HOW long are we going to have to wait before the Catholic Church addresses this phenomenon of Sinn Fein and its relationship with Christianity?
It's a legitimate question, as we note the increasing support for Sinn Fein among young people, many of whom, we are given to believe, are attracted to the party because of the "successful" campaign of the IRA and the domination since then of the peace process.
There has been no repentance for IRA violence and so all Sinn Fein voters are effectively retrospectively endorsing IRA violence. Indeed, in recent weeks, Sinn Fein has glorified IRA violence with little or no response from Catholic clergy. Have republicans not "ruptured" (to use Archbishop Martin's term) their relationship with Christ and, therefore, with the Church, by supporting violence?
Or does the Church only threaten to excommunicate political leaders who address the issue of abortion in a reasonable way?
The hierarchy is increasingly looking like a twisted and disfigured shadow, unable to move for fear of people noticing its deficiencies and unwilling to straighten itself out for fear that they might get more criticism for not doing it long ago. However, they are at risk of promoting Sinn Fein's populist superficial values and undermining their own eternal ones if they don't act.