After the letter I blogged yesterday appeared in yesterday’s Irish Times, I received a very kind and warm letter from a Catholic Parish Priest.
He ministers in a parish which is vibrant, as are many of the Catholic parishes. There are numerous Masses each Sunday, the two main ones see the 800 seat church full. He is regarded with warmth and friendship by parishioners young and old.
His pain was that he could not say these things; a Protestant could say these things about the Catholic Church, but it would not have been accepted if a Catholic had said so.
No-one would deny the evil of the abusers who were concealed by both bishops and religious orders, and no-one would deny that the scandals shattered a trust that had been profound, but the Church was always far greater than the abusers and the concealers. What about all the good things that were done? What about all the good things that are still being done in parishes across the country?
I have a friend, a Protestant, who says that if it had not been for the Christian Brothers, he would have received no secondary education? Do the evil doings of some brothers invalidate the years of service of all brothers?
There seems an agenda at work. The scandals are used repeatedly as a stick with which to beat the Catholic Church every time it seeks to say anything. Beating it, to what end? Is there a hope that it will go away completely? Is there some vision of a society that has no Church?
What is the motivation of a media that studiously avoids saying anything positive about Catholics? And, if there is no motivation, why do they avoid reporting the truth?