Friday 20 July 2018

Gene Kerrigan: Half-truth that gave lie to protector role

A medieval tactic kept clerical consciences clear while covering up years of child abuse, says Gene Kerrigan

When Cardinal Desmond Connell lied to RTE, he did so carefully. He used a 17th-century variation on a 13th-century philosophical technique employed by the heavies from the Catholic Church elite. This enabled him to deceive RTE and the public while keeping a clear conscience. What a clever, learned man. How adeptly he used this ancient manoeuvre to protect his standing and power.

And how recognisable the technique is, to those of us familiar with the skills of modern politicians.

The Murphy report -- mercifully -- doesn't go into the relentless detail that was appropriately used when the Ryan report described the frightful abuse heaped on children. Some detail is unavoidable, but by now we are all so sickened by this squalid affair that a simple statement that abuse took place is usually sufficient to convey the dreadfulness.

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