Real Life Illustrations

by Zoe Pollock

This week BBC reported that, according to a new police-department probe, in 1972 “the police, the Catholic Church and the state conspired to cover up a priest’s suspected role” in an IRA bombing that killed nine people, including an 8 year old girl. Connecting it to the continuing controversy over the Cordoba mosque, Commonweal's Mollie Wilson O'Reilly asks:

On one level, it’s the same dynamic we’ve seen revealed in the sex-abuse scandal applied to a different crime. But it’s also the real-life illustration we didn’t know we were looking for on the question of how much responsibility ordinary believers ought to take for the worst atrocities committed in the name of their religion. After all, the Catholic church wouldn’t tolerate, let alone harbor, terrorists. Certainly not terrorists implicated in the death of eight-year-old girls. Would it?