Let this unseemly vendetta end now

Let this unseemly vendetta end now. Not our sense of justice, but perhaps our sense of prudence – and certainly our utter frustration – inclines one to say that Cardinal Brady should resign and let the shame for forcing that act on a good and just man fall on the heads of his relentless persecutors.

He should not resign because he is guilty of any serious dereliction of duty but because the ravaging wolves pursuing him have tasted his blood and will not stop until they have torn him to pieces and with him much of what he loves.

He did what he thought was his best at the time. Objectively it wasn’t good enough but there is no evidence that his intentions were anything but good. At worst they were the faltering efforts of a young priest who had made a heroic decision to give his life to the service of God, God’s Church and souls.

Every day this man stands at the foot of the altar and confesses his and – on our behalf – our sins, saying “through my fault, through my fault, through my own most grevious fault”. We have absolutely no reason to doubt his sincerity in uttering those words. What more do they want?

The heroism implicit in his vocation and the sincerity of his intentions, of course, cuts no ice with the motley gang pursuing him, any number of whom have been implicated in far more compromising activities than the Cardinal – 3000 murders in Northern Ireland, hobnobbing with one of the 20th century’s most monstrous regimes scrounging for funds for their own socialist political agenda, and who knows what else. It is enough to make one sick.

St. Peter’s weakness was of a much more devastating kind than any shown by Fr. Brady in and around 1975. Yet Christ did not ask for Peter’s resignation from the office he had given him.

If Cardinal Brady chooses to go now there will be no shame in that for him but history will judge otherwise on those who have pursued him to this end.

Their ulterior motives, their not very hidden agenda of the denigration of the Catholic Church, is clear to many now and will be clearer when history is written. It is not very far removed from the futile agenda of Diocletian et al in the 4th century. What hope is there of a Constantine emerging in our political world today to put an end to this different, but in truth no less brutal persecution? Not much just now.

Pity the Poor Stock Dealer?

Archbishop – now Cardinal – Sean Brady gave us all something to think about over the summer months. In relation to his address at Knock when he juxtaposed the island of saints and scholars which we once were with the land of stocks and shares, which we have now become, a friend of mine was a little bemused. He is in fact someone who deals in stocks and shares and wondered if the archbishop was suggesting that there might be something wrong with that – or that this activity might be spiritually less healthy than being a scholar, or that it was incompatible with being a saint.  After working through the implications of what the Archbishop was saying we came to the more comfortable conclusion that the juxtaposition was more rhetorical than real and that the teaching of the Church was quite clear – the call to sanctity is addressed to all men and women following any honest occupation, be it scholarly or otherwise. I suppose the drip drip effect of the daily news on shady dealing, rising and falling share prices for reasons which baffle most of us, political representatives hopping in and out of the pockets of wheelers and dealers, does nothing to suggest that dealing rooms would be a place to look for a modern Irish Colmcille or Columbanus. We concluded that Archbishop Brady was throwing down a challenge to modern Ireland to prove otherwise.