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McCartney Sister Attacks Bush

Catherine McCartney

Catherine McCartney certainly knows how to bite the hand that recently fed her and her sisters. On St. Patrick’s Day President Bush opened his door to the sisters and closed it to Sinn Fein after the tragic murder of their brother Robert in a Belfast bar. The sisters’ campaign to see justice done has had a huge impact in Europe and the U.S., and deservedly so.

Despite Bush’s generous gesture it appears Catherine, a lecturer in history and politics in Belfast, formed less than a stellar opinion of Bush during their visit to the White House.

In an interview with The Village, a weekly magazine in Ireland, Catherine was outspoken about the American president. “On a personal level I find it very, very difficult to put ‘Bush’ and ‘justice’ in the same sentence. But I was trying to work around that,” she said.

“That man, as you know, doesn’t even have a clue as to where Ireland is on the map, but it was getting to the ones behind him…people who have an impact. Not Bush himself.”

Hmm. That hardly seems fair. Bush has been to Ireland twice since his presidency began and has certainly had several discussions on the Irish peace process with Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

McCartney is revealing the bias that seems such a part of the animosity that people in Ireland have to Bush — but it is surprising given how much he has done for the McCartney campaign that she voiced it so publicly. It is hardly likely there will be a White House invite next year.

A Law Unto Himself

If there is an equivalent of a skunk at the garden party in the papal conclave it may well be the presence of the disgraced former Archbishop of Boston Cardinal Bernard Law, who will be one of the 117 voters.

Cardinal Bernard Law

Once upon a time Law was considered “papabile” or possible papal material. He was a close friend of Pope John Paul II and was considered very well respected by the curia.

That was before the incredible pedophile scandal in Boston where numerous priests who were clearly abusing children were moved around different parishes by Law rather than fired.

Eventually pressure from the public resulted in Law’s resignation and he went to Rome where the Pope took care of him with another position.

Now he will be in the conclave, one of the most despised men in the history of the American church. Amazing that just a few years ago he would have been one of the most important men in the room. Now he is someone to be avoided.

The New Pope?

Speaking of the succession race, Irish bookmakers are taking extensive bets on who the next successor to St. Peter will be. This being Ireland, where the people will bet on two flies on a wall, there have been a huge number of bets placed so far despite the fact that there is no obvious Irish, British or American candidate.

The two favorites are Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi (Italy) and Francis Arinze (Nigeria) at 11-4; Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga (Honduras) 9-2; Joseph Ratzinger (Germany) 7-1; Cardinal Hummes (Brazil) 9-1; Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino (Cuba) 14-1; Cardinal von Schoenborn (Austria); 14-1; Cardinal Ennio Antonelli (Italy) 14-1; Giovanni Battista Re (Italy) 16-1, and it is 20-1 and up for the others.

This being Paddy Power, a bookie notorious for joke bets, Father Dougall of the late lamented television comedy series Father Ted about an alcoholic protest and his young curate living on a remote island is at 1000/1 and unbelievably has attracted money.

Role of Irish Cardinals

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick

The gap between the burial and the conclave is no accident. It was precipitated by an incident in 1920 when Cardinal William O’Connell, one of the most powerful Irish Americans in the history of the Catholic church, made his way to Rome by boat when the Pope died. By the time he got there, after a delayed journey, the successor had already been chosen.

O’Connell was not pleased and made his displeasure known. As a result the law creating a gap between the funeral and the beginning of the conclave was instituted.

Cardinals Theodore McCarrick of Washington and William Egan of New York are flying the Irish American flag at this conclave. There are several Australian Irish Cardinals as well as Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor of Westminster, who has an outside shot at the top job.

Of those Americans going to the conclave McCarrick, a beloved pastor, is by far the best media performer. Egan comes across as pompous and the others are relatively unknown.


 © IrishAbroad.com 2009