The following headline caught my attention whilst skimming through the BBC News this morning. The Headline runs with '1972 Claudy bombings: Questions for Catholic Church'. The article, written by BBC Ireland Correspondent Mark Simpson, goes on to suggest that the findings of the investigation into the 1972 Claudy bombings are likely to be highly critical of both the Catholic Church and the police.
The report, writes Simpson, is expected to confirm that the authorities at the time were aware of the suspected involvement of a priest in the atrocity widely linked to the IRA, but failed to arrest him.
Instead, it is claimed that a secret deal was done to move Father James Chesney across the border into County Donegal.
Quite an accusation but given recent coverage over the child vaccinations in Ireland one cannot dismiss on a whim because of their faith.
I was raised a Catholic, my first experience of death was bearing witness to wooden carvings depicting a bearded man with nails through his hands and feet, a hole in his side leaking blood and a crown made of thorns where yet more blood spurted.
I was five.
Churches, 'they' claim, are places of worship, of comfort. From a very early age I found them fearful. Maybe that was the intention of the priests back then as they introduced the five year olds into the church. The church was next to the junior and infant school I had been enrolled at [for my sins]
The nativity plays were always welcoming, each of the children, myself included, playing out various roles, be they Mary, Joseph, one of the three wise men or stable onlookers. Hey, it was Christmas, what better way to celebrate than a nice little story about a woman giving birth in a stable. Christmas is a time for giving, we were told, hence the three wise men bearing gifts for the new born child who incidentally came into this world via the proverbial baby carrying stork, yup, that's right, there was no need for Mary and Joseph to copulate...it just happened.
How innocent we were as children, we did not question, we just rolled with it... for fear of retribution by God.
Great way to bring children into the world huh?
Forgive me for reminiscing, my early years were clouded by this indoctrination so it's therapeutic to go back in time once in a while, even if it means re-living the Catholic fairy tale of Father, Son and Holy Ghost ['Holy Ghost' was later changed to Holy Spirit]
"Now children, today you will be asking for forgiveness. You will each enter the small box and speak to the grill in front of you. You must tell the person at the other side of the grill about all the sins you have committed"
Wait a minute, I'm confused?
Back home TV ads were telling us not to talk to strangers, yet here at school, we were being encouraged to talk to someone we couldn't see, a priest behind a veiled grid wanted to listen to our sins then tell us what we should do to redeem ourselves.
I''ll be honest here, I used to make stuff up just so I could join the rest of the children kneeling at the Altar praying for forgiveness to a God that was really Jesus and also a ghost.
As the years wore on, entering the Tardis [confessional box] became more uncomfortable.
"Um... Bless me Father for I have sinned, it has been three weeks since my last confession, [lie, it was more like three months] I stole from a shop, I found ten pence in the street and never handed it in, I was watching the Wimbledon Tennis Final and my loins stirred at the American tennis player, Chrissie Evert" [the last one is actually true]
For my 'sins' I was told to say 5,10, 15 Hail Mary's. Just imagine if my sexual desires would have been toward Jimmy Connors! I probably would have joined the wooden carvings of the bearded man nailed to a cross that adorned the church walls.
All of the above, plus later years at my Catholic senior school where misbehaviour was met with a bamboo stick or the back of a training shoe on the knuckles, are treasured memories. So treasured that I refused to send my children to Catholic schools. Who would want to send their own kids to a place where farting is punishable by six strokes of the cane from whence the gaseous noise came from? Oh yes, nothing like corporal punishment for an act of Mother Nature now is there.
So, back to the 1972 Claudy bombings and the alleged involvement of a priest. Am I surprised?
Not in the slightest. Tell a man he is God's voice and they will pretty much do what they want to do without fear of retribution. Images of Joseph Biederman spring to mind here and 'that' deposition:
"Professor, what rank are you?"
BIEDERMAN: Full Professor
"What's after that?"
"Did you say God?"
The Catholic Church are obscenely rich, yes, they give a lot away to various needy charities.
Pharmaceutical companies are obscenely rich, they also lay claim to supporting worthy causes.
This does not give either of them the right to take away free will, after all, wasn't it God who gave us all free will?
The Catholic church involvement in the three vaccination trials in Ireland [back story] is abhorrent. There involvement in a series of dangerous medical experiments on children from the Incarnation Children's Centre in New York is also abhorrent.
They have never once spoken out against GlaxoSmithKline's suppression of clinical trial data in paediatrics, nor against any other pharmaceutical company for that matter.
For a religion that condemns the use of contraception, they have never once uttered any words of dismay at GlaxoSmithKline for the suppression of information with regard to Paxil causing babies to be born with serious heart defects.
A modern day nativity play should see Mary giving birth to a child. The three wise men should take baby Jesus away to an incubator, something isn't right, the child is blue coloured and has respiratory problems. Mary shouldn't have taken those damn antidepressant tablets.
Baby Jesus struggles through his life, he travels far and wide to find treatment that is paid for with gold, frankincense and Myrrh, he does this with his father, Joseph, his mother was carted off to the asylum some time ago for being under the delusion that she has never had sex in her life. Joseph was reprieved, hey, he's a full professor after all.
I was raised as a Catholic, I had no choice in the matter. When I was old [wise] enough to see sense I disassociated myself from the Catholic Church.
I follow no official or unofficial faith - I have nothing against those that do.
My 'God' is the night sky and the twinkling stars [I'm not into Cosmic Ordering either!]
I often look up to the stars and ask why there is so much unjust in the world and the more I research GlaxoSmithKline and 'friends', the more I come to an understanding that there cannot be a God... if there is, and I am allowed into his Kingdom after my death, then he better be prepared for a tongue lashing!
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'THE EVIDENCE, HOWEVER, IS CLEAR...THE SEROXAT SCANDAL' By Bob Fiddaman
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