Letters from Catholic bishops are being read at masses assuring No voters that — unlike all previous cases of the Church opposing progress — this time they wouldn’t look like backwards idiots trying to keep an entire country in the Dark Ages.
The Archbishop of Dublin told reporters “In the past the Church has opposed contraception and divorce. We’ve burned women at the stake, tortured people to death, and ignored facts quite literally supported by the entire sky. More recently we’ve opposed the education of children, and even fought against the American Equal Rights Act.”
“We’ve had a lot of practice opposing things that later turned out to be the most basic progress of human rights. So we’re pretty sure that this time we’ve finally found something which won’t cast us as pantomime villains. I mean, we’re hardly even sexist any more.”
At this point Diarmuid had to bend hear a reporter in the front row.
“Well, no, we don’t allow women to be priests. Is that sexist?”
“Jesus. Well, come on now, it’s been almost twenty years since we last enslaved women to work in Magdalene Laundries, that’s got to count for something, right? Surely we’re a moral authority again by now. It’s not like we’ve been sexually abusing kids for a century and then covering it up or anything.”
“Ah, but that’s got to be some individuals. You can’t say the entire structure of Catholic moral authority was used purely to preserve its own power and traditions quite literally at the expense of an entire generation?”
Really quite urgent muttering now, and the rustling of reports by the government and the UN Committee Against Torture.
At this point Diarmuid staggered off stage and stopped even pretending to be able to tell other people what was moral or not. When asked for further comment he told reporters “For God’s sake, why are you still listening to us? Go ask SIPTU or something. They’ve done a better job of guiding you than we have.”
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