Thursday, 10 November 2005
Ferns Report: Statements.
David Norris (Independent)
The behaviour is inappropriate. I have great respect for many of the traditions of all the various churches. People say that only 4% or 5% of abuse cases relate to the clergy, but that is statistically anomalous, since for that to be representative of the general population, one would have to have 200,000 priests in the country, and we do not have that many. There is a particular problem in this case, and I commend to the Minister the courageous words of Deputy O'Donnell.
There is still a great deal of doublespeak. One of the problems of the Roman Catholic Church in particular is that it has both a political and a spiritual face. It is not appropriate that the Papal Nuncio should be the doyen of the diplomatic corps here. Neither is it appropriate that Cardinal Ratzinger should issue statements instructing democratically-elected politicians what way they should vote on certain matters concerning sexuality, a matter about which the church has always lied. Those many honest voices within the church who tried to tell the truth were ruthlessly marginalised. I have only one more point to make.