A characteristically perceptive and intelligent piece on Ireland by Pastor in Valle Adurni, about the plot to subvert the natural communities which still survive in many parts of Ireland. The secularising elite behind this need, above all, to destroy the Irish Church.
I find it difficult not to admire the Irish Church, despite all. Reasons are partly personal; the kindness I have always received from the Irish clergy; the willingness of Irish bishops to permit me formally and in writing to receive the Sacraments in their dioceses; gestures of friendship from, for example, the late bishop of Limerick, Jeremiah Newman (who wrote a book on the Recovery of the Sacred which I regard as one of the harbingers of the Benedictine Renaissance); and from Cardinal Desmond Connell, who sent me a hand-written letter of great warmth after reading something that I had written.
The disaster that has overtaken the Irish Church is, at least partly, the result of senior clergy refusing to be coldly legalistic when dealing with errant clergy. Failing to realise - as we all did - the true nature of paedophilia, they commonly tried a pastoral approach rather than subject a priest to the rigours of canonical process, deposition, disgrace, and despair. We now know that their assumption - give a man a bollocking, add some psychiatric treatment, move him on to a parish where an experienced priest would keep a draconian eye on him, and trust to Grace - was inadequate to deal with the perversion concerned. But were there any establishment cuties going around explaining all this in the 1970s?
How were the bishops of that generation to guess that, a generation later, a 'liberal' ascendancy would have suddenly discovered the overriding duty for those in authority of being coldly legalistic and inexorably unforgiving? The entire culture of the 1960s/1970s was personalist, anti-legalistic, and inclined to mercy.