When my eyes closed on 2009, ringing in my ears were not bells but the words: What does it profit a man if he gains the world and loses his soul?
Tiger Woods had everything -- a superb athlete, legendary golfer, the richest sportsman in history, a beautiful wife and two children he adores. It was not enough. He betrayed his family, friends, the public and himself. For a time at least, he lost his soul. What surprised me most was his stupidity. Did he think he could get away with such outrageous behaviour?
Next I thought of Dublin's bishops. Their addiction to power was worth sacrificing children for. It led them to support their power base, the Roman regime, rather than little ones whom priests were raping.
Even their resignation statements were preposterous. They were completely innocent and only resigning to help victims come to terms with their situation, as if these victims had been hit by a hurricane.
Only Moriarty spoke with any dignity. Even he stressed that only with hindsight did he see the wrong. He didn't need hindsight to protect the unborn. Why was he blind to the crime of priest eunuchs sexually abusing children? The answer is he feared to lose his power if the regime that posed as the moral champions of Ireland was not a refuge for little ones but a paradise for pervert clerics.
Apart from Diarmuid Martin, bishops still haven't grasped that they handed over Ireland's soul to Satan, thereby losing all moral authority. Obedient Catholics, they were God-awful Christians. What price now the Catholic ethos of our schools?
I was doing my Christmas shopping in the local high street when I was gently asked if I could help. Standing aside from the swirl of shoppers in an alcove between McDonald's and a boutique was a man in rags with a pixie hat on his head. Aged from 30 to 55, thin as an old penny, he had a couple of yellow tombstone teeth. He was shivering like a poplar leaf.
You look freezing, I said. I'm always freezing, sir, he replied. Was he sleeping in the council refuge. No, on the beach. The night before, it'd been 6 degrees below. He had a sleeping bag, he said, and under the pier it wasn't so bad.
Since the council gave him only £52 a week, I offered to drive him to the nearest refuge and pay for his keep. But he preferred his own company to that of drunks and drug addicts.
Each day since, I've seen him in that alcove poor as Saint Francis in one of the richest towns in one of the richest countries in the world.
With hindsight, I and others like me were so preoccupied with our own careers and well-being we gave little or no thought to the innocent victims of capitalism. We, too, stand under judgement.