Standing up to evil -- Ireland
A few days ago, the Irish authorities released the "Cloyne report", an official investigation into the Catholic Church's handling of priestly child-abuse cases in one part of Ireland during the period 1996-2000.
The words of the Irish Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, speak for themselves: the findings "could not be starker or more disturbing", and also "words are not enough nor is condemnation sufficient". Church officials, true to their normal pattern, routinely failed to report abuse cases to the police, preferring to handle offenders secretly via the Church's own useless internal system of "canon law". Responsibility for this extends up to the Vatican itself.
The encouraging part is the response of the Irish government, which is already planning to make failure to report child abuse to the civil authorities a criminal offense carrying a five-year prison sentence; Shatter promises that there will be "no legal grey area" to obstruct prosecution of Church officials for such dereliction.
Further, yesterday Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny delivered an unprecedented verbal attack on the Church. Speaking formally in Parliament, he declared that "the revelations of the Cloyne Report have brought the government, Irish Catholics and the Vatican to an unprecedented juncture", and that the relationship between Ireland and the Church could never again be the same.
The Church's grip on Irish minds has already loosened greatly, and if the government is now prepared to openly confront and attack the Church over its monstrous crimes in covering up child abuse, then this is of much greater significance than the recession which dominates much of the news coverage of that country. Booms and recessions come and go, but to finally break free from that evil institution which had held Ireland in a death-grip from the early Dark Ages to the late twentieth century -- that is an immortal victory indeed.