Una Mullally: Irish Catholics should not endorse a toxic Church

Attending papal events supports an organisation that has failed to address its wrongs

Flags on sale in Knock, Co Mayo, ahead of Pope Francis’s visit. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Flags on sale in Knock, Co Mayo, ahead of Pope Francis’s visit. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

“I truly hate disloyal people.” Eric Trump tweeted, presumably in response to Omarosa Manigault Newman. The former US presidential aide is currently drip feeding damaging – if that term hasn’t lost all meaning when it comes to Donald Trump – and secretly recorded audio in what is one of the greatest promotions in recent history, for her book Unhinged. Loyalty can be a cloudy quality, especially when it comes to people, things or institutions that don’t deserve it. In those cases, it’s loyalty, not disloyalty that compromises you in the end. 

Kellyanne Conway, one of Trump’s most senior advisers, has a term for a particular virulent group of loyalists who stand by the president: “the October 8th coalition”. The date refers to those who kept blindly supporting Trump in the wake of the release of an Access Hollywood tape in which the then candidate bragged about sexually assaulting women. That moment, through Conway’s lens, was not a moment for abandonment, but a test of loyalty, a loyalty that was unshakable even knowing and hearing the most grotesque attributes and aspects of the man. 

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