A first hint of decency from the Irish Catholic church

The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, has written what Catholics should have said from the very beginning of this Irish scandal. It really didn’t take much, just the recognition of failure.

The church has failed people. The church has failed children. There is no denying that. This can only be regretted and it must be regretted. Yet “sorry” can be an easy word to say. When it has to be said so often, then “sorry” is no longer enough.

He goes on to say that the church needs to get out of its state of denial, that they have to admit that they’ve done wrong, and that they have to make restitution. It’s a 180° reversal from what Bill Donohue was doing: blame the victims, blame the investigators, try to downplay the results of the investigation.

What Martin is saying is what I would have expected to hear from an organization with good intentions; Donohue was confirming what I expected to hear from an inherently unscrupulous institution. It will be interesting to see which approach ultimately wins out.

Unfortunately, Martin still seems to think his religion is a force dedicated to doing good for humanity. It’s sweet that he still thinks so, but then, he’s an archbishop, and well-schooled in the art of self-delusion.