Thursday, June 11

Joyce And The Irish Catholic Church

"'O pa!' he cried. 'Don't beat me, pa! And I'll say a Hail Mary for you.I'll say a Hail Mary for you pa, if you don't beat me.I'll say a Hail Mary..'"
--James Joyce, Dubliners, p. 79

I read Dubliners last summer and this passage from "Counterparts" remains with me: after a grueling day of abuse from his boss and stress over how to get enough money to get drunk, narrator Farrington returns home in a sullen mood to find his dinner cold. He takes his anger out on his young son Tom who begs his father not to beat him by bribing him with prayers. The passage demonstrates Joyce's contempt for the Catholic Church.

"Counterpoints" relevant as the Irish Catholic Church accused of 'endemic' rape and abuse of children in their care including beating and humiliation that were "common" at institutions responsible for 30,000 children. A nine-year investigation, concluding in May 2009, found that Catholic priests and nuns for decades terrorised thousands of boys and girls while government inspectors failed to intervene. The high court judge Sean Ryan unveiled a 2,600-page final report of Ireland's commission into child abuse, which drew on testimony from thousands of former inmates and officials from more than 250 church-run institutions. Police were called to the news conference amid angry scenes as victims were prevented from attending.The country not anywhere near coming to grips with this horror and betrayal of its young people. I hear one horrifying testimony on NPR this morning, and must turn off the radio so Madeleine and Eitan cannot listen. How can one explain?

Drawing of the mosaic reconstructing its original state.The subject is Christ teaching the apostles in front of heavenly Jerusalem.