What is evident is that no apology or action on the part of the Church will be accepted by this secularist protest movement. It is apparent from much of the discussion on Irish social media over the weekend that what many within this movement demand is nothing short of the complete destruction of the Catholic Church. Many are quite explicit in this demand, and it is not limited to the clerical institution of the Church but extends to la Comunidad Católica in its widest sense; evinced in the wholesale targeting and abuse of “ordinary Catholics” online.
This living on the threshold has taken a toll on us. Since the late 1990s, when the scales were first taken from our eyes, we have had to come to terms with new realities and battle for our faith in new and unfamiliar territories. My own journey, like that of many other Catholics, was one that made it impossible for me to consider myself a 'Roman' Catholic. The hierarchy had been – perhaps forever – tainted. It no longer held the moral authority, no matter what the Church taught, to hold my allegiance. The papacy was no longer the infallible and unassailable Rock it had once been.
We can’t defend the indefensible. The Church in Ireland and all around the world failed children and vulnerable people. There was – and to a great extent remains – a culture of abuse within the structures of the Church. The sexual, physical, and psychological abuse of children in the care of Church authorities was a terrible wrong, but the scandal was far worse; it was the abuse of power on the part of an ecclesiastical hierarchy that protected abusers and covered up their abuse – often shielding them, by the use of canon law among other things, from civil justice.
There is no legitimate reason for banning the veil, leaving us only with the illegitimate reason no one calling for the ban wants to reveal – racism. No sooner is this said than some idiot leaps into the discussion with that pearl of wisdom: “Islam isn’t a race.” No it’s not, but no one dispensing this nugget of knowledge and no one attacking the “burka” can tell us much about Islam the religion. Shahadah, Salah, Zakat, Sawm, and Hajj – the Pillars of Islam – are mysteries to them. Their assault is not an assault on Islam qua Islam, but on Muslims qua racialised others.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, on the other hand, is the real McCoy. He is full fat, and he might well be Britain’s first Catholic Prime Minister. In the main this is to be welcomed. In 2017 there should be no religious bar of any kind on any elected position. I would still argue that a Catholic should not be monarch, but that’s because I am of the opinion no one should be monarch.
Terrorism is not the problem in the United Kingdom. The real problem is that terrorism has been manufactured by the state and used as a weapon to divide us, all to advance the ambitions and aspirations of the ruling class.
We cannot ignore the threads linking the clandestine activities of UK and US foreign intelligence serves to this mayhem. To do that would be stupid. It is costing lives, and we are paying for it.
A concert venue packed to the gunwales with kids, teenagers, and parents having the time of their lives, targeted and bombed. Twitter was full of images of happy looking youngsters, pictures taken from their social media profiles, with words begging a helpless internet to help find them; asking us to tell them to call home, to check in.