Sunday, May 06, 2012

Raped by a priest? Did you enjoy it?

As covered in last week’s disturbing BBC2 documentary This World: The Shame of the Catholic Church, in 1975, a young boy by the name of Brendan Boland accused Roman Catholic priest Fr Brendan Smyth of sexually abusing him. As a result, the boy was taken with his father to the intimidating surroundings of a monastery for questioning. He was then separated from his father and subjected to what can only be described as an inquisition, consisting of a gruelling cross-examination by three priests in the presence of canon lawyer John (now Cardinal Seán) Brady. Brendan Boland says in the documentary that he was alone and scared: he didn't know what was going to happen; he didn't know what questions they were going to ask him. He was just 14 years old. Cardinal Brady noted down the answers and the transcript is available to view (excerpt above and below; or forward to 32:50 on BBC iPlayer).

What is significant (and doesn't appear to have been commented upon at all in the media), is the extent to which the boy’s inquisitors focused on whether he may have been enjoying his sexual encounters with the abusive priest. He was asked relentlessly about his own sexual impulses and behaviour; if he'd ever done anything like this before with another boy; if he'd ever messed around with a grown man. When he responded no, they asked him (incredibly) why not, as though his own repressed sexual inclinations were obstructing the discovery of truth. They kept asking him if his 'body changed’, would he ‘get an erection’. They asked him if he ‘enjoyed it’; if ‘seed came out of his body’.

It is as though these priestly inquisitors were satisfying their own lustful fantasies through the lived experience of a maturing boy. Their own unsatisfied sexual needs seem to draw them together as a band of brothers, and their lack of inhibition is unseemly, almost incestuous. One wonders what primal urges were satisfied by this line of enquiry; what long-dreamed father-son, uncle-nephew fantasies were acted out in their minds. Why separate a vulnerable young boy from his own father? The boy’s fear is subsumed to their self-interest, as though they were envious of his carnal experience. Sex jealousy is largely based on an anxious, infantile, exclusive possessiveness and is aggravated by the unbounded greediness of this type of mind which is a product of an exclusively patriarchal culture.

Boland was understandably shaken by the nature of the questions. Throughout all of these paedophile inquiries involving the Roman Catholic Church all over Europe, we hear again and again the excuse that there were no ‘guidelines’ in place to deal with these sorts of allegations. But the chief inquisitors of the Irish Roman Catholic Church appear to be ignorant of natural justice and devoid of compassion in their treatment of Brendan Boland. The man asks now, almost 40 years on, what kind of questions are these to ask a 14-year-old boy? He was forced to swear an oath, on the Bible, which the Cardinal now insists was only to ‘give weight’ to the boy’s testimony. No 14-year-old boy would have viewed it so: the oath was to ensure silence and secrecy; it was to protect Fr Smyth and the reputation of the Irish Roman Catholic Church. The Word of God was deployed as an instrument of manipulation.

We are not, of course, in possession of all the facts. There have been diverse responses to this BBC documentary: some say Cardinal Brady must go; others say that it was a warped presentation which sought to present him in a bad light. Having considered both perspectives, His Grace wishes to focus on the children.

This transcript is damning not merely because Cardinal Brady was given the names and addresses of other victims which he apparently decided not to pursue, but because the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland clearly sought to intimidate, humiliate and bully young and vulnerable teenagers who had already endured months and years of torture and rape. That Cardinal Brady was party to an inquisition which sought to impugn the victims’ motives and probe deeply into their sexual identity in order to deflect blame from the abuser offends every notion of justice and appals every sense of compassion. The Cardinal was not concerned with pastoral care: he was party to a process of psychological and emotional abuse after the victims had endured the trauma of physical and sexual abuse. One needs no ‘guidelines’ to deal with this: if the shepherd should care for his sheep, he should care all the more for his lambs.

There is never an excuse for bullying: Cardinal Seán Brady must go, and go now. That he cannot see this is manifest evidence of his unfitness for being Primate of All Ireland.


Blogger Christopher Gillibrand said...

I heard the excuse that he was just a junior cleric- he was the canon lawyer present! I can only echo His Grace's calls for Cardinal Brady to go and go quickly, for the good of the Church and in the name of humanity.

6 May 2012 at 14:09  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

This Post is..

Wonderful in revealing what Shepherds should be like with those in their care and how they have been failed by those who claim to know the Good Shepherd then act contrary.

This Post is..Discernible.

The Inquisition or it's purpose does not have to always end with a death or burning at a stake or confined in dungeons but appears alive and well within the ecclesiastical confines of Rome in achieving its cover up of Justice for those abused by trust of a church that proclaims it follows him.

Bad things happen in all churches but its how these things are dealt with that show whether they have a heart for the Lord and His commandments.

Outstandingly stated, sensitively worded with great love and concern for those who have truly suffered, Your Grace.

E S Blofeld

6 May 2012 at 14:17  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

The BBC show is not viewable outside the UK (or at least so says the link) so I cannot support my suspicions with quotes from the transcript.

My reaction to the story presented above is that the interrogators were concerned to establish culpability in the boy's own mind. They didn't want him to see himself as a victim. They wanted him to see himself as a willing participant and perpetrator. I suspect they wanted to convince him he was a willing participant. In that way that could use guilt to silence him and his accusations.

"You wanted it, didn't you?'

"You enjoyed it, didn't you?"

"You seduced that man, didn't you?"

"Don't you see this was all you fault?"

"Do you want to destroy a good man because of your moral failings?"

"Are you willing to see him punished for your sin?"

This kind of strategy would be planned. It wouldn't be a spur-of-the-moment thing. To execute it, you would take the child to your turf, and separate him from his parents, and subject him to a planned interrogation that attempts to drive him to a pre-selected destination.

I wish I could see the transcript.


6 May 2012 at 14:22  
Blogger SadButMadLad said...

A fellow man of the cloth (GildasTheMonk) has written about the disgraceful actions of the Irish Catholic church over at AnnaRaccoon's -

6 May 2012 at 14:27  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace. The Inspector, a Roman Catholic, takes a particularly dim view of serious misdemeanour whether it be in society or the church. He is fair, but he is, foremost, a ruthless man. The Cardinal must stand aside while these accusations which seem to have much ground in truth are investigated. If proved, the culprits, and we hope they are still alive, to be sent down. The church’s integrity stands on the pruning of the rotten branches. Only later can we consider the Christian attributes of forgiveness and compassion. Note ‘consider’. They are no ones right...

6 May 2012 at 14:39  
Blogger Yvonne said...

Despite all the evidence I am still uneasy about the role of the BBC. I tend to feel that if the BBC tell me something is white, I would be inclined to believe it is black.

6 May 2012 at 14:42  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

OoIG is right. Brendan Smyth in particular seems to have been a man thoroughly given over to evil. He handed himself over to Satan, the Norbertines should have had no qualms about handing him over to the authorities. The same holds true for similar evil found amongst Protestant churches, and in the secular system.

Given that forgiveness is the perogative of the abused, the question of whether paedophile priests should be forgiven is only something that their victims can decide - not the RC Church or other priests on their behalf (or for that matter the State).

6 May 2012 at 14:56  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6 May 2012 at 15:02  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Forgiveness is not the issue for authority. Those in authority should focus on administering the justice that the offense requires. The offender should be:

1. De-frocked and put out of ministry. Permanently.

2. Handed over to the officer to be thrown into prison.

If the RCC had done these things, then it wouldn't occupy the morally compromised position it which it presently finds itself. Forgiveness does not mitigate the consequences that must be imposed by lawful authority. The officer does not turn the other cheek.


6 May 2012 15:02

6 May 2012 at 15:03  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@Carl, I agree.

6 May 2012 at 15:20  
Blogger John Thomas said...

No one doubts the badness of many (now senior) people in the Irish Church (and no doubt the RCC elsewhere). But that does not count against the undisputed fact of the BBC's animus against the RCC. When pope Benedict's visit to Britain was such a success, many politicians/media organisations were very annoyed. Now, the BBC, at least, has got its own back. One always has to see beyond the facts of a media story to the question of just why they are airing it.

6 May 2012 at 15:26  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@John Thomas:

Then what does it say when there is more truth forthcoming from an institution that is casually hostile to Christianity than there is from the Church?

I've no doubt you're right about there being ulterior motives - but the BBC hardly fabricated the story.

6 May 2012 at 15:47  
Blogger OldSouth said...

The fact that Mr. Boland is still alive and able to recount his tale in some sort of coherent fashion is a tribute to God's grace and Mr. Boland's raw courage.

OS, sadly, has encountered a young person in his world who was terribly sexually abused at about that same age. The fallout in this young person's life is now just beginning, and there is a long journey ahead.

Childhood sexual abuse is the evil gift that just keeps on giving and giving and giving.

The transcript alone is damning enough--a resignation is called for, and the transcript (since it corroborates Mr. Boland) deserves to be handed over to the prosecutors.

6 May 2012 at 16:28  
Blogger Pete Knight said...

No guidelines available at the time?

I thought religion, and the Roman Catholic Church in particular claimed to have god given morality, and a 2000 year old guide book the call the bible.

They KNEW what they were doing in abusing children was immoral, Cardinal Brady KNEW what he did in facilitating the cover up was immoral, none of them cared enough to protect the children or blow the whistle on the criminal acts.

Brady hasn't got the decency to resign, and clearly displays a continued lack of morality to this day, his job is more important to him than doing the right thing.

6 May 2012 at 16:42  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

I worked at the BBC for eleven years back in the days when it was fair and balanced. I'm sure the facts of the programme are true but I never trust the spin they put on it or what they don't tell you. The BBC has undoubtedly a biased selection process of both subject and content to achieve their selected agenda.

I know from experience how hard it is to get positive Christian material broadcast. The series on 'A history of Christianity' had a valuable historical context but it was presented by Diarmaid MacCulloch who has his own agenda.

Notwithstanding all that, I felt I could not continue watching the programme as I found it too disturbing. I am all for sifting out those are guilty.

6 May 2012 at 17:03  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

I think the dissent and heterodoxy of the Church in Ireland needs stamping out sooner rather than later. It's the same wilful minds that ignored the Holy See in other matters that covered up these shameful fake priests. Is it a coincidence that the majority of cover ups happened in the two countries (America and Ireland) that consider canon law as merely advisory?

In his defence, however, Cardinal Brady says that he was merely a note-taker, and that he did, in fact, report to the Bishop, who he assumed would do something. I think we should listen to his case before calling for his resignation.

6 May 2012 at 17:05  
Blogger David Lindsay said...

Blaming the Church is a very useful way of distracting from the fact that the Irish Republic has always been a failed state. The level of emigration never abated, long, long decades after independence. They were not fleeing the Church. If anything, the Irish became more profoundly Catholic abroad than they had ever been at home, creating Catholic universities, reviews and so on in places such as America and Australia, things that existed barely at all in Ireland.

No, they were fleeing the Republic. The Republic that had failed to attempt to give practical effect to Catholic Social Teaching in the ways promoted by Irish Catholics through the British Labour Party, the American Democratic Party, and the ALP and DLP in Australia. Name a Western European capital city in which into the 1980s children could be seen running around with no shoes because their parents were so poor. There is only one.

The Cloyne Report found breaches of God's Moral Law and of the Church's Canon Law which were not breaches of the law of the land, placing the fault firmly in the Republic, not in the Church. As for Brendan Smyth, slowness to extradite was also and by definition a civil, not an ecclesiastical, failing. And Brendan Boland was 14. Cardinal Brady's baiters from Dublin to London need to ask themselves how they would have reacted in 1975 to sex between a middle-aged man in their own circles and a 14-year-old boy, or how they would react to such a thing now.

Whether or not His Eminence, as he was not then anywhere near becoming, dealt well or badly with the problem, he did at least identify it as a problem, and he did at least deal with it at all. In those days, sex between men and boys was actively promoted in institutions run by British local authorities, and openly so in the academic work used to train and assess social workers. Patricia Hewitt, later to have overall responsibility for every social worker in England, was working with Harriet Harman to give legal cover to the Paedophile Information Exchange and to Paedophile Action for Liberation.

Is the BBC going to ban appearances by Peter Tatchell, who would make such activities no offence under the criminal law? Whereas they would remain a specific offence under Catholic Canon Law if the younger party were any age below 18. Have you got that? Eighteen. It is perfectly obvious who has the moral high ground. And who has not.

In which vein, what were Martin McGuinness and Eamon Gilmore doing in 1975? The entire system of government in Northern Ireland is designed to ensure that the Provos are always in office, while the Stickies' coup within the moribund old Irish Labour Party, which always holds the balance of power in the Republic, effectively places them in the same position. The number two job in both states is now always held by the organisation that not very long ago was trying to bomb them both out of existence. Gilmore's wing of that organisation did not decommission its weapons until 8th February 2010, within the last 24 hours of the existence of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning.

6 May 2012 at 17:07  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

Mr Integrity,

Even the programme 'Catholics' had to end on a bitter note. Rather than interviewing the new evangelisation generation girls they went and found the most bitter generation xers they could to portray their theological ignorance as the mainstream. Still, just like in all media, good news is not newsworthy.

6 May 2012 at 17:09  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Lindsay. Not a great admirer of the Irish, are you. The fact that you used a harrowing post from the Archbishop to air your prejudices informs this blog as to the type of man you are. Still, lets see what else you can dig up.

6 May 2012 at 17:21  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

David Lindsay

Cardinal Brady's baiters from Dublin to London need to ask themselves how they would have reacted in 1975 to sex between a middle-aged man in their own circles and a 14-year-old boy

I am not sure I have ever seen a more ignorant or pathetic attempt to justify a man imposing himself sexually on a 14-year old boy. What, didn't we know better in 1975? Was homosexual abuse of adolescent boys something that people didn't really understand back then? "What, you've been sodomizing my son? Well, I don't know. I'll have to think about that."

How about this for a reaction? "Hang him from a tree. With a rope. Around the neck, as it were. Until he is dead."


6 May 2012 at 17:37  
Blogger David B said...

If the poor lad, and the various other people in similar positions, was a believing Catholic as he had been clearly indoctrinated to be, then it is hard for me to say which is worse.

The abuse itself, or being led to believe that if he said anything about it he was doomed to the flames of hell for eternity.

Sometimes I almost find myself wishing there was such a Hell.

If there were I doubt that it would have room for well meaning atheists like myself, it would be crammed physical and sexual abusers of children, piled on top of those like Brady and others who inflicted for want of a better word spiritual abuse on them.

Which is worse I cannot say, but I sort of tend to the view that imposing such an oath of secrecy was at least potentially more damaging than the actual abuse.

The interrogation was bad enough, but to make him swear that oath is to my mind far worse.

One of the things I dislike most about faith is its tendency to make people morally blind in defending it, both to others, and internally in the mind of the faithful person.

Catholics reading this - just leave the damnable institution.

As for Brady and his ilk- to my mind the only honourable course of action for them would involve a bottle of whisky and a loaded revolver.

David B

6 May 2012 at 17:54  
Blogger David Lindsay said...

I suggest that you read Chapter Ten of my Confessions of an Old Labour High Tory. To cut a long story short, no, unfortunately homosexual abuse of adolescent boys was not recognised as a problem in the 1970s. By treating as one at all, however imperfect the response, the Catholic Church was in fact well ahead of everyone else.

6 May 2012 at 17:56  
Blogger David B said...

A couple of things to add.

One being to congratulate HG on a fine post about appalling events.

The second that in the Irish Times link below there those unable to see the documentary on BBCi will be able to see it via embedded youtube links.

David B

6 May 2012 at 17:59  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

David Lindsay

[N]o, unfortunately homosexual abuse of adolescent boys was not recognised as a problem in the 1970s.

Funny, I don't remember the world being that way in 1975 when I was 15. But of course, that isn't the proper way to phrase the question. If Canon Lawyer X knows that Priest Y is sodomizing a 14-year old boy, how should Canon Lawyer X react to Priest Y's behavior? Should he:

1) Pause and wonder if there is a problem with this behavior?

2) Poll the audience?

3) Use one if his life-lines?

4) Call the $%^&*! cops.

Hrmmm. This is a tough moral dilemma, and all. It's not like sodomizing a 14-year old boy was a crime in 1975. Oh, wait. It was!


6 May 2012 at 18:13  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The Inspector is the same age as Carl, to the year. We were less secular in 1975. We didn’t have types like David B spreading their ‘If you want to do it, do it’ anarchic message. We were aware of child abuse, but it was a rare thing. The awful ‘single mum’ sobriquet didn’t exist either. They were called exactly what they were – unmarried mothers. They were a drain on the rest of us then, though nothing like they are now. You could fill your tank with petrol then, without a couple of twenties flying off to them...

6 May 2012 at 18:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder just how many other victims of sexual abuse were intimidated into silence before the inquisition by Catholic Priests.
This is a clear attempt to shift the blame from the accused onto the victim and is quite despicable it as merely adding more abuse to the original crime.

6 May 2012 at 19:17  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

If there is a case to answer then it should be conducted in a court of law, just like any other crime.

6 May 2012 at 19:24  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


You can use Expat Shield to view
BBC i player outside of UK


6 May 2012 at 19:27  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len, we managed to work that out ourselves. Rather than read more anti Catholic bile from you, in the words of Sgt Wilson, “would you mind awfully pissing off...”

6 May 2012 at 19:28  
Blogger non mouse said...

Thank you Your Grace. Your blog reveals the abusive nature of RC practices: literally and physically.

6 May 2012 at 19:49  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Oh no, the mouse arrives....

6 May 2012 at 19:56  
Blogger RMBruton said...

One might have hoped that this would be a great opportunity for the Church of Ireland to step up to the wicket, there absence, though, is disappointing. One of the fellows in the documentary said that the Roman Catholic Church which they had known no longer exists. The same can be said of the Church of England as well as the Church of Ireland.

6 May 2012 at 19:58  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Newsflash and funny comment from the Guardian: "Looks like Merkozy is going to be replaced by Merde"

As you were.

6 May 2012 at 19:59  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Part of the problem in all this is surely the cultural and social control the Church had over people in communities there. It was asking for trouble, really.

6 May 2012 at 20:02  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The Catholic church would never have enjoyed the power it had if the entire country had been granted home rule within the United Kingdom. But no, the British government had to ‘look after’ those northern protestants. We’re paying the price now when it could have all been settled in the 1920s with just a couple of thousand dead....

6 May 2012 at 20:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6 May 2012 at 20:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

vI agree 100% with Carl Jacobs and to a lesser extent Inspector (!!). Although I think that a jail term is a bit too nice a punishment- but then I think of them spending infinity in hell, which reassures me. Quite how that twat avid Lindsay can justify this abuse by suggesting some time of historical context - or by slagging off the Irish is beyond me!

PS- I hope that this isn't going to be deleted because, in the heat of this debate I used a swear word! But, by the Living God, these child destroyers will get what is coming to them- if not in this world- but the next.

6 May 2012 at 20:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think the image of Catholicism is bad enough without your contribution.

But there again.........

6 May 2012 at 21:15  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

The Catholic church would never have enjoyed the power it had if the entire country had been granted home rule within the United Kingdom.

Nonsense. The power the RCC has is the power to, supposedly, in this world, decide and settle the eternal fate of its faithful. It has always been about creating fear among its own and being discredited as a 'bad catholic' and dishonoring the church if word got out, so secrecy is required.

Talk sense, my man.


6 May 2012 at 21:19  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...


Love the pic. So Serene as an image. How beautiful is the sight of a single cross on a hill to all those who love Him.


6 May 2012 at 21:23  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Ah, there you are Blofeld. Always interesting to hear your ‘thoughts while on the commode’...

It’s quite obvious what happened in southern Ireland. The vacancy left by the Crown administration was quickly filled by the Irish RCC. It was an artificial situation. No need for any nefarious intents, it just happened, and here we are...

6 May 2012 at 21:29  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len. Your avatar suits you. It’s one of the crosses the thieves were executed on isn’t it ?

6 May 2012 at 21:32  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

A word of hope for all who utterly despise the evil doings of those committed against children who believe in Him and His Name.

Mark 9:42

Young's Literal Translation
and whoever may cause to stumble (lose faith) one of the little ones believing in me, better is it for him if a millstone is hanged about his neck, and he hath been cast into the sea.


Inspector. Old Ernst would rather be on the commode than munching on its contents whilst speaking..(an aside) There's a likkle bit of something stuck on your teeth and I ain't seen brown broccoli yet??

"It’s one of the crosses the thieves were executed on isn’t it ?" Think you'll find that chap was in paradise with Jesus that same hour! Tsk Tsk.

Ernst, old chap.

6 May 2012 at 21:40  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "The Catholic church would never have enjoyed the power it had if the entire country had been granted home rule within the United Kingdom."

I wouldn't like to say. However, I think looking at what happened in Franco's Spain is quite informative.

6 May 2012 at 21:41  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Not least in regard to this story but also in general regarding freedom.

6 May 2012 at 21:43  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


You think Spain would have fared better under the Communists? Another atheistic worker's paradise to fill the mass graves that have accompanied every new Communist state.


6 May 2012 at 21:53  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Blofeld. Come on old boy, one last push and we’ll have you off that thing...

DanJ0, like Caesar’s assassins, you lose yourself in the crowd.

But what’s this, the US Cavalry has arrived. Good to see you Carl...

6 May 2012 at 22:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace,

France goes Socialist (100% income tax from the Hollandaise sauce that is the new President of the French Republic!). I am already in contact with the Comte de Orelans and many other French types to see if they can get refuge status in our blessed isle (a bit like the Scarlett Lavendonian or when one of my anscestors helped The Huguenots out!).

And the Greeks elected a government where no-one has gone before !

On the plus side, this will leave Jerry isolated- as Merkel has dictated (in true German fashion) to the rest of the continent for the past 5 years on the needs for austerity (whilst the hun gets rich at everyone else's expense!). Now the chickens come home so to speak..

If we can muster enough European states- Ireland, The Dutch, the Greeks, The Spainish and the Greeks we may yet be able to stop the Hun and his vile Empire building, restore the nations of Europe to exactly that, stop Van Pomey in his desire to create a socialist state of Europe and live as free men once again.


6 May 2012 at 22:33  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "You think Spain would have fared better under the Communists?"

You got that from what I wrote? Bizarre.

6 May 2012 at 22:34  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "But what’s this, the US Cavalry has arrived. Good to see you Carl..."

Unfortunately the recent accolades and his imagined success at pummelling seems to have gone to his head, bless him.

6 May 2012 at 22:38  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Do you see, OIG

Behold my wisdom.

DanJ0 wrote: ... his imagined success at pummelling ...

Do you see how my kindness has born fruit? He has forgotten already.


6 May 2012 at 22:54  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. Carl is going to give you ‘a good seeing to’, but not the sort you’re used to...

6 May 2012 at 22:57  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Here we go, I suppose you'll be wheeling out your moral absolutism display trolley with the wonky wheel again shortly.

6 May 2012 at 22:59  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


You got that from what I wrote?

No, I got it from the general context of the thread, which might be summarized as:

a. Look at how terrible is the the influence of the RCC in Ireland.

b. It would have been better if the RCC had no such influence in Ireland.

c. Confer with RC influence in Franco's Spain to see it's badness.

From which it is a but a short step to "It would have been better if the RCC did not have influence in Spain." At which point that reference to Franco comes into play, because Franco is was who prevented the slaughter of RCs in Spain. How would there have been no Franco to save the influence of Rome in Spain? If the "Republicans" had won the Civil war.

All things considered, I should much rather live under the diktats of Rome then the diktats of the Cheka.


6 May 2012 at 23:02  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "Carl is going to give you ‘a good seeing to’, but not the sort you’re used to..."

I'd be surprised if he has ever given someone a good seeing to in your second sense. I expect it would need to be as bleak and depressing an experience as possible for him to feel virtuous.

6 May 2012 at 23:05  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. On behalf of Carl, the Inspector accepts your surrender. Your defeated future to be announced. but let us first have our Nuremburg...

6 May 2012 at 23:20  
Blogger martin sewell said...

Professionally I have seen many witness videos seeking evidence in such circumstances, and I have assessed and cross examined the interrogators on their techniques.

I am careful to caution myself how our approach has become improved/ refined over the years, and I recognise that what passed for sound inquiry once is no longer acceptable.

With all those caveats, I read of the questions and the circumstances of these interviews with growing anger. This was never forensic enquiry and even at a most unsophisticated level of analysis, it is plain that this was abusive, prejudiced and abusive. Anyone involved will improve the situation by sacrificial action and repentance.

6 May 2012 at 23:21  
Blogger martin sewell said...

Sorry I repeated abusive -I intended to add " coercive"

6 May 2012 at 23:23  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "On behalf of Carl, the Inspector accepts your surrender."

Lol. That attempt to drum up some sort of justification for his spurious bollocks about the Spanish communists was essentially a falling on his own sword from where I'm standing. Also, in the grand scheme of things, having you try to push him forward in lieu of your own inadequacies and back him up is surely a curse of the worst kind. Afterall, let's face it, you've hardly got a record of backing champions. ;)

6 May 2012 at 23:35  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Guards, hang the queer. NO, on second thoughts let him live. We must be magnanimous in our victory...

6 May 2012 at 23:40  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Good man for withstanding the barely masked joy of you know who. Indeed, I'm surprised we haven't had an 'infallible' statement yet about 'religion' and calling us to leave Holy Mother Church. As for his avatar, well, least said soonest mended but it does reflect his persecution complex and exaggerated sense of self importance.

You are quite right.

I was working in child protection in the early 1970's and whilst we were unaware of the evil of peadophilia and the strategies adopted by perpetrators, a middle aged man sodomising a teenager would not be blamed on the child and most certainly the police would be called if it came to light. True, nobody appreciated it existed institutionally in residential care and churches or, indeed, within families. However, that it was wrong was indisputable - the offense was gross indecency.

I'm not sure I'd go so far as Dr Cranmer in suggesting the priests undertaking the interviews were getting vicarious sexual pleasure from it and were envious of the victims carnal experience. Actually, I thought these comments rather disturbing and distasteful.

I don't know the extent of Cardinal Brady's guilt in all this and whether he should now resign. One prays he and Rome will do the right thing both for the victims of this shocking abuse and also for the good of the Church which is not here to protect itself as an institution but to promote Christ's message and lead its follows to salvation.

Thank God the Church has now woken up to this abuse and its true nature.

6 May 2012 at 23:43  
Blogger Father Ron said...

There does seem to be an inordinate interest in the sexual details of this case. One wonders why an ostensibly 'Christian' site would so relish the details as to linger on it. Shame on you, Archbishop!

6 May 2012 at 23:49  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo, you here too. Thank God. Bring on the dancing girls...

7 May 2012 at 00:19  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Let me be serious for a moment. I have never 'pummeled' DanJ0. I would never have said that if I actually felt that way. I have also never felt particularly threatened by his arguments. He has on occasion pushed me into unexpected areas, and provided challenges I didn't anticipate. But a conflict of presuppositions can't really be resolved by debate. The point in such a conflict is to present your side faithfully and forcefully.


7 May 2012 at 00:45  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


I didn't 'drum up' anything. I simply told you why I came to the conclusion that I did. It may have been right or wrong, but it was honestly presented. And it was certainly not irrational. You can't just invent your own counterfactuals. If you regret the influence of the RCC in Spain, then you have to face the actual alternative.


7 May 2012 at 00:50  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl, your position noted. He does come to this site waving the homosexual flag, so he gets what he richly deserves. Don’t forget we are both Christian soldiers, albeit of different armies...

7 May 2012 at 01:05  
Blogger C.Law said...

David Lindsay.

At the church I attended in the early 1970's one of the youth leaders was found to be sexually assaulting a boy. He was immediately reported to the Police and subsequently, on conviction, served time in prison.

If one church could do it so could all of the others. There is not now, and never was, an excuse for abusing youngsters or for covering up the crime.

It is also never an excuse for wrongdoing that others, even many others, are doing the same thing. Such a view is morally bankrupt.

7 May 2012 at 05:23  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

As Christians we are supposed to forgive the perpetrator of this crime.Forgiveness is a term bandied about a lot on this site but in my opinion it is probably the most unnatural and most difficult thing we are required to do. I wonder how many of us could forgive if this was our 14 year boy.

I know I would have the ability and strength to mentally place this abuser in the non existent realm ( you can't hate air)so that I was not harbouring hate revenge or any other negative feelings but that is not forgiveness is it. So what is forgiveness?

When Eli Weisenthal, a jew, was in a military hospital. He had to attend to a Nazi guard. Eli was a concentration camp inmate and his entire family was murdered by Nazis. The guard who was dying and contrite begged his forgiveness. Eli left the room.

I just wonder how many of you would be certain that you really could forgive in a situation such as this one or being the parent in the situation of the topic being discussed on this thread.

7 May 2012 at 06:17  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "Don’t forget we are both Christian soldiers, albeit of different armies..."

In your case, a mere foot soldier who is obviously cannon fodder on his own.

7 May 2012 at 07:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well the main product of the Catholic Church WAS the Inquisition!.
So not terribly surprised that the same spirit reigns in the Catholics on this blog.

The Catholic Church never Changes and cannot Change.(no surprises here then!)

The Bible states that without' love we are nothing'

Which totally sums up this loveless(Catholic) religion to me!

Ernst, Think I will try a few more avatars now that I have got the hang of it .

7 May 2012 at 08:03  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "If you regret the influence of the RCC in Spain, then you have to face the actual alternative."

I might if, for some strange reason, I was doing an analysis of the Spanish civil war and the socio-political factors in 1930s Spain here rather than highlighting some similarities in terms of institutional abuse following on from the attitude of the people to the Church and its clergy when it has significant temporal and cultural power. So no, you've set up yet another false dichotomy and I can just walk away shaking my head.

7 May 2012 at 08:14  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Just wanted to point out to you, Inspector, that you have strayed off-message from what the Pope claims on who are and are not. According to your boss Carl, myself and all other protestants don't belong to any army at all and might be questioned as to whether we were Christian soldiers at all.

7 May 2012 at 10:11  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

little pope len
Once again one notes you have awoken with the spirit of the anti-Christ in your heart, full of your twisted poison against Catholics on this site.

Not that you have finally managed to work out avitars, after just 6 years, demonstrating your intellectul capabilities, try looking for weasels. One would be very fitting for you.

7 May 2012 at 10:38  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

cressida de nova
The Jew in your example was human but fell short of the Christian standard. He was wrong, in my opinion.

"Never Forget, Never Forgive" fails to
acknowledge that man-made horrors exist and will always continue to exist. Each of us has the ability to choose not to let such horrors define us.

Here's what Matti Golan, the former editor-in-chief of Haaretz and Globes, said:

"Many say we should forgive and forget. I don't understand why. After all, there's the Six Million. Men, women, children. The incomprehensible cruelty. We're not talking about a traffic accident or the violence of a few nuts. We're talking about the ultimate horror. So why forgive?

We should learn about forgiveness from the Christians. To this day, they have not forgiven us for an event that occurred two thousand years ago. A bunch of Jews handed over another Jew named Yeshua to the Romans, who executed him.

The Christians neither forgive nor forget. They make films that make other Christians drool with pleasure and continue to hate us. For what? For the death of a single man we did not kill, and who was one of us.

Forgive but not forget? That option apparently does not exist. If you forgive, eventually you forget."

I cannot remember his name but I recall watching the parent of a victim of the Omagh bombing. He unconditionally forgave the perpetrators of that horror. Indeed, a critical part of the peace process in Northern was founded on the women of that country calling for an end to hatred and bitterness and forgiving the sins of the past.

7 May 2012 at 11:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dodo, do you know how the spelchek thing works cannot figure it out?.(you being so intellectual and all?)

The anti Christ spirit is alive and well and lurking in the dark corners of your 'church'.

The Holy Spirit on the other hand walks in the Light and brings illumination to all who seek Him.I pray you will meet Him one day.

7 May 2012 at 12:57  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

It has always struck the Inspector that forgiveness is the easy way out. We have lost count of the number of victims who, almost casually in this man’s opinion, dish it out to the perpetrator. But where is the asking of forgiveness by the offender. Where is the contrition ? And what about the condition of receiving forgiveness. The doing of penance, the changing around of their life.

Drug users raid a house, badly beat the occupant and rob them. Unless they are restrained, the first thing they do when interviewed is “I forgive them”. As if a great weight has been lifted from their shoulders. And how do the criminals feel. They don’t, but apparently if you beat certain people, they say, “Oh well, I didn’t really mind, here’s a green light to do it again.”

Forgiveness has been UTTERLY DEBASED, by the weakness of the countless victims, and the failure of church leaders to enlighten the flock on how it should be administered. It’s virtually meaningless like this...

7 May 2012 at 12:58  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Youthpasta. The Pope is not the boss of the Inspector. If the Inspector considers you to be a fellow Christian, then you are. It’s what Jesus would expect of us....

7 May 2012 at 13:05  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


It has always struck the Inspector that forgiveness is the easy way out.

Actually, forgiveness is the hard way out. This is the whole lesson of the parable of the unmerciful servant. He owed 10,000 talents (something like 50 billion in today's US dollars) and was owed 100 denarii (about three months wages.) The former debt was unpayable, and yet was forgiven. The later debt was quite payable and yet was not forgiven. The point is that the unpayable debt we have been forgiven is far greater than any debt possibly owed to us. We are far more guilty before God than any man could possibly be guilty before us - no matter what that man's crime, and no matter how 'good' we perceive ourselves to be. We are to forgive a little be cause we have been forgiven much.

The officer of the law will not forgive. He will require punishment regardless. Forgiveness does not mean that the hands of authority are bound. It means we surrender the natural desire for retribution at our own hands. It means we trust ultimate justice to the unseen court of God. It means we take seriously the Word when it says "All things work together for good for those whom He has called." That can be hard. Extraordinarily hard.


7 May 2012 at 13:30  
Blogger Preacher said...

I'm amazed at the latitude that God gives us. We all have choice In each individual is the choice to forgive or not, To forgive certain things, but not others. Our perfect example was when Jesus cried out "Father Forgive them, they know not what they do!" as He was crucified Him. But how many of us can honestly live up to that standard?.

Jesus also warned of what awaits those that cause one little one to stumble.
There is a difference between forgiving a person who has wronged you. & forgiving someone who has wronged another.

The Pharisees rejected Jesus for telling people that their sins were forgiven them, "Only he who is sinned against can forgive the one who sinned against him". The ONLY one who can forgive all sin is God.

Forgiveness & justice are two different things & when any man uses his position to abuse the young, helpless & innocent, he should face the full force of the law of the land, as should those that have aided & abetted him to commit the crime.
When a man uses any position of any church to abuse a child, the crime is even worse & any committee or individual who attempts to cover up or bully a child into silence by implying that the child consented. Is as guilty or even more so for not defending the weak against a predatory pervert in sheep's clothing.
An untrustworthy Shepherd is worse than a wolf.

7 May 2012 at 13:35  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl. A man is in his armchair reading the paper intently. His wife walks in and says “What do you think of my new hat”. Without looking up, he says “It’s fine, suits you”. Annoyed, the wife said “You haven’t appreciated what you are commenting on. Your words are valueless, your opinion debased. You only told me what you thought I should hear, what you believe is expected of you. It was the easy way for you.”

Turning, she says, “You are a selfish thoughtless man, but I forgive you”. Still without looking up, the man says “Forgiveness ? I didn’t ask for your forgiveness”

7 May 2012 at 14:19  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I see the Beeb has another story now. Blimey. Smythe really needed to be locked up for good:

"[Fr Smythe] also abused the boy's sister for seven years, and four of his cousins, up until 1988."

Also, this is intriguing:

"The ACP recently commissioned a survey of Irish Catholics which found that 90% would support the introduction of married priests. The survey also found that 77% of Irish Catholics want women to be ordained, while more than 60% disagreed with Church teaching that gay relationships were immoral."

7 May 2012 at 14:22  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. You know that ‘surveys’ are virtually meaningless unless the search criteria is published. Where did this one take place, a Dublin youth club. (...Yes, we know, 16 year olds opinions count too...)

7 May 2012 at 14:28  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Said survey depends on the definition of 'Catholic' applied. I can name at least seven different types of Catholics that I have met in my life. One was functionally a Buddhist but self-identified as a Catholic. Another was an atheist and self-identified as a Catholic. The word is quite flexible and is often used to convey much more than allegiance to the Roman Pontiff.


7 May 2012 at 14:32  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Forgiveness means more than resisting the desire of retribution. You actually are told to love those who persecute you.No one does of course...well it's an impossible ask isn't it!

Dodo... Matt Golan was right in regard to the jews not executing Jesus . The jews were scape goated and the Romans who committed the deed suffered no consequences . It is ironic that the seat of power of Christ' Church is in the city of Rome, the city of his killers.

Before you make a judgement on Eli Weisensthal saying that he was wrong. Well by Christian ethic he is wrong and you and I would be wrong if we made the same decision.
But wrong maybe something you can live with rather than right.
To forgive is divine. Only God is capable of forgiveness of a crime of this magnitude.

7 May 2012 at 14:39  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "You know that ‘surveys’ are virtually meaningless unless the search criteria is published."

Of course. The criteria was self-identification, rather like the Census which produced that 71% figure Christians like to use when it suits.

7 May 2012 at 14:55  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Lot: Why did you turn my wife into a pillar of salt.

God: Er, well, she looked round, didn’t she.

Lot: But a pillar of salt, well really ! Couldn’t you find it in you to FORGIVE ?

God: Look you idiot, I didn’t turn her into anything. She was old, she was hurrying, she had a stroke. paralysed down one side. It happens. Why do I get the blame when these things happen ?

Lot: So, you’re not so bad after all.

God: That’s the spirit. And by the way, don’t take everything in the bible at face value, like the fool Len. There’s often more to it. Where you types dragged up talking snakes from is anyone’s guess.

7 May 2012 at 14:57  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Here's the survey (draft 2?), with the methodology, I think

7 May 2012 at 15:00  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

God: And one more thing. ‘Stroke’ from ‘Stroked by the hand of God’. Damn libellous, that’s what it is.

7 May 2012 at 15:15  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

cressida de nova
The Romans crucified Christ because the Jewish authorities insisted upon it. Pilate was culpable because he knowing executed an innocent man for political reasons. The Jews denied Christ's Messiahship and manipulated the Romans.

The Holocaust was beyond our comprehension. But to define yourself by a lack of forgiveness of the generation who were responsible? The author cited still holds the German people accountable to this day. And to justify this by citing Christian unforgiveness of the murder of Jesus?

This type of unforgiveness damages those harbouring it. The crimes of the Russians and Chinese communists, in terms of horrors and numbers, far surpass those of the German leaders. The Inquisition was horrendous too. Do we carry on carrying unforgiveness down the generations?

7 May 2012 at 15:47  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Meanwhile in chokey...

Old Lag: When house breaking, always pick on your Christian.

Young lag: Any particular reason.

Old lag: Yeah, they forgive you. What’s more, if you break into their property a second time, they forgive you again.

Young lag: Cool !

7 May 2012 at 16:03  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

And in the street...

Mugger: Give me your wallet or get stabbed. Your choice.

Christian: I forgive you.

Mugger: I say, that’s jolly decent of you. More than I deserve, you know.

Christian: You’re quite welcome.

Mugger: {AHEM} You wallet now if you please. A chap doesn’t have all day.

7 May 2012 at 16:10  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


The criteria was self-identification, rather like the Census which produced that 71% figure Christians like to use when it suits.

So then are you repudiating as meaningless the results of the survey you posted, or are you agreeing that the 71% figure is meaningful?


7 May 2012 at 18:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgiveness has nothing to do with condoning the sin of those offending you.
Forgiveness is an act of the will, an act of faith that God will deal with those causing the offence.

Un- forgiveness is the result of holding onto anger that is directed towards those who have offended one(physically, emotionally, or mentally,(or perhaps all three)and a desire to' hit back'.

The Bible says 'Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord'.(Romans 12:19)God may not move as swiftly as some might like but justice will be done!. There also is a law of sowing and reaping even' the World' knows this'what goes around comes around'.

So forgiveness is the handing over of the offender to God not a passive acceptance of abuse.

7 May 2012 at 19:41  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "So then are you repudiating as meaningless the results of the survey you posted, or are you agreeing that the 71% figure is meaningful?"

What exactly have I said about the survey other than that it's intriguing? Which it is. So, what artificial edifice is it to be this time? I can hardly wait.

7 May 2012 at 20:11  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

cressida de nova
Your theory is a bit too close to the Hindu concept of 'Karma' for my liking.

I think real forgiveness is a hope the person who has harmed us is reformed by God and transformed rather than a hope they get their just desserts in the fullness of the time.

Isn't that the kernel of what Jesus taught?

Forgiveness isn't the same as rolling over! One can forgive someone whilst also dragging them screaming by the scruff of the neck to the nearest police station. It's what's in your heart that counts.

Remember the 'old school'confession? Before absolution, the priest would ask what you're going to do to make amends and repair the harm your sinning has caused.

7 May 2012 at 22:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace,

As far as us Alpha Draconis care, this human notion of forgiving can be described as up your Fusion drive! How can the Gods of perfect justice forgive such vile acts? Is your Jesus mad? Is your God a God justice and perfection, unable to view such vile creatures? Or is he a God of liberal- relativism, letting everthing evil go because they are 'forgiven'? Which is it?

ps- I asked this in my Alpha Course and I've been told not to come back as I am an 'disruptive influence' (which is rubbish as half are hippy christians and the other half are there because:

1. They want to get their children baptised.
2. They want to get married in a nice building.)

Can anyone help this confused -and slightly angry Alpha?

7 May 2012 at 22:25  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. Until forgiveness is given it’s due respect as an instrument of atonement and not thrown around like confetti, the Inspector sees no reason why he should abandon his present hard line...

7 May 2012 at 22:32  
Blogger anna anglican said...

These people need to be brought to justice and a waiting prison cell. Trouble is the Vatican is a state and therefore claims diplomatic immunity for its priests!

7 May 2012 at 22:52  
Blogger anna anglican said...

Or at least Cardinals[Such as the one mentioned in this post]!

7 May 2012 at 22:53  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...


The Vatican claims no such diplomatic immunity!

7 May 2012 at 23:13  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

cressida de nova
Apologies, for some very weird reason I thought the post by little pope len at 7 May 2012 19:41 was from you.

I apologise most profusely.

little pope len
For such a self proclaimed "born again" Christian who has been justified, saved and is heaven bound, your view of forgiveness is hardly Biblical in spirit!

I'll repeat what I said to cressida when I thought she had posted the comment:

Your theory is a bit too close to the Hindu concept of 'Karma' for my liking.

I think real forgiveness is a hope the person who has harmed us is reformed by God and transformed rather than a hope they get their just desserts in the fullness of the time.

Isn't that the kernel of what Jesus taught?

Once again. you show the shallowness of your "faith alone" and "scripture alone" understanding of Christ's message.

8 May 2012 at 00:28  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...


First you were confusing me with Danjo

Now you are confusing with me len.

It seems in your mind I am a flirtatious composite of Danjo and len. This is a very unflattering concept.

I don't think len is a closet Hindu
and I know I am not. Your mind state seems a little confused.

I accept your apology on this occasion .

8 May 2012 at 04:03  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


What exactly have I said about the survey other than that it's intriguing?

The only thing that made that survey 'intriguing' (and frankly the only thing that made it remotely relevant to the thread) was the presence of the word 'Catholic.' It's not-so-subtle 'intriguing' implication was that the RCC is losing its laity to a post-modern worldview. Let's take our own survey. How many people reading this thread thought DanJ0 dropped that 'intriguing' survey onto this thread to demonstrate a growing gap between RC leadership and RC clergy? Sow of hand, please? That certainly was my assumption as to your motivation.

That's why I responded the way I did. I reasoned that the survey had to use a very broad definition of Catholic to achieve those kinds of numbers. It reflected the post-modern worldview so prevalent in the West, and that indicates a problem. You see (as you tirelessly tell me), people who adopt post-modern worldviews leave religion behind. The people who actually go to church on Sunday would produce very different results for your survey. In which case, the survey couldn't be used to demonstrate the 'intriguing' point for which you mentioned it in the thread.

You scoff at 71% and you are right to do so. The true figure is on the order of one-tenth that amount. You can't just include people who self-identify for traditional reasons or cultural inertia. It makes the results meaningless. Likewise you can't just assume everyone who calls himself a Catholic is Catholic. You have to define the term rigorously and then limit the scope according to the definition. If you did that and came up with similar results, then you would have an intriguing survey.

But this? You could just as credibly claim that 71% of the British population is Christian.


8 May 2012 at 05:26  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Alpha: "How can the Gods of perfect justice forgive such vile acts? Is your Jesus mad? Is your God a God justice and perfection, unable to view such vile creatures?!"

The whole atonement thing has a certain bleak elegance to it when you lay it out but when you free your mind of cultural familiarity, or approach it unencumbered, it's as mad as a box of frogs as you have no doubt spotted.

8 May 2012 at 05:31  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8 May 2012 at 05:31  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "You scoff at 71% and you are right to do so. The true figure is on the order of one-tenth that amount. You can't just include people who self-identify for traditional reasons or cultural inertia. It makes the results meaningless."

The 71% comes from a simple question in the Census, responding to the Census being mandatory. You stole my thunder a little bit because in claiming the 71% is meaningful in the way that some Christian do, those Christian get caught up by the same thing with the other survey. But it doesn't actually work the other way around because I haven't made any claims about the results of the other survey.

I was rather hoping you'd get some more accolades for holding me down with such a marvellous Gotcha! there. Except it's not a gotcha at all, it's another example of a false dichotomy, which really ought to be called a Jacobs Choice I think. The thing turns on your attempt to link the words 'meaningless' and 'meaningful' through an apparent dilemma when, in fact, the results of the other survey are meaningful for rather different reasons.

You know that now, I think, though you'll blow some smoke and wave some mirrors around nonetheless. The results of the Catholic survey are intriguing for a number of reasons, not least because of the laity thing you've recognised. There's a number of things to say about the results, which I might deconstruct and tackle later.

The Catholic survey was mostly done by telephone, allowing people to turn it down if they didn't feel they were Catholic. The term 'Christian' in the Census is so vague it's almost useless. It could, and probably does, interpret as 'English' for lots of people. Self-identifying as Catholic is identifying with both Christian as a religion and with a tightly-defined and very controlled religious sect. I still think there will be a significant number of people responding who are Cultural Catholics. However, I'd argue that's not actually the same as Cultural Christian, especially in a place like Ireland (incl the North).

8 May 2012 at 07:01  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

One of the intriguing things in the survey is actually the number of people who don't think sexual expression between homosexuals is morally wrong, even in a place like Ireland and even amongst those who self-identify as Roman Catholic Christians. Yet what sort of stuff gets asserted here on a regular basis? It doesn't actually matter whether those people are 'real' Catholics as far as the importance of that result is concerned. does it?

8 May 2012 at 07:10  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Alpha Draconis.

You, very reasonably, ask 'how does God forgive?'.

Protestant Christisns like me understand that He does it by substitutionary atonement, i.e. the cross of Christ. As in 'Christ died for our sins, the just for the unjust.' The concept is both illogical (to some) and offensive (to others) as Paul explains in 1 Corintians chapter 1, where he wrote 'The Greeks sek wisdom and the Jews a sign, but we preach Christ crucified.

Offensive and illogical it may seem, but Christ dying for our sins is the heart of the Christian religion. Because its a difficult concept to accept (Dawkins calls it 'barking mad') God explained it gradually over time, with preceding OT pointers such as the Ram that was substituted for Isaac, the passover lamb, the whole system of Jewish sacrifice which all pointed forward to Christ, one of whose titles is 'The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. And prophecies lke Isaiah 53 which describe the death of Jesus centuries before teh event.

Because I often get into arguments about this on line and it takes more than a few hundred words to explain it, I tried to address this and other issues in my collection of Christian apologetics essays 'Three Men in a Hut and other essays' which is available for 77p on Amazon Kindle. If you really do want to know the answer to those questions, I hope this helps.

8 May 2012 at 11:44  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

cressida de nova

Thank you for accepting my apology - on this occassion; very gracious of you. One should resist whiskey prior to engaging on Cranmer!

The thought of a flirtatous composite between DanJ0 and little pope len is very disturbing. One wonders if he, she or it would be hetrosexual, homosexual or bi-sexual.

8 May 2012 at 14:51  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...


When visiting this planet learn how to behave and not to be a dsruptive influence on courses. Without such skills your career will nose dive!

Christ, God made man, dying for the sins of humanity is the perfect solution to the mystery of evil and free will when considered in conjunction with Genesis. Indeed, if it were not truth, somebody would have invented this resolution to explain our lives.

Consider Christianity alongside other faith systems. None compare, apart from possibly Buddhism which ultimately fails because it is a philosophy of despair.

If you believe a God exists, then it can only be the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, made man in Christ.

Try to get back on the Alpha Course or, even better, pop along to a local Jesuit centre and they'll put you right.

8 May 2012 at 15:38  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

As a Catholic and on the basis of what I have read, I concur with His Grace - Brady must go. His excuses are pathetic and he was probably one of those who were commissioned by the communists and freemasons to infiltrate the Catholic Church and destroy it from within. Their biggest success to date was Vatican II. It's about time the hierarchy see what a disaster Vatican II has been and reverse the horrible changes which they brought in. I mean why would they introduce a practice where the faithful are not allowed to receive Holy Communion on their knees.

8 May 2012 at 16:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brady is only the' tip of the iceberg.'

The bones are starting to fall out of the sepulchure.

8 May 2012 at 23:50  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


It doesn't actually matter whether those people are 'real' Catholics as far as the importance of that result is concerned. Does it?

Well, you see, I'm an Engineer. If I got test results as far away from expectation as the results in that survey, I would immediately say "Yes, what was wrong with the test." The numbers were just too large to be real. So, no, I don't see anything meaningful in that survey.

Not unlike this survey here. Now, I could have a great deal of fun with this survey, and I probably will at Dodo's expense anyways. But 25% of British men taking teddy bears on business trips? Really?


9 May 2012 at 01:50  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


As for the whole 'false dichotomy' thing, there wasn't one. I simply said the results of the survey couldn't be used to say anything meaningful about real RCs - the people who actually involve themselves in the RCC. Self-identification badly distorts the survey population. It's exactly analogous to religious self-identification in the census. There you are quite willing to apply a strict definition because you want it known that Christians are a minority whose cultural dominance is at an end. But with this survey about 'Catholics' you wanted to apply a loose definition in order to imply progress for your agenda in one of the principle institutions that oppose it.

Is the general public moving in your direction? Yes. With increasing acceleration? Yes. Is this some great revelation? No. So the only thing that could make this survey 'intriguing' is if it indicated that the attitudes of people who actively involve themselves in the RCC were moving in your direction. (And implying exactly that assertion was your purpose in posting it, btw.) But in fact the opposite will happen. As the cost of religious identification increases, nominalists falls away. The remnant is more committed to church teaching. The social cost of being a Christian is going to increase greatly in the near future. The church is going to become smaller and more faithful as a result.


9 May 2012 at 02:13  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "Well, you see, I'm an Engineer. If I got test results as far away from expectation as the results in that survey, I would immediately say "Yes, what was wrong with the test." The numbers were just too large to be real. So, no, I don't see anything meaningful in that survey."

Of course you don't. However, you're the guy who thinks homosexuality is a choice despite first-hand accounts and common sense saying otherwise. When a conflict occurs between your religious beliefs and real-world data, it seems that you prefer your religious beliefs. That's not just you, of course, it's common amongst the religious.

9 May 2012 at 06:02  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Carl O1:50
It is hard to imagine Winnie the Pooh and Paddington Bear as sinners.But we are talking about a nation that produced Monty Python, Big Ears, Noddy and Harry Potter. The disgrace of it!

As a Calvinist Carl , I believe, you are not allowed contact with anything soft and cuddly because of its sinful nature.Admittedly for a very few this could never be surpassed by the feel of cold metal when cuddling up to a shot gun.

Must be difficult when you are checking in your Calvin Klein Bear made of barbed wire through customs at the airport.

9 May 2012 at 06:02  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "As for the whole 'false dichotomy' thing, there wasn't one. I simply said the results of the survey couldn't be used to say anything meaningful about real RCs - the people who actually involve themselves in the RCC."

Oh c'mon, you presented a dilemma: Accept the 71% now, knowing that I have scoffed at that in the past, or accept that there's nothing meaningful in the survey I had just posted. You're trying to weasel your way out of it now because rather than inflicting the Gotcha! you've been grubbing around for recently it's come back to bite you.

9 May 2012 at 06:13  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9 May 2012 at 06:31  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "But with this survey about 'Catholics' you wanted to apply a loose definition in order to imply progress for your agenda in one of the principle institutions that oppose it."

My theme in this thread has been about the social and cultural control the Roman Catholic Church has historically wielded. I have already said that I think a significant number in that opinion survey will have been Cultural Catholics. Those two things link together.

I can't see that the Roman Catholic Church will ever change its views on homosexuality so, no, I'm not using it to imply progress on that topic in the institution itself at all. You're over-egging it there, and in a recipe that needs no eggs. Progress regarding the cultural influence of the Roman Catholic Church is a different matter though.

9 May 2012 at 06:35  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

You keep my teddy bear out of this debate! He has a very sensitive disposition, just like his owner.

9 May 2012 at 10:32  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Actually, teddy has just rather sharply pointed out I am his keeper, not his owner. He's got an awkward streak too; I can't figure where he gets it from.

9 May 2012 at 15:16  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

He wanted me to inform people his name is Poppey.

9 May 2012 at 21:32  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. You’d be better off bringing Mrs Dodo to bed, as apposed to some soft toy. Try it, give it a go...

9 May 2012 at 21:49  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...


Mrs Dodo is as fond of Poppy as I am. Indeed, some nights I have to wrestle with her to keep him. Well, at least that's we say.

I think she is slightly jealous of the affection he shows me in.(Not a sinful affection, you understand). Have you no Teddy?

9 May 2012 at 22:05  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. The eight year old Inspector remembers his slightly older friend Martin informing him that he slept with a teddy. A jaw dropping moment...

9 May 2012 at 22:15  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

You need to cultivate your femine side.

9 May 2012 at 22:31  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: your bear is called 'Popey' ?

11 May 2012 at 02:21  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Do get the spelling correct or you'll upset him!

Poppy or Poppet is his name - a childish corruption of Puppet as (best keep my voice down here, so as not to upset him) he looks a bit like Sweep.

11 May 2012 at 14:33  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo : my apologies; your own spelling @ 21:32 confused me: ''Poppey'' - a 'p' too far, I thought.

Humbug, my panda, sends his fraternal greetings to Poppy.

11 May 2012 at 15:56  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Poppey is too innocent to be worried about those sort of issues. He thanks Panda for his kind greetings.

11 May 2012 at 22:27  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Oswin and Dodo

You two Catholics ought to be ashamed of yourselves engaging in teddy bear talk. Carl is right. This sort of thing has contributed to the permissive society resulting in ssm.

13 May 2012 at 17:27  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...


Hello; where have you been?

Oswin is not a proper Catholic. And Carl? As you said earlier, he probably sleeps with a shot gun.

14 May 2012 at 02:45  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

I think we are being very mean to Carl. I suspect he has a secret yearning for Catholicism.He shows great potential in the shackles and iron discipline department. All he has to do is loosen a few links and embrace the" flesh" et voila!

I am in the land of the heathen.
Attempting to convert a whole nation to Christianity by just being myself. It's working:)

14 May 2012 at 03:42  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...


Ummmm ... carl just has no sense when it comes to football and is completely ignorant about the 'water of life'. Plus, he is anti-teddy bears.

Have you let the Pope know yet about your valiant efforts to convert the heathen? He may dispatch a team of Jesuits to assist.

15 May 2012 at 00:38  

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