Monday, May 6, 2013

Sean Brady - Of Heads And Hats

Sean Brady, buffoon
Travel may broaden the mind, but it also makes it somewhat tricky to keep up with Irish current affairs. I've been trying to take a daily jaunt through the Irish papers to keep abreast of developments and have recently come across Sean Brady, pictured in the oversized ornate hat to the left of this text, who considers himself an authority on matters of morality. He's recently been featured in the Independent (here and here) and is perhaps most famous for his part in bullying teen rape survivors into decades long silence. I've assembled some of his quotes from the past week below to better understand his thinking. Perhaps you can help me see the flow of his thought?

"We know what the law is about excommunication, about abortion, that's a fact." said Brady. He has a doctorate in something called Canon law - a system of in-house rules peculiar to his institution that has no standing in the Irish state - yet he delivers his promulgations on abortion and excommunication 'law' without trace of irony.

“We  pray for courage - the kind of courage that is needed to look the truth in the eye and to call it as it is, without yielding to self-deception or bowing to convenient compromise, scrupulously avoiding ambiguous language which cloaks the true horror of the situation and reduces its seriousness in public.” Brady said, the snivelling excuse of a human being speaking not of his organisation's widespread practice of providing succour and support to those who rape children, but rather seeing the words best focused on the government's decision to bring to an end its decades long delay on legislating for the X case as demanded by any rudimentary understanding of a democratic republic.

"The failure by the Government to allow institutions to opt out of carrying out terminations on conscientious objection grounds amounted to a denial of fundamental religious freedoms and thought,” he said, his defence of those whose religious convictions lead them to prefer the deaths of women to lifesaving abortions standing almost as firm as his resolve to safeguard paedarasts from justice.

“Irish society is today faced with a serious choice. It is very possible that an abortion regime will be introduced into this country, thereby for the first time overturning in law the fundamental principle of the inviolability of innocent human life,” opined a man and colleague of Brady called Brendan Leahy, while opposing legislation which would provide medical staff with the clarity required to save women's lives. He did not comment on whether or not he considered womb support units eligible for consideration as innocent human lives. 

"For the sake of the common good, Catholics need to propose their view on this topic." continued Leahy, a man who, as part of the Catholic hierarchy, devotes significant energies to ignoring the views of the majority of Irish Catholics on such issues as contraception, marriage equality and married clergy. This was said with straight face, ignoring the mathematical certainty given to us by knowledge that the majority of the country considers itself Catholic and the majority of the country supports legislation for the X case.

Speaking on behalf of an organisation that enjoys control of the majority of Irish schools and a generous timetable allowance for promulgation of his group's teachings he then continued absent trace of irony “We do so not to impose some obscure teaching of our own but rather to respectfully offer what we consider a reasoned position echoed by many with other religious or indeed non-religious convictions, convictions based on human reason”, immediately before offering an opinion rejected by the population at large in two referendums and countless opinion polls.

Neither took a moment to acknowledge that their hierarchy's decision to side with rapists over children might diminish their authority to speak on matters of morality. Both addressed reporters absent shame or embarrassment, seemingly unaware that neither should expect to be read with any credulity when they voice their authority on matters of morality. Their hierarchy has proven itself utterly incompetent in this field, and should stick to whatever other strengths it thinks it has.

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