The main thing which has come out of the Cloyne report is also the least surprising one. As if it needed confirmation, we now know that there is something fundamentally wrong with the concept of reporting abuses perpetrated by members of the Catholic Church to other members of that same church. In an ideal world, where men of the cloth held themselves to the same moral standards that they preach from the pulpit, it shouldn’t make a difference. The findings of the Cloyne report, however, prove that we live in a far from ideal world.
If you were mugged, would you report it to a family member of the accused, in the hope that their moral compass would direct them towards the local Garda station? Of course not. So why should the Catholic Church act as the middle man for such heinous offences?
What is equally as worrying is the apparent inability of state services to communicate with each other. How did alarm bells not sound when 6 of the 15 complaints were reported to the Gardaí and none to the HSE? Simple communication between the 2 bodies could have uncovered this sorry mess years ago.
It is clear to see that there is something very wrong with the Catholic Church. As a practicing Catholic whose religious beliefs have survived intact into adulthood, it’s a sad thing to have to admit. But it’s true, and obvious. Anyone who calls themselves Catholic should have a genuine interest in rescuing their religion instead of continuing to hide its indiscretions, further dragging it into the abyss. And yet the Catholic Church appears happy to do so.
While Pope Benedict may believe that gay marriage poses an “insidious threat” (to exactly whom I am unsure), far more harmful is the churches reluctance to clean up its act. As long as the church fails to practice what it preaches, its numbers will continue to dwindle, and this Catholic will find it harder and harder to remain one of the faithful.