There is a powerful editorial in the Irish Catholic. It looks at a church that it says was unique to Ireland, and is now firmly in the past where it belongs.
‘‘Le catholicisme du type Irlandais” in many ways betrayed 14 centuries of unbroken and life-giving Christian tradition. Instead of fond memories of a nurturing Church, most remember an arrogant authoritarian Irish Church and a privileged clerical caste that obsessed over sexuality and hell fire and neglected the tender compassion of Christ.
It goes on to lay the blame for the current Irish situation firmly on the Irish bishops, and to call for firm action:
The Taoiseach’s speech, while unfair in some of the detail [a considerable understatement – Ed.], was an emotional roar from much of Catholic Ireland to the Vatican for action now. The Pope, in his Letter to Irish Catholics, promised reform but it is coming too slowly. Not only that, there is a ‘cabal’ to use Archbishop Martin’s term, of bishops actively trying to push the blame for their inaction on child abuse back on Rome. This is an amazing revisionism and even were it true, it ignores the primacy of conscience even over the Pope.
…And, now, we are tired of apologies that ring hollow. The Vatican has a once in a generational opportunity now and should seize it. The step-by-step approach to renewal hasn’t worked…
The Irish Church needs someone to grab it, shake it up and make it fit for purpose because it is not capable of reforming itself. The Vatican needs to do this. Irish Catholics love their Church and want it back.