13 thoughts on “Pádraig Ó Tuama, poet, theologian and mediator

  1. “The word “Repentance” has a real meaning in real religion. I thought you heathens should know that. Er, that’s it. P.S. isn’t the ABofCant sometimes fantastic!”


  2. I must admit I took in little of this , still reeling as I was from the virtually unchallenged apologia Nichols was allowed to give. 4 % of child abuse is within his church, therefore move on , nothing to see here. Even ignoring that we’ll never know the true figure, given their continued cover ups, it’s a figure of deceit when you consider that less than 10% of the population is even nominally Catholic.

    I presume they let Nichols on to talk about safeguarding because Johnson was unavailable to talk about the importance of honesty in professional and private life.



  3. Sin blah blah blah. There’s different kinds of sin blah blah blah some sins are in a different category from others blah blah blah. Categorising certain human behaviours as ‘sins’ and creating a hierarchy of sins is something that’s very important to my particular cult within the wider Christian cult but is probably of no interest whatsoever to 90% of my listeners. But why should I care. I’ve got 3.5 minutes of unchallenged and unpaid-for air time here, so on and on I blather. What a sinful waste of everyone’s time.


  4. If anyone was in any doubt about the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the Catholic church then it was surely extinguished by this wretched 10-minutes of broadcasting.

    Nichols’ answer to every question regarding the child sexual abuse that is endemic in his execrable institution is, “Look, a squirrel..!”

    O’Tuama is not only one of the dreariest orators on the slot, but also one of the most vapid. Piffle delivered in a solemn, highfalutin monotone is still piffle.


  5. As with AndyM, I almost missed listening to this as I was still swearing at the radio after Nichols’ attempt to get the Catholic Church off the hook over child abuse. This is exactly the route of spin that Boston lawyer Mitchell Garabedian has been predicting will take place from within the Catholic Church to protect itself from being treated as a criminal organisation for deliberately covering up sex abuse. “You are just picking on us when 96% of abuse take place elsewhere”. Yes, but your organisation DELIBERATELY COVERED IT UP to protect itself (and still is).
    I thought it was fantastic that after Nichols deliberately tried to downplay sex abuse within the Catholic Church this guy then comes on and says “Confession should be something we do when we have made hell for other people… It can be risky to confess publicly. I admire leaders who do it and wish more, particularly in my own church, would do the same.”
    Nichols’ entire interview was him saying that the Catholic Church doesn’t really change it’s stance on anything. Why would it? If you are a true believer and are stuck in a centuries old mythical mindset where your intimate knowledge of the myths gives you power over people (as well as lots of money from them) why would you?
    Nichols was a disgrace to humanity and this poet must be deluded if he is sticking with the organisation that Nichols heads in this country.


  6. Like everyone else, I was struck by the difference between Nicholls’ self-satisfied refusal to admit that the RCC might be wrong about anything and Ó Tuama’s effort, dull though it was, which at least contained an element of self-awareness.

    Ó Tuama made much of the usual religious tropes of sin, confession and repentance, as if going through this process was the only way of putting things right. But most people, if they put their minds to it, are capable of acknowledging that they’ve done something wrong, being sorry for it, and trying to make things better. They don’t need all the baggage that necessarily goes along with religion.

    Maybe the idea is that people need the discipline imposed by an external authority in order to acknowledge that they’ve done wrong and need to do something about it. All I can say is that, judging by the actual behaviour of most religious people, it doesn’t seem to work.


    1. “Maybe the idea is that people need the discipline imposed by an external authority in order to acknowledge that they’ve done wrong and need to do something about it.”

      StephenJP – you [and I] are in good company thinking this:

      “If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.”

      “The foundation of morality should not be made dependent on myth nor tied to any authority lest doubt about the myth or about the legitimacy of the authority imperil the foundation of sound judgment and action.”

      (both quotations of Albert Einstein)


  7. Number of Priests 414,582 (2017)
    Number of Men. 4,000,000,000 approx. (2020)
    Percentage of men that are priests. 414582 / 4000,000,000 = 0.01%

    Nichols is saying that 4% of child rape is commited by priests who are 0.01% of the male population.
    And that 96% of child rape is committed by non priests who are 99.99% of the male population.

    This means, roughly, that a priest is 400 times more likely to rape children than the average man.


    QED … Quite Easily Done. No doubt Nichols knows the latin version.

    I would say Nichols had better stop digging the humongous hole he just dug and go get the problem sorted out.

    Well done Nichols.

    As well as being crap at basic arithmetic he is a liar because he knows full well that celibacy is a proven contibutory factor for the papal pox of paedoplile priests. It is well documented. And he knows it because he will have read all about it.
    And his church is riddled with paedophile preists because it is very attractive to paedophiles who upon ordination acquire protection and immuntiny from the law.

    The catholic church is so befouled because it both turns men to paedophilia as well as recruiting them.

    Back to TftD

    To take an idea from Samuel Clemens …
    … … Pádraig Ó Tuama. Chloroform on legs.


    1. I hold no candle for the Catholic Church, a largely discredited organisation. But is that the right statistic? From what I understand, the 4% refers to the proportion of priests who have been accused of abusing children, not the proportion of abuse cases overall. The studies I have seen seem to show that there is no evidence of a greater propensity towards abuse in the Roman Catholic Church than in other organisations that deal with children, or in society overall.

      Of course, the RCC has a history of cover up, which means that the 4% is unlikely to be the total number. But without the data, it isn’t possible to say that a priest is more likely to be an abuser than a teacher.

      To my mind, though, this is a self-defeating defence from Nichols et al. So the RCC is no more or less likely to abuse children than anyone else. Well that is proof positive that it does not hold any higher moral ground than anyone else as well. They can’t have it both ways. The RCC is, by its own admission, not in a position to preach to anyone about morality. And that is pretty much their raison d’etre.

      There is also the huge question of the cover up. Priests might be on a par with the population as abusers, but the organisation (including its senior hierarchy) did NOT act like normal people. They covered it up, moved offenders to avoid scandal, endangered thousands upon thousands of children. It takes a special kind of immorality to do these things. So as an organisation, the RCC has demonstrated its moral difference from society in general – it is demonstrably less moral.

      So fine, have it your way Vincent. The Catholic Church is the same as everyone else. No special position. No higher morality. Now, what’s the point again?


      1. ” In the emerging picture of abuse within our society…. four per cent takes place within the Catholic church.”
        So it looks like, rightly or wrongly , he was talking about abuse, rather than abusers.

        ” In the emerging picture.” Love that. Left to itself nothing would have ” emerged” from his church.


      2. Yes, from the way he said it, it does imply what Rob said. I think Nichols is wrong, though. I can’t find any statistics that come anywhere near backing up this interpretation.

        As I said, I’m no fan of the church. But we do vulnerable children a disservice if we focus too heavily on one aspect of the (massive) problem. The abuse of children is NOT a useful tool for bashing the Catholic Church with (I’m not accusing you of that, Rob, just to be clear, I think your interpretation follows immediately from Nichol’s phrasing).

        The RCC should be brought to book for its willful apathy. It should be called out for its huge hypocrisy, telling people on the one hand what they should and shouldn’t do sexually while on the other hiding and facilitating a form of sexual contact that is genuinely immoral, repugnant and damaging. And so should everyone else, in schools, children’s homes, nurseries, and in families.


  8. Steve
    I think the 4% that Nichols used is highly suspect too. It has the marks of a made up number … not too low to appear a grossly incorrect undersestimate but not too high either to put the RCC in a very bad light. And not least because one can easily deduce that priests are 400 times more likely to rape children than the average man. I dont care if its 400x 50x or 10x the problem remains. Nichols did not thinkit through before he opened his mouth. I just made a mockery of it just to shine a spotlight onto the lies broadcast to the nation by the specious Nichols. I think he shot himself in the foot and even took his shoes and socks off before he pulled the trigger. What an idiot. How can one trust people like this to make rational honest judgements and proclaimations on anything?

    I think it is a useful tool for bashing the RCC because they are guilty and have known it to be a major problem for decades maybe centuries. They have covered it up hoping we would not notice, have protected their paedophiles from prosection by employing lawyers paid to keep the settlements out of court by private mediation, have protected paedophiles by moving them around to hide them from public view, have protected the bishops who moved the the paedophiles, moved cardinal Law of Boston to safe sanctuary in Rome when things got too hot for him in Boston, have moved money around and declared hundreds of diocese to bankrupt to prevent haemorageing of money from RCC coffers. They care more about the reputation and disgusting wealth of the RCC than they do for the victims. And that is plain for everyone to see.

    Human Rights Lawyer Geoffrey Robinson QC wrote in ‘The Case of the Pope’ that the RCC secretly considers the ready availability of vulnerable children to be a well deserved priestly perk. A reward for humble lives devoted to celibate, impoverished, lonely piety and service to god.

    But I am not singling out the RCC. I treat all institutions, in which paedophiles lurk, the same. The CoE, Jehovas Witnesses, Mormons, Boy Scouts, Public Schools, Football Clubs, Childrens Homes, Juvenile Detention Centres, Olympic Team National Coaches, etc etc. I treat them all with equal contempt. And they all deserve it. Especially the RCC for the sheer scale, longevity and concealment of their contribution be it 4% or not.

    But the RCC is guilty of many more crimes than most other organisations. Here are a few:-
    Not lifting a finger to prevent the Holocaust.
    Preaching Antisemitism based on the assertion that the Jews dont accept Christ as the messiah.
    Condemnation of Homosexuals.
    Institutionalised Misogeny.
    Magdelene Laundries.
    Confiscation of babies from their fallen mothers and selling them on for profit.
    Supporting Genocide in Rwanda
    Organisation of the Rat Runs for the secret trasfer Nazi War Criminals to predominantly catholic South American counrties.
    Diversion of 90% of Charitable donations into the RCC coffers.
    Spread of Aids by condeming the use of condoms.
    I could go on and on. The list is long and disgraceful.

    And they lie from the very top. Ratzingers lying accusation that Atheists are no better than Nazis when he himself was a product of the Hitler Youth rankles still. The same Ratzinger who allowed global scale paedophilia to flourish unchecked on his papal watch.

    Sorry for that rant but the RCC is nothing better than a Global Crime Syndicate guilty of a veritable panoply of terrible crimes against humanity masquerading as the paragon of morality and model of humble piety. Name the crime and the RCC is guilty of it. Name the crime and someone in the RCC is more than likely engaged in it right now.

    Sorry again, but the gargantuan hypocrisy of the RCC makes me sick. Any my outpouring of venomous bile is cathartic … at least for me anyway.


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