Sunday, July 31, 2011

The art of turning a blind eye

A number of years ago this blogger commented to a fellow Dominican that there was some similarity between living in 'religious community' or diocesan priesthood and living in the former GDR where people did not know who was working for the MfS - Stasi.

Is it at all possible for people to live in groupings where there are such disparate views and opinions, where people do not speak the truth to one another?

And then there is all the so-called theology spoof.

The current disclosures bombarding the church have their genesis in an underlying fundamental dishonesty that goes on within the so-called institutional church.

A good analogy - the recent rail crash in China might have to do with a signalling problem but there is a far deeper underlying problem in China.

If the church concentrates on cleaning up the current sex issues, refusing to look at the deeper issues, it will do very little in getting to the heart of the problem.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hollinghurst says something very wise

Author Alan Hollinghurst's latest book  The Stranger's Child has been receiving favourable reviews.

Hollinghurst is an author and gay. He is quite fascinated by how not being able to say things creates a sort of tension.

That is a great line.

It should never be an issue whether a person is gay or not. But difficulties emerge when people are forced to hide their sexual orientation.

What happen then when gay men join religious orders, congregations and priesthood?

They find themselves in a society/community whose history and orthodoxy is opposed to homosexuality.

What happens when a significant number of gay men join such organisations?

It leads to secrecy, ternsion and a lifestyle of subterfuge, trickery too.

As long as the institutional church refuses to be open and honest on this issue, the church will remain incapable of being truthful in its mission.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Queueing in all sorts of places

This column appears in this week's INM Irish regional newspapers.

By Michael Commane
Queueing at a Dublin Bikes’ bay last week while waiting for someone to leave back a bike I had a flash back to other queueing I have done. I have an antipathy about queueing and can never understand why people spend time in queues, or lines, as they call them in the US.

We have gone from queueing for a bike, queueing at an ATM and before that queueing in a pew, waiting for ‘confession’. Not to mention the silly queueing that Irish Rail makes us endure.

So while standing at the Dublin Bikes’ stand I recalled queueing in the nearby Carmelite church in Clarendon Street maybe 50 years ago. My Dad and I had gone there to go to ‘confession’ for Christmas. I can still remember the pews upon pews of people that evening kneeling down and waiting to go to ‘confession’.

That was the norm back then. Large numbers of Catholics in this State did what their priests told them to do. They went to Mass. They went to ‘confession’. They believed that if they lived a particular type of life they would be rewarded with eternal life with God in Heaven.

Of course there were those who muttered under their breaths but it would seem the majority obeyed the rules of Holy Mother Church.

Was it a true personal faith conviction? Was it that people were simply subservient to an authority? Was it that people were afraid – afraid of authority and also afraid of going to Hell?

It is also worth asking how well that faith sat with people and what knowledge or understanding they had of this faith to which they subscribed.

Why was it that so many people simply sheepishly followed church authorities? It seems as if there was no real attempt or interest to have a grown-up understanding of the Christian faith.

We went to ‘confession’. And people still go to ‘confession’. Has no-one ever told us that ‘confession’ is only one aspect of the Sacrament. It is the Sacrament of Reconciliation where we confess our sins. Contrition is the most important part of the Sacrament. In many ways by calling the Sacrament by its incorrect name we have caricatured it – made a bags of it. What’s new?

We begin every Mass by asking God to forgive us our sins. Had the theologians been brave and prophetic enough there could have been a great renaissance of this Sacrament after Vatican II but instead, the hierarchical church has played a significant role in overseeing the demise of the Sacrament.

Right across every aspect of church governance there has been an appalling lack of leadership. Maybe that happens in all walks of life – wherever there are human beings. But the church seems to excel at inefficiency, fear and sycophancy. And when that’s mixed in with authoritarianism and the worst forms of that sycophancy then it spells disaster.

Back at the time of the queueuing for ‘confession’ we were told that if we did not go to Mass on Sunday we were in grave danger of losing eternal life. That was the worst and most idiotic reading of the crassest form of any theology.

I can still remember in secondary school laughing with others at the idea that you could ‘sin’ on a Friday night, go to ‘confession’ on a Saturday and then receive Communion on a Sunday.

I can also remember being told that you could be the greatest sinner of all time and then that moment before you died you asked for forgiveness and then, hey presto, you were with God in Heaven.

Everything to do with faith is nuanced and nothing is simple. It is impossible to talk about the mystery of God in clichés. Faith can never be confined to open and closed solutions.

But back in those ‘dark’ days, people simply did what they were told. The trouble is maybe today we are doing exactly the same. This time round we have just changed the star we are following.

The moral of the story might be that we all need to grow up and start thinking for ourselves. Still, we are herd animals and there is little we can do to change that.

Back in the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and even ’90s it was seldom you would see glamorous women and men on bicycles. These days so many cyclists are head turners.

Most of us are slaves to fashion and the mores of the day. Unfortunately.

That’s the way it is.

Berlin profiles in Morgenpost

The Berliner Morgenpost is doing a series on people living in the German capital.

They have begun with a member of a religious community.

Here is a short description of what Petra Stelzner does.

Petra Stelzner ist 1985 der Ordensgemeinschaft der Schwestern der Hl. Maria Magdalena Postel beigetreten. „Der Schritt ins Kloster“, sagt sie, „war für mich ein Schritt in die Freiheit.“ 20 Jahre hat sie im Kloster gelebt. Dann schuf sie in Berlin-Wedding eine Insel. Keine Anlaufstelle für Arme und Kranke, keine Kapelle. Wer in die Lüderitzstraße kommt, muss nicht fromm sein. Er muss Kinder mögen.

Troubled and dangerous times

Last weekend in Norway a right wing fanatic, who is opposed to the Lisbon Treaty, slaughtered 79 people.

That same weekend a priest in Ireland is reported to have said in a sermon during Mass that the Irish Government has an agenda with the church. He pointed out that the Ministers for Education and Foreign Affairs are atheists and that the Minister for Justice is a non-practising Jew.


We are living in troubled and dangerous times.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rupert Murdoch and John Magee

Below is the Thinking Anew column in today's Irish Times.

Rupert Murdoch and John Magee are household names in Ireland these days. Household names for different reasons but  both men in some way or other might well  have considered  themselves untouchable.  Murdoch  built up one of the world's largest media corporations. And John Magee was a serving bishop in one of the world’s most influential and enduring organisations.

A colleague of mine who worked for a Murdoch-owned newspaper was of the opinion that News Corporation executives believed that their boss was infallible, and so could never err.  And  for that reason  subordinates were always slow to  challenge or sack appointments  made by him and his senior people.   People forget Hans Christian Andersen’s fable about the “emperor who had no clothes”.  It is generally accepted that Murdoch sought world domination in the media business. He got close to it.

It may be that John Magee, the former bishop of Cloyne, felt he was above the law of the land, and so dodged and fudged when it came to reporting matters of child sex abuse to the relevant authorities. He placed himself and the church above democratically appointed institutions. And this dangerous notion affected part of Rupert Murdoch’s business empire too, as we have seen in the past weeks.

Even today practising Catholics, including priests, are slow to criticise bishops. In the not-too-distant past people, especially priests, lived in dread and fear of their bishop. It was a most unhealthy relationship, which inevitably led to serious problems.

In tomorrow's Gospel, Matthew tells us that “the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13: 45 - 46)

No matter who we are or how important the world or our fellow citizens may consider us, we at all times are challenged by the Word of God to offer our allegiance to truth. Nothing else. Alas, far too often all of us are distracted in our search for the truth. And so too is the world.
As Christians we believe we fail and err - all of us. But far too often we make heroes of people and organisations.  For a while they can do no wrong.  The media have been adept at making "heroes"   and so too the church.
And when  the truth emerges,  and it all comes crumbling down in front of us, institutions and organisations go to great lengths to absolve themselves.

All the time the message of the Gospel is that our search, our loyalty is to the Word of God, who is truth and goodness and love.

Yes, we believe that we are a fallen people but we also believe because of the grace that God offers us we are capable of great goodness. So when ‘ordinary people’ are confronted with crime, dishonesty, cruelty, they innately see the wrongness of it and set about putting things right.

The hidden treasure that Matthew talks about is the treasure that fascinates all of us. Life throws up all sorts of confusions and distractions. But no matter how bad things may be, we believe in the word of God. who is always offering us the possibility and the chance to decipher the real pearls and treasures in life.

Sadly but so often the case, we offer undue loyalty to people and organisations. Far better to offer our loyalty to the truth, and in doing that we can be assured of the grace of God.

Something in the human psyche is vulnerable to and tempted by the trappings of power and importance. It happens all the time wherever there are human beings. When it happens in the church, with its arcane hierarchical structures,  traditional sycophancy and secrecy can make a bad situation a thousand times worse.

The Gospel is the story of God revealing divine truth, love and mercy. It challenges us to search for truth, even if this means standing up to the great and powerful, whoever and wherever they are. It also calls on us to be kind and merciful.
Treasure at times can be difficult to discern and many of us invariably miss it. Prophets are few and far between

The Jesus of Bethlehem, the Jesus of the Gospel,  leaves us with no alternative. That same Jesus spent his life being critical of the ruling classes. His inclination, temperament, his ideology was to side with the sick, the   suffering, the disenfranchised and marginalised.

And that’s the calling of every Christian.


Friday, July 22, 2011

US Dominican says it so well

The Dominican Order should be proud today of Tom Doyle's piece in today's Irish Times.
Tom talks about the virus that continues to corrupt the church to the point that the people of God are buried in anachronistic monarchism.
"The Taoiseach's groundbreaking speech buries the destructive myth that the institutional Catholic Church, with its monarchical governing structure, is some sort of superior or exalted political entity with self creative rights to subvert the civic order of any society that calls it to accountability for the behaviour of its privileged class."

Fabulous words and thoughts.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Taoiseach turns guns on Vatican's narcissism

Yesterday the Taoiseach said in the Dáil; “The Cloyne Report excavates the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism, the narcissism that dominate the Vatican to this day”.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

CORI newsletter not the way to do it

CORI's newsletter surely is not a good example in media management.

What is it about church groups and messaging?

Has CORI a full-time press officer?

As a member of a body affiliated to CORI this blogger feels, to say the least, embarrassed and disappointed with recent press release.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Priest speaks terrible words from pulpit

Since this blog first went live it has tried to be 'cheeky' at times irreverent and certainly questioning of the institutional church.

It has a healthy readership. People from time to time make comments. Some are positive, some are negative and the really nasty and abusive ones are not published. The anonymous comments still keep coming.

Just an introduction for this entry.

It is a cold wet day in Dublin. Hard to believe it is summer. I cycled to Rathfarnham church in south Dublin to attend 4.30pm Mass. Afraid to leave the bicycle outside, so I brought it in and left it at the back of the church - on the advice of a parishioner.

The priest began Mass. He had sympathetic voice and sounded like a 'nice man.

He began his sermon saying that he had preached earlier in the day and felt the Holy Spirit was urging him to say it again.

He recalled how last Thursday was a terrible day for him - the media rolled out its usual people to condemn the church. He went on to say that the Irish Government was about to treat priests as they had been treated in penal times.

He said ony two per cent of priests were abusers.

Had the bike not been at the back it would have been easy to slip out but it would have been wrong of me to have stayed listening to this man any longer, so I simply went over to my bike, unlocked it and left the church.

Of course the Government was silly to introduce the seal of confession issue - all it did and does is give an excuse to such priests.

What to do?

Maybe we should be celebrating if all this means the demise of the current clerical institutional church.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bishop behaves like overthrown despot

The no-show behaviour of Bishop John Magee is what overthrown despots and dictators do.

In recent years it was generally accpeted that the Cloyne diocese was 'attracting' large numbers of vocations. And part of the lore was that they 'were wonderful young men'.

That phenomenon is not just happening in Cloyne.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bending the knee is never acceptable

In today's Guardian Timothy Garton Ash writes on the Murdoch saga. The theme of his piece is that powerful people bent the knee. He talks of how Blair wooed the press barons for all he was worth.
"Only as he was about to leave office, after 10 years, did he dare to denounce the British media for behaving 'like a feral beast'."

Is it too big a jump to compare that reality with the relationship between the Irish State and the Catholic Church?

A mindset that shows no sign of change

Anyone who reads today's RTE website's report of political comment on the Cloyne Report needs to keep in mind that the mindset that allowed these unspeakable crimes to take part is in the ascendancy in today's church.

The damning report and the invisible bishop

On the day after the publication of the Cloyne Report it is difficult for any normal person to remain composed.

Where was John Magee yesterday?

He was quite visible and public when he was prancing around in that ever so clerical manner when he was working in the Vatican. And all the talk and all the nonsense that went with the job. Back then it was excruciatingly embarrassing listening to the lore, watching the dress and all the clerical gestures that goes with that particular terrain.

It is also worth noting that on the day of the Cloyne Report the website entry for one religious order is -"Today is Wednesday of the 15th week of the year".

More nonsense but an interesting insight into the mindset of the clerical caste.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bishop Magee's interaction with 17-year-old boy

The extract below is from the Cloyne Report published today.

One is forced to ask after all these years was the Guardian newspaper not far off the mark when it asked some pertinent questions.

This is the tip of a terrible iceberg and some brave church leader needs to be open and honest.

Bishop Magee is well known for his pious words and holy thoughts.

And this same piousity and holiness is in the ascendancy in the church today.

Was it not so obvious for so long. Is all the nonsense and humbug not as clear as the nose on our face?

It is.

It's well worth studying the Guardian newspaper in the context of some of the nonsensenical pious 'churchy' publications - electronic and hard copy.

Maybe our modern day saints are the women and men who work at that newspaper.

Toxic fits with Rupert Murdoch, who is a papal knight and his corporation. The term fits too with the word 'church' and its bishops and leaders.

What follows is from the Report.

1553 Bishop Magee: The inquiry also dealt with a personal complaint against the former bishop himself.

The report said concerns had been raised about Bishop John Magee's own interaction with a 17-year-old youth named as Joseph. As a result of the complaint, the bishop had to receive 'boundary counselling'.

The concerns relate to a meeting the young man had alone with the bishop after he had decided not to take up a priestly vocation.

Joseph reported that the bishop embraced him tightly for around a minute and at the same time asked it it 'felt good.' Joseph also said the bishop kissed him on the forehead, and that Magee told him he loved him and that he dreamt about him.

Cloyne Report out today

The Cloyne Report will be published later today.

It will an account of more unspeakable crimes and subsequent cover ups.

At one stage the Vatican tried to link the abuse issue with the worldwide in read in pornography etc.

The abuse and cover up is far older than CDs, DVDs and modern print, TV and radio media.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A brand that seems to be toxic

As in any group of people there are the good, the bad and the indifferent. But is there something about priesthood that makes men rude, selfish and at times downright horrible?

Certainly the Irish brand seems to thrive on the 'cute hoor' model - be inefficient, rude but never admit to getting things wrong.

An audit of Irish priesthood could make a great study. And none of this has anything to do with sexuality. But maybe it has and maybe that's where so many of the problems begin out on their horrible journey.

And so arrogant too.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

German tanks head for Saudi Arabia

Germany is about to export €60 million worth of tanks to Saudi Arabia.

The world's three largest exporters of arms are the US, Russia and Germany.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ecclesiastical silence on papal knighthood

If you are a member of the Catholic Church are you embarrassed that Mr Murdoch is a papal knight? What do bishops and archbishops think about it?

Will there be a bishop anywhere in the world who will try to make a public statement about it? Will the Vatican say anything about it?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Papal knight closes down newspaper

The Guardian newspaper has done the press a great service.

On BBC 2's Newsnight this evening comedian, Steeve Coogan, gave a powerful critique of the behaviour of the Murdoch media.

The media, the police, the church, the politicians. Is the moral of the story for us all never to sell our souls to institutions and organisations.

Is it the same sort of sycophant who is always promoted and preferred in all organisations and institutions?

Mr Murdoch senior is a papal knight.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Something dysfunctional in Irish church

Where does truth and reality reside? How does one discern - that horrible word - what is true and real?

Reading the Irish newspapers in recent days on the long sad story of clerical child sex abuse, the cover ups, the slowness in paying money, the whole story, is a nightmare.

And then to log on to webpages of some religious orders/congregations and note the tomfoolery that appears, it is simply mind boggling.

It seems there is something glaringly dysfunctional inside the Irish institutional church right now. And one gets the impression nobody is noticing or caring. There are also great gulfs of division happening.

How does one listen and speak with honesty in search of the real?

And then last evening on TV a former priest from the Elphin diocese was on a show with his partner. It was car crash television.

What vetting system, what bishop ordained this man a priest?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Oh those spivs who have taken to cycling

This column appears in today's INM Irish regional newspapers.

By Michael Commane
I missed another Ring of Kerry cycle. I had planned to go on the cycle on Saturday. I might even have bumped into the Taoiseach while cycling it but something else turned up which meant I had to give it a miss. I have done it twice – a hard slog but a day never to be forgotten.

Maybe it’s not too noticeable outside of Dublin but the number of people on bikes is growing by the day. No doubt the bike to work scheme has made pedalling very popular.

It is a great scheme – if your employer is signed up you can go off and buy a bike and it will cost you the price minus the tax rate you are on. So, if you are on the high rate and buy a bike worth €1,000 then it will cost you €600 and if you are at the standard rate you will get if for €800. Your employer deducts the price of the bike from your salary over a one-year period.

And then along with that there is the brilliant Dublinbikes. Full marks to the newly elected Lord Mayor of Dublin, Andrew Montague, for thinking up the idea when he was a member of Dublin City Council. It is one of the best things that has ever happened in Dublin.

Bicycles are great and cycling is pure magic. And it is the perfect way to stay fit and healthy. That is, provided you are careful enough not to be run down by a car bus or truck and keep the rules of the road yourself.

I’m 62 and can still vividly remember the day my father let go of my shoulders and off I went cycling on my own. Since then I have never been off a bicycle except for two years living in Rome in the mid 1970s. Though I did manage to get an auto cycle in the Eternal City – it went on fire on me one day cycling around the Colosseum.

It scares me to think the day will come when I will no longer be able to cycle.

My first bike had no gears and then when I was 10 I got a a blue Rudge which had a Sturmey Archer three-speed. I can remember every detail about that bike. Those were the days when we were cycling Triumphs, Rudges and Raleighs. There were no mountain bikes or hybrids. And a bike with more than a three speed was exotic. I remember staring in awe one day at a racer with ten gears. It really stood out with its dropped handlebars.

Later I graduated to better and faster bikes and these days I have a few bikes and keep them at different locations. I cycle weekly to Heuston Station and park it there wbile out of Dublin.

That’s much cheaper than paying the exorbitant rate Irish Rail charges to take a bike on the train. But Irish Rail has to be complimented on its bike shed at Heuston.
Cycling is great. But these days I am noticing a phenomenon that is annoying me greatly. Then again, it is particularly easy to annoy me.

Cycling to work one day, probably day-dreaming and certainly enjoying the surroundings I suddenly heard a roar from behind. This chap, pedalling like the hammers of hell screamed an expletive at me ordering me to get out of his way and instructing me that if I wanted to go that slowly I should get off the bike.
I responded and gave him back a good lash of my tongue, of course without any expletives, verbal or otherwise.

Since that event I have been noticing the ever growing numbers of arrogant, rude and simply stupid cyclists on our roads. I keep thinking they have probably just jumped out of their Mercs, Beamers and four-wheel drives and are now transferring their machismo to two wheels. So far I have not yet come across a single rude or arrogant woman cyclist. Hopefully it will stay like that.
These chaps, dressed to kill, in the latest cycling gear, everything to ‘perfection’ really are a pain in that part of my anatomy which has been on a saddle for 57 years.

Look, I’m cycling since I was a five-year-old and getting on fine at it. I certainly don’t need to be told by any of these new cycling spivs how I should, behave on the road.

Or is it that I am simply showing my age and unwilling to accept change? Not at all. When it comes to cycling I am an inveterate snob and I cannot abide all the upstarts who have taken to two wheels.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pope's words to Indian bishops

Below are words Pope Benedict spoke to Indian bishops on the occasion of their ad limina visit to Rome.

What Irish bishop acts in such a manner with his priests? Anyone ever met a priest or bishop who is interested in the aspirations of his fellow priests?

Pope Benedict
One of the ways in which the communion of the church is most clearly manifested is in the particularly important relationship that exists between you and your priests, whether diocesan or religious, who share and exercise with you the one priesthood of Christ.

Together in your dioceses, you form one priestly body and one family, of which you are the father (cf. Christus Dominus, 29). Thus, you are to be supportive of your priests, your closest collaborators, and to be attentive to their needs and aspirations, showing solicitude for their spiritual, intellectual and material well-being. They, as sons and co-workers, are called in turn to respect your authority, working cheerfully, humbly and with complete dedication to the good of the church, but always under your direction.

The bonds of fraternal love and mutual concern which you foster with your priests will become the basis for overcoming any tensions that may arise, and will promote those conditions which are most propitious for the service of the people of God, edifying them spiritually, leading them to know their worth and to assume the dignity which is theirs as children of God. Moreover, the witness of the reciprocal love and service between you and your priests – without regard for caste or ethnicity but focussed upon the love of God, the spread of the Gospel and the sanctification of the church – is earnestly desired by the people you serve.

They look to you and your priests for a model of holiness, friendship and harmony that speaks to their hearts and teaches by example how to live the new commandment of love.

Religious men and women also look to you for guidance and support. The witness of your own deep love for Jesus Christ and his church will serve to inspire them as they devote themselves with perfect poverty, chastity and obedience to the life to which they have been called.

They will be confirmed in their selfless dedication by your faith, example and trust in God. In this way, in union with them, you will bear ever greater witness before the men and women of our day to the fact that, while the form of this world is passing away (cf. 1 Cor 7:31), whoever does the will of God abides forever (cf. 1 Jn 2:17).

Bishop who denies Hitler's gas chambers does not want Germans to know his bizarre thoughts

British bishop, Richard Williamson, failed to appear in court in Regensburg yesterday for the opening of his appeal against charges of incitement for questioning the Holocaust.

The more one observes all the shenanigans associated with everything to do with the 'Extraordinary Rite' and its practitioners, the more one is forced to believe it really is a madness.

It is most worrying to see how it is growing in popularity.

The vestments and all the trappings, praying in a language that is not understandable by the majority of people, is difficult to comprehend.

The current liturgy, when celebrated properly, is a profoundly prayerful experience.

Maybe Bishop Willimason gives us a key to understanding the phenomenon on the 'Latiners'.
In the interview in which he denied the Holocaust, he claims he had made an agreement with the TV station that it would bot be made available in Germany.

The man and all what one reads about him, to speak kindly of him, is bizarre. So too is 'movement' to which he belongs.

The 'Extraordinary Rite' now has a different liturgical calendar to the universal church.

As a theologian recently pointed out, and this from a pope who preaches against relativism.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Irish institutional church simply doesn't get it

Two stories in today's Irish Times give a very minor glimpse where the Irish church is.

On pages one and five there is the horrific story of the abuse case of ex priest Paul McGennis against a young girl in Dublin.
The newspaper prints her victim impact statement.

The woman said she lived in fear of the priest, who had threatened that her family would be expelled from the church if she told anyone.

It is a monstrous story. But were we all not threatened? Were we not told we would go to hell if we missed Sunday Mass etc?

Then on page nine there is a report of an article written by Irish Missionary Union chief executive, Fr Eamon Aylward, who says, "it appears now that it is acceptable for media to pronounce any individual as guilty without the necessity of going through any form of judicial procedure."

Eamon Aylward has been on both Irish radio and television in recent weeks.

If what Fr Alyward suggests is true, then it is not just the media who 'pronounce on individual as guilty...".

These days that is exactly what church leaders do. There are priests in Ireland about whom allegations have been made, they have been found innocent and even having been found innocent Irish church leaders stay well clear of them.

If the media is doing what Fr Alyward says, that is more or less what they and society did in the past. Back then they canonised the priest without knowing the first thing about him - just because he was a priest.

Did Irish church leaders back then suggest to the people not to judge their priests?

The issue has much to do with protecting the institution - at any cost. In the past the priest was moved from place to place. Today he is immediately 'taken out of service'.

The institutional church has to be protected.

There is something systemically out of kilter with the Irish institutional church.

Patchwork solutions don't work. And the crass lack of sensitivity shown by Fr Liam Alyward tells its own story but is also shocking.