Monday, September 05, 2011

Church comes out fighting

Things are getting interesting in Ireland: with a tussle between the Catholic Church and the Fine Gael Government.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny was today refusing to back down from his claims that church authorities frustrated investigations into child sex abuse as Education Minister Ruairi Quinn urged parents nationwide to take national schools back from the priests.
this is a big change in the way the Church has been treated (also note, this Conservative government wants parents to use democratic school boards to change things, rather than the anti-democratic stance of the Tories here with their 'Free Schools').

Given the status of the Church in Ireland, this is turning into an ugly bare-knuckle battle - that it is even happening at all is fascinating. Obviously, it could just be unscrupulous pols using a heated debate to distract attention. More than that, though, it could be a genuine shift in the political culture of Ireland towards greater secularism - reading Highlights of Kenny's Speech basic nationalism might be something of a spur, or simple repugnance of what has happened on the Church's watch. The article above is clearly the Church coming back fighting.

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