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.

Bewitching Ways of Wickedness

The Irish public was treated to a heavy diet of vengeance and voyeurism last week when a notorious rapist was released from prison. A media feeding frenzy ensued when the gates of the prison opened to release this apparently unrepentant criminal.
There were questions as to whether an early release was justified, although all the relevant boxes had been ticked. But questions are one thing. Mobs baying for blood, reporters and photographers on motorcycles pursuing taxis taking ex-prisoners to their destinations around the city and camping in the front gardens of their relatives is quite another.
By a remarkable coincidence, on the same day as the media circus Ireland’s Press Ombudsman, John Horgan, was giving a lecture on the media’s tendency to consider the unwelcome publicity which they could give to criminals as an intrinsic component of the punishment for their crimes. He disapproved, reminding listeners that the primary role in protecting society against criminality belongs to the police and the courts, and should not be outsourced to the media.
“Is the sentence passed by the media always life? Is someone who has been convicted of a criminal offence and has served his sentence always a criminal, and not entitled to basic human and civil rights?”
He contrasted favourably the “reticence” of countries such as Sweden and Holland about publishing information on people involved in criminal trials with the amount of media attention these cases attract in Ireland. This reticence was justified, he said, because the public shame arising from media publicity was arbitrary and selective, and furthermore involved “collateral damage” to innocent parties and could even create a risk to the life of the criminal.
The tabloids’ offence is not to be light, entertaining, and crisp. The offence of the tabloid comes at the point where it distorts, dissembles, and grossly exaggerates out of all proportion the significance of the events it chooses to cover. Mr Horgan also pointed out that the word “fury” had appeared in recent Irish newspaper headlines in 14 out of 18 days. “Isn’t there a risk that if you cry wolf too often, when there’s only a rather cross dog barking outside, that people will become desensitised to real risks, injustices and scandals? Have we the energy to be that furious, all the time?”
(More of this on http://www.MercatorNet.com : http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/the_bewitching_ways_of_wickedness )