Many people know this song as “Danny Boy,” but those are just the most popular lyrics for this old Irish tune called “Londonderry Air.” And Keith Jarrett’s solo version of it is definitely one of the most beautiful ever recorded. The internal harmonies he improvises around the melody here are really stunning; especially from about the 4:00 point. Just amazing stuff.
This horrifying story from Ireland is a grim warning of what’s in store for the United States if the Republican Party’s anti-abortion agenda is allowed to succeed: Woman ‘Denied a Termination’ Dies in Hospital.
Two investigations are under way into the death of a woman who was 17 weeks pregnant, at University Hospital Galway last month.
Savita Halappanavar (31), a dentist, presented with back pain at the hospital on October 21st, was found to be miscarrying, and died of septicaemia a week later.
Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar (34), an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, says she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. He says that, having been told she was miscarrying, and after one day in severe pain, Ms Halappanavar asked for a medical termination.
This was refused, he says, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, “this is a Catholic country”.
She spent a further 2½ days “in agony” until the foetal heartbeat stopped.
Note the hospital’s reason for refusing this poor woman an abortion: a heartbeat was present.
This is exactly the kind of law the Republican Party is pushing in many states - to define human life as beginning when a heartbeat is audible.
It’s no exaggeration at all to say this is what the GOP wants for America. They’re working hard to make it happen, right now.
A 1997 letter from the Vatican to Ireland’s Catholic bishops has surfaced, confirming what has been obvious for quite some time — that the Catholic Church’s world-wide cover-up of child molestation by priests went all the way to the top.
(AP) DUBLIN - A newly revealed 1997 letter from the Vatican warned Ireland’s Catholic bishops not to report all suspected child-abuse cases to police — a disclosure that victims groups described as “the smoking gun” needed to show that the Vatican enforced a worldwide culture of cover-up.
The letter, obtained by Irish broadcasters RTE and provided to The Associated Press, documents the Vatican’s rejection of a 1996 Irish church initiative to begin helping police identify pedophile priests following Ireland’s first wave of publicly disclosed lawsuits.
The letter undermines persistent Vatican claims, particularly when seeking to defend itself in U.S. lawsuits, that the church in Rome never instructed local bishops to withhold evidence or suspicion of crimes from police. It instead emphasizes the church’s right to handle all child-abuse allegations, and determine punishments, in house rather than hand that power to civil authorities.
Horrific revelation from a newly published section of Ireland’s investigation into child abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Dublin:
DUBLIN (AP) — The Vatican tried to stop church leaders here from defrocking a particularly dangerous pedophile priest and relented only after he raped a boy in a restroom at a pub, according to an investigation released Friday.
As of January 1st, Ireland has enacted an atavistic law that makes “blasphemy” punishable by a fine of up to $35,000. It’s amazing that a civilized country in 2010 is deliberately putting in place laws from the Dark Ages.
An Irish atheist group immediately challenged this stupid and dangerous legislation by posting 25 Blasphemous Quotations on their website.
(Hat tip: Summer.)
UPDATE at 1/2/10 1:45:48 pm:
In February 2006, Irish President Mary McAleese visited Saudi Arabia and condemned the publication of the Danish Mohammed cartoons, saying, “Muslims have every right to feel angry.”
A newly released 700-page report on child sex abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland tells a disgusting story of collusion between the Church and Irish police, to cover up these monstrous crimes for more than 60 years: Report Says Police and Catholic Church Hid Abuse in Dublin.
The report is the latest in a series of damning revelations about the church. In May, a report chronicled the sexual, emotional and physical abuse of orphans and foster children over 60 years in a network of church-run residential schools meant to care for the vulnerable and the disadvantaged.
Although that report portrayed a church that seemed institutionally broken, with guilt spread among many, the new one attaches particular blame to those at the top. It reserved particular criticism for the police and for four archbishops of Dublin: John Charles McQuaid, who died in 1973; Dermot Ryan, who died in 1984; Kevin McNamara, who died in 1987; and Cardinal Desmond Connell, who retired in 2004. The report said those four knew of the abuse, but did little about it.
The report, which took three years to prepare, focused on the way complaints about abuse by priests had been handled. It looked into the cases of 46 priests who had been the subject of scores of complaints from about 320 children from 1975 to 2004. Of the 46 priests, 11 have pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting children or have been convicted of that crime. The rest are dead or have not been prosecuted.
The report said the Irish police allowed the church to act with impunity and often referred abuse complaints back to the archdiocese for internal investigations. …
The report details examples of priests who were blatant, notorious abusers, but who were allowed to continue without punishment or censure. One priest admitted to abusing more than 100 children. Another said he had abused, on average, a child every two weeks for 25 years.
One parish priest whose case was examined in the report, the Rev. James McNamee, was locally infamous for his behavior over more than 30 years. Early in Father McNamee’s career, an altar boy said he had seen the priest “bathing with naked adolescent boys and placing the boys on his shoulders”; a parishioner said he had seen the priest exercising in the nude with boys in his backyard.
Numerous complaints against Father McNamee were looked into at various times, and various officials expressed concern, but no action was taken, by either the priests or the nuns who worked with him, the Catholic officials who fielded dozens of allegations, or the police. Father McNamee died in 2002, professing that he had done nothing wrong.
The 60-year span of this report makes another thing clear: the abuse of children has been endemic in the Catholic Church for a long, long time. Countless generations of children were subjected to this nightmare. If this much criminal behavior is found in the last 60 years, what horrors might be discovered if it were possible to investigate even further back in time?