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Tuesday, 19 December, 2006 12:00 AM
"Rory Connor"

To: "Professor Vincent Comerford", "Ronan Fanning", "Dr. Colum Kenny" <, "Daire Keogh", "Dermot Keogh", "Dr. Eoin O'Sullivan", "Professor Irene Whelan", "Editor History Ireland", "John Horgan">, "Louise Fuller Maynooth"

Ladies, Gentlemen and Scholars,

A couple of objections to my article on "False Allegations against Irish Bishops" have come to my attention. [ on 9 Dec 2006]. The main objection is that I am overstating the significance of the number of false allegations. I claim - only partly with tongue in cheek - that the allegations against six Bishops amount to "One in Four" of the Irish Hierarchy (as per Colm O'Gorman and his group of that name).

FIRST OBJECTION.  You are referring to TWO different generations of Bishops. After all Archbishop McQuaid died in 1973 and Bishop Casey retired in 1992. Therefore the proportion of falsely accused Bishops is one in eight or ten rather than "One in Four". 

MY ANSWER. Yes but all of the allegations date from 1994 to date and these 12 years fit neatly into one generation. MOREOVER the usual explanations for making claims decades after the event, do not apply in these cases. The usual excuses are:

(A) I was traumatised by my experiences and only recovered recently,
(B) Nobody would believe my word against that of a priest/Bishop.

Since we are talking about lies and slander these explanations are irrelevant. Thus the "One in Four" proportion is OK.

SECOND OBJECTION: There are 26 Irish dioceses but 33 Bishops - the other 7 are "Auxiliary Bishops". Again this means that you have exaggerated the proportion of those who have been falsely accused.

MY REPLY.  No Auxiliary Bishop has been falsely accused (as far as I know) and I think it unlikely that one will be in the future. Just look at the list of those who have been the target of obscene lies:

Our lying intellectuals tend to concentrate on the "big shots" in the Catholic Church and disdain mere Auxiliary Bishops.  Thus I think my "One in Four" proportion is still valid.

I believe that the behaviour of our lying anti-clerics says a great deal about the nature of the paedophile problem in this country. Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that there is a major problem with paedophile clergy in the Catholic Church. Then over the last 50 years or so, you would expect that at least one Bishop would be identified as a paedophile. You would also expect that this man would be operating in a small diocese and that few people would have heard of him before the scandal. THAT is the way things work out in real life (as opposed to Salem Style Witch-hunts). And the reason things happen that way is that a man with severe moral and emotional problems is unlikely to be a high-flier in any profession. (Compare the unfortunate Judge Brian Curtin).

However that is NOT how things actually worked out. Ludicrous and lying allegations have been made against  a Cardinal Archbishop of Armagh, a  former
Archbishop of Dublin who was a hate figure for "liberals" since the 1970s etc etc.
Clearly we are not talking about real life but a parallel universe in which our anti-clerics draw their plots from Dallas and their morals from the Nazi pornographer Julius Streicher.

Is it possible that I am overstating my case?

Best wishes,

Rory Connor