Wednesday, July 14, 2010

hailing Myers, bemoaning the HRCAC

 always a hard act to follow

I'm a great fan of PZ Myers. Maybe sometimes he comes on too strong, but that's only in seeming - a reread usually convinces me of the logic and the need for toughness. And he's such a good writer - always entertaining, brief and clear. And informative with a word or two, not just on matters scientific. This recent post is an excellent example - I learned about Adonai [again - I'd forgotten the term] and shofars while having my thoughts provoked on how to deal with the more bizarre aspects of religious belief - in this little piece he manages to show how those bizarreries might be seriously combated while mocking such a serious combat and musing on the power of laughter. Mockery is often the most appropriate weapon but it pays to have a  whole, diverse arsenal. Anyway, the prolific PZ is always worth reading, and is also a corrective when I get too pseudo-philosophically prolix.
Keep it pungent, without sacrificing too much depth.

David Walker, erring bishop

Tonight's 7.30 Report featured abuse allegations, and damn convincing ones, against catholic priests in Australia - good for me to focus on the backyard instead of Ireland, Germany, South America... face it, their protection racket spreads o'er the planet. The 7.30 Report has been doing good work in this field in recent times, and tonight's report is a follow-up on two Irish-born priests recruited to Australia, Finian Egan and Paddy Maye. Egan in particular has a lot of evidence against him, and tonight's report has two more women, twins, adding to the other allegations. In fact, the church has found against both Maye and Egan but has failed to prevent them from administering services as priests. In this case, the neglectful authority seems to have been bishop David Walker, of Broken Bay in northern Sydney. The old old story, and Egan used the old methods, described by Colm O'Gorman in his book Beyond Belief, written from the perspective of an abuse victim in Ireland. He inveigled himself into the family, winning their trust and respect, thus throwing the poor child into a confusion of guilt and self-blame. My advice to anyone who has suffered abuse at the hands of such people is to go to the police straight away. Never, never, never leave it to the church to sort out. In fact many catholic clergy are coming to the same conclusion - they understand the church's divided loyalties and ineffectiveness in this sphere. I wish sometimes people knew about or read this blog, so I could make this advice effective - but the message is already getting through by many other means.

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