By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Monday, March 22, 2010

George Weigel on the Irish Catastrophe

Yes, a catastrophe (the dictionary defines "catastrophe" as an "extreme misfortune," hence the word is appropriate in this context). Here is the link sent to me by our Rhode Island "correspondent." Weigel rightly uses the adjective "disastrous" (see his second to last paragraph).

The article is aptly entitled "The End of Euphemism." Weigel zeroes in on the same points that I found most salient in the Pope's Irish pastoral letter on the abuse:

The letter acknowledges, for example, that two factors in the cover-up of sexual and physical abuse in Ireland were an excessive deference to ecclesiastical authority and a misplaced concern for the Church’s public reputation; the safe care of Christ’s little ones, the Pope insists, must have absolute priority over worries about how revelations of the sinfulness of Church professionals will “look,” and must have absolute priority over the career prospects of men in ecclesiastical office.

Source link (emphasis added by blogger).

Face reality. That is at the core of the Gospel message. Denial is neither sane nor healthy nor Christian nor Catholic. Period.

As a final note, I am also convinced that there must be a thorough, complementary examination of the psychological aspects of denial and enabling that created the conditions for this disaster to occur in the first place and to grow without check. That psychological inventory should also unflinchingly examine, without euphemism or false cultural correctness of any kind, the potential role of the often falsely "celebrated" legacy of alcohol abuse in Irish society. Lessons can be learned that can be applied elsewhere where the scourge of substance abuse is also present (as in, for example, my own very Catholic hometown of New Orleans and in many other places).

Update (3/24/2010): Pope accepts resignation of Irish bishop (see link).