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Cowen shows he is 'second an Irishman, first a Catholic' - The Irish Times - Thu, Dec 03, 2009

LISTENING TO Taoiseach Brian Cowen in the Dáil on Tuesday as he delivered his semper fidelis (always faithful) defence of the Vatican and the papal nunciature to Ireland over their lack of co-operation with the Dublin diocesan commission, was to be reminded of other days and another taoiseach, writes PATSY McGARRY Religious Affairs Correspondent

In April 1951, during debate on the ill-fated Mother and Child Scheme, opposed by the Catholic bishops led by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid, then taoiseach John A Costello felt impelled to announce, "I am an Irishman second: I am a Catholic first and I accept without qualification in all respects the teaching of the hierarchy and the church to which I belong." He told the Dáil: "I, as a Catholic, obey my church authorities and will continue to do so."

It is hardly unfair to suggest that in his doughty defence of the Vatican's non-co-operation with a commission of this State, set up by a Government of which he was a member, our current Taoiseach has discovered he too is "an Irishman second".

You might say the same of his dismissal of requests for him to call for the resignation of bishops currently in office and named in the Dublin report, as a matter for the church not the State.

Is it not truly remarkable that a Taoiseach of this State can be so sanguine about an institution whose officer class oversaw the mass cover-up of rape and abuse of children in this State?

And all this in the face of findings that this same institution, willy nilly, moved child rapists and child abusers hither and thither, without regard to the children they had or would destroy, as it protected itself. To be specific, the report concluded that "the welfare of children, which should have been the first priority, was not even a factor to be considered in the early stages".

It continued that instead their focus "was on the avoidance of scandal and the preservation of the good name, status and assets of the institution and of what the institution regarded as its most important members - the priests."

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Dec 2nd, 2009 at 07:32:47 PM EST

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