Monday, September 12, 2011

Irish Justice Minister, Alan Shatter chicken out from the mighty Vatican

The Vatican Bank can afford to buy anyone's soul no matter how powerful they are in the world. So now let us watch if and how the Vatican will buy the soul of the Irish Prime Minister Edna, read our related article Vatican Titanic Ship hits icebergs in New York and Ireland !!! and watch his speech in Irish parliament here Irish PM Enda Kenny speech on Cloyne Report: VIDEOS Ireland condemns Vatican secrecy on Cloyne Diocese pedophile priests. Ireland vis-à-vis USA: the way they deal with crimes by the Vatican

The Vatican's 2 most powerful tools of deception are the Sacraments of the Eucharist, or sorcery of God's flesh and blood, and the Sacrament of Confession where priests literally control and hypnostise the minds and souls of peoples.

Ireland seemed to ahve attacked the fallacy of the Sacrament of Confession until it backed down recently.

Facts aren't the same as the truth

The argument about confession goes to the heart of the canker of special privilege, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

Sunday Independent

Sunday September 11 2011

Bishops deal in eternity, not tomorrow's headlines. All the same, they'd be foolish to ignore the results of the online poll on the Independent website last week, which found that almost nine out of 10 respondents believed Enda Kenny was right to stand over his comments about the Vatican obstructing the investigation into child abuse allegations, despite a lengthy statement from the hierarchy in Rome denying any wrongdoing.

Men in dog collars thronged the airwaves, demanding the Taoiseach now withdraw his angry claims in the Dail, made following the publication of the Cloyne report; some even wanted an apology. But they made the classic error of mistaking facts for truth. The facts were, according to the Holy See, that they didn't do such and such a thing on such and such a date. The truth was that the Catholic Church has dealt poorly with the most vulnerable of its flock. It was that truth to which an angry Mr Kenny was giving voice, and which he was entirely right last week to stand over.

It's a pity the Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, didn't learn the lesson from the positive public response to his leader's tenacity. He let facts obscure

truth too, when, launching the forthcoming legislation on the protection of children, he admitted that the bill would not include specific provisions requiring priests to pass on information about paedophiles gleaned in the confessional, though the interpretation being passed about was still that the law would apply to all equally, priests included.

He even went so far as to describe confession as an "entirely bogus issue", and later, on Friday's Morning Ireland, as "irrelevant" and a "huge distraction". To a fact-fetishist, or a lawyer, maybe. To ordinary Catholics, on whose behalf the Taoiseach spoke so eloquently, it's the nugget at the heart of any efforts to persuade the betrayed faithful that the Church has changed. If the Vatican, having failed in its duty of care to thousands of children, still wants to pick a theological fight over this, and still sees getting any direct reference to the confessional removed as a victory, that's not "bogus", it's a hugely symbolic indication of where their clerical heads are at.

Put simply, the minister has backed down. In July, he said without equivocation that there could be no exceptions to the law making it a criminal offence to withhold information about the sexual abuse of children. Suddenly he says that refusing to pass on secrets will only be a crime "unless there is a reasonable excuse not to do so", a proviso which can apply only to priests, because no one else would get away with it. Reading between the lines of what he said on Morning Ireland, it clearly is still his contention that priests would be required to provide relevant information to gardai, but in the absence of any specific reference to that in the bill, why should anyone be reassured? "Trust us" isn't good enough anymore, either from the Vatican or the Government.

It could be that, having made an impassioned stand back in the wake of the Cloyne report, the minister was quickly made aware that there was nothing he could do, because clause 2, subsection a, paragraph IV of the Pettifoggers' Handbook forbade him from making his meaning explicit. If so, we'd understand. We all know what lawyers are like. But don't now make it seem as if the whole argument about confession is a piece of silliness, beneath the dignity of rational men. It isn't. It goes to the heart of the canker of special privilege that eats away at all closed organisations. That the Vatican claims its own concessions are rubberstamped by God simply makes the problem more acute.

It isn't even about finding and punishing those who've committed crimes against children, because, were priests to be required to pass on sensitive information to the authorities, then obviously no offender would whisper his crimes through the grille for fear of being caught. But it would certainly prevent many paedophiles, notoriously manipulative individuals by necessity, from deliberately seeking to hide their crimes from the world by tying the tongues of priests in the confessional.

It would also deny the same paedophiles from enjoying an inner consolation that they would then have to seek by more public acts of contrition.

Confession is a remarkable sacrament, conferring instant, free peace of mind on people who would otherwise have to pay thousands in fees to therapists. All it requires is some modest act of penance, a few Hail Marys here, a decade of the rosary there, and celestial forgiveness is guaranteed. "I absolve you of your sins" -- powerful words of divine comfort. The other side of that coin for priests is surely that the ability to absolve sins carries an enormous weight of responsibility, and should never be allowed to degenerate into some act of casual juju, tossed about as lightly as blood from a sacrificial chicken in a voodoo ritual. Expecting civil society to make exceptions in law for private religious convictions requires an extraordinary proof of integrity in return. Can the Church honestly say it has done enough to earn the right to keep the secrets of the guilty?

Priests could easily require that those who confess to serious crimes should submit themselves to the proper legal authority as a demonstration of remorse before the magic words "I absolve you of all your sins" can be given. Penitents are meant to show a sincere resolve never to repeat their offences. How can they do that without a willingness to be justly punished for the crimes they've already committed?

The Vatican could make child abuse a so-called "reserved sin", one of a small group for which automatic excommunication is the punishment and from which only the Pope himself can provide absolution. The Church even has an Apostolic Penitentiary, or "tribunal of conscience", which meets in secret to rule on the most serious of sins, including defiling the Eucharist, attempting to murder a Pope, or participating in an abortion, even by paying for it, and then attempting to enter holy orders. Another on the select list of most serious sins, ironically, is a priest breaking the sanctity of the confessional. It would do much to assuage public distrust of the Church if the Apostolic Penitentiary regarded abusing children with the same degree of theological horror.

The suspicion that Hell would freeze over first is what fuels mistrust of the Church's sincerity. That's what Enda Kenny was talking about. It's what Alan Shatter should have been talking about too. Bills come and go. Truth is more important.

No comments: