Various Catholic commentators and opinionators and letter writers would over the past number of years have complained that there was a large amount of 'Catholic-bashing' going on.
I like Catholic-bashing - the fundamental principle of which is to blame the whole of the Catholic church for the ills of its past with respect to child abuse. It's a useful exercise because the principle still applies - it was not necessary for an actual abuse to be perpetrated, merely that it was possible.
Dismantling the privileged position was necessary to ensure child protection in the future - even if they had successfully dealt with the issue.
I seriously believed that, while it was not enough, that the Catholic church had somewhat cleaned up it's act. Now we learn that not only had they not done so, but that they were actively doing the opposite.
I can "excuse" the abuses of the past - I lived in those times, I remember hearing about boys being sent to "industrial schools" - shit, my mother threatened me with it on occasion. Things were different - it was still wrong, people should have known better - but a little leeway could be granted.
Not now though: This is 2009! Not 1909, not 1959 - but 2009. That was two years ago - I checked it on the calculator.
Anyway - it's "good news" in a way.
First off, the papal nuncio is going to get a well deserved bollocking from Eamon Gilmore. I hope he uses all his atheistic powers to sort that bastard out (I say bastard even though I know nothing about the man but, because he is the representative from The Vatican, he is a link on the chain of denial and seedy cover up, and it is the whole chain that is morally bankrupt).
Apparently, he also the Dean of the Diplomatic Corp. What they need a Dean for I don't know - but hopefully that office is in doubt.
Secondly, in the recent forum on primary school education - many commentators lent support to the idea of a Catholic education and the ethos which it instils. This puts pay to that nonsense - the Catholic church has the ethos of a paedophile ring, nothing more.
Thirdly, any chance that the church had of claiming the rotten apple defence is long gone. Every diocese in the country is now clearly in the gun sights.
And finally, legislation is on the cards, firstly to protect children's rights etc., but one that I do like is the idea that there is a protected confidentiality in "confession". I don't see any reason why the state should have anything to do with promoting that - it makes no difference on way or the other to the state, people just won't confess their crimes any more (and will have to burn in Hell like the rest of us).
Of course, this little bit of triumphalism aside - it's important not to forget the victims.
As I said, this happened to years ago (and is probably still happening for all we know): my son was 7 years old two years ago, and if we were good Catholics he would have been an altar boy. It just doesn't bear thinking about.
Why there are any boys or girls that are within arms reach of any priest (good or bad) totally baffles me. And I'm sorry, I understand their pain, but in this case I totally blame the parents - their knew what was possible, but they let their wilful ignorance stand in the way of their only sacred duty. Don't you dare lecture atheists on morality and how to raise children - don't you dare!