As everyone knows, mostly because it’s the subject of endless, fawning news reporting, former President Mary McAleese has been busy bashing the Catholic Church recently while also being nominated as Chancellor of Trinity College.
She might have been surprised, then, to see an article in the University Times take her to task in the most strident terms, because, it is claimed, she is an apologist for the Catholic Church, and has a “blind loyalty to an institution that we could really do without”.
The article might as well be titled “No Catholic Need Apply”. It is unashamedly anti-Catholic since that is now the last acceptable prejudice in progressive, woke, modern Ireland.
Mary MacAleese is accused of attempting to rehabilitate the “powerful and damaging institution” that is the Catholic Church, when, according to the author, Christopher Dignam, she should be trying to dismantle it.
Her trenchant criticisms (she has described the Church as an ’empire of misogyny’ ) are merely a ploy, according to Dignam, of being seen to denounce the Great Enemy when the real aim is to indulge in “moral subterfuge and apologism” in order to justify the Church’s existence. This tactic, he tells us, was described by philosopher Roland Barthes as using a little confessed evil to deny a lot of hidden evil.
This might all come as a surprise to Ms McAleese, who was so eager to point to the many evils of the Church that she went as far as to misrepresent the words of Pope John Paul at a major conference in Trinity recently. Not good enough, according to Dignam, because she also believes the Church is essential in giving community and support to the faithful.
Her position had “an inherent lack of logic” and resulted in “blind loyalty to an institution that we could really do without”, he warned.
The obvious take-away from this is that there is no point trying to placate the liberal left or the angry atheists, who are only happy with maximum outrage and absolute denunciation coupled with cancel culture. There is no point trying to appease the people and I’m not sure why anyone even tries to so do.
Ms McAleese, of course, is a powerful and privileged person and well able to defend herself. What’s more interesting is that Dignam then spells out that the former President’s expression of faith makes her unfit to even hold the office of Chancellor.
“[I]t raises the issue of her suitability as our chancellor.,” he writes. “Can she really represent a diverse student population if she insists on making a public spectacle of her devotion to the Catholic Church, and to the troubling lack of reason it betrays? Will she be capable of talking, or thinking, about anything else?”
If Dignam had made a remark like that about any other faith – or about any other section of society – there would have been absolute uproar. This is not just woke journalism, it’s outright bigotry.
We are back to the days, it seems, where some people at least believe no Catholic should apply.