OK, so here is what has happened so far.
Cardinal Sean Brady, Ireland’s most senior Catholic cleric voiced vehement opposition to Irish government’s plans to criminalize priests who do not report sex abuse admitted in the confessional. In other words, he was essentially telling the Irish Government to Fuck Off because they answer to an (imaginary) authority that allows them to ignore the law of the land.
The background context for all this is that the recently issued Cloyne Report, illustrated that they are still, to this very day, covering up abuse and protecting abusers. They claimed to have cleaned house, but that was window dressing, nothing had changed. As a response to the Cloyne report, the president of the Irish Republic, Enda Kenny, launched a public verbal attack upon the Vatican, and promised new laws that would hold priests to account if the were discovered to have hidden abuse. So, it was in this context that the Cardinal claimed (in public) that if abuse is confessed to a priest, he is obliged to be silent and do nothing. His exact words last Sunday were …
“Freedom to participate in worship and to enjoy the long-established rites of the church is so fundamental that any intrusion upon it is a challenge to the very basis of a free society”
I need not explain how abhorrently immoral and evil that is … priest finds out about ongoing abuse via a confession, and he is obliged to do nothing at all. Most normal humans are fully capable of identifying this as wrong, yet because these clerics have an imaginary friend, they feel this is OK.
In reply, the latest news is (and this is the good part) …
The Irish justice minister has said that forthcoming child protection measures, including mandatory reporting will “apply regardless of any internal rules of any religious grouping”
In other words, they will no longer be able to claim belief as a get-out-of-jail-free card. We are not there yet, the legislation is in the works and still needs to be polished off and ratified, but it will hold all to account, no exceptions … period. Now that truly is a step in the right direction.
Links for More Information
- A priest in Londonderry has said he would be prepared to go to jail rather than break the seal of confession. (Fine by me, I’d be quite happy for these clueless idiots to be locked up)
- The BBC’s detailed guide to the Cloyne report