Friday, 27 November 2015


Pope Francis waves to local residents as he drives to St Joseph The Worker Catholic Church in the Kangemi slum of Nairobi, Kenya (Photo: AP)

Pope Francis waves to local residents as he drives to St Joseph The Worker Catholic Church in the Kangemi slum of Nairobi, Kenya
Pope Francis denounced the conditions slum-dwellers are forced to live in
Pope Francis denounced the conditions slum-dwellers are forced to live in today, saying that access to safe water is a basic human right and that everyone should have dignified, adequate housing.
Francis insisted on access to a basic sewage system, rubbish collection, electricity as well as schools, hospitals and sport facilities during a visit to the Kangemi slum on Nairobi’s north western edge.



And please don'y give me the nonsense that the Pope owns nothing personally and therefore has nothing to give.

Just read, as I have this week, Gianluigi Nuzzi's newly published book: MERCHANTS IN THE TEMPLE and you will clearly see that the Vatican and those in it are rich beyond imagining. 

You will learn that:

1. The Vatican Bank had to block a credit card belonging to Archbishop Georg Ganswein (Pope Benedict's partner) that contained a large sum of money!

Bennie and Georgie

2. That in recent years the Vatican had become a SAINT MAKING FACTORY that had made millions of euros by canonising saints. One lay Vatican official had been paid Euros 40,000 as an "initial payment" for starting to make someone a saint.

3. Vatican cardinals used to being driven in expensive limousines were hiding those limos in garages and were seen in Fiat Pandas.

4. Many cardinals were demanding apartments that had waiting rooms; television rooms, bathrooms, reception rooms, tea rooms and libraries and paying no rent.

5. When Cardinal Pell took over the Vatican finances he discovered, at first glance, Euros 94 million in accounts that were not accounted for. 

6. 27,000 people in Rome had cards to but tax free petrol at the Vatican.

7. The Vatican shop sold tobacco products to 11,000 customers many of whom exceeded their allowance of 80 cartons (800 packets a year ). Are there cardinals and priests in the Vatican smoking 310 cigarettes a week ?

Vatican Silk Cigarette Card - Pope Pius X

8. A check on Vatican properties revealed that the Vatican owned seven times more property around the world that is listed in its books and accounts. 

9. The Vatican owns property around Europe worth Euros 591 million.

10. The St Peter's Square Christmas tree in Rome costs Euros 500,000.

11. That there are several bank accounts belonging to DEAD POPES with vast amounts of money flowing through them - 20, 30 and 40 years after those popes are dead.

I could go on and on. Read Nuzzi's book for yourself. It is based on leaked Vatican documents and taped meetings - some of Pope Francis himself.


Wednesday, 25 November 2015



His Serene Reverence, Dean Hugh Kennedy of St Peter's Cathedral Belfast had the great joy of ordaining seven new choir boys into the cathedral's Schola Cantorum last Sunday morning. The Co-Ordainer was the Schola's choir master Nigel McClintock ***

The ceremony consisted of words taken from the Catholic consecration of bishops and the Catholic ordination rite for priests and deacons.

After their ordination, each boy, already clad in purple, was invested with a white surplice and received a blessing from His Serene Reverence.

The ceremony was composed by His Serene Reverence who has a doctorate in liturgy from Rome.

The ceremony was quite reminiscent of the Ceremony of the Boy Bishop of the Anglican Church which was celebrated on the FEAST OF FOOLS and the FEAST OF ASSES.

Tomb of the Boy bishop, Salisbury(Wiltshire, England)
Boy bishop was a name given to a custom very widespread in the Middle Ages, whereby a boy was chosen, for example among cathedral choristers, to parody the real bishop, commonly on the feast of Holy Innocents. This custom was linked with others, such as that of the Feast of Foolsand the Feast of Asses.

In England the boy bishop was elected on 6 December, the feast of Saint Nicholas, the patron of children, and his authority lasted till Holy Innocents' day (28 December).[1] The real Bishop would, symbolically, step down at the deposuit potentes de sede of the Magnificat ("he hath put down the mighty from their seat"), and the boy would take his seat at et exaltavit humiles ("and hath exalted the humble and meek").

After the election, the boy was dressed in full bishop's robes with mitre and crozier and, attended by comrades dressed as priests, made a circuit of the town blessing the people. Typically the chosen boy and his colleagues took possession of the cathedral and performed all the ceremonies and offices, except Mass. Originally, it seems, confined to the cathedrals, the custom spread to many parishes.[1]
Notwithstanding the intervention of various Church authorities (see Feast of Fools), the popularity of the custom made it resistant. In England it was abolished by Henry VIII in 1542, revived byMary I in 1552 and finally abolished by Elizabeth I. On the continent of Europe it survived longest in Germany, in the so-called Gregoriusfest (de), said to have been founded by Gregory IV.[1] The custom has given rise to some popular misconceptions, however, one of which is the traditional misidentification of a miniature episcopal tomb effigy at Salisbury as a boy bishop: this is more likely to commemorate a secondary burial (heart or viscera) of a real bishop.


There have been some recent revivals both in the English-speaking world and on the continent. Most famous perhaps is that of Hereford, revived in 1973 for a special children's service, with full and traditional ceremonies following annually since 1982. The Boy Bishop preaches a sermon and leads prayers at various DiocesanAdvent services. A single revival took place in 1959 at St. George's Parish Church, Stockport. Such ceremonies are now also found at Westminster CathedralSalisbury Cathedral, and a number of parish churches throughout England, including All Saints' Church, NorthamptonClaines, Worcestershire, and also St Christopher's Parish Church, Bournemouth, (early 1950s), where the Boy Bishop was installed on St Christopher's Day, (July 25), and 'reigned' for one year, preaching and 'presiding' at youth events.
The custom was likewise revived in BurgosSpain, where the boy-bishop feast had been extremely popular before the cathedral choir was closed in the 1930s. After its re-establishment, the boy bishop was revived in 1987, and has since been celebrated every year. Other Spanish cities such as Palencia also hold the ceremony, and that carried on in the Monastery of Montserrat by L'Escolania is especially renowned. The festival was also revived in Chavagnes International College, a Catholic boarding school in France.
In the United States, one of the first adoptions of the custom took place in 1979 at the Cathedral of All Saints (Episcopal) in AlbanyNew York, as part of an annual medieval fair held in the great Gothic-revival style church.
In December 2009, a teenage girl from Wellingborough England was appointed Britain's first girl bishop at All Saints Church in the town.
In July 2016 the festival will be revived in Durham, which uniquely used to appoint two boy bishops who officiated in spring rather than winter. 

I think we can now look forward to the Revival of the Boy Bishop tradition at St Peter's.
BISHOP NOEL TREANOR will step down as bishop for a short period and a Schola Cantorum boy will sit on the throne in St Peter's for a set period of time.

It is also rumoured that as part of the continued Anglicanization of St Peter's Cathedral the street on which the cathedral stands - Albert Street - will be renamed Prince Albert Street.

***Nigel was born in Belfast and educated at Methodist College Belfast and the Royal College of Music, London, where he was a prize-winning student, studying organ with Nicholas Danby and piano with Patricia Carroll. He held Organ Scholarships at Mill Hill School and St Albans Cathedral. Following graduation, Nigel was appointed Director of Music at St George's Parish Church Belfast, where he directed five successful recordings of the men and boys choir. In 1999, Nigel pursued further study at the Royal College of Music in the form of an MMus degree in Choral Conducting with Paul Spicer. He was appointed Director of Music at Croydon Parish Church in South London, a post he held for eight years, and taught at Whitgift School.

In January 2008, Nigel took up the new position of Director of Music at St Peter's Cathedral, Belfast, where he works with the Senior Voices Choir and established the Schola Cantorum. He is an experienced recitalist, having played recently at Fairfield Halls, Croydon, Westminster Abbey and Magdalen College Oxford. Future recitals include Trinity College Cambridge and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Nigel is also Director of the boys course of the Charles Wood Summer School in Armagh, and has just been awarded an Honorary Fellowship (FFCM) of the Faculty of Church Music.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015


Seven reasons to ban the Lord’s Prayer

Britain woke up this morning to the news that the Lord’s Prayer has been banned from cinemas.
The Church of England has produced a sixty second commercial.  The only words are the words of the Lord’s Prayer, said by children, the bereaved, people at work and so on.  It’s a beautiful film, Certificate U. The ad is to promote a new website, Just  The plan was (and is) to show the film before Christmas at screenings of the new Star Wars film to help everyone think about prayer and to pray.  What could be more simple?
The distributors have declared the Lord’s Prayer unsuitable for screening.  They believe it carries the risk of upsetting or offending audiences. 
Cue indignation from the press, fury from the Archbishop (according to the Mail anyway) debates about free speech, a possible challenge in the courts and a storm on social media.
But wait just a moment.  Suppose the cinema chains got this one right?
I disagree with their decision and I disagree with the reasons they have given.  I hope it’s reversed.  I don’t believe the film will offend or upset audiences, in the way they mean, and I don’t believe it creates a new precedent. 
But from the point of view of global corporations and consumer culture, from the perspective of the gods and spirits of the age, there are very good reasons indeed to ban the Lord’s Prayer from cinemas and from culture and from public life. 
This is a prayer said by billions of people every day in every language on the planet.  In every single moment in time, someone is praying these words.  They are the first words of prayer we learn as children and the last words we say at the moment of death. 
The Lord’s Prayer is powerful for a reason.  These words shape lives and families and communities and whole societies. 
There are real reasons why the Lord’s Prayer has been banned by the demigods of consumer culture, in the boardrooms of the cinema chains.  Here are seven, one for every line.
First, this prayer gives to those who pray it an identity and a place in the world and a countercultural community. “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name”.  It opposes the myth that we are random specks of matter floating through space and time.  It opposes the myth that our lives do not matter.  It opposes the myth of fragmented humanity. 
We are created and loved and called into friendship with God who is our father and into community with our fellow human beings who are therefore our sisters and brothers.  Only someone who has found this new identity can stand against the advertising culture which night and day seduces us to define who we are by what we spend.
Second this prayer gives us the courage to live in an imperfect world.  “Your kingdom come.  Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. 
The world is not as it was meant to be.  It is distorted from its true purpose.  But God is at work to redeem and transform this world, to establish his kingdom.  The Lord’s Prayer invites us not to retreat from the world in fear and pain, to anaesthetise or indulge ourselves.  The Lord’s Prayer invites us to join the struggle to see justice and peace prevail. 
Third, and most powerfully, the Lord’s Prayer teaches us to live with just enough.  This is the most dangerous reason why it cannot be shown with the adverts at the cinema.  It teaches us not to want more.  It teaches contentment, the most subversive virtue of them all.
“Give us this day our daily bread”.  This is not a prayer for more.  This is a prayer only for what we need.  Every other advert in the cinema is there to encourage us to spend money in pursuit of happiness.  This one restrains our greed. 
Fourth, the Lord’s Prayer teaches me to live with my imperfections and the imperfections of others.  There is a way to deal with the rubbish in our lives.  “Forgive us our sins”.
Consumer culture holds before us the image of perfection.  We cannot be happy until we look like this person, live like that one.  Each image is a lie.
The Lord’s Prayer acknowledges human imperfection and sin, daily.  The Lord’s Prayer offers a pathway to forgiveness, daily. The way of forgiveness cannot be bought.  It is a gift.  Grace.  Grace subverts the whole culture of advertising.
Fifth the Lord’s Prayer offers a way of reconciliation.  “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us”.  We are not meant to feud or live in hostility or rivalry.  We are meant to forgive and be forgiven, to be reconciled to each other.  That reconciliation happens without expensive presents, without going into debt, without credit.  People are not made happy by more things, another consumer lie.  The greatest happiness comes from relationships.  The key to great relationships is reconciliation and forgiveness. 
Sixth, the Lord’s Prayer builds resilience in the human spirit.  When you say this prayer each day you are prepared for the bad days.  “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” 
When we say this prayer we remind ourselves that we are not living in a Disney fairy tale, a saccharine creation of film makers where every story has a happy ending. 
We are living in a real world of cancer and violence and difficulty, where we are tested, where bad things happen for no clear reason.  We live in that world confident in God’s love and goodness and help even in the midst of the most challenging moments of our lives.  Faith is for the deep valleys as much as the green pastures.  We may not have the answers but we know that God dwells with us and in us. 
And seventh the Lord’s Prayer tells us how the story ends, how this life is to be lived and lived well.  “For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever.  Amen”.
The prayer returns as it begins to the praise and glory of the living God.  Our hearts return to their origin and source, the one who created us.  Life is to be lived to God’s praise and glory, not to satisfy our own small desires.  We are beings with a higher calling and a greater purpose. 
There are only 63 words in the Lord’s Prayer.  It takes less than a minute to say them.
Yet these words shape our identity, give purpose to our lives, check our greed, remind us of our imperfections, offer a way of reconciliation, build resilience in our spirits and call us to live to the glory of our creator.
No wonder they have been banned in the boardrooms of consumer culture. 


Monday, 23 November 2015

Hippie ex-priest’ put ‘Spotlight’ on sexual abuse

Richard Sipe’s studies of celibacy helped uncover the Catholic Church’s scandal

Richard Sipes, a former priest and monk, is an expert on the sexual abuse of minors by clergy. — Nelvin C. Cepeda

In the new movie “Spotlight,” a character describes Richard Sipe as a “hippie ex-priest shacking up with some nun.”
When the real Sipe heard this line, he laughed. The 82-year-old La Jollan is often called worse: Traitor.
Sipe never appears on screen in “Spotlight,” a dramatization of the Boston Globe’s 2001-02 investigation of the Catholic Church covering up the crimes of pedophile priests. Yet his insights, formed after decades of research on priests, permeate the film.
A psychotherapist who treated troubled clergy, Sipe drew on about 500 case files for his 1990 study of celibacy, “A Secret World.” Another 500 priests were also interviewed, plus an equal number of lay people who had been sex partners — as adults or children, willing or unwilling — of Catholic clergy.
His conclusions: At any one time, no more than half of priests are practicing celibacy. Most of the others are engaged in sexual relationships with women or men, but Sipe found that 6 percent prey on minors. (After further research, he revised that figure to 6 percent to 9 percent.)
A scholarly work from a small publishing house — New York’s Brunner/Mazel — “Secret World” nonetheless rocked a 2,000-year-old global institution.
“This is very important and has to be published,” an abbot told Sipe after reading the manuscript. “But it’s a good thing the church no longer castrates or burns at the stake, or you would be in trouble.”
While he escaped execution, Sipe has been verbally flogged for 25 years., a website decrying “media bias in coverage of sex abuse in the Catholic Church,” calls Sipe “an angry ex-priest” who uses “the issue of clergy sex abuse as a means to advance his attack on the Catholic Church, especially its teachings regarding human sexuality.”
Victims of sexual abuse, though, praise the man and his work.
“He’s an absolute hero,” said David Clohessy, executive director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). “He’s just a very wise and compassionate man who has made an enormous contribution to understanding and exposing this crisis.”
In his office at home, the walls are covered with reproductions of murals depicting the Last Judgment. A computer dominates one desk, a sculpted nude female torso another. In his lair, Sipe looks neither angelic nor demonic. He looks frail — a walker waits by his chair, thanks to old skiing injuries — yet joyful.
“I don’t have any regrets about what I went through,” he said. “I couldn’t have accomplished any of this without being a monk and a priest.”
‘What it’s about’
Sipe grew up in Minnesota, part of a large Catholic family. He remembers his parents as faithful, not fanatical. It was his idea, not theirs, for the naive ninth-grader to enter a Benedictine seminary.
“I was one of 10 kids,” he said. “You had to stand out in some way!”
He was allowed to date through high school, and 70 years later can still rattle off the names of girlfriends. His monastic preparations continued, though, through college. He became a Benedictine monk in 1953 and a priest in that order in 1959, vowing obedience, poverty and chastity.
That last vow didn’t worry him, Sipe said, thanks to his ignorance. “You don’t know what it’s about, what sex is about, what an adult sexual relationship is or what it’s like to fall in love.”
While studying psychiatry and religion in Rome, he grew fascinated by the question of why some priests — such as the Very Rev. Ulric Beste, a Vatican official and a mentor — remained celibate and others did not.
He continued his studies at St. John’s University Mental Health Institute in Minnesota and as a fellow at the Menninger Foundation. At Maryland’s Seton Psychiatric Institute, a hospital where struggling priests were sent for treatment, he collected data on the sexual lives of his patients.
In 1966, Margaret Mead toured Seton. The anthropologist encouraged the priest to study this matter in a dispassionate manner. To this day, Sipe doesn’t refer to errant priests as “pedophiles.”
“I say they are priests who have sex with minors,” he said.
Sipe’s tone, especially in “Secret World” and a 2003 sequel, “Celibacy in Crisis,” is free of outrage and judgment. Some victims are disturbed by this clinical approach, but not SNAP’s executive director.
“There’s just way too much blaming and shaming and anger by people from all sides in this crisis,” Clohessy said. “Richard does a superb job of focusing on behavior and not beliefs, on facts and not theories.”
He’s also more than a scholar. As a fellow priest, he understood his peers’ struggles.
“I was part of the culture,” he said. “And I was a data keeper.”
That data would help direct the Boston Globe’s investigation, which inspired similar probes. As the church’s sex scandal erupted around the world, it seemed that no diocese was free of predatory priests — including San Diego.
Persona non grata
In his 30s, Father Sipe fell into a severe depression. In therapy, he came to the conclusion that he could no longer serve as a priest. In 1970, he was granted dispensation from his priestly vows.
Soon after, he married Marianne Benkert, a former nun and psychiatrist who had worked at Baltimore’s Loyola University. He opened a private practice, taught, wrote and devoted himself to his new role as husband.
Soon, he was a father. Walter Sipe, the couple’s son, graduated from Harvard and enrolled in the UC San Diego School of Medicine. His parents bought a La Jolla home in 1996, where their son took up residence. Three years later, after he graduated, his parents moved in.
Sipe was in La Jolla when the Globe learned of his research. In October 2001, he and Marianne flew to Boston to meet with the journalists. After the Spotlight team’s first stories on sexual abuse by clergy appeared in 2002, Sipe was contacted by media from around the world.
He’s still sought as a source and an expert witness. To date, he’s testified in about 250 cases brought against Roman Catholic priests accused of rape and other sexual crimes. He’s also been invited to speak on college campuses, in public forums, in conferences addressing this crisis.
One place he hasn’t been invited: The offices of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego.
“I’ve been blackballed,” Sipe said. “Bishop Robert Brom sent his chancellor here to say I was not welcome in the chancery. If I came, it would only be in the presence of a lawyer.”
In San Diego, so many victims came forward that the diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 2007. Later that year, the church agreed to pay $198.1 million to 144 victims. The diocese’s bankruptcy petition would be terminated in January 2014.
The diocese, Robert McElroy said when he was named San Diego’s bishop this March, had to do a better job of preventing these crimes.
“We can never relax on that issue,” McElroy said then. “We can never think we have done enough to have put that in the past.”
This week, the diocese declined several Union-Tribune requests to outline steps it has taken to prevent a recurrence.
In the long run
These crimes are not committed only by Catholic clergy, a truth that was underscored last week by two news stories. Former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle was sentenced to prison for possessing child pornography and having intercourse with two minors; and the Associated Press reported that military prisons contain more sexual abusers of children than any other type of offender.
Next year, Sipe himself will testify in child sex abuse cases involving two non-Catholic religious leaders.
Yet he is convinced that the crisis in the Catholic Church is unique, and rooted in that institution’s attitudes toward sex and gender. While he welcomes the new tone set by Pope Francis, he doesn’t expect any rapid changes.
“I think there is something starting,” he said. “But the real change will not come until the church allows optional celibacy and the ordination of women.
“And these changes will cause more problems, and then more changes. This is an evolutionary process.”
Change is constant, even in an institution that seems to move at a glacial pace. Those images of the Last Judgment on the walls of Sipe’s study? One is a reproduction of an 11th-century work, showing a welcoming Christ in a vast paradise. Hell is almost an afterthought, shunted to a small corner of the canvas.
“Now look at Michelangelo,” Sipe said, gesturing to the framed poster of the 16th-century painting on the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling. Half of this masterwork is devoted to souls being hurled into damnation.
Sipe laughed. “That says it all.”
Years ago, Sipe stopped attending weekly Mass. He’s not a member of any parish and doesn’t regularly partake of the sacraments. But ask if he’s given up on the faith of his childhood, and he smiles.

“My view of being a Catholic is that I am a Catholic in the long run of things,” said the former priest and ex-monk. “I am a part of the change.”

Wednesday, 18 November 2015



ISLAM is having a massive influence on world affairs today and if things keep going the way they are going Islam will have an even bigger influence in the future.

There are currently nearly a billion Muslims around the globe - and it is one of the very definite ambitions of Islam to spread and over tale the whole world.

Anyone who thinks deeply about things needs to have a good understanding of Islam - what it is - where it came from - and what it believes.

I am currently reading the above book by "Peter Townsend" on Islam and I find it revealing, interesting and concerning.

You can but the book on AMAZON - and if you do not want to pay for it you can downlosd the KINDLE edition free from Amazon.

"Peter Townsend" seems to be a nom de plume. It is suggested that the real author was afraid to put his name to the work for fear of retaliation. 

I would not call it an "anti Muslim" book - but it is certainly a book that questions Islam as an authentic religion. It is full of facts and quotes.

When I finish reading it I would be interested to read a book by someone of stature contradicting Peter Townsend and giving good rational and logical arguments for that defence. 

Fundamentalist Islam is obviously a great threat to the world. Paris last week showed that clearly.

I have no time for any kind of fundamentalist religion - whatever the variety - Roman Catholic, Protestant, Judaism etc. For me they are cancerous growths on true faith and spirituality.  

It is amazing that in the 21st Century irrational and fundamentalist religion still has such sway. 

I suppose people should be allowed to believe what they want privately - but those beliefs should not affect the rest of the world - especially in evil and violent ways. 

Monday, 16 November 2015




1. France's part in the bombing of IS strongholds in Syria and Iraq.

2. In defence of Allah and the Holy Prophet whose names are disrespected in the Western World.

One can have any number of thoughts about the Paris tragedy - the most important just now being deep compassion for those killed and injured and their families and friends.

But the question that has been on my mind since Friday night - and its not a new question for my mind - is the connection between evil violence and fundamentalist religion. And there is a massive connection!

We often casually say that RELIGION has been and is the cause of war in the past and in the present. However there is a TRUTH to that statement.

The Paris tragedy and others like it were caused in great part by fundamentalist Islam. These nut cases believe that they are doing a holy act for their Allah. They believe that they are faithful followers of Allah's prophet Mohammed. 

They believe that they are holy martyrs and that when they get to Heaven Allah will give each of them 72 virgins to have fun with.

This kind of thinking is the fruit of RELIGION as an EVIL. 

Of course it is not only the Muslims who are at it like this:

The Jews - "God's Chosen People" are guilty of great evil in Israel and the Middle East - and they have their YAHWEH on their side!

Jewish soldier and Palestinian boy

Buddhist monks - a normally harmless looking group - have been guilty of torture and murder in various parts of Asia.

Roman Catholics and their popes were behind vile and murderous activities in the Crusades, 

the Inquisition 

and the Counter Reformation and indeed turned a blind eye to the Nazism that left 6 million plus dead only 80 years ago!

The Anglican Church in England, Scotland and Ireland tortured Presbyterians and Roman Catholics.

In Northern Ireland the Anglicans and Presbyterians of the Orange Order spread sectarian hatred. 

When I was a curate in Divis Flats in Belfast I was in a flat when news came through of the killing of the 18 young soldiers at Warrenpoint and the place erupted into celebration. 

And so it goes on..........and on.............and on......................

It begs the question: IS RELIGION EVIL?

My answer to that is YES.

Genuine Faith and Spirituality are very good things. But nine times of of ten religion is evil.

Religion is about control, power and wealth. 

A commentator to this Blog today criticised my Blog on Eamon Marting the RC Archbishop and Primate and called him "a harmless critur".


Is it "harmless" that the hierarchy of the RC Church has political power in Ireland?

Is it "harmless" that it controls over 90% of the state schools and that you can only get a place in them if you are a baptised RC?

Is if "harmless" that the RC Church is against condoms and contraceptives?

Is it "harmless" that the RC Church is anti gay and calls gay people "disordered" ?

Is it "harmless" that a mother dies for the want of a termination in a hospital that is influenced by the so called "Catholic ethos" ?

Remember that "harmless critur", as you call him, Eamon Martin, supports all these "harmless" positions and will work to keep them in place for years and decades to come. 

We ignore "harmless" things at our peril. History has taught us so !!!