The British Isles are sentries in a turning world. The monarchy, pageantry, the mediaeval House of Lords, titles, accents, the established Church of England with the Queen at its head -- they all give the adroit illusion of continuity and the primacy of tradition over change.
from John Lloyd:
The latest “troubles” in Northern Ireland began 45 years ago, and though much reduced, sometimes to invisibility, they are not over yet and will not be for some time. Protests over the Republican-dominated Belfast Council’s decision to fly the Union Jack just on certain days happened again over the weekend, if smaller and less violent than in the past few weeks.
from India Insight:
A government-sponsored report said on Wednesday the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Ireland continued to conceal the sexual abuse of children by priests even after it introduced rules in the mid-1990s to protect minors.
(Photo: Girl waves papal flag before a Mass with Pope Benedict in London September 18, 2010/Kevin Coombs)
Pope Benedict apologized to victims of sexual abuse on Saturday, saying pedophile priests had brought “shame and humiliation” on him and the entire Roman Catholic Church. It was the 83-year-old pontiff’s latest attempt to come to grips with the scandal that has rocked the 1.1 billion-member Church, particularly in Europe and the United States.
(Photo: Nationalist youths set a car alight in Belfast on July 13, 2010/Cathal McNaughton)
The British government and the Roman Catholic Church colluded to protect a priest suspected of involvement in a 1972 bombing in Northern Ireland that killed 9 people, an official report said on Tuesday.
(Photo: A Virgin Mary statue in an Irish school, 3 June 2010/Cathal McNaughton)
Roisin Hyde was five when she was hastily baptised a few days before she started primary school. Hyde’s parents were agnostic but because non-Catholics in Ireland had few other places to learn how to read and write, the family latched onto the only option they knew.