Kenny’s unfair tirade won’t help keep children safe

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny continues to be lauded in the echo chambers of the media elite for his anti-Vatican tirade.

Unfortunately such an intemperate, ill-judged, misdirected, and factually inaccurate reaction is unlikely to do much long term good either for children or for anybody else.

I don’t recall Kenny voicing such criticism in 1996 when he was in government, when his comments in relation to the Vatican would have been much closer to the mark, or indeed in 2002, from the safety of the opposition benches.

Why now and why Cloyne? It hardly constitutes the worst recording of cases in the long and sorry litany of clerical and religious sexual abuse. Has he had a sudden divinely-inspired revelation, or could it be that he is just another political opportunist, seeking to deflect attention away from his own party’s mounting catalogue of cutbacks, broken promises, and U-turns?

Kenny’s newly demonstrated capacity to joust all day against Vatican windmills cannot hide the fact that he squirms like a worm before his overseas political overlords.

Firehosing criticism at the Vatican for the mistakes made in the Cloyne diocese, where church and state regulations were both ignored, achieves absolutely nothing other than to demonstrate that Kenny has no interest in fair-mindedness or factual accuracy. He may have won the praise of the Church’s intractable critics, but I imagine most ordinary practising Catholics, of whom there are still quite a number, do not at all appreciate his misrepresentations.

If Kenny had previously excavated the “the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism — and the narcissism” that define our political class today, and especially our principal political parties, he might be better positioned to attempt to excise those perceived qualities elsewhere.

Michael O’Driscoll



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