Colum Kenny: It is the truly faithful who are aghast at the Church
The hierarchy and other authorities have played a huge role in the decline of the Catholic Church, writes Colum Kenny
Bishop Philip Boyce of Raphoe sees the Catholic Church "attacked from the outside by the arrows of a secular and godless culture: rocked from the inside by the sins and crimes of priests and consecrated people".
Missing from his blame equation last week were non-criminal acts and omissions of the hierarchy and other Church authorities. These have contributed mightily to the decline of the Irish Catholic Church and to the despair of its faithful.
Bishop Boyce was speaking at Knock, Ireland's major shrine for the traditionally devout. It is a place where the truly afflicted go for comfort. Yet Bishop Boyce seemed to equate their personal problems with those of the institutional Church that is itself largely to blame for its own current troubles.