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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Catholic-bashers have embellished the truth about abuse in Catholic institutions.

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The publication last week of the Irish government's McAleese Report on the Magdalene laundries has proved kind of awkward for Catholic-bashers. For if McAleese's thorough, 1,000-page study is to be believed, then it would appear that those laundries were not as evil and foul as they had been depicted over the past decade. Specifically the image of the laundries promoted by the popular, much-lauded film The Magdalene Sisters – which showed them as places where women were stripped, slapped, sexually abused and more – has been called into question by McAleese. This has led even The Irish Times, which never turns down an opportunity to wring its hands over Catholic wickedness, to say: "There is no escaping the fact that the [McAleese] report jars with popular perceptions."

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Cathcon- attacks on Catholicism are often just excuses for not practicing the Faith.  By exaggerating the facts of the Magdalene laundries, an excuse could be turned into  a "valid" reason.

The alleged conservatism of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI was often used as an excuse by progressive Catholics for diminished practice.   Now the progressives have "their" Pope, they have no such excuse.

It will be interesting to see whether the respect that Pope Francis enjoys in the world will have any effect whatsoever on the long-term declines in Mass attendance in the Western and some of the developing world. There has been an almost linear decline in Mass attendance in Germany since the War.   Vatican II produced a micro-micro-blip upwards which lasted for a few months.  Only time will tell whether there is a positive Francis effect.  The Church has a 100 percent track record over her 2000 year history of producing surprises when all seems lost.
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