‘Sauce For The Catholic Goose Is Not Sauce For The Islamic Gander’



A cartoon by Martyn Turner which was published in the Irish Times in April

You may recall how Martyn Turner’s cartoon, above, was removed from the Irish Times website shortly after publication, on foot of Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin complaining about it during a Holy Thursday mass in Dublin’s Pro Cathedral.

Mr Turner’s cartoon was published a day after retired parish priest Fr Gearóid Ó Donnchú told Chris O’Donoghue on Newstalk that he would not break the seal of confession under any circumstance.

They were discussing this because then Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald had just published the Children First Bill, which provided for the mandatory reporting of child abuse and the Catholic Church’s seal of the confessional.

Further to this, journalist Ed Moloney writes:

“It was heartening to see the Irish Times leading the condemnation from Irish journalism of the brutal Jihadist attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last week and defending the right to free expression by participating in an international protest organised by Index on Censorship.”

“The “right to offend”, the paper opined, “must be defended with courage and vigour”.”

“However it would have been even more uplifting had the Times injected a note of regret in its commentary that it had failed to take its own advice to defend the “right to offend” with “courage and vigour” when last April its editors censored and withdrew from the internet a cartoon drawn by in-house cartoonist, Martyn Turner because it had offended senior members of the Irish Catholic hierarchy.”

“It seems that sauce for the Catholic goose is not sauce for the Islamic gander.”

When Will The Irish Times Remember The Cartoon It Censored At The Behest Of Religious Fanatics? (The Broken Elbow)

Previously: Bless Me Father

Act Of Contrition

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24 thoughts on “‘Sauce For The Catholic Goose Is Not Sauce For The Islamic Gander’

  1. Niall

    “Because it had offended senior members of the Irish Catholic hierarchy.”


    If the IT removed things because they offended senior members of the Irish Catholic hierarchy, they’d have a lot more space on their servers.

    It was removed because it implied that thousands of Ireland’s priests were paedophiles. It would have had to do the same had they implied the same about teachers, guards, nurses or GAA coaches.

    1. Tom

      It does not imply that. Confession box in the background, legislation about the reporting of child abuse in the hands of the priest and the day after a widely heard and reported comment where a serving priest said he would put the ‘seal of confession’ ahead of reporting child rape to the authorities, effectively allowing a child rapist to try and cleanse their soul while doing nothing for the victim.

      It was clearly an image designed to reflect that story. Why it was removed can be debated, but the meaning of it should not be.

      1. newsjustin

        It was removed on request because it was deemed/complained against as offensive and the publisher felt it then warranted removal. Crucially, it was not banned for being offensive.

        Free speech allows for people to voice their displeasure and allows for publishers to say “fair enough, it was in poor taste, we’re gonna remove it as a nod to that.” This doesn’t chang the fact that it was published and is still available (there is a copy above).

        Free speech does not mandate publication. The IT were and are perfectly within their rights (thankfully) to publish it. It doesn’t mean they have to.

        1. cluster

          The IT does have a right to remove such a cartoon but it does rather make a mockery of the IT’s words on Charlie Hebdo.

      2. newsjustin

        I note Ed Moloney has rewritten the headline for his piece (as he points out himself on his blog). He has changed “religious fanatics” to “the bishops”. A wise move. Anyone who lables the Archbishop of Dublin as a religious fanatic is in danger of being pigeon-holing themselves as some sort of fanatic in their own right.

        Fair play to him for explaining the change. A perfect example of my point above.

  2. Insertus

    There was a brilliant cartoon called ‘The Good Priest’ in Hotpress some years ago. Can anyone find a copy of it? It was hugely controversial as it showed a priest masturbating. Didn’t go down to well in certain quarters naturally. The artist, if I could remember his name, has done some brilliant cartoons on US intervention in the Middle East too.
    Mmm that’s good satire.

  3. ABM

    I suspect the Irish Times readership is low enough already without alienating the few remaining Catholics who still pay for it (I suspect they pay for it more out of habit than anything else).

    Anyway, it’s not the good Archbishop who is making the Irish Times unpopular, the journos and editors are doing quite a good job by themselves.

    I’d more worried about the internal behaviour of the Irish Times towards their Catholic staff. I also think the Irish Times is full of themselves – as if they are placed to know anything about what’s going on in the various Irish dioceses (never mind the diocese of Rome).

    If the Irish Times want to publish anti-Catholic and/or anti-Jewish cartoons, best of luck to them trying to keep their advertisers on board. I also have the right to have a “Say NO to Sodom” (http://tinyurl.com/me6gcgg) sticker on my car’s bumper without fear of getting keyed. I wouldn’t put such a sticker on my car, not because I disagree with the message, but because I would risk entrenching a homosexual person further in their ways. Our Northern brethren would be a lot more into the bumper sticker stuff.

    1. Jordofthejungle

      The real ABM doesn’t have a car you cretin. And his internet browsing history gives a not only a yes but a high-five to Sodom. So there.

      In terms of gold-star trolling, chapeau bas – whichever one of the multiple ABMs you are.


  4. ABM

    If there was no seal; murderers, rapists, paedophiles, sexual deviants, abusers, addicts, fornicators, etc. would have nowhere to go. Nowhere for them to go to hear guidance.

    Confession is not just for those who ate meat on a Friday or forgot to say their prayers.

    Was at a Mass just before Christmas where they had confessions afterwards – a couple of priests from other parishes came in to hear them. Great I thought. Then I saw that they were “open” confessions – the congregation were lined up either side of the altar. If you had a serious examination of conscience and are making a solemn determination to ammend your life, that’s not the correct setup (in my view). It was as if “oh look at me, I’m a Holy Joe and I went up to confession after Mass. Did you? Lovely priest. etc., etc.”

    And I would think that the two or three cases involving Irish priests having sexual contact with children while the priest was hearing the child’s confession would never have happened if there were proper confession boxes (i.e. not “reconciliation rooms”). You can’t exactly reach through wood and the screen.

    1. Jordofthejungle

      Tis funny but can I be honest, a bit slapstick. A bit to easy to suggest ABM in dire need of a little absolution and flagellation himself.

      You’re good but if you wish to persuade and imitate ABM’s subtle pretend swivel-eyed loonery it will take a little more effort.

  5. SADDo

    “The “right to offend”, the paper opined, “must be defended with courage and vigour”.”

    Two words: 1) Clinic 2) Communications

  6. Iwerzon

    I remember RTÉ apologising to Brian Cowan at the top of their 6Live News for a previous day’s newsworthy report on the artist who hung, in the National Gallery, a cartoon of the Taoiseach siting on the loo. Hypocrites!

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