Over my last 46 years as a priest I have met many thousands of people who have become disillusioned with the Church, the hierarchy and the clergy.
I’ve only met a small number who were genuinely disillusioned with God Himself.
And even today, the many Catholics I meet who have stopped going to Mass and the Church still tell me they believe in God and say daily prayers.
So, God, as an entity, has not failed.
But the institution that claims to represent him has failed abysmally.
There are other contributory factors to the demise of religion such as secularism and materialism.
But the ABUSES and SEXUAL AND CORRUPTION SCANDALS have driven far more people away from the RCC than anything else has.
The big mistake people made and were taught to make, was to equate God with the Church institution and hierarchy and clerics.
Because, then, when people saw through the institution, hierarchy and priests, they also felt they saw through God.
The truth is that the Irish People, a people with thousands of years of spirituality, are still as spiritually hungry as they ever were.
But they do not have their spiritual needs met by the Church.
And that has left a massive spiritual vacuum in our land.
Some former RCs are trying to fill that vacuum by turning to the Protestant and Evangelical churches.
But they only attract a minority and they do not provide long term sustinence.
As Jesus said: “What father would give his child a stone when he asked for bread”.
The people of the 21 St century are looking for authenticity and a faith the puts its money where its mouth is.
If DLF & Co gathered all their assets and distributed them to people in the form of homes, food, financial help etc – as Jesus told his disciples to do – people would see an authenticity.
Now they see an epispocate and a clergy who see themselves as an elite, imposing moral norms on everyone else that they themselves are breaching wildly and concentrating on amassing assets to secure their lifestyle.
And, so, they walk away.
In the meantime there is this massive spiritual chasm.
Of course, God will never stop approaching men and women in the recesses of their hearts.
And many of those approached will respond.
But it will not be to organisations like RCC INTERNATIONAL.
The models of the early church and basic Christian communities offer direction.
In the meantime Irish Bishops and priests must pronounce: OUR MISSION HAS FAILED.
There will be priests and others coming on the Blog today talking of great things happening in their parishes.
I’m sorry, Fathers, the Irish Roman Catholic Church is a desert where the countless bones of so many of your various types of victims are strewn.
You need to see that your so called “vibrant parishes” are tiny oases in a global desert where your chosen few have water and shade.
And oases are very often the fruit of mirages.
A CAR I NEVER HEARD OF – KOENIGSEGG – EACH WORTH MILLIONS.
From childhood I have been a car lover and a “petrol head”.
My granddad was a chauffeur in Tullamore Co. Offaly, for the famous Williams family who made Irish Mist and Tullamore Dew.
On his days off he brought me for drives in the William’s Rolls Royces and Bentleys.
As a child I also spent time in our next door neighbour’s car repair garage.
I was smitten with cars as a child.
But this week I learned about a car I had never heard of before – the KOENIGSEGG.
They sell for between 3 and 15 million!
Personally I have no interest in sports cars or Formula One cars.
But I was gobsmacked that a car could cost £ 15 million.