Careless analysis of Pope’s pastoral letter

THE analysis by TP O’Mahony of the Pope’s pastoral letter (March 22) was the most careless I have read.

He describes as “fatuous” the Pope’s singling out of “a misplaced concern for the reputation of the church and the avoidance of scandal” as being contributory factors to the crisis.

Why? Because “it was Rome’s overwhelming concern at all times to safeguard the reputation of the church and avoid scandal that allowed the problem to fester”.

That’s exactly what the Pope said in plain English in the sentence that Mr O’Mahony quotes and commentators not only here in Ireland but also in England and America had no difficulty understanding his words.

But Mr O’Mahony somehow manages to misread the document to such an extent that he interprets the Pope as saying precisely the opposite. Even more bizarrely, he goes on to quote the Murphy report’s indicting of church authorities who engaged in “the maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the church ...” and says the pastoral letter lacks even an indirect reference to this.

And this follows the paragraph in which he quotes the Pope’s own words on these issues. Was Mr O Mahony half asleep when writing his commentary? Such extreme journalistic carelessness diminishes the reputation of the Irish Examiner.

Michael O’Driscoll

Blackrock Road



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