ASSAULTING BISHOP BILL MURPHY
A few days ago the retired Roman Catholic bishop of Kerry (79) - Bill Murphy - was physically assaulted on a train travelling from Kerry to Dublin by a man who was striking out at a cleric over the Roman Catholic Church's child sexual abuse.
At the time Bishop Murphy was travelling with his brother - another cleric - Archdeacon Murphy, also of Kerry.
The man responsible for the assault was in his 30's and was apparently under the influence of alcohol. He struck as Bishop Murphy sat reading his prayer book on the moving train. Bishop Murphy was both injured and shaken.
First of all we must loudly condemn anybody attacking another human being physically - especially an elderly man like Bishop Murphy who is nearly 80 years of age. The attacker in question certainly deserves to have the full severity of the law applied to him.
The fact that he was under the influence of alcohol is absolutely no excuse.
If, on the other hand, he himself or someone he loves was the victim of sexual abuse by a priest then I think that this fact would be to some extent at least be a mitigating factor.
ME - VERBALLY ABUSED:
I personally have not been physically abused for wearing my clerical collar but on several occasions I have been verbally abused - mainly as I walked through the city of Dublin. I have always tried to engage my verbal abusers in conversation and sometimes that has led to a useful dialogue and even on one occasion - an apology.
On one occasion in Finglas in North Dublin I was verbally abused by a young man - but he was seen off by a very elderly old lady who was standing at a nearby bus stop. She gave him a right beating about the legs with her umbrella.
UNDERSTANDABLE ANTI CLERICALISM:
Ireland is fast becoming an anti clerical country and I perfectly understand why.
Not only are people disgusted about all the sexual abuse by priests, nuns and monks - they are also very angry with the Irish bishops who covered up this abuse for decades.
People are further angered by the Roman Catholic Church's continued attempts to interfere with government and legislation on matters such as sexuality and marriage.
The Irish Roman Catholic Bishops need to realise that they have lost ALL MORAL CREDIBILITY and they need to confine themselves to giving commands and instructions to that minority of Irish citizens who now follow them.
The rejection of the Roman Catholic Church - and its bishops, priests, nuns and monks is the result of decades and centuries of all kinds of abuse.
The Roman Catholic Church in Ireland is now experiencing "pay back" for literally being moral and religious terrorists.
In Ireland we were colonised for centuries by two colonial powers - Britain and Rome.
The Brits are gone from most of Ireland..
It's now time that the Romans and their foot soldiers got the BIG heave ho!