The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #134382   Message #3059181
Posted By: Jim Carroll
22-Dec-10 - 06:10 AM
Thread Name: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
Throughout this and other threads discuussing child abuse, there has been a persistant and somewhat cynical attempt to shift the focus of attention on to the abusers, who now appear to be being presented as old man beyond the reach of the law, and away from the past and present responsibility of the church in facilitating the abuses and allowing them to take place for as long as they did and to the extent that they did.
This letter from this morning's Irish Times sums up what has happened, and what should have happened.
I would be interested in a response.
Jim Carroll   

Madam, - As a person brought up in the Roman Catholic faith and who served as an altar boy, I have very grave reservations at why it took the archdiocese of Dublin 17 years to report Tony Walsh to the civil police authorities.
For a priest like Tony Walsh to have been able to abuse children on a scale similar to Brendan Smyth is deeply distressing. We will perhaps never know the number of children's lives that this man ruined and sent to their graves. His abuse of hundreds of children, and the deep pain and emotion these innocent victims could no longer cope with, ultimately led to many committing suicide.
The whole church system of dealing with child sex abusers seems to protect the abuser and not the victim. Canon law and the procedures the Catholic Church in Ireland operates under are still today the biggest part of the problem.
In 2010 there is a Cardinal and Primate of All Ireland living in an ivory tower in Armagh and also a number of bishops - present and emeritus - across Ireland who still live in denial and who do not fully comprehend the enormity and scale of the child abuse that occurred in virtually every diocese, including my own of Down and Connor. These clerics are obviously living in a world totally apart from the victims who were abused by servants of the church and God.
Now the Stormont Executive has announced an inquiry into historical institutional child abuse in the North (Home News, December 18th). If this inquiry is ever to have any lasting and permanent credibility then it should fully extend its remit not only to the church institutions but to all cases of child abuse in every diocese in the North. The cost should not matter, and the Stormont Executive should fully ensure that canon law, the Irish Catholic Church, and Rome do not prevent or delay the conduct of a full investigative inquiry.
Furthermore the victims should be the primary architects of this inquiry, and request that the Irish Catholic Church fully co-operate to the inquiry's requests for information. The Stormont Executive should also ensure that if the Irish Catholic Church does not assist, that court and police authorities can intervene.
To the deceased and living victims of child clerical abuse in Ireland we can only pray and hope that one day the Irish Catholic Church will finally accept that they have been the core crux of the problem.
Yours etc        
John Hoare
Dundrum. Co Down.