government & people) will address this issue ‘square on ‘ or will the wicked partnersip be allowed to resume .

  • A marxist take on this story.

  • Socialism or Barbarism
  • My only regret about the situation as it is now is that it took this report to enrage the populace against the deal with the Orders, when they should have been enraged when it was agreed. Now that we have the Celtic Tiger Hangover and are enraged at everything, we want to redo a deal that several commentators at the time said should not be ratified by the Government – but it was.

    Michael Woods, in my opinion, placed religion above the sworn duty he had as a Minister to vindicate the interests of the Irish people.* Some of us knew that then, the rest are “discovering it” now. His Cabinet colleagues of the day are accomplices in this matter.

    * In Rome’s eyes of course, that is how it’s always supposed to be – see the frequent harassing of Catholic politicians who dare to take affirmative positions on questions of choices to have an abortion or recognise gay marriage.

  • Big Maggie

    Socialism of Barbarism,

    That’s a very interesting blog (if a bit hard on the eyes). I liked the conclusion:

    “The state has failed generations of vulnerable working class children and it continues to fail them. No change in the government will likely change this reality as they all seek to prioritise the needs and interests of the ruling class.

    “The logic of this brutality and betrayal of our most vulnerable is that moves towards a better society will only be achieved through popular mobilisation. The immediate demands need to include:

    “- a full separation of church and state;
    – the full expropriation of religious orders to pay off the greatest possible proportion of the €1.3billion price tag for their abuse of past generations; and,
    – the prioritisation of resources to meet the needs of our most vulnerable children so that not one more suffers abuse as a result of state failure.

    “Anything less would be a betrayal of their sacrifice.”

    Mark Dowling,

    Good post. And let’s not forget the proposed Anti-Blasphemy Law.

    And to think we’re fighting the Taliban elsewhere.

  • Big Maggie

    Socialism of Barbarism = Socialism or Barbarism


  • Big Maggie re Blasphemy Law – don’t get me started… Dermot Ahern would want to look at Woods under pressure now and shudder – because Woods was exactly who I thought of when I saw Ahern bring this forward.