“Almost 18 years ago, I tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II on an episode of Saturday Night Live,” Sinead O’Connor writes. She explains that she wasn't anti-religion but had a deep problem with how the church treated Irish Catholics. Then, “people did not understand.” Maybe now, with the revelation of a startling history of sexual and physical abuse by priests in Ireland, people will get the picture.
The pope’s “pastoral letter of apology—sort of” doesn’t begin to take responsibility for the church’s abuses in Ireland, O’Connor writes in the Washington Post. "It's an insult not only to our intelligence, but to our faith and to our country. To understand why, one must realize that we Irish endured a brutal brand of Catholicism that revolved around the humiliation of children." Benedict must take responsibility for the actions of priests and offer a "sincere reconciliation." If he does, O'Connor will be the first at the church door. (Read more Pope Benedict XVI stories.)