Kevin Myers: What has Bono actually achieved for Africa, as opposed to what he has done for his self-image?
THE African delegates to the Eucharistic Congress now have a perfect opportunity to contemplate what happens to an institution in which there is authority without accountability, power without intellect, deference without doubt, emotions without reason, piety without principle, pride without dignity and display without substance. I speak of course of the Irish Catholic Church, which has been almost unique, in northern Europe anyway, in its political and cultural influence over its host country.
Yet the African delegates may scour our libraries in vain for the great theological works of Irish scholars, or fruitlessly wander round our churches, looking for signs of Irish Catholicism's visual aesthetic. Then might they presume that the church's energies had gone into creating sublime religious music; wrong again.
And of course, as its decline accelerates, with the utter abjection of a beaten dog, the Catholic Church has chosen its most recent and gratuitous torturer, RTE, effectively to be co-sponsor of the Eucharistic Congress, while of course, ignoring its stoutest defenders. In other words, the integrity and self-respect of the Eucharistic Congress are pretty much on a par with the theological riches, the architectural treasures and the musical glories that the Irish Catholic Church has created in the past.