Sunday 25 February 2018

Princes of church

• In considering the cry for the resignation of Cardinal Brady, one has to distinguish between deliberate, culpable actions and actions issuing from incompetence.

Clearly, it is mainly through incompetence that Catholic bishops have done irreparable damage to the church. It will not matter much if all or none of them resign. What will matter is if we see the church unchanged in its perception of its role and in the manner in which it conducts its relationships with its priests and its people, and in the way that bishops are appointed.

The church in Ireland can never return to its former glory; it would be in nobody's interests if it did. The organisation of the church under current hierarchical arrangements is clearly dysfunctional and no longer fit for purpose. Sadly, there are already some hints that the central organisation in Rome will redouble its efforts as it steadily loses sight of its aims.

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