What Homer Simpson can teach the Catholic Church in Ireland about truth

Homer in confession

Andrew Madden, an abuse victim, replied: "It's not our expectations that are high, it's our standards. Asking that the Pope fully accept the findings of the [Dublin] report is not a high expectation. Asking for an apology on behalf of the cover-up is not a high expectation. Asking for the Pope to accept without further delay the resignation of the three bishops is not a high expectation."

Further controversy has arisen since the Papal summit: Some bishops have asked ordinary laity to pay the compensation bills for victims. Bishop Denis Brennan has asked his flock to contribute €60,000 ($82,000 a year between them every year until 2030, in order to pay a €1.2 ($1.63) million compensation bill.

Many ordinary parishioners are outraged at such requests, as are victims’ groups.
"I would encourage [the Church] to look to its own assets and wealth," said the founder of the One in Four victims' support group. Elsewhere in Ireland, the Church has raised compensation funds through the sale of land and other assets.

Pope Benedict XVI has called the Irish abuse a “heinous crime.” Sadly, the victims were not represented at last month’s Vatican talks. Now at home, the bishops must serve the victims above all else:

They must wash their very feet.

Originally published Tuesday, March 9, 2010

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