When I left my house this morning, it was a cold spring day. Two miles later, it was winter again as I hiked from the parking deck to the library. I was only dressed for one season, and underdressed without a Sherpa.A weekend or two ago, Pete took this picture on a warm, sunny morning before we experienced daily variations on raw, with spotty raw, followed by cold, wet, windy and – you guessed it – raw. Over the weekend, we’d planned to get up early, don silly outfits and pedal around our hometown in support of the local food bank, but the idea of giving ourselves pneumonia for charity lacked a certain broad appeal. You will be pleased to know we were wracked with guilt as we ate really delicious bagels in our cozy dining room instead.
But there is a time for everything, though some things like spring and understanding for Sinead O’Connor take longer to arrive than one might hope. Sinead was always right: the Church hierarchy was covering up the abuse of children. This week, she returned to American television with the story no one wanted to hear 20 years ago, and now, we must listen.
[T]he Vatican is – it‘s a 15th century organization. It‘s a medieval organization. And what we‘re seeing is the battle between medieval thinking and 21st century thinking.
If they want to survive into the 21st century, they‘re going to have to become a 21st century business, which means that they are, first of all, those who have brought the Holy Spirit and Catholicism into total disrepute should be fired.
Whoever was involved in the cover-up of child abuse and therefore endangering children should be fired. The pope should be fired or should stand down. There should be a criminal investigation of the Vatican and of the pope.
They should all get out and let us in the 21st century choose who we think is fit to run our church because it is ours. It‘s not theirs. It shouldn‘t be any more of this black smoke, white smoke nonsense, you know, it‘s them and us.
It‘s our church. We need to reclaim it and we need to have it run by people who actually believe in God.
This is the person American Catholics punished?
Yes, yes it was. Her career was destroyed, and she will never trust us again, but even that is not important.
[O]n behalf of all the Irish survivors, they and I and anyone involved in the campaign is so, so grateful to the American media. Because, you know, you all have leapt in just at the right moment.
After Pope Benedict‘s letter came – that‘s why I then wrote to the “Washington Post.” I was disgusted by this letter, which actually referred to the priests, the bishops who covered up as being a “well-intentioned” desire to protect the church.
What on earth was well-intentioned about it? The letters are a study in the art of lying. It suggests that the Irish hierarchy were acting independently of the Vatican.
The letter and their actions have not punished at all those people who were accomplices by silence to the crime of child abuse. None of them have been fired. It looks very bad that the pope hasn‘t fired all of them and said, “How dare you bring us into disrepute.”
That looks like the house of the Holy Spirit has become a haven for moral criminals. But as I say, just at the right moment, America stepped in, the “New York Times” piece. “Boston Globe” also stepped in.
And now, a lot of the victims – I was just sitting with some of them this morning. They were saying, you know, almost with tears in their eyes, sitting back, saying, “We‘ve waited 40 years now, trying to bang the door down here. And now, we can sit down and relax because the American media have taken it on board.”
And it‘s their baby now for want of a better – pardon the pun, you know. But we‘re enormously grateful in Ireland for what the American media are doing because we know the Americans don‘t take any nonsense and they don‘t take any prisoners.
And there‘s no way the Vatican are going to get off the hook now that the Americans are after you. So thank you very much.
The Phoenix rises from the flame. And we will learn.