Now a days we hear all the bad things about the church. From the Ferns Report to how the catholic church held back Ireland in the early years of the state. Yet this country success is built on the Catholic Church. Well maybe not the church( the hierarchy have a lot to answer for) but the footsoliders. The local nuns brothers and to a lesser extent the priests that gave all their time to educating youngsters. Lay teachers simply can not give and have not given the time that church can and have. Lay teachers have kids husbands, wives, mortgages etc to worry about. The church teachers only have to worry about their pupils. The class room is their world. They often help kids with after school lessons if they need them for free. What Bertie said was right we owe a debt of gratitude to the church. Maybe not the bishops and the people who live in the palaces and covered up abuse but the real church people the local nuns and brothers who ran the schools and thought generations.
Colm O'Gorman, the director of the abuse victims' organization 'One in Four' said Mr Ahern's comments were ill timed and poorly judged. and that he could only assume that the Taoiseach 'has either not yet read the Ferns Report or has yet to grasp its significance'.
Maybe what Mr O'Gorman is missing it that not every religious person sinned. You can't tar everyone with the same brush. Would it be right to say all Irish people should be guilty of the IRA bombings No. Neither is saying that the ordinary nuns brothers and priests should be punished for the acts of the evil (including bishops who covered it up here).
Liz O'Donnell in what I can only guess is an attempt to get her back in the limelight after being pushed aside for what I think was Tom Parlon. Saying "That also meant no longer accepting the good offices of the hierarchy because she said their track record was such that it could not be assumed they would be truthful". If she wants to transfer that logic to the government maybe we shouldn't trust the government as some previous ministers proved dishonest. But I'm sure she would say times have changed CJH has left government can now be trusted etc. If you wanted then to transfer that logic back to the church. Then you defeat her argument as the hierarchy has changed there to. So Ms O'Donnell this ridiculous statement is not going to revive you career. We need to use the Ferns report to correct the mistakes of the past and move on. Not to settle old grievances like this
Update: I have to say I want to clarify my view on this. I am not disputing the role that the church has in education is wrong. It should not have a say in the governing of schools. But I do see the benifit the Church has given to education in this state through the dedication of the nuns and brothers that gave their lives to teaching students and while we can do nothing but condemn the acts of the priests in Ferns we can not tar the decent clergy with the same brush. Also in the comments I was a little harsh.