Friday, August 27, 2010


The answer seems to be when he is a Roman Catholic priest. In July 1972 there was an IRA bombing in the Northern Ireland town of Claudy which killed nine people. This week the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland has published a report that says that a Father James Chesney was believed by the police to have been the IRA's director of operations in south Derry and was directly responsible for the Claudy bombings.

The report goes further and says that the then Secretary for Northern Ireland Willie Whitelaw basically conspired (there is no other word for it) with Cardinal Conway, who was the Cardinal for Ireland, not to arrest and try Father Chesney but to allow him to be transferred to a parish in Ireland, out of the reach of British police and the law.

No matter how you look at this it is an absolute scandal and a serious disgrace. This is yet another mortal sin that the Catholic Church is guilty of ... proving, I suppose, the point that while the Church may not be corrupt, there certainly are a lot of very corrupt men in it.

But that is not the point of this particular post. Today we have to deal with terrorism coming from another religious front: Islam. Let me say unequivocally that I fundamentally disagree with, and condemn fanatics like Osama Bin Laden and his ilk. And all those Imams who preach jihad at their mosques every Friday are anything but holy. They are fundamentally wrong in their advocacy of violence and the sooner all right thinking peoples tell them so and turn away from them the better.

I hear a lot of people criticising Islam for the extremists in the midst of right thinking and decent Moslems around the world, but there is a dreadful silence in the Christian community when it is shown that some Christian Churches not only condone violence but actively participate in murder. We are not going to solve the problem of Islamic terrorism unless and until we are prepared to "remove the mote" from our own eyes (as I believe some rather famous revolutionary advocated some two thousand years ago). Hypocritical behaviour is always noticed and causes more, not less, problems.

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