Thursday 19 October 2017

Power corrupts

• The ready facility with which the Vatican could silence or shackle Irish priests as though they were employees of that State, contrasts with the Vatican's protestations that it was not responsible for paying damages awarded against priests who committed heinous crimes against their charges while in its service, is noteworthy.

Elaine Byrne's new book on corruption aptly quotes John Acton, MP for Carlow, who wrote to his bishop in 1887: "I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favourable presumption that they do no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way . . . power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Methinks we need a new Catholic Emancipation Act.

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