Pope’s UK visit causes much confusion in Northern Ireland…



  1. Phil
    I think he’ll be in mourne-ing (pun very much intended) after Down’s tragic defeat in the All-Ireland final yesterday. Apparently he was at the match. It’s also interesting to note that he played in goal for the Down minor team back in the late ’80s. So you could, I suppose describe him as(among many other much less complimentary things)”a greeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaat gaaaeeeeeeeeeelic maaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn”.

    But he didn’t go to the Institute though.

  2. Ciaran,

    on a more serious note, did you actually hear Pope Benedict say anything, or did he simply go walkabout in Hyde Park.

    His visit is being hailed as an overall success, although perhaps he should also have visited Ireland. Perhaps though his age and the strain of travel should be remembered.


  3. Well as you know Phil, I’m not a big fan of the man and have problems with many of his teachings on various moral and social issues, not to mention his less than adequate handling of the worldwide clerical abuse scandals. However I agree with you that his visit was a great success. His historic meetings with the Queen and Archbishop of Canterbury have gone a long way towards (if you’ll excuse the cliché) healing centuries old wounds.

    His private meeting with victims of clerical abuse and his public apology (albeit belatedly) will hopefully send out the message that the church is finally making amends for its past mistakes.

    I don’t think it would have been appropriate for him to visit Ireland so soon after the release of the Murphy and Ryan reports, particularly when Cardinal Sean Brady disgraced himself by refusing to resign following the revelation that he had forced children abused by notorious paedophile priest Brendan Smyth to sign an oath of silence – and as a result Smyth went to become a serial abuser. But as I say hopefully the church is finally taking effective steps to eradiate its culture of cover-up and turning a blind eye to such heinous crimes.
    I believe a more progressive, liberal Pope is badly needed to bring the church into line with the modern world, but unfortunately I don’t see this happening any time soon.

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