The Other I

August 24, 2010

Some things never change

A report today in Britain revealed that the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, police in Northern Ireland, and the British government all participated in a cover up of the evidence that a Catholic priest had engineered an IRA bombing 40 years ago that killed 8 people, including both Catholics and Protestants, adults and children.  The priest was transferred to a parish in Donegal, and died 30 years ago.

The reason for the cover up was that the “Troubles” were at their height, and both the government and the church were concerned that an already highly volatile situation would explode into full-fledged civil war if a Roman Catholic priest were arrested as a terrorist.

The families of those who died were told today why no one was ever charged.  The priest wasn’t even interviewed by the police despite highly suggestive evidence.

What do you think the government,  the church and the police should have done?  My own feeling is that too often the RC church tries to solve its problems by covering them up.  And I dare say governments are not far off doing the same when they can get away with it.

I think the priest should have been arrested and charged if the evidence suggested his guilt.  (Instead, some of the records have disappeared.)

Also dealing with what appear to be unbridgeable and deadly religious divides, a friend just sent me a questionnaire about building a mosque near the site of the World Trade Center:

How far from the wreckage of the World Trade Center is far enough away to build a mosque?

  • Allow space in the World Trade Center itself or within several blocks of the site:  Islam is basically a peaceful religion and the right to freedom of religion is a constitutional right.  Yes, it was a horrible mass murder by terrorists but terrorists come in many different religious guises (eg: the IRA) and we should not all be punished for the horrible murder committed by terrorists.
  • 10 blocks
  • 1 mile
  • 10 miles
  • not in NY City
  • not in NY State

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if New Yorkers could say “Islam has a constitutional right to build a mosque close to the World Trade Center and we will not betray our ideals by trying to stop it”?

And at the same time, if those wanting to build the mosque would say “yes, we know we have a constitutional right to build a mosque close to the World Trade Center, but it will cause a great deal of pain and offence if we did.  So we aren’t going to” ?

But I fear that if the mosque got built in proximity to the World Trade Center, it would be bombed.


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2 Comments »

  1. I don’t know if you ever saw this British TV spy series but when I heard this story today I thought it could have been an episode of Spooks.

    It seems like a classic case of 2, 3, 4 etc wrongs won’t make a right. For the Brits to have arrested a Catholic priest so soon after Bloody Sunday could have lit a powder keg they themselves put in place. Much as I dislike the Catholic Church it seems in this case they might have been bowing to pressure from the British Government rather than instigating the cover-up themselves.

    (Allegedly.)

    Like

    Comment by Chris Lawrence — August 24, 2010 @ 8:20 pm | Reply

    • Yes, I forgot about Bloody Sunday. Thank you for reminding me. And the British Government certainly seems to have made an heroic effort to cover that up, didn’t they? Not that I, as an American, can stand with my head held high and say that *we* never… Even if we do tell children the story about George Washington bravely admitting to cutting down the apple tree.

      Like

      Comment by theotheri — August 24, 2010 @ 8:30 pm | Reply


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