Band-Aid for a Grievously Wounded Church.

I have spent the afternoon celebrating my granddaughter’s first birthday, so have not yet had a chance to read in full the Papal “pastoral” letter to the Irish Church.  I did read a few press summaries before going out, and have reflected on their significance while riding the trains, but I do not want to get into a detailed response until I have read the full report. My initial reaction though, can best be conveyed by a few visual images:    a mother who responds to a  mildly injured child by kissing it better, or applying a band aid.  A less charitable image would show two raised fingers to the Irish Church.

A copy of Pope Benedict XVI's pastoral letter to Irish Catholics is displayed in St Peters Square, Vatican. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

When I returned this afternoon, I did get a chance to scan some headlines, which I now share with you unread. It does not  seem that Catholics elsewhere are any more enthusiastic about this letter than I am:

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