Damian Thompson reports on the (finally) breaking Irish “Christian Brothers” abuse scandal:
Last night I had supper with a distinguished American priest-scholar and made this point rather nervously. To my surprise, he agreed immediately. He said that the Irish didn’t leave their legacy of domestic violence and alcohol behind them when they arrived in America; the phenomenon of the weak, drunken father persisted, and this reinforced the towering status of the priest in the Irish diaspora, enabling a minority of clergy – and it was never more than a small minority – to abuse spiritual power for sexual ends.
He added: “There’s a particularly Irish Catholic culture of secrecy, too, partly rooted in a history of persecution, but also not unrelated to the corruption and back-room deals of Irish political life. That culture enabled abuse to happen, and to keep happening.”
What a mess.