Sunday Morning Survey – Can The Catholic Church Ever Make Amends?

Sunday Morning Survey – Because I Went Out Last Night And Caught Up With Friends In Northbridge And I Really Need A Cup Of Tea While Writing A Blog-Post In Order To Wake Myself Up So I Can See The Family Later Today And Be Coherent To Remember Where Their House Is.

Inspired by breaking news: Vatican stunned by Irish embassy closure

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Catholic Ireland’s stunning decision to close its embassy to the Vatican is a huge blow to the Holy See’s prestige and may be followed by other countries which feel the missions are too expensive, diplomatic sources said on Friday.

The closure brought relations between Ireland and the Vatican, once ironclad allies, to an all-time low following the row earlier this year over the Irish Church’s handling of sex abuse cases and accusations that the Vatican had encouraged secrecy.

In July, the Vatican took the highly unusual step of recalling its ambassador to Ireland after Prime Minister Enda Kenny accused the Holy See of obstructing investigations into sexual abuse by priests.

The Irish parliament passed a motion deploring the Vatican’s role in “undermining child protection frameworks” following publication of a damning report on the diocese of Cloyne.

The Cloyne report said Irish clerics concealed from the authorities the sexual abuse of children by priests as recently as 2009, after the Vatican disparaged Irish child protection guidelines in a letter to Irish bishops.

In other words, ka-bloody-boom.

I’m kind of surprised. Are you? But then, I had a student, years ago, introduce me to the history of the Magdalene asylums. She had a great aunt who took her aside at one family gathering and politely explained  why she wouldn’t go to their soon-to-be-held confirmation. The great aunt was once put into one of those asylums (although she was fine with the other members of her family making their own choices regarding their levels of faith) – and there was no way she was going anywhere near a Catholic church ever again, no matter how many great-nieces or nephews had pending confirmations, weddings or what-have-you.

My student then announced to the rest of the family  that there was no way she’d want to be confirmed in a church that did this to women and promptly left Catholicism for good.

Could there be anything that would make amends for even that one example – let alone make an entire country change their mind?

By the way – the film is indeed ‘R-rated’ but the trailer is not.

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.

  • cag

    The only way for the catholic (and all the other) church(es) can make amends is by disbanding.

  • P Smith

    The only apologies that the catholic cult hierarchy wants are “apologize” from the victims for outing their abusers.

    The vatican is behaving the same way after the sex scandals as Wall Street behaved after the 2008 crash and bailouts. They both want to return to “business as usual”, to return to the practices that caused the mess in the first place. Both actually believe that they have no responsibility to their victims.


  • UpAgainstTheRopes

    I got excited, I thought this said “make an armada.” I thought they where raising a naval invasion force.

    Imagine my disappointment at realizing my ere…

    Good article though!

  • Aliasalpha

    The catholic church could easily make amends. All they need to do is convince their god to intervene using its infinite power to alter time to prevent the atrocities ever happening but preserving our memories of this timeline so we know that the intercession happened as a result of a sincere desire to avert the mistakes of the past. Come on vatican, I’m only asking you to do one thing…

    Also: Wooo! Go Ireland! Next step, redefine churches as businesses (allowing lawsuits for false advertising when their product doesn’t work as advertised) or as entertainment so they can be heavily taxed. Hit them in the wallet because its obviously the only part of them that they genuinely care about

    The source said the Vatican was “extremely irritated” by the wording equating diplomatic missions with economic return, particularly as the Vatican sees its diplomatic role as promoting human values.

    Oh thats a classic.

  • hoverfrog

    No. Nothing they say or do can make amends. They should really make the effort though.

  • peicurmudgeon

    Whether or not they can ever make amends depends partially upon whether or not they actually try. So far they haven’t really accepted the responsibility for what they, as an organization has done.

    In my opinion, one of the problems is the concept of confession and penance. In the Catholic mindset, you sin and go to a priest and confess. The priest assigns a penance which often is prayers, and in modern times does not include any public acts. Then you are clean in the eyes of God. The hierarchy has been indoctrinated in these concepts since birth and really have no concept of what the effect of their actions on others has been. Until they recognize that forgiveness from human beings must be earned by actions and not words, and that victims are not concerned with Divine forgiveness for their abusers, there will be no amends made.

    The likelihood of this ever happening approximates 0.

  • Mike Haubrich

    I think that they should admit that they are a criminal enterprise, disband and turn over everything they have to the poor. That’s a big step.
    Some smaller steps they could take:

    1. Stop sending DVD’s to American parishes telling people to vote against gay marriage.
    2. Stop lying about condoms.
    3. Tell the truth about the rapists in their ranks and turn them in for criminal prosecution.

    Those are just a few things they could start with.

  • Robster

    Where would you start? They seem to have a bottomless pit of money, some great real estate with impressive buildings and a lovely wardrobe for the various practioners selling their version of the nonsense.