Monday, August 30, 2010

Sunrise on the Chesney affair

Splinty has a very amusing piece on the maniacal ravings of the National Secular Society on the Chesney affair and also the best piece I have read, so far on the government's and Church's involvement in the affair.

10 comments:

Michael Petek said...

I should expect that Father Chesney, as a priest, should have been a littlemore rigorous in evaluating the consitions for a just war. Here's a letter of mine which the Guardian publishe on 17 June this year.

Bernadette Devlin McAliskey says that Bloody Sunday is about whether the British government committed a war crime in 1972 and in doing so started a war. The Saville report answers both questions and confronts McAliskey with some uncomfortable others. The government was negotiating in good faith for a peaceful settlement when Colonel Wilford disobeyed orders with the result that 14 innocent men were killed.

The question which now faces McAliskey is this, and she might find the troubles in Yugoslavia to be a useful comparator in answering it. Was the unjust murder of 14 men by soldiers of the Parachute Regiment of such a character, gravity and scale that it could justifiably be redressed by a war aimed at severing Northern Ireland from the UK, and entailing widespread killing? Was it similar or trivial compared with the unrestrained bestiality of the Serbian militia?

If McAliskey finds that it was trivial, then she has a second issue to face up to. Namely, that the armed struggle by the IRA and INLA was commensurate with the supreme international crime of aggression, and dissimilar only in that neither the IRA nor INLA was a state.

Ma Tucker said...

Having read the report by the ombudsman one can only conclude that Fr. Chesney and the botched investigation were not the target of the report. The FACT of the matter is the RUC, (paragon of justice as it was not) did not have evidence except hearsay against this priest. Furthermore, some of this hearsay evidence looks a tad modern for my liking and I really do think the ink might be a little fresh on it. In particular may I draw your attention to the following little gem:

‘Many thanks for your note on Father Chesney. You will be relieved to hear that Secretary of State saw the Cardinal privately on 5 December and gave him a full account of his disgust at Chesney’s behaviour. The Cardinal said that he knew that the priest was a very bad man and would see what could be done. The Cardinal mentioned the possibility of transferring him to Donegal.’

Now the Cardinal in question described this meeting as a "rather disturbing tete-a-tete at the end about C." Furthermore the Cardinal then approached Fr Chesney's superior who then question Fr Chesney. Fr. Chesney strenuously denied the allegations.

Now I think this is very dubious. Do you think that a Cardinal would say one of his priests is a very bad man so I'll have him transfered???? without even questioning the priest?????? given that he's being accused of mass murder???? I find this account very unbelievable and somewhat modern in the light of recent problems the Church has suffered. Personally I would happilly and confidently believe this is doctored evidence and quite recent. Cardinal Brady should demand this evidence and test the age of the ink. How dare Cardinal Brady accept this report in which a Cardinal and a priest's reputation are so vilely dragged through the mud in such a disgusting way. I think it amounts to libel.

There's another ridiculous piece of mischief in this report. An anonymous letter by Faaaader Liam sent from England but hey can't read the postmark giving details of the priests "confession". The anonymous writer claiming that he'd come forward as soon as an official investigation was started, that he was at maynooth with Fr. Chesney. The Ombudsman oh how he worked to identify this anonymous writer NOT. HOW DIFFICULT CAN IN BE TO FIND OUT WHO WENT TO COLLEGE IN MAYNOOTH WITH FATHER CHESNEY. HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO TRACE SUCH A PRIEST NOW LIVING IN ENGLAND. IT IS VERY VERY VERY EASY TO DO THIS. Our great ombudsman neglects this simple little work and chooses to publish this damning hearsay evidence as if it had any bearing on the case whatsoever. Foul foul foul. Northern Ireland has suffered enough from corrupt policing and dirty tricks. Enough is enough. The ombudsman is a disgrace. Furthmore how dare Cardinal Brady accept this report as it stands. In his pained letter of acceptance he neither defends this priest nor the Cardinal. In fact reading his response one would almost conclude Fr. Chesney was somehow guilty and the only issue was the failure of the RUC to put him to trial. Disgusting. Well it quite clearly seems to me this report is more about destroying the reputation of the Catholic Church than investigating the failure of the RUC. Well they need not have bothered. Cardinal Brady does damage enough with his poor defense of the truth.

For me all I remember is the bravery of a Catholic priest who tried to shield with his own body, a member of the secret service trapped by a violent mob intent on murder. A priest who knelt praying while a gun was placed to his temple to force him to move. He would not be moved and was dragged away. I suppose the ombudsman would be hard pressed to consider the rather startling and contradictory "impression" the so called "evidence" against Fr. Chesney's represents. As your second link indicates. Catholic priests don't do murder as a very good and dependable general rule.

Ma Tucker said...

Also
There's another ridiculous piece of mischief in this report. An anonymous letter by Faaaader Liam sent from England (but hey can't read the postmark) giving details of the priests "confession". The anonymous writer claiming that he'd come forward as soon as an official investigation was started, that he was at maynooth with Fr. Chesney. The Ombudsman oh how he worked to identify this anonymous writer (not). How difficult can it seriously be to find out who went to maynooth with Father Chesney. How difficult can it be to trace such a priest now living in England. It is a very very easy thing to do. Our great ombudsman neglects this simple little work and chooses to publish this damning hearsay evidence as if it had any bearing on the case whatsoever. Foul foul foul. Northern Ireland has suffered enough from corrupt policing and dirty tricks. Enough is enough. The ombudsman is a disgrace. Furthermore how dare Cardinal Brady accept this report as it stands. In his pained letter of acceptance he neither defends this priest nor the Cardinal. In fact reading his response one would almost conclude Fr. Chesney was somehow guilty and the only issue was the failure of the RUC to put him to trial. Disgusting. Well it quite clearly seems to me this report is more about destroying the reputation of the Catholic Church than investigating the failure of the RUC. Well they need not have bothered. Cardinal Brady does damage enough with his poor defense of the truth.

For me all I remember is the bravery of a Catholic priest who tried to shield with his own body, a member of the secret service trapped by a violent mob intent on murder. A priest who knelt praying while a gun was placed to his temple to force him to move. He would not be moved and was dragged away. I suppose the ombudsman would be hard pressed to consider the rather startling and contradictory "impression" the so called "evidence" against Fr. Chesney's represents. As your second link indicates. Catholic priests don't do murder as a very good and dependable general rule. It is far easier to trust that Fr. Chesney is innocent than the reliability of the "evidence" presented in this report. Shame on the ombudsman. Shame.

EFpastor emeritus (Email: Pastoremeritus@aol.com) said...

Many seem to conveniently overlook the fact that The Church only bcame involved in the Chesney affair by invitation of the British Government. I assume the Governmen acted in good faith ( most unusually in respect of Ireland where it is still referred to as "perfidious Albion").
I hope it was not another case of "'come into my parlour'said the spider to the fly"

dillydaydream said...

"Furthmore how dare Cardinal Brady accept this report as it stands".

Cdl Brady now appears to have woken up to Ma Tucker's excellent points, as seen in the Belfast Telegraph's news section here today:
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/claudy-bishop-casts-doubt-over-provo-priest-claim-14929416.html

Although I loathe the provos and their apologists, I have always taken the default position of never believing in anything written in the British Press about Northern Ireland.

shane said...

Bishop Edward Daly's excellent op-ed in the Irish news on this:

http://clericalwhispers.blogspot.com/2010/08/bishop-edward-dalys-irish-news-opinion.html

Ma Tucker said...

Thanks for the link Dilly, Bishop Daly does a fine and proper job here. Still waiting for Cardinal Brady to retract acceptance though!

Peter said...

Splinty writes: "that the Church doesn’t do war........ That’s why, though many if not most Anglican churches contain war memorials and will fly the flag on certain occasions, you will not see anything of the sort in a Catholic church."
You will see a memorial in our church. It lists those who died in the First World War distinguishing between those who served in the [French] army and the "English" army.
We, in Jersey, may be unique here. Perhaps your readers can tell us.

dillydaydream said...

Whoops, Ma Tucker. Sorry to get my Irish bishops mixed up like that. There are just so many of them out there (for the moment at least), and the only one I could recognise in an id parade would be bishop Brennan. And even then, I would have to bring a rabbit to smoke him out.

Crux Fidelis said...

"though many if not most Anglican churches contain war memorials and will fly the flag on certain occasions, you will not see anything of the sort in a Catholic church"

Plenty of war memorials in French churches.