Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ellis O'Hanlon on Vatican Response to Enda Kenny: Facts vs. Truth

Brilliant analysis by Ellis O'Hanlon in the Irish Independent today about the distinction between facts and the truth, and how  Catholic officials trash their moral credibility when they try to answer courageous articulation of the truth about the abuse crisis with recitals of "facts"--as the Vatican did recently in response to Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny's scathing denunciation of Vatican complicity in covering up crimes against Irish children by Irish Catholic clergy:

Men in dog collars thronged the airwaves [following the Vatican letter about Kenny], demanding the Taoiseach now withdraw his angry claims in the Dail, made following the publication of the Cloyne report; some even wanted an apology. But they made the classic error of mistaking facts for truth. The facts were, according to the Holy See, that they didn't do such and such a thing on such and such a date. The truth was that the Catholic Church has dealt poorly with the most vulnerable of its flock. It was that truth to which an angry Mr Kenny was giving voice, and which he was entirely right last week to stand over.

O'Hanlon says that a recent poll by the  Independent shows nine out of ten Irish citizens supporting Kenny, rather than the Vatican, in this confrontation.  Irish Catholics evidently prefer moral transformation (truth) to moral obfuscation (facts), when dealing with their pastoral leaders.

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