News out of Dublin is that a report on further abuses of children by the Catholic Church is going to horrify everyone with the depth and magnitude of it all.
The good news is: that this statement was made by Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin and from the pulpit of the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin. Taking ownership, as it were, for destroying the lives of thousands of children.
The bad news (apart from the obvious atrocities) is: that there seems to be an underlying issue of self-service to this admission of guilt:
"We have no time to waste," Martin said yesterday. "There is a dramatic and growing rift between the church and our younger generations, and the blame does not lie principally with young people. Our young people are generous and idealistic but such generosity and idealism does not seem to find a home in the church."
He also illuminated the recruitment crisis in Irish Catholicism, in a country that once used to export its priests and nuns all over the world. "In the [Dublin] diocese there are 10 times more priests over 70 than under 40. In just a few years we will only have a little over 200 diocesan priests to minister to our almost 200 parishes."
Read all about it in The Guardian here
Ah, qu'elle surprise!, the attendance at church by the young Catholics of Ireland is abysmal and the attraction of new vocations just about zero.
I did the math and came up with this:
Low attendance+low number of clergy=empty collection plates.
A few of my family have been severely affected by clergy abuses, but those are their stories and not mine.
All I can recall is this drunken old priest hearing confessions when I was a child, nodding off over my recounting of my 'sins', asking me to repeat how saucy I was to my mother, how I stole the sweetie off the counter at the post office, and then snoring while I tried to wake him - "Father, Father?" to give me my penance so that I could fulfill my obligation before I left the church. Secure in the knowledge that if a bus knocked me down on the way home I didn't have to suffer in the fires of hell. For ALL eternity.
As a dear friend from Ireland always maintains: Ireland: The greatest open air lunatic asylum in the world.
Amen to that, brother, amen to that.