Southern Religion

Longford, Ireland, cathedral burns

A 150-year-old building burns and without evidence some bloggers/commenters (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) insinuate arson, while others accurately explained how easily church fires result from Christmas bedecking, especially in old buildings.

The insinuations were directed at the victims of abuse. For example, a London Telegraph blogger wrote:

Given the recent resignation of a second Irish bishop after a report revealed the cover-up of child sex abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese, it could be that this was a deliberate attack on the Irish Catholic Church. If so, it marks a new chapter of anti-clericalism in Ireland.

The $14.4-million loss of St Mel’s Cathedral, with its records and precious artifacts, may be mourned and without raising unmerited questions about the victims of decades of systematically concealed sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. Raising those questions in the absence of real cause, whether by vague implication or directly, is a libel of those already harmed.

If there is a history of arson resulting from clerical sexual abuse — whether by Roman Catholic clergy, Southern Baptist pastors or other clergy — those making the speculations do not refer to it (as was their obligation). We have tried, and cannot thus far find evidence of such a history.

Groundless allegations which tend to tar the victims of other crimes, as a group, are despicable.


December 27, 2009 - Posted by | Churches, Crime | , ,

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