Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A Call To Arms...

Several people have said to me that the latest proposal by the Irish government to make failure to report any confessions of the sexual abuse of children a crime punishable by imprisonment would be completely unworkable, and therefore it isn't something to worry about. It isn't serious, it's just "an expression of disgust" at the crime of paedophilia which was for so long covered up and unreported.

On the contrary, I think that this is the start of a deliberate attack on the Church, because of her moral stance on issues such as marriage, contraception and abortion.

It may well be an unworkable law, but that is no reason to allow it to pass without protest.

Caroline McCamley, who writes the St. Genesius Blog is of the same opinion. She has put up the "Protect the Seal" ribbon with the invitation to share it around the blogosphere. We need to make a stand here and now, and not wait for the first priests in Ireland to be put on trial for refusing to break the Seal.

Show your support. And pray for the Church in Ireland.

(A twitch of the mantilla to Jane for bringing the campaign to my attention.)

5 comments:

diff said...

Maybe its the kick the Church in Ireland need to pick itself up off the floor, reform itself in line with Catholic tradition and once again become the light of Christ in Ireland.

For far to long the Irish Bishops have had the public speaking prowess of the Carthusians, coupled with the episcopal spine of a jellyfish while if influenced by anything at all it has been(in many cases) more zeitgeist than Heiligengeist.

As one (now thankfully retired) Bishop publicly stated anything that came from Rome went in the bin unopened. A most popular Bishop he was as well.

We the people of Ireland can't scapegoat the hierarchy entirely. We share a part of the blame as well.

It was our silence, our turning the head rather than the other cheek and our forcing vocations on those who didn't have a vocation to religious or priestly life has all played there part in this Scandalous tragedy.

Please pray for Ireland.
Our Church.
Our Clergy.
Our People.

Philly said...

Mulier, do you realise just how bad things have become with the Irish Clergy? No lie too low so a child can be abused, a paedophile protected, a reputation saved, a sanctuary destroyed, a Latin Mass refused, a heretical catechesis given in Catholic schools, a pro-life campaign undermined, civil partnerships permitted, divorce introduced? Will there be a single Catholic Priest willing to suffer for the Seal? Why are the Irish clergy happy to divert blame onto a Vatican that they seldom obeyed and that seldom made them? This is the WRONG campaign. Sacerdotal Privilege doesn't exist in the UK. Why should devious clerics be given a justification for more lies?

Mac McLernon said...

Philly, you are completely wrong.

Yes, child abuse took place, yes it was covered up, yes, priests and bishops have been guilty of abuse and cover-up.

But paedophiles are NOT confessing their sins, or, rather, only the really repentant ones are. The failure to report these despicable crimes was NOT the result of the Seal of Confession.

The attack on the inviolability of the Seal is actually an attack on the Church, and it will do absolutely NOTHING to safeguard children - the Irish government is making political capital out of the repugnance felt towards paedophiles.

And Ireland is the only country in the Western world to try to compel priests by law to incur excommunication by breaking the Seal. Even Communist Russia didn't manage to do that!

Fr Levi said...

My understanding of the situation re. UK law is that while the seal has no official exemption in the law, neither is it mentioned as specifically not having an exemption; in practise, it is treated as having a privileged position. It is much the same situation as exists in many of the states in the US as far as I am aware. (I am open to correction on any of this.)

The difference in Ireland is that the government has stated flat-out that that the seal would not have an exemption. The draft legislation has yet to be seen, but the presumption is that, if they go ahead with this, they will make specific reference to the Seal.

I personally feel that this encroachment will fail, not only because it is unworkable in practise, but because it is itself illegal. Not only is the practise of religion protected in international law, it is protected under Article 44 of the Irish Constitution. The protection is not absolute, but given the integral nature of the sacrament to the Catholic faith I can not see how the courts could fail to uphold the integrity of the Seal.

If this should come to pass, not only would it be a terrible thing for Confession itself, but it would open the door for all kinds of attacks on religion. Nothing would be sacred - literally.

While we're waiting to see how things turn out, it may be no harm to contact the Irish Government with your opinion on the matter. They are always interested to know the thoughts of those who might spend tourist dollars/pounds/euros/etc in our fair country! You can leave comments for out PM at My understanding of the situation re. UK law is that while the seal has no official exemption in the law, neither is it mentioned as specifically not having an exemption; it practise, it is treated as having a privileged position. It is much the same situation as exists in many of the states in the US as far as I am aware. (I am open to correction on any of this.)

The difference in Ireland is that the government has stated flat-out that that the seal would not have an exemption. The draft legislation has yet to be seen, but the presumption is that, if they go ahead with this, they will make specific reference to the Seal.

I personally feel that this encroachment will fail, not only because it is unworkable in practise, but because it is itself illegal. Not only is the practise of religion protected in international law, it is protected under Article 44 of the Irish Constitution. The protection is not absolute, but given the integral nature of the sacrament to the Catholic faith I can not see how the courts could fail to support the Seal.

While we're waiting to see how things turn out, it may well be no harm to contact the Irish Government with your opinion on the matter. They are always interested to know the thoughts of those who might spend tourist dollars/pounds/euros/etc in our fair country!

You can leave comments for our PM on the comments page of his department's website athttp://www.taoiseach.gov.ie/eng/

Indeed, you can find all the govenerment departments through
http://www.gov.ie/tag/departments/

God bless (& please pray for the Catholic Church in Ireland)

Multum Incola said...

I have blogged about it here, unforutantely in a rather Screwtapish style: http://multum-incola-fuit-anima-mea.blogspot.com/2011/07/letter-from-devil.html

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...