Wednesday, December 21, 2011


A few good things happened yesterday.  Obviously there were more but these were the ones I noticed:

Money (destined for charity) that I had thought I'd lost turned up in my office in the school.  I had last seen it on the refectory table in the friary and do not recall bringing it back to the school.  I had given up on St. Anthony and having searched our bins, my room and anywhere else I thought it might be said a prayer to my Dad that it would turn up.  I further prepared myself to explain to the donor (a member of staff) that I had lost the donation and would like to know the amount so that the friary could make good the loss.  When I arrived at my office there it was on the chair.

Then I was given a Nintendo Wii plus games and extras to give away.  It came via another member of staff, unused but without its box, and we had agreed to donate it to Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin.  I dropped it over to them today.

The third good thing was that my Mac, whose DVD drive has stopped working, will not have to be left in for repair but will be fixed while I wait as soon as they have the parts (I'm waiting for the call).

I was also given a Christmas present by a Sixth year: three handmade sweets.  I am saving them for Christmas day!

Small things that put an extra shine on the day.


Dr Peter Kreeft gave a talk in Steubenville about a month ago and it's worth listening too.  He has a clever, 'Chestertonesque' use of language and has something to say.  It complements the message of Michael Voris over at Real Catholic TV that we are called to be saints and to make a difference.  Only if we are really and truly trying to do God's will can Christianity survive in the modern world.

Monday, December 19, 2011


The Dutch Catholic child sex abuse has been out since Friday but the Catholic blogosphere is strangely quiet. Again we must face the draining of a cesspool of corruption going back to the forties. What went wrong that such evil should spread through the Church? How did it happen that Bishops and religious superiors should fail to deal effectively with this horror? How are to undo the hurt and the damage? At least had a post about it:

Serious questions need to be asked by both liberal and conservative, 'progressive' and traditionalist Catholics about how our Church allowed this to occur. Partly it was the industrialisation of care: the attempt to answer the social problem of large numbers of parentless or homeless children on an industrial scale. This attempt was also an attempt at social engineering treating children as mere parts of a machine that could be trained and disciplined to fit in. Typically it was underfunded and became a dumping ground for the less successful religious and teaching staff. This model created a 'killing ground' for pedophiles and other disturbed individuals. The damage could've been lessened if those in authority had listened and acted with greater integrity and effectiveness. Instead disastrous decisions were made to ignore, to hide and to deny what was going on. That is not just immoral it is criminal. 

Why then the silence from the Catholic blogosphere when there was so much comment when the Irish reports were published? Was Ireland worse? I don't think so. The Norwegians have a scandalous history in their handling of the Lebensborn: children of German and Norwegian parents who were also ill-treated and abused.  Why the silence on these cases?

Perhaps there still remain blindspots that need correction, biased positions that need to be confronted. Perhaps there are those who wish to see these issues in simplistic terms as belonging only to one class, e.g. 'homosexual pedophiles', or one people, e.g.'Irish Clerical sexual abuse', rather than a worldwide evil, a cancer that is eating away at mankind and corroding civilisation and especially the Church, from within.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Protect the Pope have a short article on some comments by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin drawing on reports in the Irish papers. Broadcast last night as part of RTE's 'Would you Believe?' series the Archbishop was interviewed by Mick Peelo.
“It requires maturity on those people who want their children to become members of the church community and maturity on those people who say ‘I don’t believe in God and I really shouldn’t be hanging on to the vestiges of faith when I don’t really believe in it’.” The Irish Times reports: ‘ The Archbishop of Dublin,Diarmuid Martin,has urged the country’s lapsed Catholics to have the maturity to leave the church. Over the past two decades,rising numbers of ‘a la carte’Catholics simply turn up at the altar for the sacraments like baptism,communion and marriage.
Of course the Archbishop's position that non-believers should not pretend to be believers and abuse the Sacraments becomes in the Irish Times an urging of "lapsed Catholics to have the maturity to leave the church". I agree with Fr. Hassett, a parish moderator, who believes the situation is more complex than a mere 'social Catholicism'. We have generations of poorly catechised and evangelised Catholics who are rejecting what they do not understand. Some have been badly hurt by clergy, religious or over-enthusiastic laity. For many it may be simply that it's easier to live in the halfway house of being culturally Catholic without committing to the faith in a real way. These people believe at some level but not enough to make a deeper, more public commitment. But what do we expect after all these years of liberalism and neglect? What do we expect when Confession is not promoted or when the Church's teaching is so often questioned evenly her own clergy? What we have are theists not Christians. There is belief in God 'somewhere way up there' but He is no longer so judgmental or authoritarian. Instead He has become rather soft. He has become a sort of Santa writ large but not much more real. The long road back from such a state will be long and hard indeed.


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