From Catherine Brophy
The victims of clerical sexual abuse have borne the burden for long enough. It is time for the rest of us to take action. We can no longer expect either the bishops or the taoiseach to do anything. Their response to the Murphy report shows us clearly that either they do not understand or they do not care.
There are two simple actions which every catholic can take.
1. Stop attending Mass.
2. Stop donating money.
Bray, Co Wicklow
From Maurice O'Connell
One of the stranger aspects of the fallout from the Murphy Report has been that there has been little if any reference in the media to Jesus Christ. It is a measure of the degree to which Ireland 2009 is not only 'post-Catholic' but 'post-Christian' that such references should seem inappropriate, if not obsolete and redundant. And more than slightly embarrassing. Likely the oddities of an ancient eccentric spinster aunt.
As a lifelong (aspiring 'Roman Christian'!) pluralist I have struggled for the right of people not to have to recognise, let alone acknowledge, Jesus. Or indeed the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. And yet there are some people left in the island for whom the message of cherishing and love they associate with Jesus Christ is significant in their lives. For whom the true Roman Catholic Church provides the nearest approximation to what they believe is the message of Jesus.
For such people, precisely because of its denial of Jesus, the enormity, not just of the individual crimes against children, but of the cover-up and the idolatry towards the 'institution', is almost unbearable.
Indeed for some it has become unbearable. Literally.
Simplistically: They cannot compute how the church which claims to be the church founded by Jesus Christ could have allowed such things to happen. There is only one well-known reference to the abuse of children in the gospels but this satanic saga flies in the face of everything those gospels tell us about Jesus. About his message of brotherhood. And sisterhood. And the love of the Father for all.
The consecrated and ordained have failed us. But more importantly, they have failed Jesus Christ. In the most horrible way.
I believe that the current pope knows what has to be done but is paralysed by his own background and by his commitment to the 'institution'.
But christians of the Roman persuasion, the plain people of God, can believe that God speaks to them, even through the flawed institutional church and certainly through scripture. They can believe, that, having sought the guidance of the holy spirit on their knees, they can – and must – stand up as men and women, brothers and sisters of Jesus, and reclaim his church for themselves. And for him.
Fenit Without, Fenit,
Tralee, Co Kerry
From John Tierney
As we digest report after report laying bare the nefarious deeds committed against young children by elements of the Irish Catholic church, let us not forget that another strand of abuse exists – namely the treatment of the non-human members of our society by these dog-collared demigods.
The high level of Catholic clergy involved in bloodsports is a scandal that hurts the non-human members of our society. For years, priests have been involved in hare coursing, fox hunting and shooting. Their involvement in these evil activities has debased the teachings of the church that they subscribe too. It sends out a message that abusing and killing animals for fun is an acceptable element of being a good catholic.
The sickening sight of priests blessing hounds while wishing hunt followers a good hunting season is offensive and shows no respect for creation. For the so-called leaders of our moral guidance to mix with animal abusers shows how comfortable some priests are within a climate of fear and abuse.
It is open to speculation that perhaps the involvement of priests in bloodsports is their way of ejaculating their evil tendencies and twisted sexual urges onto a non-human. The hunting and hare coursing fields hide a multitude of sins and is no place for those pure of thought and deed.
No difference exists between animal abusers and child abusers. Both operate a system of dedicated actions designed to cause the greatest amount of pain and death over a prolonged period. They are evil people going about an evil project.
Irish society has woken up the evil of child abuse in our midst. It follows that we must extend that awakening to the evil of animal abuse and to the deeds of those who wallow in its depravity.
Association of Hunt Saboteurs,
PO Box 4734, Dublin 1