Bishop Casey’s sexual escapades “profoundly upset the Church”, his funeral Mass was told on Thursday.
just a pity the organisation to which he belonged was less upset by
decades of clerical sex abuse and the horrors of the mother and baby
homes and Magdalene Laundries.
Rampant sex abuse had been covered
up since the foundation of the State but a bonking bishop who fathered a
son was a step too far for the Church.
Whereas the paedophile
priests could be moved on to another parish Eamon Casey had to be sent
to the ends of the earth and he ended up in darkest Ecuador via the US and Mexico.
would the unfortunates in the mother and baby home up the road in Tuam
have made of the news that a Prince of the Church no less had got a
young woman pregnant in the Bishop’s palace.
It should also be remembered that when Eamon Casey was
having sex with Annie Murphy some of the mother and baby homes were
still in existence and young women were being sent there for the same
“crimes” committed by an Irish bishop.
Sure enough his sexual
adventures are insignificant compared to the child abuse horrors that
were to come but they exposed the glaring hypocrisy of the Irish Church
If a young man stole money from his employer to cover the costs incurred by his pregnant girlfriend he would end up in Mountjoy.
Bishop Casey plundered Church funds to pay off Annie Murphy this
larceny was overlooked and the cash was paid back by anonymous donors.
Be it crooked bankers or randy bishops, there’s a light-touch law for the rich and powerful in this country.
sight of Eamon Casey, who had one son, and Fr Michael Cleary, who had
two, on the podium with Pope John Paul II in Galway in 1979 for many
people summed up the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church.
It’s not that these men were bad people, it’s just they
were telling other people they would go to hell if they had sex and had
children outside marriage.
It was such a sin that the produce of
these shameful pairings were not seen as legitimate children and so
didn’t deserve a burial that might be afforded a beloved family pet.
No, for these little ones conceived in sin it was the old septic tank in Tuam or an anonymous grave in unconsecrated ground.
Casey’s lover Annie Murphy also found out fairly quickly that Ireland
was, and to a certain extent still is, a dreadful place for women who
have children outside marriage.
That latent resentment was on show when
she got a frosty reception from Gay Byrne when she appeared on The Late Late Show.
faithful refused to believe they had a bonking bishop and if it was
true it must have been an American divorcee who led him astray. Don’t
At his funeral on Thursday, the Bishop of Achonry
Brendan Kelly told mourners Bishop Casey “did much good” during his life
and ministry and he’s not wrong there.
Bishop Kelly spoke of Bishop Casey’s courage in looking
after dozens of stricken people when up to 50 were massacred at the
funeral of his murdered friend Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador in
There is little doubt Bishop Casey was a good man, who like most other blokes liked women, cars and a few drinks.
he was the leader of an organisation that controlled peoples’ lives and
made life miserable for women who found themselves in the same position
as Annie Murphy.
Casey wanted the best of both worlds but when it came to the crunch he
chose the Church that sent him into exile instead of standing by his son
and his mother.
While it was totally unintentional, the scandal he created marked the beginning of the end for the Catholic Church’s grip on Ireland.
On the lighter side there would be no Bishop Brennan without Bishop Casey or money resting in Father Ted’s account.