The last time that a Eucharistic Congress was held in Ireland, it is estimated that half a million people came for the Mass.
Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, there were plenty of empty seats.
Fifty years ago, children were routinely removed from homes that the Church deemed unsuitable, and locked away in industrial schools until they were of age. Now adults, many of them are struggling to cope with the after-effects of horrific sexual, mental and physical abuse that took place behind closed, locked doors.
Fifty years ago, girls who were pregnant outside of marriage, girls who were classified as too pretty, and girls who had been raped were locked up in Magdalene laundries. Now adults, those woman are dying in poverty and obscurity, former slave laborers with no pensions, debilitated emotionally because of all that they suffered at the hands of the nuns.
Everyone knows what went on, and they've turned their backs on the Church. The bishops who were supposed to protect the children have been shown to be complicit as they shifted pedophile priests from parish to parish to hide them, rather than expose them.
So when those same bishops throw a party and make mention of healing, of forgiveness, there are few in attendance to listen to the words.
It's just that there's been so many words thrown about, and talk of forgiveness, but there's been no concrete action. More than anything, there has been an attempt by the clergy to get out from the financial burden of lawsuits brought by those who were victims of the Church.
Fifty years ago, when things could be hidden, half a million people went to Mass. Now that all has been revealed, they've gone to watch the football match.