On paedophilia – is that it?

The Dublin media still seem shell-shocked that so little came out of the Pope’s meeting with the Irish bishops. It’s as if they can’t believe it- maybe asking themselves for a moment, did we dream it all up? There are some signs of a delayed reaction. The extraordinary interview style of one Keith Finnegan, presenter at Galway Bay FM, produced the following exchange with Bishop Drennan of Galway, so remarkable that the Irish Times carried the (slightly inaccurate) transcript. Here Msgr Drennan appears to give an episcopal two fingered salute to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. Apart from the news that the bishop won’t resign, did the Catholic faithful of Ireland receive any benefit at all for the price of 23 return airfares to Rome?

.I did meet Archbishop Martin, yes.. I think, from what I heard, I think he’s satisfied now that I have taken responsibility for my actions. I responded to his letter and he did mention that ..not on this occasion in Rome, but on other occasions, that he felt I had taken responsibility for my actions so I think I’m satisfied on that score, yes.
KF: And is he prepared to say “Ok, Martin Drennan, the gloves are off, get on with your ministry”, even though it’s not his role to tell you to get on with your ministry, is it?
BD: It’s not, no, n fact I know he’s no direct responsibility for me. My direct responsibility is to the Archbishop of Tuam, the Papal Nuncio and then the congregation in Rome.
KF: And then Cardinal Brady as well
BD: Yes.
KF: So you don’t need his permission then, still it would be nice if you could all get on together and move forward.
BD: Well, it would be actually inappropriate for him to be writing to me about my behaviour at this stage. That would be inappropriate diplomatically, it would

On his return from Rome the Archbishop of Dublin was unusually delphic in this Indo report of an Ash Wednesday encounter. Has he been spiked by the Vatican ? And is this all that’s to be said about victims of abuse and negligent clergy before they move on to the healing balm of church reorganisation?

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London