Father Godwin & Other Distractions
Via the Daily Telegraph:
Vatican officials have accused Enda Kenny, Ireland’s prime minister, of diverting attention away from the Irish euro crisis by attacking the Roman Catholic Church over its covering up of sex abuse. Giuseppe Leanza, the Vatican’s envoy to Ireland, was posted to Prague on Friday, just days after he was recalled to Rome amid a row between the Vatican and Irish government over the sexual abuse of children by priests. A report into the Irish diocese of Cloyne earlier this month criticised how the church handled hundreds of cases of sexual abuse of children by priests going back over decades.
The findings shocked Ireland, a deeply Catholic country, and prompted Mr Kenny to launch an unprecedented attack on “dysfunction, disconnection, elitism and narcissism” at the Vatican. The Irish leader’s speech and the scale of the backlash against the Church has alarmed the Vatican as coming from a country where official and popular defiance of Rome was once unthinkable at a time when Catholic influence is slipping across Europe. Father Ciro Benedettini, a spokesman for the Holy See, expressed “surprise and disappointment over some excessive reactions” amid anger in Vatican at attacks that clerics believe might have a political motive. One high-ranking cleric told a newspaper that the Irish government, officially bankrupt and the recipient of a controversial EU-IMF bail-out, might be seeking to distract public opinion from economic woes.
On reading the story, it looks as if only “one high-ranking cleric” has actually gone public with this view, but still…
And then there’s this from the same report:
Some Irish priests have reacted furiously to Mr Kenny’s speech. In an article headlined “Heil Herr Kenny” Father Thomas Daly, a priest in County Louth, compared the Irish prime minister to the Nazis.
“The last European leader to make such a blistering attack on the Pope was the ruthless German dictator Adolf Hitler,” he wrote in a parish newsletter last weekend.
Father Daly has since apologized, but still…