Friday 17 January 2020

Church must serve

MICHAEL McDowell once warned that canon law had no more status than the rules of a golf club. Sadly, the Catholic Church's response to the tightening of the rules on the reporting of sexual abuse suggests that recognition of new realities comes dripping slow to that institution.

Its hysteria over the seal of the confessional should not disguise the fact that were the new laws on child protection retrospective, or applicable over the past 30 years, quite a few Episcopal 'wounded healers' would be facing criminal sanctions. The church should face its responsibilities to children and drop its Non serviam ('I will not serve') attitude.

As for Mr McDowell, his return to the public stage last week will leave many wondering why, in a State that generally suffers from too much law and too little order, the rules on media ownership appear to be as relaxed as those which apply to golf clubs.

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