Christy, I feel your anger at the Church
WHEN I wrote a while back that the Pope had no right to visit Ireland in the Eucharistic Congress unless he was on his knees begging for forgiveness, I received a lovely booklet of prayers from an anonymous reader.
She was saddened at my anger, and wanted me to read the prayers in the hope I would change my tune.
I was touched that she went to such effort, and I read the booklet. It reminded me of the dilemma with religion in this country -- the everyday churchgoer who has faith and a love for their God, versus the men who run the institution.
I have no anger with the former, it's the latter that makes my blood boil almost every day.
Christy Moore wrote a song called Strangeways. The opening lyrics are as follows: "There is a ring around the world. It ensnares the little ones. As these priests and bishops fall. Innocence comes to an end."
Christy was obviously angry at the Church and all the abuse scandals, and had the commitment and talent to pen a very powerful song.
This anger hasn't waned as he's now furious that the Eucharist Congress is even coming to Ireland at all. He simply wishes it "would go away".
He has every right to feel this way. I also wish the Church's arrogant, unapologetic behaviour would go away. But it won't.
It won't because the Church has more stealth than anything else on this planet.
I was listening to journalist Patsy McGarry on Marian Finucane last Sunday, and he stopped me in my tracks.
In fact, he stopped the whole show, as Marian allowed him to talk for nearly 10 minutes about the abuse scandals.
He reminded us of the horrors that Brendan Smyth caused to children -- including four children from one family, two sets of cousins.
Of how Brendan Smyth was seen as a hero and how these children could never have reported him.
He reminded us of how a young boy told his mother of being abused, and she, not believing him, beat him and sent him up to the priest.
He reminded us of how Cardinal Sean Brady, as a young man, interviewed two young boys who were abused, and didn't pass on information that might have stopped Smyth committing further crimes.
We were reminded of the hell that has been caused because of the cover-ups of the Church and clerics' commitment to each other, not the child.
So when Christy Moore tells us how much he hates the Catholic Church and how the Eucharistic Congress shouldn't even be here, I get it.
I see that numbers are going to be less than expected at all the events.
Which leads me to believe that not only he, but all of us, are angry with this increasingly irrelevant organisation.