Saturday, July 16, 2011

More on Cloyne

St Colman, patron saint of Cloyne

The debate around the Irish Government's proposals that the seal of the confessional be no defense to their proposed new mandatory reporting regime continues. Yesterday I had a letter in the Irish Times suggesting such a move might be un-constitutional. Today there was a response arguing I was wrong. We shall see. No doubt a great many lawyers will get rich arguing the toss as the issue makes its way through the courts. I suppose we shouldn't begrudge them the few bob. After all there is a recession on and there's many a lawyer on the dole.

The debate has sparked interest elsewhere. In the US Fr Z's blog has this to say; and in the UK Fr Blake has also taken note (I suggest you look at the comment boxes to get a flavour of the opinions being expressed).

Closer to home, Fr Burke, a Cork based priest has this to say, making valid points about how mandatory reporting could have a lot of unforeseen consequences. It seems to tie in what the social workers who'll be in charge of following up on all these complaints have to say - basically, that such a law, if actually followed, would generate so many complaints that the child protection system wouldn't be able to cope.

It would make you wonder if the government has really thought this through? Mind you, perhaps all their sound and fury might have something to do with drawing attention away from their own child protection failures. Which are many as Breda O'Brien points out in the Irish Times: State in the Dock over Child Protection Failure & David Quinn does in his article in the Independent: Where is the media frenzy when the State fails children? That reminds me: I said I was angry about the government's role in this in yesterday's post. I guess I'm not the only one.

No doubt there's a lot more to come on this. In the meanwhile, please remember to pray for all those who have been wounded by these terrible events. God bless.

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