November 10, 2005

Cowen hits back at attack on Church/State relationship

Irish Examiner

A Government backbencher’s calls to end the special relationship between the state and the Catholic Church were today rebuked in the Dáil by Minister for Finance Brian Cowen.

Progressive Democrat TD Liz O’Donnell yesterday launched a scathing attack on bishops and priests and said the damning Ferns Report on clerical child sex abuse should finally end the cosy ties between the Government and the Catholic hierarchy.

She added that the Catholic Church was like a secret society which had failed to protect the nation’s children and couldn’t be believed anymore.

But Mr Cowen, speaking on behalf of the Government, today told the Dáil that the state’s relationship with the Catholic Church should be dispersed to include mature dialogue with all faiths and religions.

Mr Cowen also described yesterday’s calls by Coalition colleague Ms O’Donnell to cut ties with the Catholic hierarchy as illiberal.

Posted by kshaw at November 10, 2005 08:18 AM