Monday 23 January 2017

Which cardinal would you pick?

Published 20/03/2010 | 05:00

IMAGINE we have a choice between two cardinals; Cardinal A and Cardinal B.

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Cardinal A is an intelligent and well-educated man, an expert in canon law which seems (at least on occasion) to supercede every other form of law. When he was a priest he took statements from children who had been seriously sexually assaulted and he was then party to the extraction of oaths of secrecy from the children. He passed the statements along the management chain and saw his responsibilities as ended. He then stayed quiet about his role in the matter, while it became clear that the rapist went on to rape many more children and the matter became a national scandal.

Cardinal B is neither especially intelligent nor highly educated -- he is an average guy. He knows little about canon law, but he knows the difference between right and wrong and does not need it to be explained to him at great length in the national media. When he becomes aware of child rape he pursues the matter to ensure that it is reported to the gardai and he does not rely on others to do the right thing. He brings the truth to light in a timely and appropriate manner.

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