News of the ‘Bishop Casey affair’ left Catholic Ireland in state of disbelief
Disbelief. Total and utter disbelief. These are the only words to sum up the reaction among the majority of Irish people when they first heard that Bishop Eamonn Casey had fathered a son.
I remember when as night editor of the Irish Independent the news came in around 2am - and how the office went silent as even seasoned veterans of the newspaper world wondered could this really be true?
And in historical terms that is the most profound legacy of what became known as the 'Bishop Casey affair'. Prior to that moment the Catholic Church was perceived as a kind of unyielding monolith. Central to its belief system in Ireland was that the clergy in general were above human frailty.