A Sin Against the Holy Ghost
Deaglán de Bréadún
Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely, as Lord Acton said. The Catholic Church in this country had virtually absolute power (no, remove the word “virtually”) and the results can be seen in the grim pages of the Murphy Report and its predecessors.
More disturbing still is the likelihood that there are instances of child abuse, ranging perhaps into thousands and thousands, that we will never know about because they were successfully hushed-up or never even reported for whatever reason.
The notion that the welfare of little children in all their innocence and trust would come second or third or worse to the institutional interests of the Church is, in any good Catholic’s book, a mortal sin. An old-style Catholic would call it a Sin Against the Holy Ghost.
The Church has now lost a massive amount of moral authority. In many ways this is a good thing. In others, not so good. There is no alternative centre of moral authority in the State – can you really include Leinster House?
The consequences can be seen in a whole range of areas from gangland murders to corruption. There is what one can only describe as a gradual rise of moral anarchy in our society.
I gather that in the US, ordinary, that is to say, lay Church members have started a democratic movement to restore the Faith to its original foundations. We have seen no sign of this here yet. Men of the cloth are still calling the shots. How about it?