When Journalism Fails

By Patrick Brogan

Vincent Browne is often described as a hard-hitting journalist. He was anything but last night. On his show last night, he had a guest by the name of Sr. Consilio. She runs the Cuan Mhuire rehab centre. Browne praised her work over the years for dealing with people with some serious addictions.

Later on in the show, Vincent Browne asked Sr. Consilio about abuses within the Catholic Church. She said the nuns did their best with what they had and many worked every day. Sorry, fatigue is an excuse for beating innocent children? Given Browne’s reputation for grilling people on his show I thought he would really question her apologetics. He asked her one more time and then moved on.

I understand that he has respect for the work she did over the years, but surely any serious journalist could not let her comments go unchallenged. It is this attitude that created the culture of abuse in the first place. Another issue is Cuan Mhuire itself. Is it the saintly organisation people praise it as?

Before any criticism, it must be pointed out that this organisation has helped many over the years, but it is far from perfect. It borders between irresponsible and dangerous. Cuan Mhuire is heavily based on Catholic doctrine. If you don’t subscribe to this, you’re out. It’s hardly the unconditional love of Jesus. That is their own prerogative, I suppose. There is another issue. Many that have attended there have said that the people running the organisation have no professional expertise. Just because you believe in Jesus does not make you an expert on addiction.

Others have pointed to a bullying culture within the organisation. Given the accusations of a lack of professionalism within there, this is very possible. Praising such institutions without some basic background checks is very dangerous. Then there is  Sr. Consilio herself. She has far for liberal ideas. The marriage referendum for one. Now, she is taking the line of the mother church and she’s entitled to her opinion. It is clear she views everything from the eyes of the church and this is a problem if you’re dealing with a serious issue like addiction. Vincent should postpone the canonisation for now.


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