Like most people in the country, I have been reading the Dublin Diocesan Report and following the news and comment.
Unlike most people in the country, there was little in it to surprise me.
I was horrified, of course but it was more or less what I would have expected.
The gut reaction of the media has been to castigate the authorities, and in particular the Gardai who were complicit in the cover-up. Personally, I don’t think they deserve the abuse that some have been heaping on them.
To understand the report, you have to understand what Ireland was like in the last five decades.
Back in the forties, fifties and sixties the ultimate power was the Catholic Church. The final judgement rested not with the Supreme Court but in the Archbishop’s Palace. McQuaid ruled the country with a rod of iron and he was the final arbiter when it came to matters of law, education and even the Constitution.
Having been educated in the fifties and sixties, I can confidently say that I, and the rest of the country, was brainwashed into a mindset that the Catholic Church was not only the only church and the only authority, but that it should be treated with the ultimate deference and respect. Even fifty years later, I can feel the results of that brainwashing as It was drummed into me to an extent that the Church’s philosophy became as much a part of me as my bones.
Last night, I watched Prime Time. It was a horrifying program, as it clinically dissected the evils within the Church. Not so long ago, that programme would never have been aired. The Church hierarchy would have never allowed it. In fact, I can guarantee that the RTE Authority would have been sacked on orders from The Palace.
It is in this light that we must judge the Gardai. They were merely following decades of a philosophy that the Church was right, and that it knew best. The Gardai who refused to accept this were the younger brigade who had not suffered so much of the brainwashing.
I reserve my contempt and hatred for the Church hierarchy who even to this day are pursuing their attitude of superiority. There are exceptions [very few] such as the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, who had the guts to cooperate with the inquiry yet is still incapable of saying a bad word about any one of the perpetrators.
So here we have an institution that is rotten to the core. From the bishops up to and including the pope, there is still an attitude of corruption, greed, lust for power and money and worst of all, an attitude that not only can they do no wrong, but are showing no signs whatsoever of contrition. They have not changed and will not change.
There is one thing that I can say with absolute confidence.
The Catholic Hierarchy has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity or faith.