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BS: Child abuse in Ireland

Peter K (Fionn) 20 May 09 - 06:35 PM
GUEST,Daily Mail reader 20 May 09 - 06:38 PM
Sorcha 20 May 09 - 06:40 PM
GUEST,lox 20 May 09 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,Smokey 20 May 09 - 07:05 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 20 May 09 - 08:57 PM
Rapparee 20 May 09 - 09:37 PM
GUEST,Smokey 20 May 09 - 09:54 PM
katlaughing 20 May 09 - 10:09 PM
GUEST,Smokey 20 May 09 - 10:27 PM
Rapparee 20 May 09 - 10:30 PM
GUEST,Smokey 20 May 09 - 10:38 PM
Rapparee 20 May 09 - 10:43 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 21 May 09 - 04:16 AM
GREEN WELLIES 21 May 09 - 06:41 AM
Keith A of Hertford 21 May 09 - 07:54 AM
MartinRyan 21 May 09 - 08:12 AM
GUEST,Piles 21 May 09 - 08:26 AM
Keith A of Hertford 21 May 09 - 08:44 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 21 May 09 - 08:45 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 21 May 09 - 08:49 AM
Rapparee 21 May 09 - 09:19 AM
nutty 21 May 09 - 09:19 AM
GUEST,White van man 21 May 09 - 09:29 AM
Gervase 21 May 09 - 09:41 AM
Riginslinger 21 May 09 - 10:09 AM
GREEN WELLIES 21 May 09 - 10:31 AM
Dave Hanson 21 May 09 - 10:32 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 21 May 09 - 10:44 AM
nutty 21 May 09 - 11:49 AM
mg 21 May 09 - 12:06 PM
goatfell 21 May 09 - 12:55 PM
goatfell 21 May 09 - 01:16 PM
GUEST,Smokey 21 May 09 - 01:44 PM
PoppaGator 21 May 09 - 03:08 PM
goatfell 21 May 09 - 03:09 PM
GUEST,Smokey 21 May 09 - 03:24 PM
Paul Burke 21 May 09 - 04:51 PM
Rapparee 21 May 09 - 05:02 PM
robomatic 21 May 09 - 08:57 PM
Joe Offer 21 May 09 - 09:02 PM
Riginslinger 21 May 09 - 10:21 PM
Barry Finn 22 May 09 - 02:37 AM
MartinRyan 22 May 09 - 02:51 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 22 May 09 - 03:45 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 22 May 09 - 04:37 AM
JohnInKansas 22 May 09 - 05:21 AM
goatfell 22 May 09 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,Smokey 22 May 09 - 06:49 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 22 May 09 - 07:46 PM
GUEST,Smokey 22 May 09 - 08:15 PM
Joe Offer 23 May 09 - 05:05 AM
Connacht Rambler 23 May 09 - 07:05 AM
GUEST,Smokey 23 May 09 - 01:33 PM
Art Thieme 23 May 09 - 03:20 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 23 May 09 - 03:29 PM
GUEST,Smokey 23 May 09 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Smokey 23 May 09 - 04:00 PM
Joe Offer 23 May 09 - 04:09 PM
GUEST,Smokey 23 May 09 - 04:54 PM
Barry Finn 23 May 09 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,Smokey 23 May 09 - 07:38 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 23 May 09 - 09:05 PM
GUEST,Smokey 23 May 09 - 10:53 PM
Joe Offer 24 May 09 - 01:14 AM
GUEST,Smokey 24 May 09 - 01:29 AM
goatfell 24 May 09 - 02:39 AM
Joe Offer 24 May 09 - 03:45 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 24 May 09 - 05:26 AM
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GUEST,Mass goer 24 May 09 - 06:19 AM
JohnInKansas 24 May 09 - 10:36 AM
Peter T. 24 May 09 - 05:20 PM
Joe Offer 24 May 09 - 07:29 PM
GUEST,Smokey 24 May 09 - 08:19 PM
Joe Offer 24 May 09 - 11:03 PM
GUEST,Smokey 24 May 09 - 11:25 PM
Joe Offer 24 May 09 - 11:33 PM
Barry Finn 24 May 09 - 11:41 PM
Joe Offer 24 May 09 - 11:46 PM
GUEST,Smokey 24 May 09 - 11:46 PM
Joe Offer 24 May 09 - 11:51 PM
GUEST,Smokey 24 May 09 - 11:58 PM
Joe Offer 25 May 09 - 12:00 AM
GUEST 25 May 09 - 12:17 AM
GUEST,Smokey 25 May 09 - 12:20 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 25 May 09 - 01:26 AM
GUEST 25 May 09 - 01:47 AM
Joe Offer 25 May 09 - 01:59 AM
goatfell 25 May 09 - 04:40 AM
GUEST,Mass goer 25 May 09 - 06:11 AM
GUEST,Smokey 25 May 09 - 05:32 PM
Joybell 25 May 09 - 06:22 PM
Joe Offer 25 May 09 - 07:00 PM
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Peter T. 25 May 09 - 07:33 PM
Maryrrf 25 May 09 - 07:34 PM
Joe Offer 25 May 09 - 09:36 PM
GUEST,Smokey 25 May 09 - 09:58 PM
Joe Offer 25 May 09 - 10:06 PM
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Joe Offer 25 May 09 - 10:51 PM
GUEST,Smokey 26 May 09 - 12:10 AM
nutty 26 May 09 - 05:34 PM
Penny S. 27 May 09 - 01:21 PM
mg 27 May 09 - 05:19 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 28 May 09 - 04:18 AM
goatfell 28 May 09 - 11:02 AM
GUEST,CrazyEddie 28 May 09 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,Smokey 28 May 09 - 12:52 PM
PoppaGator 28 May 09 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,Smokey 28 May 09 - 04:19 PM
Joe Offer 28 May 09 - 06:41 PM
mg 28 May 09 - 09:01 PM
Joe Offer 28 May 09 - 11:06 PM
nutty 29 May 09 - 02:01 AM
Joe Offer 29 May 09 - 02:17 AM
nutty 29 May 09 - 05:05 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 29 May 09 - 09:10 AM
Joe Offer 29 May 09 - 12:50 PM
PoppaGator 29 May 09 - 02:25 PM
mg 29 May 09 - 03:04 PM
Joe Offer 29 May 09 - 05:42 PM
mg 29 May 09 - 06:19 PM
mg 30 May 09 - 01:05 PM
Joe Offer 30 May 09 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,Smokey 30 May 09 - 05:24 PM
mg 30 May 09 - 05:29 PM
GUEST,Smokey 30 May 09 - 05:49 PM
mg 30 May 09 - 07:49 PM
Joe Offer 31 May 09 - 04:00 AM
goatfell 31 May 09 - 09:20 AM
mg 31 May 09 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,Smokey 31 May 09 - 08:09 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 31 May 09 - 11:24 PM
GUEST,Smokey 31 May 09 - 11:43 PM
mg 31 May 09 - 11:50 PM
Barry Finn 01 Jun 09 - 12:02 AM
GUEST,Smokey 01 Jun 09 - 01:07 AM
goatfell 01 Jun 09 - 01:23 AM
Joe Offer 01 Jun 09 - 01:42 AM
mg 01 Jun 09 - 02:14 AM
nutty 01 Jun 09 - 08:27 AM
mg 01 Jun 09 - 11:47 AM
PoppaGator 01 Jun 09 - 02:00 PM
mg 01 Jun 09 - 02:28 PM
GUEST,Smokey 01 Jun 09 - 07:28 PM
freda underhill 02 Jun 09 - 08:02 AM
PoppaGator 02 Jun 09 - 02:30 PM
mg 02 Jun 09 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,Smokey 02 Jun 09 - 02:42 PM
GUEST,Smokey 02 Jun 09 - 02:50 PM
Barry Finn 02 Jun 09 - 03:17 PM
GUEST,Smokey 02 Jun 09 - 03:20 PM
PoppaGator 02 Jun 09 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,Smokey 02 Jun 09 - 03:38 PM
PoppaGator 03 Jun 09 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,Smokey 03 Jun 09 - 06:42 PM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 04 Jun 09 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,mg 04 Jun 09 - 03:10 PM
Joe Offer 04 Jun 09 - 04:14 PM
GUEST,Smokey 04 Jun 09 - 04:14 PM
GUEST,Smokey 04 Jun 09 - 04:37 PM
Joe Offer 04 Jun 09 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,mg 04 Jun 09 - 07:01 PM
GUEST,Smokey 04 Jun 09 - 10:25 PM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 05 Jun 09 - 11:43 AM
Joe Offer 05 Jun 09 - 06:40 PM
GUEST,Smokey 05 Jun 09 - 08:08 PM
Joe Offer 06 Jun 09 - 03:27 AM
Barry Finn 06 Jun 09 - 04:55 AM
GUEST,Smokey 06 Jun 09 - 02:42 PM
Joe Offer 07 Jun 09 - 01:46 AM
Roughyed 07 Jun 09 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,Smokey 07 Jun 09 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,Smokey 07 Jun 09 - 08:29 PM
Joe Offer 07 Jun 09 - 09:36 PM
GUEST,Smokey 08 Jun 09 - 01:09 AM
GUEST,TonyMcT 09 Jun 09 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Smokey 10 Jun 09 - 07:59 PM
Den 11 Jun 09 - 02:53 PM
Neil D 11 Jun 09 - 07:26 PM
GUEST, Smokey 11 Jun 09 - 09:10 PM
nutty 12 Jun 09 - 07:14 AM
Keith A of Hertford 12 Jun 09 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 12 Jun 09 - 08:11 AM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 12 Jun 09 - 09:07 AM
Den 12 Jun 09 - 09:36 AM
Keith A of Hertford 12 Jun 09 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 12 Jun 09 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,Neil D 12 Jun 09 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,Smokey 12 Jun 09 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,Smokey 12 Jun 09 - 09:29 PM
GUEST,mayomick 13 Jun 09 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,Smokey 13 Jun 09 - 02:34 PM
Den 15 Jun 09 - 10:13 AM
Keith A of Hertford 15 Jun 09 - 03:11 PM
Den 17 Jun 09 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser) 18 Jun 09 - 09:23 AM
Barry Finn 18 Jun 09 - 02:53 PM
Keith A of Hertford 18 Jun 09 - 02:54 PM
GUEST,mayomick 02 Jul 09 - 02:34 PM

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Subject: BS: Child abuse in confessional Ireland
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 20 May 09 - 06:35 PM

Depressing though it is, this website contains what should be required reading for anyone who still carries a torch for the Catholic Church. But this saga goes way beyond the church. An entire nation switched off its brain and sold its soul to the church's brutal, arrogant and manipulative religious.

And not just once or twice, but for generation after generation. As far back as the 1940s, government inspectors knew that children in the care of the religious orders were malnourished and were having their bones broken by people who had the stupendous hypocrisy to preach "suffer the little children to come unto me." Brainwashed families fell over themselves to outdo their neighbours with the cruelties they inflicted on any daughter who fell short of Catholic morals - the greatest cruelty of all being to put such sinners into the hands of the nuns. But the most extensive abuses seem to have been those inflicted on boys, many of whom were consigned to the church's "care" because they had made the mistake of being orphaned.

In 1951 Dublin's archbishop, John Charles McQuaid, forced a government minister (Dr Noel Browne) from office and, in effect, brought about the collapse of the whole government. Browne's offence had been to start implementing a degree of healthcare and state support for families and children. It is perhaps clearer now than it was then why the Catholic church was so hostile to state interference in its own responsibilities.

Now again the Catholic church can breathe a sigh of relief. Neither the abusers, nor senior members of the hierarchy behind whose raiments they hid, will be held to account. That's because religious orders, notably the Christian Brothers, at the same time as wringing their hands and expressing their deep sorrow, took court action to keep the identities of their paedophile members out of the commission's report.

Has any civilised nation in modern times ever sunk as low in peacetime?


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Daily Mail reader
Date: 20 May 09 - 06:38 PM

Will any of those guily of these crimes face charges ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Sorcha
Date: 20 May 09 - 06:40 PM

After reading Angelas Ashes, this doesn't surprise me at all. Grim.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 20 May 09 - 06:52 PM

Here's a link to the story.

Not the end of it methinks ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 20 May 09 - 07:05 PM

Nothing can undo what these despicable 'people' have done, or those who turned a blind eye to it. At the very least they should be locked up for as long as possible, and their names widely publicised. Compensation for their victims goes without saying, but I don't see how any amount of money could ever repay a debt like that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 20 May 09 - 08:57 PM

No, Daily Mail reader, there will be no charges. Some of the victims who put themselves through the trauma of giving evidence did so only because of assurances that prosecutions would follow. But the Christian Brothers were successful with their legal action, which was calculated to protect the guilty.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 May 09 - 09:37 PM

Please note that these were the IRISH Christian Brothers, a different order than those who taught me in the US. They'd whack us (not that we didn't deserve it!) and get on with the lessons. After the freshman year (9th grade) I don't believe they used physical punishment on anyone.

However...I am appalled by the report. I have several books here on the "Industrial Schools" and the Laundries. I do believe that there are a number of religious personnel who are being basted over a slow fire in Hell.

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh!


                                           --Matt. 18: 4-7


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 20 May 09 - 09:54 PM

I think it would be preferable if offences against children were punished in this world, not the 'next'..


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 May 09 - 10:09 PM

There was a stunning movie made about one of the laundries that we watched last year. What they did to girls who got pregnant out of wedlock was terrible.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 20 May 09 - 10:27 PM

That would be "The Magdalene Sisters" - stunning yes, and haunting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 May 09 - 10:30 PM

"Fear of the collar" is one about the boys' schoools.

I see no reason not to punish them in both this world AND the next.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 20 May 09 - 10:38 PM

Sorry if I implied you meant otherwise, Rapaire - didn't mean to.
I've not come across "Fear of the Collar", I'll watch out for it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 May 09 - 10:43 PM

"Do unto others" applies on both sides of The Great Divide.

There's also "Founded on Fear" by Tyrell. I picked them up at the Kenmare bookshop this past March.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 21 May 09 - 04:16 AM

Who makes the decisions in the next life - God or Satan? God certainly has no moral authority in this matter. He knew what was happening to helpless children, some as young as three, and just did a Pontius Pilate. That makes him as guilty as anyone here on earth. If any good has come from this saga it is that many in Ireland have thrown off the chains of Catholic oppression, just as the Holocaust persuaded many Jews to piss on their religion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GREEN WELLIES
Date: 21 May 09 - 06:41 AM

When I was 6 months old (ish) my father was relocated by his firm to Dublin, which initially pleased my mom, as she was originally from southern Ireland. Our family lived very happily there until my brother an I we of school age, then quite suddenly we came back to the UK.

Not long ago I asked mum why, when we had such a lovelly life there. She said an Irish Catholic education was not what she wanted for her children, she'd been there and wouldnt do it to us.
We left Ireland without her family, particularly her father, knowing until we were in her words 'safely back in England'.

People say how did they get away with it for so long, it is so difficult, I think, to understand the oppression of the Catholic Church unless you have actually experienced it.

I can only thank my mom for pursuading my dad to make the decision to leave, who knows what they saved me and my brother from.
I have also spoken recently to my cousins and believe me it went much further than institutions and orphanages.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 21 May 09 - 07:54 AM

Will we see from contributors a little more understanding of the reluctance on the part of non Catholics in the North to be subsumed into a United Ireland where its oppresive version of Catholicicism so influenced all aspects of life?


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: MartinRyan
Date: 21 May 09 - 08:12 AM

If you think that Northern Protestants were somehow immune from institutional child abuse, Keith, you're sadly mistaken!

Regards


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Piles
Date: 21 May 09 - 08:26 AM

Keith, look the name Kincora up.

British government, the Orange Order, Church of Ireland and the Ulster Unionist party were all involved.

The Kincora scandal shocked Northern Ireland when it first received media coverage in 1980. Since then, there have been six enquiries of various kinds into the systematic sexual abuse of boys in public care in Kincora and other institutions, but none of them has silenced public concern.

At the heart of the Kincora affair is the intrigue that surrounds one of the convicted sex abusers, William McGrath. A prominent Orangeman on an evangelical mission, McGrath, though never elected to public office, nevertheless exerted a powerful influence on the development of Unionism in the 1970s and 1980s.

McGrath was an agent of the British intelligence service, MI5, McGrath unwittingly played a key role in the deliberate de-stabilization of the Northern Ireland state, a policy that had the long-term aim of facilitating British withdrawal - the so-called "doomsday" scenario. It also details, because of this, McGrath's activities as a sex offender were covered up and two police investigations were obtructed by the British establishment.

Next question please Keith.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 21 May 09 - 08:44 AM

Abuse of children, especially those most vulnerable in the care system, has been all to widespread.
I was certainly not inferring that it was in any way an Irish issue.
It is just that the oppressive power and influence enjoyed by the church, as noted by contributors to this thread, was a facet ot the Republic and well within living memory, and that it allowed paedophiles and sadists who enjoyed the protection of the church a ready supply of victims and immunity from justice.
That immunity is still being enjoyed now, is it not?


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 21 May 09 - 08:45 AM

Nope, Keith has made a fair point this time. There WAS (and no doubt IS) child abuse in Northern Ireland, including by protestants, and one scandal in particular achieved Brendan-Smyth type notoriety. But Keith's point is about the extent to which the Catholic church poisoned the minds of ordinary people across the country. In that respect Ireland was exceptional. The abuse was not confined to institutions but extended to mothers, fathers and entire communities who ostracised, humiliated and reviled errant children in circumstances where those children might reasonably have expected to be treated with compassion and support by people calling themselves Christians.

I have said here several times that people in the north (of all faiths) were entitled to resist being absorbed into a state which until a few years ago criminalised divorce; the sale of contraceptives, and abortion in ALL circumstances. I don't offer that as any kind of excuse for protestant extremism in Northern Ireland, and for my part I have always hoped to see Ireland united in my lifetime. But the situation was never as black and white as it was often painted on Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 21 May 09 - 08:49 AM

I was a bit slow pressing the button. My post above was prompted by Martin's response to Keith's earlier comment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Rapparee
Date: 21 May 09 - 09:19 AM

I first traveled to Ireland in 1978. Since then I've seen the Catholic Church slowly declining in power and influence over the general population. Among the twenty-somethings I know it holds very, very little sway; if anything they are moving from the Roman sort of Christianity and returning to their Celtic Christian roots -- if they are doing anything at all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: nutty
Date: 21 May 09 - 09:19 AM

These weren't the first and they won't be the last crimes committed in the name of religion.

It's the main thing that makes me deeply suspicious of all forms of religious fervour. It allows the perpetrators to wholly believe that they have rights over another human being.

Prosecution requires evidence of wrongdoing that is provable rather than anecdotal. DNA, bruises etc have long been lost and in many cases it would be one persons word against another. Terribly unfair but unfortunately realistic.

Unless the Commission producing the report were prepared to give evidence and name names, then it is very unlikely that the guilty individuals will be brought to trial.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,White van man
Date: 21 May 09 - 09:29 AM

I drive for a living and pass a lot of churches of all faiths every Sunday. I see people in their 50's, 60's and 70's entering the buildings, those in their 20's and 30's are just not there in any numbers. They are either pissed off with the crap preached to them by guys who don't know the real world or they are sleeping off a piss up !

When you are heading towards the end of your life you gamble less with what is or isn't above the clouds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Gervase
Date: 21 May 09 - 09:41 AM

I underwent a Catholic education in England, and the child abuse was just as rife on this side of the Irish Sea. What makes it particularly abominable is that the victims were told that it would be sinful to tell anyone about the abuse they had suffered. Some of teh younger boys were so confused by the attention shown them that they probably didn't register it as abuse until they became adults.
For myself, I remember feeling envious of one fat boy in my class who got 'special attention' and rewards of sweets for allowing a priest to fondle him. The same priest who was meant to be the great arbiter of morality.
There are far too many people whose adult lives have been ruined by the cynical exploitation of evil pederasts like him, and by the shameful refusal of the Catholic church to countenance the enormities being committed by its own priests and monks.
The worst abuser I knew is now long dead, but the chill hand of Father Isidore probably reaches far beyond the grave.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Riginslinger
Date: 21 May 09 - 10:09 AM

Reading this thread makes one wonder if an individual has to be demented to want to be a priest in the first place.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GREEN WELLIES
Date: 21 May 09 - 10:31 AM

I personally dont think there will be any prosecutions. Not when the church goes as far as relocating one offender to Austrailia to hide his crimes against children.
I have family in Australia (the cousins I mentioned in an earlier post) and they say there very many of the miserable b******s hiding over there.

And yes whilst my brother and I escaped our Catholic education in Ireland, we were not totally immune from beatings in our Catholic schools in the UK. Although I was never aware of sexual abuse in my Catholic schools, the physical abuse was all too common, from nuns as well as priests.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 21 May 09 - 10:32 AM

The perverted bastards saw the catholic priesthood [ anywhere ] as sure fire easy access to their victims and guaranteed no recriminations, just get moved on to the next set of victims.

It makes my blood boil that they will forever be protected by the catholic church and the complicit government.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 21 May 09 - 10:44 AM

I know it's a big website that I linked to at the top Nutty, but it's an interesting one to browse. You would discover that many of the crimes are uncontested, including many carried out by individuals who ae still alive and well. The Christian Brothers (and not only that order) have not attempted to excuse the crimes. They even wring their hands and prostrate themselves in sorrow. The Catholic church has nearly bankrupted itself (not only in Ireland but in several other countries too) with their payouts to victims. They just don't want anyone to be punished.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: nutty
Date: 21 May 09 - 11:49 AM

All I can say to that Peter is that they should practice what they preach. Christ wasn't so kind with the "den of thieves",

We have laws for a reason and one is for the protection of children. Will the mercy shown to the perpetrators protect them in the future? I think not.

They will always be in a unique position no matter how careful the church tries to be.. Surely the only deterrent is fear of prosecution.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: mg
Date: 21 May 09 - 12:06 PM

Thre should be fear of publicity. I would say, as a Catholic, that if you experienced abuse, and are positive it is not false-memory etc., to shout it from the steeples and name names, dates, locations. Others will join you. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: goatfell
Date: 21 May 09 - 12:55 PM

as I say everyone no matter what race or e=religion we are all capaiable if abusing children and adults but the sesnseable ones don't because we have that choice


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: goatfell
Date: 21 May 09 - 01:16 PM

we're all Jock Tamson's bairns


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 21 May 09 - 01:44 PM

I don't think we're all capable of abusing children, Goatfell - sensible or not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: PoppaGator
Date: 21 May 09 - 03:08 PM

The silver lining to this awful legacy is that the Republic of Ireland can cease being a Catholic-Church-dominated theocracy, which could eventually lead to wider acceptance of the idea of a united Ireland.

Catholicism has, for centuries, been part of the "national" (tribal) indentity of the oppressed native-Irish people. To be conquered, and then to be asked to worship the conquerer's God in a church whose titular head is the king of the conquering nation, is too much to expect. The Irish became militantly Catholic for the same reason as the Acadians (Cajuns) and other French Canadians who fell to the British. It's a cultural/national phenomenon that has nothing to do with theology, sprituality, etc.

This does not have to remain true forever.

I wonder if Irish-American Irish Catholics remain more attached to the RC church than do the Irish in Ireland. I have a hunch that they do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: goatfell
Date: 21 May 09 - 03:09 PM

yes we are but we choose not to, as we are capable of rape and tortge, unless you're God or dead


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 21 May 09 - 03:24 PM

yes we are but we choose not to, as we are capable of rape and tortge, unless you're God or dead

Well I aint dead yet, but I often think I'm God..

You speak for yourself, mate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Paul Burke
Date: 21 May 09 - 04:51 PM

The reason Catholicism survived in Ireland is at least twofold: first, Protestantism was the religion of the hated invader, but just as importantly, the Church had never been the tyrrany it became in richer countries. Ireland never had the Inquisition, burnings of heretics, or bloated monks. It was this tolerant church that sustained them through the ages of persecution, but in the 19th century, with independance in sight( 1860s onwards), the Church changed its strategy, and looked forward to being a power in the land. The destruction of Parnell was a stage in this, and the process went far beyond independence- the 1950 (ish) Mother and Child Act, which sought to introduce a watered- down welfar state, was howled down by the clergy fearful of the eroion of their control.

The whole assumption behind their actions was that the Church could not be criticised by the secular authorities, and that any problems should be dealt with internally, like the Russian Stalinists that they so much decried.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Rapparee
Date: 21 May 09 - 05:02 PM

There is NO excuse for child abuse. None. A paddle on the clothed/diapered bottom, done with an open hand -- perhaps. But no more than that. I've seen and heard of too many children who have been repeatedly raped, burned with everything from cigarettes to acid, whipped with car aerials and other wire, punched, kicked -- the news reported just yesterday that a manbit out his 4-year-old son's eye and damaged the other in the same way so that the kid may will lose the sight of both (his father was on PCP, as if that's an excuse).

I would give child abusers short shrift -- and perhaps a long drop.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: robomatic
Date: 21 May 09 - 08:57 PM

I think the Roman Catholic Church must be taken seriously, it has been a powerful political, religious, social, and ideological force for such a long time, and much evil has been done in its name. I have also been very moved by Catholic authors, speakers, ideologues, and even Priests. (Voted for one, too).

I have been very dissapoinnted that after the major scandals, breaking loose in Boston and traveling to pretty much every State in the Union, regarding abusive priests being protected by their senior religious authorities, that time after time the Church has tried to limit the damage not root it out.

I have come to the opinion that American Catholics, as with American of most religions, are for the most part different, and superior to, those elsewhere because they bring their idealistic, questioning attitude to their faith and do not shirk the hard questions and the hard answers.

George Carlin was one of those questioners I'm alluding to. He enriched the American Catholic experience, and in so doing, enriched those of us who are not Catholic.

To paraphrase the New Testament:

"The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable"


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 May 09 - 09:02 PM

I knew an Irish priest here in California who spent his last years passionately preaching one message: that if religious faith is as wonderful as we say it is, then it should be full of love and joy. He lived what he preached, even though his body was riddled with cancer.

He talked about Jansenism, and said things I hadn't heard from anyone else. He claimed that since the British couldn't defeat the Catholic Church in Ireland, they built a huge seminary and staffed it with priests from the European Continent, priests that had been affected by the heresy of Jansenism, which believes in the basic depravity of human nature. He claimed that Jansenist teaching affected several generations of Irish priests, and those priests served all over the world and poisoned the Catholic faith with harsh severity wherever they went.

The Catholic Church in Ireland is still more severe and harsh than I've seen it anywhere else in the world. And that harshness can certainly form a good home for abuse. Anybody know anything about my friend's Jansenist theory?

On the other hand, I wonder about all these abuse charges, and whether paying all this money is going to do any good for the victims. The abuse was a terrible thing, but the people paying the price for crimes committed by priests thirty years ago are current-day lay Catholics, who had nothing to do with the evils committed.

Whatever the case, we still don't understand child abuse or child molestation, so the problem is likely to continue.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Riginslinger
Date: 21 May 09 - 10:21 PM

I doubt if paying the money does much of anything for anybody. I still find the whole thing incredibly hard to understand.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Barry Finn
Date: 22 May 09 - 02:37 AM

Here's a link to a thread I started 10 yrs ago that also involved the Christian Brothers in Australia who used kids supplied by the Orphanages in England to build their dwellings. The Churh of England & the British Government had a hand as well as the Australian Government.

Here's a link that shows the Christian Brothers international trail of abuses.

Here's another link to the shamefull policy of Juvenile Immigration where children were seen as 'ideal immigrants'.

So Catholic Ireland has no corner on the child abuse issue but the Chatholic Church with it's money, power & influence seems to have had a "MAJOR" role in this no matter where it's to be found.

I'm in Boston & was schooled by Catholics, though I never saw sexual abuse I did see plenty of physical abuse. Yrs later I did find out that some kids that I grew up with were sexually abused. When in my mid 20's I went out with a woman who'd been a chilhood sweetheart. She told me that the nuns would make her stay after school & make her cry until the priest would come in, sit her on his lap & console her, by sexually abusing her.

As to the church paying money. In Boston they had to sell off a lot of property, not just a few churches either. Their following dwindled & their basket begging slowed to a trickle. Their were a number of jail sentences handed out & one perticular ped was beaten to death by another inmate. They can't pay enough as far as I'm concerned


I'll have to go back & finish that song, I forgot all about it until this topic

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: MartinRyan
Date: 22 May 09 - 02:51 AM

Joe

IIRC, the Irish clergy didn't need British-recruited continental clerics to introduce them to Jansenism (/Manicheism?) - the clandestine clergy of the 18th C. had trained in France and Spain anyway. I suspect the harsh economic conditions of the mid 19th C. and the increasing control of education by Catholic clergy had more to do with its impact. Grafting what was effectively ultra-nationalism on top of that mix, probably didn't help.

Regards


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 22 May 09 - 03:45 AM

Just to be clear on one point, in case something Joe said is misunderstood: the main victim group and many individual victims have said repeatedly that they are not seeking financial recompense. They simply want to see the guilty prosecuted. (And I can say "guilty" because so many of the accusations are uncontested.)

I take Joe's point aboiut the passage of time and I am not altogether sure about the wisdom of prosecuting those who are obviously very old and infirm (ala Demjanjuk in unrelated matter). But In this case many of the perpetrators are perfectly capable of answering for themselves in a court of law and should be made to do so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 22 May 09 - 04:37 AM

"I take Joe's point aboiut the passage of time and I am not altogether sure about the wisdom of prosecuting those who are obviously very old and infirm (ala Demjanjuk in unrelated matter)."

I've never understood this argument. It implies that if you commit horrible human rights abuses, and can evade justice for long enough, you don't have to worry (and far too many such criminals do seem to evade justice). The argument implies that horrible and bestial crimes have a sort of 'sell-by-date' and once the criminal passes a certain 'magic age' they don't have to worry about being brought to book any more.

There's a chance that the prospect of being prosecuted in infirm old age could even act as a deterrent. In my opinion only the death of a human rights abuser should free them from the fear of prosecution.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 22 May 09 - 05:21 AM

When this thread appeared yesterday, I found that only a little over half. perhaps two thirds, of the "Sections" of the report were actually available.

I can report that the full thing can now be downloaded (.pdf at least).

The "Executive Summaries" indicate that it was a decision of those preparing the report to conceal identities of all persons cited or referenced in the report, and the Court order reportedly obtained to require that everything be anonymous likely had little to do with the form taken.

From the bits and pieces I've read, most of the report is (legally, at least) hearsay, anecdote, and rumor. While hearsay, anecdote, rumor and propaganda can all, equally, be true - or not, the methods used in this compilation quite probably do not support identifying of individuals to any visible good purpose.

It would have been helpful if more specific analyses of the extent to which offenses cited were general or represented incidents attributable to a specific smaller group of offenders. For a "report" of this size, there are few (confirmable) facts and numbers. There may be more in parts I have not read as yet.

It seems clear that evasion, denial, and protection of the guilty was pervasive among those in authority. It also seems clear that that is a conclusion that the report was intending to convey, although as yet I haven't found it clearly and unambiguously stated.

Very depressing to read. I'm not sure I have the stomach for digesting enough of it to do much more than join in the general "moral indignation." Assessing the "value" of the report - whther it can be a stimulus toward improving anything - will be difficult.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: goatfell
Date: 22 May 09 - 11:19 AM

take a look at the way the American and other armies that abuse prisners so we are all capiable of abuse we the senseable ones chose not to do it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 22 May 09 - 06:49 PM

Goatfell, we are not all capable of abuse of this nature. Can you honestly say that you have ever had to choose not to sexually abuse children, or rape someone? If it were only 'sense' that precluded us from doing these things, there would be an awful lot more of it about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 22 May 09 - 07:46 PM

JohnInKansas, you are right that individual identities were concealed as a result of self-censorship, but that needs to be put in context. When Judge Ryan took that decision, the Christian Brothers were pursuing a court action that threatened to suppress not only the names of the abusers but also the specific institutions involved - of which there were more than 200, administered by a total of 18 Catholic religious orders. Ryan took the view (and who would argue?) that such a constraint would have rendered the report utterly useless. He therefore concealed individual identities in a deal under which the litigation was abandoned.

It must be remembered that at that time (as now in some degree) there was no certainty that the state institutions, courts etc, actually would stand up to the church. And in fairness the state is in a difficult position. A former prime minister, Bertie Ahern, said that the state did not want to bankrupt the religious orders and the truth is that it could not afford to. To this day nearly all of Ireland's schools and several of its major hospitals) are run by the religious orders. At the outset of the commission's enquiry the state (specifically the education department) and the church negotiated terms which were supposed to reflect equal liability. The religious orders wanted indemnity from all future claims; the state wanted them to meet the state halfway in shouldering the financial liabilities - particularly the costs of long-term counselling.

The religious orders got their indemnity for the knock-down, bargain-basement price of 1.28 million euros (that's about 1.77 million USD right now). Quite why the eduction department sold off indemnity so cheaply the government's finance department never understood. The estimated total cost to church and state combined has now reached 1.3 BILLION euros. Moreover it seems the religious orders lied at the time of the deal. Their denial of any knowledge or involvement in any covering up is at odds with the commission's findings. Politicians are trying to put the religious orders under a moral obligation to cough up more. But of course they don't understand such language. All 18 orders have said they have no intention of revisiting the original settlement. The burden will therefore rest on taxpayers.

It is not reasonable, JohnInKansas, to suggest the accusations are mostly anecdotal. Obviously the burden of proof in such an enquiry is much lower than in the criminal court, which is why there will be so much frustration and disappointment if the accusations never have to be answered in a criminal court. But many of the allegations have been too convincing to be refuted. Yesterday a spokesman for the Brothers said it was abhorrent yet undeniable that, for instance, a child had been made to lick excrement off a Brother's shoe, but that the onus was on victims to press for justice via the police and through other channels. To which a Barnardo's spokesman said he was "tongue-tied" at the suggestion that the onus was on abused children.

Also keep in mind that though the report will be new to many on Mudcat, the commission's deliberations have been reported in the Irish press along the way. Rather than provoking denials those reports simply stimulated more corroborating allegations, as indeed publication of the report itself has also done. In this respect it is salutory as well as distressing to look at some contributions to the Irish Times' letters page today - in particular the one from Diarmuid Whelan. (There is also a telling example of what happened when youngsters did indeed go to the police.) If the page disappears and anyone is interested I might come back here and quote a few sentences.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 22 May 09 - 08:15 PM

Could the matter not be dealt with by the European Courts of Justice or Human Rights in the absence of any justice from the Irish government?


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 May 09 - 05:05 AM

In many places and in many situations, there is a "statute of limitations" that prohibits prosecution of certain crimes after a period of time. In the United States, the "statute of limitations" was lifted because of the huge number of offenses uncovered, and the Catholic Church paid billions in damages, a large portion of which was for offenses committed in the 1950's through 1970's.

While I admit the offenses were horrendous, it's hard to defend oneself against a charge that's thirty years old. In this case, it was the employer of the defendants who was being held accountable - and the bill is being paid by lay people who were children at the time the offenses were committed.

While there may not be the huge charge for reparations in Ireland, many of the offenders may be over the age of 80. Certainly, they should have been held to answer for their offenses; but if their age is so advanced, is it really worth the expense to prosecute such people? I'm sure that there is a great desire to punish the Catholic Church for the offenses committed by its priests and nuns, and by those who covered up the offenses - but it's too late for that. The Catholics who get the blame, were children when the offenses were committed. It seems to me that much of the anger is misdirected, and much of the cost is being borne by people who are completely innocent of the offenses - and much of the energy spent on this whole thing is an expression of revenge, and not a solution to the problem.


-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Connacht Rambler
Date: 23 May 09 - 07:05 AM

The Christian Brothers head or spokesman in Ireland, Brother Edmund Garvey, keeps banging on in the media in Ireland about how much they have done in recent years to help the victims of their abuse. I know two victims of sex abuse in the Industrial School in Salthill, Galway, who sought justice in the courts. They were cracking up with anger and frustration because the Christian Brothers employed solicitors and barristers to stall their cases for years, presumably in the hope they would die off or top themselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 23 May 09 - 01:33 PM

Making the Catholic Church pay compensation to the victims does not equate to blaming innocent lay persons who were children at the time of the offences. The surviving offenders should be brought to justice regardless of how old they are; a crime is a crime, and an example should be made of the perpetrators along with any individual or organisation which aided and abetted those crimes. It has nothing to do with punishing the Church, it is about justice on behalf of the victims. How the Vatican deals with the expense is its own affair - if they decide to raise the money from innocent lay-people, then more fool them for providing it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Art Thieme
Date: 23 May 09 - 03:20 PM

I'm left shaking my head in horror and astonishment that no good people over there or in the Chicago communities ever started a thread here at Mudcat to bring these nation-wide, and at least a half century old, persistent, and seemingly "normal" practices to our attention???!! The bright light of day on this dark episode could have helped so many children avoid a nightmarish fate.

Racism exists---and we talk about it.
Antisemitism exists and we talk about it.
Genocide exists and we talk about it.

By God, Amnesty International exists to publicise this shit.

Why only now?


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 23 May 09 - 03:29 PM

Joe, you are way, way of beam.

In hte UK, and as far as I know in Ireland, there is no statute of limiatation in criminal cases. And you are missing the point that there is still a complete failure by senior clerics (not just in Irealnd) to grasp the enormity of all this. Have a look at how the new archbishop of Westminster responded. Even his fellow archbishop in Dublin was askance at such an attitude. And Nicholls is not in any sense an innocent abroad. He is highly media-savvy.

The only lay people footing the bill in Ireland, Joe, are taxpayers, fewer and fewer of whom want anything to do with the church. More than half of what the Christian Brothers have coughed up to date has been in the form of land and buildings which they have handed over to the state and for which the state, in some cases, has no use.

I incline to your viewpoint in only one respect: I can see little point in further humiliating people who are very old or otherwise in obviously very poor health. But for very many of the creeps, that defence will not run. Also, Joe, when you talk about the passage of time, remember - as I have repeated two or three times - many of the crimes have been admitted. The question of proof and preparing defences simply does not arise in those cases.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 23 May 09 - 03:46 PM

Peter, have the crimes been specifically admitted, or have they just not been denied? That could make a big difference in a Court of Law. Also, in a case like this wouldn't the defendant (or the employer) ultimately pay the costs?


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 23 May 09 - 04:00 PM

Forget that last question, I was thinking of civil cases, not criminal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 May 09 - 04:09 PM

Well, I don't claim to know the situation in Ireland, but I do know very well what happened in the United States. The Catholic Church in the U.S. paid some two billion dollars in settlements - the going price is now a million dollars per victim. Many of the crimes happened thirty years ago. I know many Catholic church employees who lost their jobs because the church would not afford to pay their salaries. I myself lost my job at my parish in 2005 because my pastor said he couldn't afford to pay me, so I was at least indirectly affected by all this - and I have never directly been aware of any incident of child abuse or molestation. The payment of money hasn't healed any of the victims, and the wrong people are paying the price for the crimes because the criminals don't have enough money to make the payments.

I think the first priority should be to ensure that everything possible should be done to ensure that such a thing doesn't happen again - and that if it happens, that it is dealt with quickly and surely.

With recent offenses, punishment should be swift and sure - and directed at those who were actually responsible. Victims should be given reasonable compensation and immediate treatment - but I'm not sure that bankrupting churches is a worthwhile response to the scandal.

With regard to offenses that happened thirty or more years ago, I think there's a need to weigh the cost of prosecution and compensation, and determine whether there's any value in it.

I think that vengeance and greed and hysteria have guided much of the response to the abuse scandal in the U.S. - and in the end, it the expenditure of huge sums of money hasn't done much to cure the problem. The expenditures have forced a loss of employment for many people (me included), and the closure of schools and churches and social programs. It has made the victims wealthy, but it hasn't cured them. The American bishops have changed their ways and have set up procedures that attempt to prevent future problems. I hope the same will be done in Ireland. However, the cause of the problem still isn't known. We still don't really know why people commit such crimes and how to prevent it.

I think we need to approach this problem rationally and honestly, and without hysteria. That wasn't done in the U.S., and it sounds like it's not being done in Ireland.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 23 May 09 - 04:54 PM

It seems to me that the Irish victims are more concerned with justice than financial compensation, but as a business the Catholic Church accumulates capital and has been doing so more efficiently, ruthlessly and I suspect for longer than any other business on the planet. They can well afford it. Maybe the Vatican would prefer to let a few 'subsidiary branches' suffer financially rather than take central responsibility - it makes good business sense I suppose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Barry Finn
Date: 23 May 09 - 07:08 PM

Joe,
"The payment of money hasn't healed any of the victims, and the wrong people are paying the price for the crimes because the criminals don't have enough money to make the payments".

The wrong people are not paying the price, it is the church who they work or belong to paying the price, as well they should.

The fist move that should be made is that the Vatican needs to make an apology, the Pope & Bishops, then offer therapy (at the churches expense, I believe this was offered in the states but don't if it was nation wide) to all victims. The offer of money in repayment is so that there is some kind of compensation & usually in the real world having to spend money is a determent to future abuse (the church will PAY attention & see that it won't cost them again) that is in part why the courts fine companies & people. The church needs to expose those involved (as they did in Boston) & their whereabouts (are they residing in a country club paid for by the church for a society of abusers?) & give up their books that holds any documentation or evidence.
In the States there is a law that's used for organized crime called the RICO Act. This was used against the church after finding that the church did, as an organization, systematically shield abusers from the law & cover up crimes on purpose. I don't know how it panned out (I think it was brought by the NY AG). It matters not if the church suffers set backs, they will never suffer like their victims. If the church goes bankrupt, so be it but all victims should feel as if they can rest in peace & no matter the age of the abusers or the cost to bring them to justice, neither is an excuse to leave them alone. May the almighty sword of Justice in it's righteousness smite them down in it's all holy crusade in cleansing the house that those that sullied the name of the Lord shall know the flames of hell, first on Earth they should burn then for eternity may they slow roast with their brothers.

They were the Devil

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 23 May 09 - 07:38 PM

What really worries me is what they'll be getting away with in places like India or Africa where there is a more plentiful supply of potential victims and much less chance of discovery.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 23 May 09 - 09:05 PM

Well it is plain that like so many in the Catholic church, Joe is determined to look the other way. No-one who has followed the links in this thread could go along with Joe's glib take on the situation in Ireland. Joe looks uncomfortably close to the position of those who have said: "OK some guy made a child lick excrement off his boots, but remember the good that the guy has done." Or "Let's salute his courage for owning up" (at gunpoint).

In truth Joe should be relieved to have cut his financial ties with a worldwide institution that has not only allowed, but has actively concealed, rampant paedophilic crime over many generations, in Ireland, the US, Austria, France, the UK, Australia, etc, etc. The church rightly is carrying a far greater burden of the guilt than are the individual criminals it has always sought to cherish and protect.

Smokey, where specific incidents were cited in evidence, the commission has used pseudonyms for victims and perpetrators, but in most cases (all I think) the real identities are known. Don't worry, the Survivors of Child Abuse (SOCA) are not going to give in easily. As stated in a (London) Times report I linked to above, one tack will be a direct approach to the Pope. It is quite conceivable that the Pope, unlike Joe perhaps, will go along with the Archbishop of Dublin, who is nearer the problem and who wants criminal prosecutions to proceed. But then, as the Times report makes clear, the Dublin Archbish knows that worse revelations will be emerging from his own archdiocese within the next few wweeks.

Obviously my main target has always been the Catholic church, but that's simply because I haven't got time to follow them all. I suppose in fairness I should say that in my view ALL religion stinks. Here's a little clip, just released, of the Serb Orthodox Church going about its Good Works.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 23 May 09 - 10:53 PM

I don't think it's possible to have anything like an objective view of any religion from within it, especially Catholicism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 May 09 - 01:14 AM

And it IS possible to have an objective view of a religion from outside?

Actually, in most life situations, we can only approach objectivity, never attain it. In this issue of child molestation and abuse, it is very important to put aside our prejudices, realize that the problem is rampant all over and not merely in certain institutions, and then come up with a solution that works. Right now, all I see is finger-pointing - particularly in this thread. I hear blame, but no solutions.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 24 May 09 - 01:29 AM

"And it IS possible to have an objective view of a religion from outside?"

I think it's a whole lot more possible, but I agree we can only ever approach it. It's a matter of degree.

I also agree that the problem is not restricted to the Catholic Church, but the enquiry which is the subject of this thread is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: goatfell
Date: 24 May 09 - 02:39 AM

so what you are saying is that these PEOPLE are doing this but we are not People every human being is capiable of any form of of Abuse the only difference IS WE CHOOSE NOT TO DO IT. I'M REPEATING MYSELF BECAUSE NO ONE READS THE POSTS THAT i WRITE PROPERLY


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 May 09 - 03:45 AM

Ah, it's interesting. Here, I'm accused of "looking the other way" and yet many people (mostly conservative lay people) within the Catholic Church condemn me because I question what goes on, and don't give respect to anyone in the church unless they deserve it. I remember one guy who read me the Riot Act because I dared to criticize John Paul II for his writing style (actually, I'm far more critical of JPII than that). I've been called a "cafeteria Catholic" because I don't take everything hook, line, and sinker. Still, most of my experience in the Catholic Church has been very positive.

But with eight years of seminary training and forty years of work in the Catholic Church as a volunteer, I know what's going on - and yes, I am very critical of problems within the Catholic Church, and I've spent a lot of time studying those problems and working to resolve some of them. There's an American Website called http://bishopaccountability.org/ that has a database of priests and other church employees who have been accused of child molestation. I went to school with several of those accused in Milwaukee. Some were "strange" when they were in school, and some were not. I don't know that I would have predicted that any of them would be child molesters, although I knew a few of them very well. I'm not sure anybody can predict who will commit crimes against children, and who will not.

My experience of the Catholic Church in Ireland is limited, although I know dozens of Irish-born priests and nuns who work in the U.S., and I spent two weeks in Ireland and went to Mass in a different church every day that I was there. It was my responsibility to deal with the personnel in each church to make arrangements for our chaplain to celebrate Mass, so I did have significant contact with Catholic Church personnel there. My impression of the Catholic Church in Ireland was generally negative. It seemed rigid and dead, and obsequious to the clergy. I saw little of the joy and vigor and social justice concern that I've experienced in many (not all) Catholic parishes in the U.S. And I have to say that I support Barry's view - in his part of the United States (New England), the Catholic Church seems almost as repressive as it seems in Ireland. Interestingly, the Irish-born priests and nuns I know are generally a good bunch of people who do a lot of good.

Despite Fionn's claims, I'm not glib about the situation of the church-run government schools in Ireland, and I certainly don't look the other way. I've read a fair amount about the subject.

I didn't read the entire report, but I found the executive summary to be very worthwhile reading. I found the "recommendations" section to be excellent, particularly this:

    3. The lessons of the past should be learned.

    For the State, it is important to admit that abuse of children occurred because of failures of systems and policy, of management and administration, as well as of senior personnel who were concerned with Industrial and Reformatory Schools. This admission is, however, the beginning of a process. Further steps require internal departmental analysis and understanding of how these failures came about so that steps can be taken to reduce the risk of repeating them.

    The Congregations (Religious Orders) need to examine how their ideals became debased by systemic abuse. They must ask themselves how they came to tolerate breaches of their own rules and, when sexual and physical abuse was discovered, how they responded to it, and to those who perpetrated it. They must examine their attitude to neglect and emotional abuse and, more generally, how the interests of the institutions and the Congregations came to be placed ahead those of the children who were in their care.

    An important aspect of this process of exploration, acceptance and understanding by the State and the Congregations is the acknowledgement of the fact that the system failed the children, not just that children were abused because occasional individual lapses occurred.


The entire list of recommendations is excellent. I recommend that you read them and learn from them.

So, my point in all this is that it does little good to seek revenge or condemnation for something that happened thirty or forty years ago (I gather from the report that most of this ended in the 1960's). The best thing we can do with this systemic atrocity is to learn from it. Some of you won't like hearing this, but it was not only the Catholic Church that is to blame for this - it is all of Irish society. The stories of these institutions have been part of Irish literature for a century, so all of this must have been common knowledge - and people accepted it as "just the way it is."

I think every nation and every society is guilty of at least one systemic atrocity. In the United States, it was slavery and racism and the extermination of Native Americans. Great Britain has much to answer for its history of imperialism. Germany's atrocities are well-known. And yes, the Catholic Church IS guilty of this atrocity in Ireland, of the Spanish Inquisition, and many others.

Yes, it is very important for the current citizens or members of any nation or society to acknowledge and take responsibility for these systemic atrocities that are part of their history - and to learn from them. Unfortunately, we don't want to do that. We feel much more comfortable passing the blame on to somebody else and holding ourselves blameless. I guess that's human nature.


And in this thread, I hear lots of blame, and very little learning or desire for healing. Blame is futile - we need to move forward and realize that it is our responsibility to ensure that such atrocities do not happen again.

And Goatfell, I think you make a good point. Too often, it's easy for us to say we're not capable of abuse or other atrocities - but we all are. It happened in Ireland, and England, and Germany, and the United States - and people said, "That's the way it is." We won't solve any problems until we acknowledge that we all are responsible.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 24 May 09 - 05:26 AM

The Magdalene Laundries - Joni Mitchell - Youtube

The lyrics:

"I was an unmarried girl
I'd just turned twenty-seven
When they sent me to the sisters
For the way men looked at me
Branded as a jezebel
I knew I was not bound for Heaven
I'd be cast in shame
Into the Magdalene laundries

Most girls come here pregnant
Some by their own fathers
Bridget got that belly
By her parish priest
We're trying to get things white as snow
All of us woe-begotten-daughters
In the steaming stains
Of the Magdalene laundries

Prostitutes and destitutes
And temptresses like me--
Fallen women--
Sentenced into dreamless drudgery ...
Why do they call this heartless place
Our Lady of Charity?
Oh charity!

These bloodless brides of Jesus
If they had just once glimpsed their groom
Then they'd know, and they'd drop the stones
Concealed behind their rosaries
They wilt the grass they walk upon
They leech the light out of a room
They'd like to drive us down the drain
At the Magdalene laundries

Peg O'Connell died today
She was a cheeky girl
A flirt
They just stuffed her in a hole!
Surely to God you'd think at least some bells should ring!
One day I'm going to die here too
And they'll plant me in the dirt
Like some lame bulb
That never blooms come any spring
Not any spring
No, not any spring
Not any spring"


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 24 May 09 - 05:30 AM

A really excellent message, Joe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Mass goer
Date: 24 May 09 - 06:19 AM

ALL TRADITIONAL religions are in danger of dying out as worshippers see through priests and ministers. Roman Catholic congregations are on the slide, figures show more than 2,500 worshippers lost to one parish in Dublin in just six years.


Congregations for all Church of England and Roman Catholic Sunday services are dwindling and ageing fast, the vast majority of young people think for themselves, not ordered what to do from the pulpit.

At the current rate of decline churchgoers will number 12% in the UK within about 60 years. The reason, filth and greed by those who cliam to set examples.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 24 May 09 - 10:36 AM

Re: Peter K (Fionn) - 22 May 09 - 07:46 PM

An excellent and informative comment.

My only objection is at:

It is not reasonable, JohnInKansas, to suggest the accusations are mostly anecdotal.

I think you may have missed my meaning that in this report all the descriptions of the offenses against the children are in anecdotal form to protect the identities of the victims, making it inappropriate in this report to provide more than vague identities of the offenders. I did not mean to imply that more detailed information, likely with actionable detail, is not known and available elsewhere, including quite probably in the records from which this report was compiled.

I know little of the Irish situation, and have read only a few sections of this document (it is really HUGE), but it does bring to my mind some questions, with possible similarities, about a US "institution" known as "the Children's Trains" for which somewhat similar accusations have been made. In that case, several organizations were involved in essentially rounding up orphans-at-random in larger eastern cities (mainly New York?) and shipping them for placement with families in the newly settled regions further to the west. (Send them away, and someone will take them in?) Many children thus "adopted" have described their situation as essentially "slave labor," with many reports of varying kinds of abuse. In many cases there appear to be no records of what happened to many who left the east, and little in the way of verifiable records of who might have "adopted" large numbers of them. Claims in this case largely are against individual families not necessarily associated with any coherent "organization" or any specific religion.

Too many children. Always a problem. .........(?)

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Peter T.
Date: 24 May 09 - 05:20 PM

I've heard versions of the Jansenist story before, but I think that is just anti-British government propaganda. The truth is more complicated: the English language priesthood on the Continent (there was a Paris-Rome axis) was made up for hundreds of years of recusants, who were fiercely dogmatic and deeply hierarchical (as befits a secret army). I don't think it was Protestantism at fault: I think it was the history of secrecy and separation that gave it the tone that it did.

I'm afraid however that it was the celibacy rule that was what made it all so toxic. Only a very tiny fraction of the populace can cope with it, people with a special monastic vocation. A huge institutional version of it is bound to fail, and the vulnerable are the nearest. To put large numbers of celibate priests and nuns together in institutions with the vulnerable and in charge of them was simply criminal, and the evidence world wide of how criminal it is is overwhelming. It was (and is) a blind, stupid, refusal to deal with human nature in a sensible, and I would say, compassionately religious way. It is completely astonishing to me that anyone could still defend it as a requirement for ministry (and not as a monastic vocation alone).

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 May 09 - 07:29 PM

Well, I'd be a priest today it it hadn't been for the celibacy rule, so I will agree that celibacy may be part of the problem. However, the same sort of problems existed with Anglican priests, who aren't required to be celibate.

Perhaps a more significant thing is that for centuries, society required people to attend church, and gave special status to the clergy. In addition, the Church was closely connected to bot government and culture in most European nations. I think that resulted in having church congregations (and clergy) that, for a great part, didn't want to be there and didn't really know what this religion thing was all about. Since religious participation is no longer required and being a clergyman is no longer a cushy job, I think it's much more likely that churches have members and leaders who really want to do what they're doing. But in days gone by, a great number of priests and nuns were unhappy, feeling trapped in a sterile, severe life.

Many women who entered the convent didn't want to be teachers, but that was the only assignment available to most of them - so we ended up with a lot of Catholic nuns teaching in a job they hated. Now they choose their own ministries, and they seem to be very happy doing exactly what they want to be doing. I love to spend time in the company of modern nuns - they're some of the most joyful people you'll ever encounter. We had some nuns from a new religious order attend Mass one Sunday, wearing old-style habits. One of them proudly anounced "We are faithful nuns who wear the habit." I wanted to ask about nuns like my boss Sister Judy who has spent a lifetime serving the poor and wearing clothes she can work in and get dirty - are they saying my friend isn't a faithful nun because she was worked as a nun for fifty years and doesn't wear a habit? I held my tongue.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 24 May 09 - 08:19 PM

Joe, you say you only hear blame and no solutions to the problem of Catholic child abuse - here's one, though you may find it harsh:

Don't let them anywhere near children, as the risk factor is clearly unacceptable.

I believe what we are hearing now from Ireland is just the tip of the iceberg, globally speaking, and I wish the victims every success in getting whatever justice they feel is necessary along with enough publicity to encourage those in other countries to speak up and do the same.

I'm glad Catholicism is losing its grip in Ireland, it's screwed up far too many good people for far too long.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 May 09 - 11:03 PM

Smokey,

Don't let whom anywhere near children? Adults?
Believe me, all adults are likely suspects of child abuse - Male, female, married, single, rich, poor, religious, atheist.
The percentages are about the same for all that group, except generally less for females.

How do you predict who's going to be a child molester?
When it's happening, how do you know it's going on?
When Johnny tells on your brother or your father or on charming Uncle Billy, are you going to believe Johnny?
Children often don't report abuse and molestation until years after it's happened. And if they do report, parents often don't understand or don't believe. And families often cover up generations of molestation and abuse.
Do you want to ban families along with churches, and raise your children in a fear-filled vacuum? I don't think the problem is so bad that we need to be constantly fearful - but it IS so bad that we need to be constantly vigilant. We also need to realize that it happens everywhere, not only in churches. And we need to think clearly, not with fear - and develop honest, effective ways to detect and deal with child abuse and molestation.
All we have now are our fears. We really don't have any answers or any safety for our children in any segment of society, not only in churches.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 24 May 09 - 11:25 PM

Don't insult my intelligence Joe, the discussion is about child abuse by Catholics in Catholic institutions. Sadly, I don't have a solution for all child abuse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 May 09 - 11:33 PM

OK, Smokey, but your logic is still lacking. You're saying that child abuse and molestation sometimes happens in churches, so we shouldn't let our children anywhere near churches.

But what about all the other places where child abuse and molestation occur at about the same rate of frequency? Daycare centers? Schools? Homes? The homes of friends and relatives?

Keep your children away from their uncles and fathers. You never know. Uncles and fathers are as dangerous as priests, after all.

So, Smokey, why not try making a logical statement?

It does happen in churches, and with distressing frequency. Perhaps as many as five percent of Catholic priests have molested a child. You will find, however, that children are abused and molested in homes at a much higher rate - because they spend more time at home, of course. But don't get comfortable and think you can protect children from abuse and molestation by keeping them away from clergymen. Most molesters and abusers aren't clergy.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Barry Finn
Date: 24 May 09 - 11:41 PM

Wrong Joe

The Catholic Church has it set up as a refuge for Pedophiles. You couldn't find a high ratio or percentage in prison.
It's not just the celibacy rules/laws that that makes it attractive a big part was the system. Where else is it advertised so blantly "Pedophile please apply"? Part of the job description begs for the attentions of a sexual predator. Work with trusting familys
let us take care of your children 'in secret', give us power over your young, your needy, your misguided. Where else could you depend on your boss, employer, your whole system to hide & shelter you from the law, from the victims & their familes, from exposure? Just like in law enforcement when it shelters it's own rotten apples. Right from the start, those that seek to right the sytem are seen as& treated as upstarts or outcasts. They are told "thank you" & will deal with it but knowingly see that it's white washed & swept away.
No one like someone that rocks the boat or upsets the applecart. This has been the climate for generations & it can be relied on to stay that way. It is the classic form of a system rotten to the core or top. Top heavy with those that choose to allow a culture not only to survive but to flower. If the Vatacin & Pope is not willing to make a drastic overhaul & mount an all out campain then the system is not worth saving which seems to me to be the situation. Because a system does some good it does not mean it's worthwhile keeping.

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 May 09 - 11:46 PM

Give me numbers, Barry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 24 May 09 - 11:46 PM

"You're saying that child abuse and molestation sometimes happens in churches, so we shouldn't let our children anywhere near churches."

No I'm not. I didn't mention churches. Did the enquiry?


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 May 09 - 11:51 PM

OK, Smokey, so what ARE you saying? That we need to keep children away from church-run Irish government schools that closed forty years ago? As I understand it, the last of these schools closed in the 1970's, but most were already closed by 1970.

And Barry, the numbers I've heard are that between two and five percent of Catholic priests have molested or abused children. That's a serious problem, but it's hardly a pedophile factory.

Get real, people. The problem is everywhere - and it won't go away if you put all the blame on churches, priests, and nuns. Even hockey moms can be dangerous.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 24 May 09 - 11:58 PM

I've said what I'm saying Joe, sorry if you didn't understand it.

If two percent of priests are child molesters, I wouldn't risk leaving my child in the company of one. It is an unacceptable level of risk. Do you understand that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 May 09 - 12:00 AM

OK, and what percentage of men are child molesters or abusers? What percentage of fathers and grandfathers and uncles - the number is shockingly large, almost the same as the percentage of priests.

Look at this:
    Apr. 16, 1985
    Frontline
    Experts estimate there are at least four million child sexual abusers in the US, and they do not fit our stereotypes. Almost half of those guilty of incest also molest children outside the family. Many also commit adult rape-and they come from every social background. Should they be treated, punished, or both? Frontline examines a controversial Seattle, Washington, program aimed at treating child sexual abusers.
I found this one estimate quickly, but there's reams of information available. It's a horrible problem, and only a small percentage of it happens in churches and church institutions.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST
Date: 25 May 09 - 12:17 AM

And furthermore

When an organization is so laden with those that are abusers & of those who knowingly are willing to allow the abusers to continue their actions unimpeded then that organization is an accomplice to the criminal acts & is therefore just another orgainized crime family. No better than La Costra Nostra or the Mafia & their acts no less hidious. Again, that calls for the criminal trial of it's head, just as if he were head of a criminal cartel. Where does the buck stop? At the top?

We had a family friendmany decades ago, all he ever wanted to be was a cop. He wlived in Boston & wanted to be on the BPD but would join, he later became the Chief of the Brookline PD. Boston was so crooked at the time, it was like the movie "Serpico" everyone had to go along with the culture & then there was the "Blue Wall" that is the culture of the Catholic Church. I don't think anyone can say it happens not only in the Catholic Church, it happens everywhere. That's just not true, not on this scale. It happens on this scale only when the C. Churh has a finger in it because tha's part of it's subculture & it's excepted, those that don't like it or can't except it (for whatever reasons) get out & go elsewhere.

So what's gonna change? A whitewash will be in order, money will be paid out, some victims will be satisfied & some of the abusers & accessories (like the Bishops that shipped the guilty to safe havens) will be punished. But until the Church calls for an overhaul in a major way, like allowing woman same status as men (a woman Pope would be a great start), drop the celibacy rules/laws actual screening of all it's personnel (like mandatory drug screening & criminal background checks) not much will change & like a rotten tree in time hopefully will decay & be cut down & hauled away as firewood to warm their souls in hell.

Barry(had to finish up on a different computer, mine couldn't handle the blast/from/me


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 25 May 09 - 12:20 AM

I'm not disagreeing with that Joe, but the enquiry, this thread, and I, are not talking about fathers and grandfathers and uncles. We aren't discussing child abuse outside the confines of Catholic institutions, that is just a red herring.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 25 May 09 - 01:26 AM

Sorry JohnInKansas, I did indeed misunderstand. I must have skimmed too quickly. Thanks for explaining.

Joe, your stance comes as little surprise. It was the stance of the catholic church as a whole for generations. I say "was" because some elements of the church have been forced to change attitudes. Not even the Christian Brothers would use your "Give me numbers" retort these days.

You imply that there has been little or no recognition in this thread of the fact that the whole of Irish society was responsible for what went on in Ireland. Your point is not fair. For instance my own posts have been strident on the question of state culpability. But is it fair that the state is funding more than 90 per cent of the total costs?

Joe, you said (pejoratively I think) that society gave priests special status. I think it might have been as fair to say that the church bullied, cajoled and brainwashed vulnerable people into giving priests that special status. It did it by, for instance, saying that Jesus wanted people to confess their most intimate sins to their priests.

You are absolutely right, Joe, that there is always a risk of child abuse in the institutional environment, regardless of what organisation is in charge. Similarly much abuse goes on in families. But in both cases society is making enormous efforts to eradicate such crimes. Much progress has been made, to the extent that Barnardos Homes, among others, felt perfectly confident to slag off the Catholic church in respect of the Ryan Report and its aftermath, knowing that its own houses are in order and available for inspection.

You are wrong to say that the problem is as serious in the Anglican or other denominations. That is not so. In truth the Catholic church is excpetional for its morbid fascination with control and abuse. I can honestly say I have seen nothing like it in Jewish or other Christian denominations. Keep in mind that girls were often systematically abused by nuns, a good proportion of that abuse involving sexual humiliation.

When, Joe, you have finished deflecting heat from your church by pointing to other abusers whom you claim (mistakenly) to be even worse, do you ever pause to wonder whether there is something vaguely hypocrital about people who shout their Christian values from the rooftops; bedeck themselves in kitch costumes, and then achieve perverted gratification by raping the children in their flock when those children are at their most vulnerable and destitute

Here's another reason why the Catholic church leads the way on paedophilic crime: on a BBCTV discussion programme yesterday a priest who is the spokesman for a dioscese in Wales said the abuse was largely caused by "homosexuality." He justified the claim by pointing out that many of the victims were teenage boys. That must have been music in the ears of the Pope and his immediate predecessor.

Now think very carefully Joe: would that priest - would you - consider some of the crimes that fall outside that description to be caused by heterosexuality? Why, why, why, does the Catholic church find it necessary to take such a prurient (and wickedly wrongheaded) interest in people's sexual orientation?


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST
Date: 25 May 09 - 01:47 AM

pecentages


From the John Jay study of the Catholic priesthood in the United States claims that 4.3 percent of priests between "1950 and 2002"
(& that's prior to the full exposure pandemic)

5. No one knows for sure the number of abusers, victims or frequency of sexual abuse of minors in the general population. The John Jay study of the Catholic priesthood in the United States claims that 4.3 percent of priests between 1950 and 2002 were reported to have abused a minor. Reports from various dioceses ranged between 3 and 6 percent priest abusers, however, Boston admitted to 7.6 percent, New Hampshire to 8.2 percent. These self-reports are probably more accurate than that of New York that reported 1.4 percent. In 1983, 11.4 percent of the active diocesan priests in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles were sexual abusers; 4 percent of the religious priests there also abused minors. Over 75 percent of all the parishes in that archdiocese had at least one sexually abusing priest on their staffs during the period 1950-2002.

10% in Brazil

In its report on the Brazilian scandal, the Italian daily Corriere della Sera pointed out that the case clearly shows that sexual abuse by priests is not a uniquely American phenomenon, as some Church organs might lead one to believe. A shocking panorama emerges from statistics of a recent Vatican investigation in Brazil. According to the same Istoé exposure, a recent inquiry found 10 percent of the country's 17,000 priests to be involved in sexual misconduct. In only three years, 200 priests were sent to psychological institutions to be "cured" of pedophilia. The report was not denied by the Vatican representative in Brasilia, who refused comment on the topic.

6% of child is the stastic of children reporting sexual abuse. That's very frightening when you see the reports that the pecentage among Catholic Preists is 6%-16%

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 May 09 - 01:59 AM

Smokey, here's your statement:

    Joe, you say you only hear blame and no solutions to the problem of Catholic child abuse - here's one, though you may find it harsh:
    Don't let them anywhere near children, as the risk factor is clearly unacceptable.


My question, again, is WHO is THEM?

I take it that you mean that we should keep children away from priests, because five percent of priests are molesters. My point is that's about the same percentage of priests who molest, as is in the general population - so priests are no more a danger to children than other men are.
HOWEVER it is a particularly terrible thing when a priest is a molester, because one should be able to expect better from a person who supposedly represents the teachings of Jesus Christ.



The situation in the church-run government schools was a problem that became part of the system, and abuse became the rule rather than the exception. That system was shut down many years ago. It is not a current problem, although the effects of the problem will last long after the last students from those schools are dead.

Problems like this happen in all institutions for children, although thankfully they usually don't become systemic. We need to know why this happens in some institutions and not in others, and we need to know what are the characteristics of the people that commit such crimes in institutions for children, so that that sort of person can be excluded from employment in such institutions.

My contention is that a person is not a child molester because he or she is a priest or nun. However, it appears to me that a certain type of molester may seek out employment in institutions where they have contact with children - I would suspect that these offenders may be quite different from father/uncle/brother offenders.

I was a Cub Scout leader in the 1980's, and at the time there was a huge problem with child molestation in the Scouts in the U.S. I worked with one leader in our district who was removed after he was accused of molesting children. Even before it was required, I made a practice of doing reference checks on potential leaders, and I removed one candidate from consideration after learning he had been accused of molesting a child. The Boy Scouts eventually required fingerprint and background checks on all leaders, and developed a "two-deep" system of leadership to prohibit adult leaders from being alone with children. But certain offenders are drawn to institutions like the Scouts, so keeping the problem in check is a constant struggle.

As an investigator for the U.S. Government, I occasionally came across job applicants who had a history of child abuse or molestation - particularly among applicants for law enforcement positions.

The problem of child molestation in the Catholic Church first became known in the late 1960's and early 1970's. When I was in the seminary in Milwaukee, I had to take the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) and answer questions about black, tarry bowel movements and other personal matters. At the time, this test was considered the "state of the art," and was supposed to be able to detect people who had psychological and sexual problems. We also were interviewed by psychiatrists after the test. A few weeks later, a number of my classmates were gone. Nothing was ever said, but it was assumed that they were removed from the seminary because they did not pass the psychological examination.

At the time, it was thought that modern psychiatry could detect and cure most of these problems. In the 1970's, the U.S. Catholic Church built expensive treatment centers for priests who had psychatric, sexual, and substance abuse problems. The psychiatrists and others who developed these centers promised the bishops that they could cure priests, so that it would be safe for these priests to go back into ministry. The bishops believed them, and poured millions and millions of dollars into these treatment centers. Priests would live in these centers for six months to two years, until the experts declared them cured - and then they would be sent back to ministry. No public notice was given of the problem or treatment - nobody gives public announcement of such treatment when lay people receive it. The reports from the centers told us that they were a huge success, and I think most bishops believed their money was well-spent and that they had solved the problem.

Then it reared its ugly head again at the beginning of the current decade, and we all know what a mess it has been. This time, the Catholic Church responded by punishing priests, not attempting to give them treatment. Now there are systems in place to screen seminarians and priests and church employees and volunteers. There are training programs to teach people and children how to detect child abuse and how to deal with it. All such incidents must now be reported to civil law enforcement authorities, and there are church judicial procedures in place to deal with offenders and remove them from ministry.

The Catholic Church in the U.S. put in a lot of effort and spent a lot of money in the 1970's, and they thought they had solved the problem. The Church responded even more vigorously in the 2000's and spent much greater amounts of money and developed much more extensive methods of prevention. And again they think they have the problem solved.

The problem isn't solved. We still don't even know WHY there is such a huge problem with child abuse and molestation. We see in many posts above that many people here believe that it is confined only to churches and to one particular denomination in particular.

But we've seen only the tip of the iceberg. It's in schools, in law enforcement, in daycare centers, in athletics programs, and in Scouts and other youth activities. But it's in homes even more than it exists in institutions and organizations. The problem isn't solved, and we all need to do honest soul-searching as a society and do what it takes to bring this problem under control. I think the Irish report is a remarkable study of one aspect of the problem, but we have far more to learn. And in Ireland, molestation was only part of the problem - all students were subjected to systematic abuse that seemed to be a matter of policy in many of these institutions.

-Joe Offer-

By the way, Barry's statistics are from http://www.richardsipe.com/Comments/Gays_Priests_Pedophiles.html. I do question this number:
    In 1983, 11.4 percent of the active diocesan priests in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles were sexual abusers; 4 percent of the religious priests there also abused minors
11.4 percent of all priests in Los Angeles is pretty hard to believe, although that was right after the very repressive regime of Cardinal McIntyre, who drove out a lot of good priests and an entire province of IHM nuns.

You'll find the complete John Jay report at http://www.usccb.org/nrb/johnjaystudy/


I should give you another link. It's an article about the Irish abuse report, written by American Dominican priest Thomas Doyle, a canon lawyer and advocate for those abused by priests. Doyle served as a consultant to the Dublin archdiocese's commission on abuse by clergy.
The article was published May 22 by the best-known liberal Catholic periodical in the U.S., the National Catholic Reporter. Fr. Doyle reacts to the Irish situation far more strongly than I have. I think that even the most critical posters here will agree with it. And Fr. Doyle makes a point that I agree with wholeheartedly - it is an absolute scandal that such things happen in a Catholic Church that claims to profess such high ideals of love and justice. It is true that similar things happen in other institutions, but for such things to happen on such a large scale in a church is a horrible, horrible thing. I am outraged and ashamed by these scandals. But on the other hand, I have seen so much good done by so many in the Catholic Church.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: goatfell
Date: 25 May 09 - 04:40 AM

thank you joe


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Mass goer
Date: 25 May 09 - 06:11 AM

It is the younger generation that will vote with their feet. Numbers attending church are already down. The next ten years or so will see churches closing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 25 May 09 - 05:32 PM

"Don't let them anywhere near children, as the risk factor is clearly unacceptable."

My question, again, is WHO is THEM?

What I meant by that Joe, as if you didn't know, is that the Catholic church should not, in my opinion, be allowed to run institutions in which they undertake to 'care for' or 'educate' children. That measure would prevent some further abuse occurring.

I take it that you mean that we should keep children away from priests, because five percent of priests are molesters.

I'm certainly going to keep mine away from priests. It's a start.

My point is that's about the same percentage of priests who molest, as is in the general population - so priests are no more a danger to children than other men are.

Logical fallacy.
Or fatuous tripe - take your pick.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joybell
Date: 25 May 09 - 06:22 PM

Here in Australia, during the 1940s-50s, I grew up with a sense of great relief that we weren't Catholic. It was based on the experiences of friends attending the local Catholic school. Stories told as matter-of-fact, as "normal". A few years back in the course of a discussion about childhood and school my cousin said,
" ...and you know how it is when they beat you with the strap and then rub salt in the cuts."
I didn't know. I was lucky and I said so. She said,
"That wasn't the worst of course, but we won't talk about it. Hard times come again no more."
There were small horrors as well as the big ones. It is important that we know.
Joy


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 May 09 - 07:00 PM

Joe says: My point is that's about the same percentage of priests who molest, as is in the general population - so priests are no more a danger to children than other men are.

Smokey says: Logical fallacy.
Or fatuous tripe - take your pick.


Well, maybe we should call it math. Many sources have sad that the percentage of priests who molest, is about the same as the percentage of men in the general population who molest.

    Therefore, if 4.3 percent of American priests molest
       and
    4.3 percent of American molest
       then
    American men are just as likely to molest as American priests
       so
    If you worry about your kids around priests, then you should worry about them in the company of ALL men.



That being said, it IS a travesty that such a thing should happen within a church. Catholics worldwide, both laity and clergy, are outraged by this scandal. It is the Catholic bishops who have covered up this scandal - not all of them, but a good number. American business executives cover things up, too - but Catholics should be able to expect more from their bishops.

Unfortunately, there is no agreement among Catholic with regards to what caused the problem. Catholic conservatives tend to blame homosexuality, and claim that the relaxed discipline that followed Vatican II allowed homosexuals into seminaries. Catholic liberals (like myself) blame the repression and severity that has always been present in the Church, creating a culture of silence and blind obedience - not to mention turning away normal heterosexuals like myself who left the ministry because they wanted to marry and raise a family. But the conservatives use the term "homosexual conspiracy" as a favorite buzzword these days, and they think this whole molesting and abuse schedule is a "homosexual conspiracy."

Joybell, I'm sure the stories you heard are correct, but they are not part of my experience of 16 years of Catholic education - including 8 years of living at school. In addition, I worked my way through college at a home for emotionally disturbed boys that was run by Franciscan nuns, and I can tell you that those boys received remarkably good care. There were far too many incidents of abuse and molestation, and that is absolutely deplorable; but there were also many Catholic institutions that were absolutely wonderful, like the ones I attended.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 25 May 09 - 07:23 PM

if 4.3 percent of American priests molest
and
4.3 percent of American [men] molest
then
American men are just as likely to molest as American priests
so
If you worry about your kids around priests, then you should worry about them in the company of ALL men.


All American men, according to your logic :-)

Even so, it's flawed logic..
For one thing, priests are known to manipulate themselves into positions where it is possible for them to abuse children. That alone raises the risk factor significantly above the 'norm'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Peter T.
Date: 25 May 09 - 07:33 PM

Going back a bit, I think that the Anglican numbers are substantially less (in the Anglican churches I know about) in general ministry, but the terrible things that went on in residential schools in Canada were widespread in all denominations.

I have been shocked in my own research -- out of necessity -- (and Joe's numbers bear this out), at how widspread sexual abuse in among the general population. I think this is a kind of blindness -- we have not talked about the supposed "sanctity of the family" here.
The people I know who were abused are so messed up. It is the longlasting insidiousness of it that I find so horrific.

I also agree with Joe (as I sometimes do) that there is something about a priest that is specially troubling. But then, when I reflect, is that any more troubling than the betrayal of child by one of their own parents?

The tradition to which I belong (the Buddhist tradition) has not even touched this topic.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Maryrrf
Date: 25 May 09 - 07:34 PM

I read through some of the report and found it very, very disturbing. The sexual abuse was only a part of it - the utter harshness and bleakness of these childrens' existence is heartbreaking and I don't understand how anyone, most especially people who professed to be dedicating themselves to God, could have tolerated or participated in such outrages.

I have a theory about why child abuse became a problem in the Catholic church. I wonder if people who had socially unacceptable feelings (homosexuality, pedophilia, etc.) about their sexuality might have joined a celibate order thinking that it might solve their problem. They may have felt that if they could indeed lead a celibate lifestyle, the feelings and urges they experienced might go away. Even now, it's probably hard to go find help if you are having sexual feelings towards children - years ago there would have been no place to turn. Homosexuality was taboo. If you opened up about it to anyone you might have been afraid of being labled a degenerate or worse. So perhaps some thought the solution - the 'cure' would be total abstinence. Of course complete repression of such feelings rarely works and when the feelings do come to the surface things may be really twisted. Whatever the case, it's a real tragedy for all concerned.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 May 09 - 09:36 PM

I missed an important post from Fionn above. Let me quote a bit:
    When, Joe, you have finished deflecting heat from your church by pointing to other abusers whom you claim (mistakenly) to be even worse [I don't - I claim they're just as bad, and more-or-less equal in percentages], do you ever pause to wonder whether there is something vaguely hypocrital about people who shout their Christian values from the rooftops; bedeck themselves in kitch costumes, and then achieve perverted gratification by raping the children in their flock when those children are at their most vulnerable and destitute
    Here's another reason why the Catholic church leads the way on paedophilic crime: on a BBCTV discussion programme yesterday a priest who is the spokesman for a dioscese in Wales said the abuse was largely caused by "homosexuality." He justified the claim by pointing out that many of the victims were teenage boys. That must have been music in the ears of the Pope and his immediate predecessor.
    Now think very carefully Joe: would that priest - would you - consider some of the crimes that fall outside that description to be caused by heterosexuality? Why, why, why, does the Catholic church find it necessary to take such a prurient (and wickedly wrongheaded) interest in people's sexual orientation?



Let me repeat a part again:
    wonder whether there is something vaguely hypocrital about people who shout their Christian values from the rooftops; bedeck themselves in kitch costumes, and then achieve perverted gratification by raping the children in their flock when those children are at their most vulnerable and destitute
Yes, I do wonder. The ones who are most "pious" and self-righteous, the ones who condemn the rest of us for being "dissenters," have always seemed to me to be the ones most likely to be the molesters and abusers.
The trouble is, people like Fionn who are outside the Catholic Church lump us all together, and assume that I support all that shit. I have always called myself part of the "loyal opposition," and I have been excluded by many ultra-Catholics who condemn my dissent (interestingly, I'm generally accepted and respected by priests and nuns - many of whom are also called "dissenters.")

People who "shout their Christian values from the rooftops" make me want to vomit. If they can't get dirty by working side-by-side with the poor, they don't fit my description of "Christian." I do my best to spend my time with Catholics who do the dirty work. I spend a few hours a week cleaning up unbelievably disgusting stuff because I think my cleaning contributes to the community.

Here's another quote from Peter:
    Now think very carefully Joe: would that priest - would you - consider some of the crimes that fall outside that description to be caused by heterosexuality?
I'm not sure I understand this statement as it stands. I think (hope) that Peter (Fionn) mistyped and meant to say "caused by homosexuality." If that's the case, I agree with him completely - note my remarks above about the "homosexual conspiracy" and how I think that buzzword is unmitigated horseshit. I think that sex crimes are the result of sexual perversion not orientation. But Peter seems to think that one's religious denomination has something to do with sexual perversion, and I think that's malarkey. It's a perversion of religious faith to commit child abuse and molestation.

I'd like to be able to say that this whole mess was caused by rigid, sever ultraconservative Catholics, but I can't. I think the biggest diappointment for me was Covenant House, founded in New York in 1972 by Father Bruce Ritter. Wikipedia describes Covenant House as "the largest privately-funded childcare agency in the United States providing shelter and service to homeless and runaway youth." In 1990, it was discovered that Ritter had been abusing children for years, and he was forced to resign. Covenant House was taken over by a nun, and it has recovered and prospered. But Bruce Ritter was a very inspiring man. I heard him speak and was really moved by what he had to say - and I felt betrayed when it came out he was just another child molester.

I've told the story before about how I felt that there was a "sexually charged atmosphere" when I was a second-year college student in the seminary, and it just didn't feel right to me. And the sexual charge was homosexual in nature. I don't have anything against homosexuality - but if priests and candidates for the priesthood are supposed to be celibate, then both heterosexual and homosexual priests should be celibate. The next year, we had psychological testing and interviews by psychiatrists, resulting in the dismissal of a number of my classmates; and that sexual charge dissipated (still, two of my classmates who became priests, were later charged with sex offenses - one I would have expected, one not).

But here's the thing: I've never bought into that sexual hypocrisy, and I've fought against it all my life - and so have many of the Catholics I've worked with and associated with all these years. We refuse to give the Catholic Church up to the hypocrites, although at times it has felt that we have been fighting a losing battle. Still, we keep up the fight, and spend a lot of time and money doing exactly what Christians are supposed to be doing - serving those in need. Last year, I worked one day a week and donated $2,500 to programs for the needy [and I didn't contribute a penny to the Catholic Church because my pastor screwed me over and won't let me teach theology because some people think I'm too liberal - but that's another story]. Nonetheless, I'm not one of those hypocrites. If I see a priest or a nun or anybody doing something inappropriate, I speak up and tell the person to his face that he's wrong - and my mother was infamous for telling priests off, so I guess I come by it through heredity.

So, yeah, I deplore all that shit, and I've done a lot more than rant about it on internet forums. But on the other hand, my Catholic faith means a lot to me, and I've had many profoundly wonderful experiences through that faith - and it pisses me off when people from the outside lump all the bad and good together and call us all perverts or claim we're covering up the offenses if we say that not all Catholics are horroble. There's good and bad in the Catholic Church, and I deplore the bad part and work hard to keep those bastards from taking my church away from me.

And for that matter, why is it that I had to lose my dream job as a parish worker, partly because my church has financial problems paying for the offenses of a generation ago [and the other part because I was unacceptably liberal]? Why is it that I have to pay for the offenses of the hypocritical bastards, and then people here tell me that my only choice is to abandon my Catholic Church and turn it over to the bastards?

But there's good and bad in every individual and every institution, and I think it's important that we judge each act and each individual separately, not broadly demonizing all members of any category.

If I understand English correctly, "broadly demonizing all members of any category" might be an apt definition of "bigotry." I've seen enough of it around here to make me want to vomit. What's worse, I see it here from people I know and like and admire. And that's a real disillusion.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 25 May 09 - 09:58 PM

It's a crying shame more of them don't think as you do Joe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 May 09 - 10:06 PM

Oh, Smokey, there are lots of us - but a very small percentage of rotten apples can ruin the whole basket. For the most part, Catholics are a pretty good lot - but I see no reason why we should abandon our Catholic Church and leave it to the hypocrites and pedophiles. I intend to fight to my dying day to hang onto MY church and keep the bastards in check. and lots of good priests and nuns and lay people are fighting by my side (not too many bishops, though).

-Joe- (100)


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 25 May 09 - 10:21 PM

Rotten apples - that's my point about priests and risk factor. If 1 in 24 priests is an abuser, how am I supposed to be confident that the one looking after my child is one of the 23 decent ones? Bad odds, if you ask me.. The question is, how does one eliminate rotten apples?


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 May 09 - 10:51 PM

How to eliminate the rotten apples is what we don't know, Smokey - because it's so hard to predict which ones are going to be the rotten apples. One thing we can do is follow the example of the Boy Scouts and eliminate situations where adults are alone with children. We do that in my parish. I have my differences with my pastor, but he does many things very well. He hears kids' confessions out in the open, in a pew in the corner of the church. In the parish school my kids attended, they hired an adult teacher's aid for every classroom.

But I don't know if you can eliminate child abusers, because they are very clever and finding ways to get access to children. I've interviewed a number of child molesters and abusers in the course of my employment as a government investigator. If I hadn't known their history, there was no way I would have suspected that anything was wrong with them. They're uniformly glib and charming and convincing - that's how they get kids to go along with them.

The trouble is, the bad ones get the press coverage. Somebody ought to write a book about my boss Sister Judy, who spent 14 years hanging out with homeless people at the reception center of a soup kitchen. She took a two-year vacation in the middle of it to work with refugees in Rwanda. She came back with parasites, "But they weren't too bad," she says. Now she's executive director of the women's center where I work, providing breakfast and hospitality and a social center for women who want to get aways from poverty for an hour or a morning. Judy has been a nun for 50 years, and she's a joy to work with.

I don't know Sister Libby very well, but she's in her mid-40's and a real dynamo. She's now the director of the soup kitchen where Judy worked. The soup kitchen got on the Oprah Winfrey Show a few months ago, and Libby is using that publicity to leverage her way into permanent housing for the homeless in Sacramento. Both Judy and Libby have been arrested at demonstrations on occasion.

These are two of the most amazing women I know, but I've known hundreds of Catholic activists that are just as remarkable. They don't deserve to be lumped together with the child molesters.


-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 26 May 09 - 12:10 AM

Of course they don't deserve that Joe, but I don't really see anyone doing that here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: nutty
Date: 26 May 09 - 05:34 PM

The only reason I can find for such abuse - sexual and otherwise - is in the churches belief ( seemingly) that children were inately evil.

Even in the Church of England there was a belief that children were born in sin so the mother needed to be 'churched' and the child 'christened/baptised' as part of the 'cleansing' process.

When such a belief is held then harsh treatment can be easily justified by the person administering punishment.

I taught mentally disturbed youngsters for many years. One poor child was exorcised by the local Catholic priest, an act which profoundly affected him and actually made him worse than before.

I know his parents thought they were doing the right thing but to me this was an act of abuse born of ignorance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Penny S.
Date: 27 May 09 - 01:21 PM

I've had a few thoughts since this reared its head again.

It's become obvious that sexual abusers find their ways to places where children are accessible, no matter what their religion or lack of it. Some men who can take a superior role in a religion, any religion, or denomination, or sect, seem to find it "necessary" to take sexual advantage of anyone available, adult or child. That isn't the whole of what's been happening in this case.

That anyone who has read that it is better to have a millstone round their neck than harm a child feels it appropriate to make a child lick faeces from a shoe beggars belief. That isn't sexual, is it? Sexual is almost understandable by comparison with the cruelty of rubbing salt into the wounds of "punishment".

And it isn't just Ireland. I remember the film of Bernadette Soubirous being treated appallingly in her convent. Wasn't it portrayed as part of what led to her being canonised that she could bear this without protest? (You can't blame the British government for that. Oops, cheap one.)

I've seen the seeds of this desire to humiliate in other places, and in the case of someone who approached a friend inappropriately, a reluctance in the case of someone else in the Cof E to believe it. I am reluctant to look as if I am anti-Catholic. The lovely Irish priest brothers of a neighbour were brilliant at visiting my mother in hospital, when she had stated she did not want any chaplain, because of the behaviour of our Congregationalist minister.

But the spending of money on the defence of the indefensible, the attempt to silence the victims is appalling.

It isn't just the money going to victims that is limiting Joe's ministry, it's the money opposing them.

The other thought is to wonder when it began. If it had been prevalent in the past, would so many people have been drawn to the church - any church? Would so many people have entered the religious life? Wouldn't they run away rather than enter convents where they knew abuse was rife?

I read something about the Magdalene Laundries about the time the film came out. It seems that the old nuns, in need of care, found themselves in the old peoples' homes that succeeded the Laundries, alongside some of their former victims.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: mg
Date: 27 May 09 - 05:19 PM

It is very complex. I am only Catholic on my father's side...my mother was Baptist,...converted but I don't think you can renounce Baptistism all that well...what she did was take the worst of the Catholic side, combine with worst of Baptist side...so I can not speak with an unconfused mind.

But I will say that this is a complex matter, that involves how Catholic children were reared..it is not just a matter of child abusers being drawn to the religious side..it is that they were created by a church obsessed with suppressing normal sexual activity and creating an atmosphere, even in my day, where any male/female activity was so awful, and so punishable in hell, that nothing else was particularly worse or even mentioned. For a priest, a woman was probably so unthinkable that a child was not worse..it was all maximally bad...so unhealthy stuff was the residual from blocking out any hope of normal stuff. I actually don't remember anyone trying to teach me that homosexual stuff was really awful..because it was all bad. Even happily married couples were only supposed to "do it" when they actively wanted to get pregnant..after the 12th child that sort of seems unrealistic..too much pleasure was a problem...

It was sick then and still probably sick today but people are just sort of ignoring a lot of it and going their healthier hopefully ways. But who knows what we will find out on judgement day...the Magdelen nuns were right after all? That would have been what I was lead to believe. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 28 May 09 - 04:18 AM

Interesting thoughts, Penny. There is a capacity to exploit power and to abuse the vulnerable that seems to be endemic in humankind. Certainly it goes beyond the Catholic church and beyond all churches. Also it's not always driven by sexual perversions, though sexual abuse is often one of the main manifestations.

But nutty's point is relevant too, as a reminder that belief systems, as though by design, create perfect environments in which a powerful few can exploit the many who are weak and vulnerable. It's not just Catholic religious who achieve gratification through such systems, but witchdoctors etc too. But I think it's fair to say that the Catholic church has behaved with breathtaking arrogance and no little mendacity over many years, on the question of child abuse. And that has continued to the present day.

It seems a bit unfair to keep hammering Joe, who seems to be on his own in this thread. There are many in the church who thinks as Joe does, including some at Mudcat who have kept a low profile this time. But the fact is that Joe is attempting to defend a rotten institution. And singing the praises of Sister Libby, however saintly she may be, is simply a diversion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: goatfell
Date: 28 May 09 - 11:02 AM

what about other religons?


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,CrazyEddie
Date: 28 May 09 - 11:33 AM

Abusers exist, and will find ways to be with vulnerable people.
What sticks in my craw about this situation, is that people in positions of responsibility (Heads of institutions, Heads of Orders, Bishops, Monseignieurs, Canons, & Parish Priests) KNEW what these people were doing.
And rather than take ANY action to stop them, they moved them from place to place when they were discovered, allowing them to offend again & again.
They should have called the cops & used their influence to get a prosecution.
Failing that, they could have used their own organisations to ensure that these abusers were kept away from kids, and given psychological treatment (if they felt it might work).

Those people need to examine their conciences, & stand up in public & admit what they did.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 28 May 09 - 12:52 PM

It seems that to many in the Catholic Church, the reputation and continued survival of the organisation as a lucrative and powerful business is a much more important priority than the welfare of ordinary people, despite the good and positive things that some of its members may do on its behalf.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: PoppaGator
Date: 28 May 09 - 02:37 PM

I sympathize with what Joe is trying to say, but it would be hypocritical of me to express complete agreement/approval. I am, after all, an ex-Catholic who many years ago quite deliberately rejected and left the church.

I had no experience with actual abuse, but I certainly had a very strong sense that one of the most basic principles of the institution was a wrongheaded and sick attitude about human sexuality. mg quite eloquently expressed feelings like mine just a few posts above (27 May 09 - 05:19 PM); I don't feel the need to add anything more.

Yeah, sure, apologists for the Church will object and say that this (reasonable and idealistic) teaching or that is "really" what the church is all about ~ but the unspoken premise at the very bottom of how the institution clings to its membership is that you need to fear eternal punishment for your very nature, and only The Church can save you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 28 May 09 - 04:19 PM

They set up cognitive dissonance and then offer their product as the 'cure'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 May 09 - 06:41 PM

    Yeah, sure, apologists for the Church will object and say that this (reasonable and idealistic) teaching or that is "really" what the church is all about ~ but the unspoken premise at the very bottom of how the institution clings to its membership is that you need to fear eternal punishment for your very nature, and only The Church can save you.
I suppose part of the issue is that outsiders have a monolithic view of the Catholic Church. Wikipedia says Church membership in 2007 was 1.147 billion people, increasing from the 1950 figure of 437 million and the 1970 figure of 654 million. With a membership that large and spread all over the world, there is no way that the Catholic Church can function in lockstep. Most churchgoing Catholics can go for weeks without hearing anything about what happens in Rome, or even the activities of their own bishop. Most Catholic activities happen in parishes, and each parish is largely autonomous. Some are ruled by tyrannical pastors, and some are very democratic in their operation.

My parents were very fussy about where they went to church. They were very active in the parishes we belonged to, but if they didn't like what was going on in the parish, they went somewhere else -
and my mother made sure the pastor knew why we were leaving. In the 21 years my family was in Wisconsin, they rotated among four Catholic churches, depending on how things were going. My mother taught in Catholic schools, so she knew where things were good, and where they weren't. My mom's dead now - I'd like to know if she knew of any child molestation going on in any of the Catholic schools in our area. As far as I know, there was none, and the nationwide database of priest-abusers doesn't note any significant problems in my home town of Racine, Wisconsin. Anyhow, because my parents were fussy, I had a very good experience in the Catholic Church when I was growing up.

I was in the seminary in Milwaukee from 9th grade through college, 1961-70, and it was a wonderful experience. We had a few priest-professors who were lousy or grouchy and perhaps even cruel, but the majority of the faculty were wonderful people who provided a rich, warm environment for us. At the time, there were 19 Catholic seminaries in the State of Wisconsin. At the time, I knew that some of them had an environment that was much more harsh and rigid than what I enjoyed, but I didn't know of any being horrible. They were all on our basketball circuit, so I'd see them at games and they all seemed reasonably content (and their teams were all better than ours). I know now that at least two or three of those seminaries had significant sex abuse problems that poisoned the atmosphere of the entire institution. I think there's a "tipping point" in any institution. A certain amount of good can tip the institution so the entire institution is good; and a certain amount of bad can poison the entire institution and turn it into a hellhole. I have never had direct experience of a "hellhole" institution in the Catholic Church, because I knew I didn't have to put up with that if I didn't want to. There have been significant problems in a number of Catholic institutions I have worked with in my lifetime, but not problems that seemed insurmountable. I felt I was able to do a lot to remedy many of those problems, and I usually felt I was respected and listened to.

But yes, I've always known of the "dark side" of the Catholic Church - and I stayed away from it and worked to make sure it didn't spread. There are families in my own parish that have dominant husbands and always-pregnant, unhappy wives with miserable children - and many of these families act as though they are the only "true Catholics" in the parish [these people have written letters to report on me for doctrinal matters more than once, and one incident resulted in a hearing with personnel from the bishop's office - I was exonerated, but laid off shortly afterwards "for financial reasons"]. There are Catholics who think that obedience to authority and fighting the evil of abortion are the two main pillars of the Catholic Church - following the teachings of Jesus Christ is beyond their conception, because they have the Church to tell them what God wants us to do. These people seek out dominating, tyrannical priests - and their children suffer because of it. I know people who have had a very good experience of the Catholic Church in Ireland, but it does seem like the "dark side" reached the tipping point in many parts of Ireland and made for a very bad environment. I'm not sure I could stand being Catholic in Ireland, although I'd probably be able to find a progressive haven somewhere. My sister lived in Boston, and she had been a very active Catholic. She left the Catholic Church during the days of Cardinal Law, when the "dark side" prevailed and seemed to control all of Catholicism in much of New England. I don't know if the Boston Archdiocese will ever heal from the damages done by Cardinal Law and his child-molesting priests.

Unfortunately, Catholic bishops are like CEO's everywhere. It isn't very often that you find a CEO of any good-sized organization that people can admire. It should be different in a church, but somehow it isn't. Of the 300 bishops in the US, there are 30 I admire, 60 I detest, and the rest unknown or somewhere in the middle. I'm on the board of directors of a Catholic retreat house. At our last meeting, somebody suggested that we should have an employee of the bishop's office on our board, and a nun pointed out that we needed to be very careful about that - the implication being that we can't quite trust the bishop's office in our diocese because we got burned by the last bishop (repressive, not criminal) and aren't sure yet whether we can trust the new one. Many priests in our diocese simply ignore directives from the bishop's office when the directives are unrealistic, and they get away with it because parishes are so autonomous most of the time.

The Catholic media are another interesting phenomenon. The only significant Catholic TV resource is EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network), founded by a looney nun in Alabama. Most of its content expresses that rigid, pietistic style of Catholicism that is very different from the thoughtful, questioning approach I was taught in the seminary. There is an Immaculate Heart Radio Network in the western U.S. with the same mindset - I don't know what's in the East and Midwest. There are a few conservative Catholic periodicals, but most seem to be middle-of-the road - far more acceptable to me than the TV and radio resources. There are three outstanding Catholic weekly publications in the U.S., that I think would win the approval of most people posting in this thread. America, the Jesuit weekly magazine, is always thought-provoking. The National Catholic Reporter is a little more doctrinaire in its liberal stance, and a little less thoughtful - but it's nonetheless a very interesting publication, and I've read it and America quite regularly for almost fifty years. I don't have time to read all the publications I subscribe to, so I finally dropped my subscription to Commonweal, which is now published every two weeks. You'll find a very interesting article in the current issue of Commonweal titled Meeting a Monster: Visiting a Priest Behind Bars. Anyhow, if you look at these three magazines, you'll see that there is a significant voice within the Catholic Church that is very critical of a wide spectrum of problems. I like to think that I'm part of that "significant critical voice."

Oh, and to continue on media, the Catholic presence on the Internet is pretty bad. Catholic.com and Catholic.org are back in that Middle Ages mindset, but americancatholic.org, the Fanciscan Website, has a lot of good materials used by religious education teachers. And for that mater, the vast majority of published material used in Catholic religious education is very solid, and includes very good sex education materials. Many of you would be surprised at how these Catholic religious education materials don't fit the stereotype many of you have described above.

So, here's the situation: Most educated Catholics, at least in the United States and Europe, are well aware of the problems in the Catholic Church - and they are appalled and outraged by these problems and have been demanding loudly that these problems be fixes. Priests and nuns, probably the majority of priest and nuns, are in the forefront of these protests. They are working hard to wrest control of the Catholic Church away from the "dark side."
It's my opinion that the "dark side" of the Catholic Church is not as powerful as outsiders might think. I say that from a lifetime of good experiences in the Catholic Church, including occasional periods of employment and almost constant participation as a volunteer religion teacher and activity leader and social welfare program worker.

I think most educated Catholics want the problems fixed and the victims compensated and given treated, and the wrongdoers punished. I have heard absolutely no support or defense for priests or others who abuse or molest children - none at all. With regards to the handling of abuse and molestation by diocesan offices, I don't know how much is known. The "outside world" became aware of sexual abuse by priests in 1999-2000, but this was big news in the Catholic press in the 1970's, and bishops spent millions of dollars for treatment of victims and of priest abusers, and for compensation of victims. In my diocese, almost all of the victims who received million-dollar settlements in about 2005, had already received psychiatric treatment and settlements of $25,000 or $40,000 in the 1970's and 1980's. There were ten to twelve priests reported for cases of abuse in my 100-parish diocese. None of the priests who were found to have abused children, are functioning as priests today. Most were removed within a short time after their first offense was reported. The actions of these priests was deplorable and some of the situations were not handled as well or as quickly as they should have been handled, but it's not true that nothing was done.

On the other hand, I think most active Catholics enjoy being Catholic, and find that it adds something good to their lives. I've found that only a small minority of priests and nuns are bad, but they can give an undeserved bad name to a lot of wonderful people who have spent their lifetimes serving the people of the world as priests and nuns. I'm not alone in living a lifetime in the Catholic Church and finding it mostly good. We want the victims compensated, but we've become reluctant to contribute to ongoing activities of our church because it seems that every penny we contribute, goes to million-dollar settlements for compensation for crimes we had nothing to do with. People from the outside tell us that if we continue our membership, we are only contributing to the problem - but our experience in the Catholic Church has been good.

So, what do we do? Turn our Catholic Church over to those that want to make it a mindless fortress of fear and prejudice and abuse? A large number of Catholic priest, nuns, and lay people are well aware of the problems in the Church and have been fighting these problems for years. We don't defend or ignore these abuses at all - but we want these abuses corrected without completely abolishing or crippling our Church.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: mg
Date: 28 May 09 - 09:01 PM

There are some fundamental problems..and the main one is an acceptance of cruelty because it is God's will. This is reflected in a harsh, criminal to my mind, stance on birth control...we are taught, and it is probably still the rule if not enforced, that we are to reproduce literally, literally, until we die in the process, leaving behind a dozen orphans. A man was to work himself to death, literally, literally, on high scaffolds, to support more children than anyone would deam reasonable. Children were left to starve, literally. Remarriage after divorce was refused, causing certainly financial and emotional problems. You could not come up with a scenario in my education in Catholic schools where birth control was OK or divorce/remarriage was OK..no disease, no financial cataspophe...nothing. Totally dogmatic, totally unbending, totally unapologetic. If I had to tell a middle-aged broken, impoverished women she had to bear more children that her body could stand, that her husband would work or drink himself to death in despair, I would at least say, gee, I am really sorry about this but that is the rule here and we can't break it. No apology ever offered I can recall. And some people take delight in passing on these rules, and of course many don't. And this whole birth control ban was only based on one line of the bible..be fruitful and multiply. That was the entire theological underpinnings. No reference ever to the scriptures on stewardship etc.

But given all that, the church produced some wonderful people..including the sometimes awful Irish Catholic church..some people whose likes we will never see again..people who obeyed the rules without having the slightest understanding of why they were so cruel, but did it anyway, with hope of some compensation in the hereafter. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 May 09 - 11:06 PM

In somes ways, mg, the rules were rigid and cruel - but most priests (especially Irish-American priests) have always found ways to bend the rules to make them fit real human life. Legalists from both the right and the left can't deal with "bending rules," and either blame the rule or the people who don't adhere exactly to the rule. I think that common sense should overrule the rules, at least sometimes.

In the areas of birth control and divorce/remarriage most American Catholic priests have been able to reconcile the rules with reality. These issues have ceased to be a problem for most modern American Catholics.

I suppose that's something about religion that people can't accept. It's part of the nature of religion to have both rules and principles. The rules are supposed to be applications of the principles, not the other way around. When the application of a rule violates the principle, the principle should supercede the rule. The trouble is, legalists (on both the left and the right) can't accept this. Religious groups are always rife with legalists - Jesus spent much of his life being exasperated with the Pharisees - but legalists are seldom able to grasp the basic principles that are at the root of all religious beliefs.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: nutty
Date: 29 May 09 - 02:01 AM

"but legalists are seldom able to grasp the basic principles that are at the root of all religious beliefs"

but this is (and has been ) the case, whenever violation of a 'principle' means a loss of power.

Is the power that is gained by administering the principle more important than the principle itself?

Such power produces zealots who will fight tooth and nail to hold on to their 'God given right'.

The thing that has always puzzled me about religion is ..........

If God is a God of love
If God is all powerful
If God makes the rules for man to follow

How does he/she allow such things to happen?


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 May 09 - 02:17 AM

Your answer, Nutty, is that God doesn't write the script. God doesn't allow or create evil - it just happens, usually because somebody decides to do it. Otherwise, we'd all be mere marionettes.

As for the bit about "administering rules" and such, I think it's important for people to look at religious organizations in a new way:
    The "administration" exists to serve the members, not to direct them.
Now, I realize that it's very difficult for administrative people to act like they're serving the people they're supposed to be serving, but that anomaly exists in all facets of life. It's up to us not to allow ourselves to be directed by those who are supposed to be serving us. I've always thought that it's my church, just as much as it is the Pope's. If the Pope doesn't like it, that doesn't particularly bother me.

Many people in the Catholic Church have finally begun to realize that their membership is voluntary, and their cooperation with management is also voluntary, and their financial contributions are voluntary. The thread of hellfire means very little to modern Catholics. That realization can make all the difference in the world. Oh, and for a long, long time, it has said in the books that the Pope and bishops are supposed to discern the sensus fidelium, the commonly-held beliefs of the faithful - religious teaching is not supposed to be dictated from the top down.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: nutty
Date: 29 May 09 - 05:05 AM

I would love to believe you Joe but that saying about leopards and spots keeps coming to mind.

Maybe you and people like you are the crusaders but I feel there is a long war to be fought before you can claim victory.

Thank-you for your comments and your time. This thread has been extremely interesting.

I'm now going to spend the weekend singing for charity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 29 May 09 - 09:10 AM

Joe, you are skirting round some important fundamentals. Not least mg's point. What kind of a God are you worshipping that allows, say, the Holocaust? That allows innocent, vulnerable, sometimes orphaned, sometimes impoverished, children to be mercilessly tormented by his representatives on earth? (Or are your priests NOT his representatives?)

Why did he invest in us the capacity to do these things? Why did he (allegedly) give us free will? Is he still fighting a (losing) battle with Satan? If so, what of the claim that he's all-powerful? Surely if he was, he would have locked up or otherwise neutered Satan. That way he would not have needed to create a son to sacrifice. Though how putting a freshly created son among the many thousands who were crucified saves the whole world is something I never fully understood. But then I never understood why he would get a buzz out of sacrifices anyway. (If he does, I can see I'm going to be in trouble, because it's an area of my worship that I've rather let slide.)

Am I going to go to Hell? It's a serious question. I'm interested.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 May 09 - 12:50 PM

Peter, the image of a God who controls things and writes the script of our lives, is not the only possible image of God. It's not even the only Christian image of God. The God of the mystics* is a God who is the essence of all things, not the controller of all things. The First Letter of John says, "God is love, and he abides in love, abides in God, and God in him." I think that makes a lot of sense to me - this idea of abiding in love, the essence and source of all. To the extent that we abide in God, it becomes impossible for us to sin. And in that abiding, we approach oneness with God and with all that is good - and with each other.

I think that people get to a point of maturity in faith where they realize that if God doesn't control us, why should a church control us? That's a lot foggier and harder to grasp that the limited grasp that children get in catechism class, but I think it has solid scriptural and doctrinal basis. I think that most people don't get to that point of maturity of faith, that they still hold onto their childhood image of a Parent God who controls their lives somehow. I think there are many bishops who haven't gotten beyond that point, either - it's very hard for CEO's to think in mystical terms.

The trouble is, those with primitive faith don't understand those who have crossed the line into maturity of faith - and a natural inclination is for the primitive believers to hate the mystics. Isn't that what happened to Jesus? He was put to death by "believers" who could not understand that he was the incarnation of love, of the essence of all things. And the infinite power of that love conquered all, through abandonment of self and suffering and death and rebirth.

When we look on God as a source of power and control, it's easy to fall into perversions of religion like what happened in the schools in Ireland. When we look on a God of love who is our essence, it becomes almost impossible to do those horrible things in the name of faith. That's where I'd draw the line, between the primitive faith of childhood, and the mature faith which approaches mysticism. I don't condemn that primitive faith because it's a necessary first step, but mature faith is radically different. And when people reach maturity of faith, all those things like denominational distinctions and power and authority and doctrine become quite unimportant. Those things are necessary to the structure and function of a denomination, but they are not the essence of faith.

I've heard theologians speculate that it isn't God who punishes sin, and I've always felt that's true. They say that hell is the natural consequence of sin, or removing oneself from that unity with God and all that is good - that we make our own hell, if that's what we deserve.

Are you going to hell, Peter? Not a chance. You're a good man, and I think you've spent your life seeking unity with whatever or Whoever is at our essence.

-Joe-


*and mystics come from all denominations, and from those who have no "religious" faith at all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: PoppaGator
Date: 29 May 09 - 02:25 PM

Many of the problems under discussion here, notably authoritariansim, abuse of power, and sexual repression, are hardly unique to the Roman Catholic Church. Much of this stuff is part of our history and our overall culture, and even the aspects that exist only within the structure of the churches date far back into history, when there was no such thing as Catholicism as opposed to any other denomination, back when Western Christianity was "united" or "monolithic" (your choice of adjectives).

Also, Joe is quite correct in pointing out that the Church includes many exemplary members intent upon doing the right thing at all times.

What it all boils down to, for me, is that the preoccupation with celibacy as prerequisite to spirituality is so wrongheaded and sick that it has led to terrible hypocrisy, abuse, and corruption. For those who are so comfortable within the church that they can recognize the problems and still devote themselves to "working within the system" for reform ~ well, more power to 'em. None for me, thanks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: mg
Date: 29 May 09 - 03:04 PM

One problem is that parents turned their children over to the celibates, some of whom had ..many of whom...had probably mental health problems, as defined by today's standards. They were on witch-hunts in their young charges...and something endemic in Christian Brothers especially from all that I have heard. You had no instruction from happily married couples, because, after all, they were people who had refused the "gift" of celibacy and were led to believe that their way was deficient and the more morally pure should instruct the young. Morally pure could include child abusers. Hard to explain unless you are Catholic, I know.

That being said, I do not believe in not controlling behavior and dress of young people especially...they are too blatant. There seems to be no modesty almost mainstream these days. That can only lead to societal problems. So I can't say everything was all bad. I certainly won't say it was all good. I think there does need to be modesty, responsibility, etc. etc...certainly private behaviors should be kept private....so I am certainly a prude and think there need to be standards, and in fact laws on how people dress and speak and cavort in public...and certainly in schools and on public transportation...mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 May 09 - 05:42 PM

Since Vatican II ended in 1965, the Catholic Church has made an effort to make clear that celibacy is NOT superior to married life. Not everybody got that message, but that's the policy.

Please note that the "Irish Christian Brothers" that are under fire in Ireland, are not the same Christian Brothers (Brothers of the Christian Schools) who run schools in the United States and used to subsidize the schools by making brandy. They sold the winery, but the profits still subsidize the schools.

Click here for an article called "Will the Catholic Church Renounce Its Violent Past?" by Patrick Rice, a former priest who was educated (and abused) by the Irish Christian Brothers. I don't agree with Rice's assessment of Pope Benedict XVI, but such is life.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: mg
Date: 29 May 09 - 06:19 PM

geeze..I am amongst those who never got the memo...

There were plenty of stories about the Christian Brothers in Newfoundland, if I remember correctly..they could have been imported from Ireland...and the Irish and Irish Americans I have met are universally nice..so you wonder how it can happen...like you wonder what happened to Germans and Cambodians to turn on their own like they did...there is a theory about it all but I forget how it goes..but when you have a basically nice, compliant population, you have a situation where abuse can be done with impunity. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: mg
Date: 30 May 09 - 01:05 PM

Here is what I mean..off the Huffington Post..a priest in his 30s having a relationship with a woman in her 30s...

He has never told me that he was considering joining the Episcopal Church," Favalora said. "(The Episcopal Bishop) has never spoken to me about his position on this delicate matter or what actions he was contemplating. This truly is a serious setback for ecumenical relations and cooperation between us."

Added Favalora: "It's unsettling to the faith, that's why it's a scandal. But the church has been through scandals before _ the church will survive."


----

See..a priest with a woman is so scandalous we have to worry about the church surviving...the same or greater amount of alarm about the child pedophiles...it is sick. I don't care what a priest does with an adult woman (or man) any more than I care what my dentist does. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 May 09 - 03:19 PM

Well, there's no comparison, between a pedophile priest and a priest being involved with a woman. That's just not logical. Yeah, people are disappointed if a priest gets involved with a woman and leaves the priesthood and they lose a priest they love. Yes, they do get scandalized if the priest runs off with the wife of a parishioner. But generally, there's a lot of sympathy expressed, too.

But when it's found out that a priest is a pedophile, all hell breaks loose. Parents don't want their children anywhere near known pedophiles, and they make that well known. There was a time when people just couldn't believe that a priest could do such a thing, so there was denial at least from some factors - but no longer.

MG, it's just not true that Catholics see priests falling for women to be as bad as pedophilia. Most of the noise about the recent pedophilia scandal came from outraged Catholics - after all, it was almost exclusively Catholic children who were the victims.



-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 30 May 09 - 05:24 PM

"it's just not true that Catholics see priests falling for women to be as bad as pedophilia."

I rather think mg meant 'Catholicism' rather than 'Catholics' Joe - as you've rightly illustrated, they are not necessarily the same thing, and the Catholic Church is only a 'monolith' when it suits their purpose.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: mg
Date: 30 May 09 - 05:29 PM

This was a statement by his archbishop.

And I just found out today that there was trouble in my home parish, a father Edward Boyle, who served in Longview, WA and Bremerton and I think MOntana. Just a story in the local news today. They said he abused a lot of boys..usually 13 to 15. I will google and see if I find anything out..so this is no longer strangers..but my brothers, neighbors, classmates. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 30 May 09 - 05:49 PM

That's awful mg. Is this physical/violent abuse, mental abuse or sexual abuse?


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: mg
Date: 30 May 09 - 07:49 PM

Sexual abuse...I think I was too young to remember him as I would only have been around 7 when he went to Everett. I have an old song about this to the tune of Boston Burgler. I am pretty sure I posted it here at some time but PM me if you want the words. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 May 09 - 04:00 AM

Well, in my diocese, if a priest is involved with a woman, he's asked to choose between his job and his relationship. Most other dioceses have similar policies.
If he has molested a child, he is reported to law enforcement authorities and removed from the priesthood. That's the policy on child molestation in all but one diocese in the United States. Lincoln, Nebraska, has its own rules.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: goatfell
Date: 31 May 09 - 09:20 AM

this the rules in the catholic church, priests arn't allowed to marry, and if they did then the problem would kept under control


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: mg
Date: 31 May 09 - 03:30 PM

I don't think that a man denied marriage would go after young boys unless he was raised in a totally unhealthy way and then he would still have the boy problem. I think hopefully he would decide he needed to be married or have female companionship (or male if that were the case) and children and teens would not be involved. I think the pedophile problem is not a direct result of not being able to marry..I think it is almost two separate problems, and based on the way boys were raised at least in the past by neurotic mothers and a sin-obsessed clergy. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 31 May 09 - 08:09 PM

I think the homosexuality aspect of the Catholic child abuse problem comes from segregating the sexes - not necessarily as the only cause, but that system provides the 'heaven sent' opportunities for homosexual child abusers very effectively. It should be noted though that the problem consists of more than sexual abuse. Violence and sadism is much more common, and whilst that can be sexual in origin, it isn't necessarily so.

Interesting to note that both the Marquis de Sade and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch were raised as Catholics..


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 31 May 09 - 11:24 PM

As mg says, there would be less child abuse if priests were allowed to marry. But it's not gonna happen. Celibacy insures that the Church gets maximum return on its investment in a priest. It has nothing to do with spirituality and everything to do with economics. A celibate, hence unmarried, priest will work longer hours for less money and will live in more Spartan conditions than any married minister would ever consider doing. And, most importantly, when he dies the Church doesn't have to pay any survivor benefits to his wife or dependents. If priests were allowed to marry, the Church's cost of payroll and benefits would at least double.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 31 May 09 - 11:43 PM

There'd be less, perhaps, but it wouldn't go away, and it wouldn't stop the violence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: mg
Date: 31 May 09 - 11:50 PM

No...you got me mixed up. I don't think there would be less child abuse if priests were allowed to marry because I think it is a separate problem and created by the way that Catholics are raised. Could be some overlap of course but I don't think the child abuse stems from priests not marrying. We were always told that one reason was that if priests were married their wives would be wanting to know what was going on in confession and it was sort of a safeguard. Nutty reason but it made sense to the nuns. (I had delightful nuns in grade school but odd ones in high school). mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Barry Finn
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 12:02 AM

The issues of child sexual abuse in not a marriage issue. Weither or not a Priest can or can not marry or induge in sex with willing male or female adult partbers is not a contriubing factor is the role of a child sexual predators. They hunt children (male & female) weither they indulge in adult sex or not & weither they're married or not, doesn't make much difference generally. They are hunters & know where to hunt, how to & who to hunt. It's a terrible thought that the Cathloic Church has made it an all season sport & issued licenses to all those that choose to sign up. Just like a sporting club, they hunt with impunity & without fear & all children that are under the churches unbrella became fair game.
What does matter is that the church has made the priesthood attractive to predators by it's own policies of shielding, hiding, sheltering, aiding & abetting these criminals. The priesthood has become a haven for child molestors. Homosexuality has nothing to do with the issue just as the prevention of maggaige has nothing to do with this issue. Those are smokescreens & those issues only made the cover for the haven of predators to hide behind.

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 01:07 AM

It's a fact that there are plenty of married child abusers. I think the homosexual element is an illusion caused by the segregation of the sexes. If priests had the same access to girls as they currently have to boys, then the girls would get abused, I'm pretty sure of that. It's a question of opportunity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: goatfell
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 01:23 AM

did I not say that in one of my early posts


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 01:42 AM

Barry Says:
    It's a terrible thought that the Cathloic Church has made it an all season sport & issued licenses to all those that choose to sign up. Just like a sporting club, they hunt with impunity & without fear & all children that are under the churches unbrella became fair game.

    What does matter is that the church has made the priesthood attractive to predators by it's own policies of shielding, hiding, sheltering, aiding & abetting these criminals. The priesthood has become a haven for child molestors.
Well, Barry, that's a little strong. I think you can blame church leaders for being naive and maybe lethargic about remedying the problem - denying it and hoping it go away. I've seen very little evidence that Catholic leaders have encouraged child molesters, although it does seem that in some situations there were molesters who built networks for mutual protection. Maybe there is some truth in what you say, though - in many dioceses, it has seemed to me that the "weird priests" end up in administrative positions, possibly because they don't have the social skills to function as a pastor. I've met a lot of haughty, unlikeable priests in powerful administrative positions in dioceses. So maybe there has been "protection" going on in some dioceses. It's often the case that parish priests don't trust the priests "downtown" in the bishop's office.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: mg
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 02:14 AM

You have to look at the behavior of the parents in raising these pedophiles..particularly the mothers. The whole entire system was sick. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: nutty
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 08:27 AM

mg ...... child abusers are far more likely (we are told) to be people who themselves were abused as children. so how can you maintain that parents, particularly the mothers, are at fault?

Yes chances are it's a family member who carried out the initial abuse but who?

Mother , father, uncle, cousin, step sister/brother or family priest. Or it could be a teacher, scout leader, older child, adolescent - who knows?

Abusers need treatment to stop this pattern of abuse continuing


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: mg
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 11:47 AM

I am not talking about recognized abuse..just a pattern of child-rearing that needs to be looked at...I don't know what it is but hopefully someone is looking at patterns. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: PoppaGator
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 02:00 PM

Pedophiles who are priests did not become child-abusers because they're not allowed to marry, and I don't believe that anyone has really presented that "straw-man" (easily refuted) argument.

The overall culture of celibacy has, over the centuries, evolved into a situation where abnormalities of various different types can flourish. Sexual abuse of boys by men is just one piece of the pie. Sadism in general (probably rooted in frustration and self-hatred) is pretty well nurtured and protected in the celibate religious community as well.

Joe, we understand that the post-Vatican-II church has issued pronouncements stating that celibacy should not be considered any more virtuous than married life; I just don't believe that such statements have much effect upon how the institution operates, nor upon customs and attitudes that have taken centuries to develop.

The Church has also stated, quite emphatically, that the doctrine of "respect for life" applies equally to political violence, undeclared/unjust warefare, capital punishment, and abortion. Yeah, right. In practice, the hierarchy loves to suck up to warmongers and executioners, while denying the sacraments to politicians who do not favor the criminalization of abortion.

I judge the Church by its actions, not its pronouncements.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: mg
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 02:28 PM

I think there certainly is probably a fair amount of unresolved anger, at least in the olden days...the whole Irish at least system of oldest son getting the tiny farm..younger sons..it could be they became priests to get an education or to leave the area or to get food on a regular basis...and there was a practice of saintly mother dedicating one of her sons to the priesthood and exherting unhealthy pressure on him...don't leave the mothers out of this equation...

And there is the whole thing of seminary at the age of 13 or 14. It could be a situation of frozen development. I doubt many priests saw themselves as abusers or stuck in an adolescent stage but something has caused this to happen and it is systemic. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 01 Jun 09 - 07:28 PM

mg, I'm not sure what you mean about mothers - could you perhaps expand on that a bit? The pattern of the eldest son inheriting the family 'seat' (property) and the younger sons going into the church (or the army, depending on suitability) was certainly the tradition among the UK's landed gentry - it's not just a Catholic phenomenon, although it may well be a relevant factor in your theory. Historically speaking though, I don't think the great majority of Irish Catholics were property owners.

Goatfell - Please accept my apologies if I misunderstood any of your earlier posts.

I don't think this abuse problem can be simplified down to easily addressable causes, sadly. The abuse is quite varied in nature, as would appear to be the motivation. Prevention would therefore seem to be a more fruitful way forward than trying to determine 'a cause'. I agree with the preventative measures Joe described many posts ago and it would be good to see the Catholic Church doing this universally as a matter of course, along with a great deal of investigation (from within and without) into all areas of care and education over which they currently preside, not least in less developed areas of the world. I strongly suspect that a lot more has been, and is being 'got away with' than has yet come to light.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: freda underhill
Date: 02 Jun 09 - 08:02 AM

I have a friend whose life is destroyed by the beatings, violence, canings and terror he endured at the hands of Catholic nuns when he was a five year old. He will always need medical support and a psychiatrist to get him through each week.

At the same time, I know people whose broken lives have been restored through the brave and courageous work of Catholic activists.

Some people leave a trail of bloody destruction in their path - some people transform the world with their courage and goodness.

funny world, isn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: PoppaGator
Date: 02 Jun 09 - 02:30 PM

"The pattern of the eldest son inheriting the family 'seat' (property) and the younger sons going into the church (or the army, depending on suitability) was certainly the tradition among the UK's landed gentry - it's not just a Catholic phenomenon, although it may well be a relevant factor in your theory. Historically speaking though, I don't think the great majority of Irish Catholics were property owners."

From what I've heard about my father's family ("oral history"), the customary inheritance of land by the eldest son ~ to prevent to constant subdivision of the family farm into smaller and smaller pieces ~ prevailed even through the centuries when native Catholic Irish were not allowed to own land, but had to pay rent as tenants to English Protestant landlords, often absentee landlords.

I've visited the family farm in County Mayo where my second cousin lives; supposedly, the same land has been in the family since before it was forcibly taken away and assigned to a new owner, then throughout the long years of British dominance, and finally after independence, when ownership reverted to the tenant/occupants.

In other words, technical ownership of property by favored members of a conquering nation's ruling class did not put an end to the practice of keeping a family's land intact by avoiding subdivion among multiple heirs. Occupancy of a homestead by a family was maintained in the customary manner even when ownership was prohibited.

This probably means that the age-old problem of second and third sons, etc., having to find some kind of livlihood away from the family farm. For many, I'm sure, the priesthood was the only, or at least the most obviously available, alternative.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: mg
Date: 02 Jun 09 - 02:37 PM

I think one thing that saved the Irish from excesses of the church was the strong feeling that being a decent man or woman trumped everything else, even extreme religious fervor and practices...mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 02 Jun 09 - 02:42 PM

Misandry seems quite common among nuns - it's not hard to see why. I think nuns are more likely to observe their celibacy more literally than priests too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 02 Jun 09 - 02:50 PM

PoppaGator - I'm sure you're right about ownership and occupancy, it would make good sense.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Barry Finn
Date: 02 Jun 09 - 03:17 PM

This 1st son issue is completely off target & is not at all related to the subject at hand. Where & why did this discussion get so far off track?

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 02 Jun 09 - 03:20 PM

Sorry Barry, you're right - I was just trying to understand mg's 'mother' theory. My fault.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: PoppaGator
Date: 02 Jun 09 - 03:28 PM

Barry ~ point taken.

And as far as mg's "mother theory," I think I understood it right away. In some families, in some circumstances throughout history, the mother (herself unduly influenced by her understanding of religion) is a willing and very able co-conspiritor with the Church in screwing up the lives of the next generation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 02 Jun 09 - 03:38 PM

I understood that much, but why specifically the mother? Why not the father?


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: PoppaGator
Date: 03 Jun 09 - 01:00 PM

Good question, Smokey; I wonder why, too.

But I think that in most cases of screwed-up childhoods, the mother is more obviously culpable than the father ~ maybe just because she's the one who deals with the kids most regularly (at least, in most cases, and especially when we're talking abouty a generatin ago or longer).

I also think that women are more likely than men to accept church authority. They certainly account for a much higher percentage of church attendees ~ always have, and still do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 03 Jun 09 - 06:42 PM

You could well be right there, PG, mothers generally have more contact with, and therefore a greater potential for influence on children, particularly in their formative years. Personally I don't think religion should be allowed anywhere near children until they are at least well able to think for themselves. They deserve proper education, not stuffing with unscientific and illogical ideas/ideals that they have to spend the rest of their lives grappling with unnecessarily, trying to reconcile them with the reality which they actually experience. Orwell's notion of 'doublethink' springs to mind, as does the concept of cognitive dissonance. Little wonder that so many get screwed up by it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 02:14 PM

Apologies if I've missed something by not having read every single post, but all this stuff about land inheritance and mothers seems a bit beside the point to me.

This went on throughout the history of the Irish state. For that to have happened for so long to so many children suggests to me that every priest must either have been doing it or have been aware of it happening. Which means that every Irish man who was trained and worked as a priest since the 1920s is guilty.

However, the report makes it clear that the blame goes further than the priests. The schools inspectors and other agencies of the state either ignored the problem or (more likely) didn't think it was a problem. The state was in the palm of the priests' hands and saw keeping the priests happy as being more important than keeping kids safe. Some might say it was a sign of the times but then so was gassing jews or lynching blacks - that doesn't excuse it.

The medical establishment must have known about it as well. Did no-one ever question how boys were turning up in hospitals with anal injuries from forced buggery or why 13 or 14-year old girls were getting pregnant? No, because the doctors were also complicit, along with the police and the politicians. And the whole mess stems from the moral and intellectual retardation of a sectarian state that was prematurely born out of partition (something that itself was made inevitable by the Easter rising of 1916 led by the homosexual paedophile Patrick Pearse).

It is clear that from its inception the Irish 'Republic' has been a corrupt and degenerate state. I hope that in the light of what has happened Gordon Brown or David Cameron will find the courage to clearly state that no British subject will ever be compelled to live under such a regime.

Every Irish priest is guilty.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 03:10 PM

Good points, but why was it also rampant in US and I think Australia and parts of Canada? It is systemic I still say. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 04:14 PM

MG, it's a problem of distinctions we've been having throughout this thread. The government-owned, church-run Irish schools had a special problem of child physical abuse that seemed to be the rule all over the network of schools. Part of the problem was sexual molestation, but that was not universal. Still, the abusive practices in the schools made it easier for the molesters to do their dirty work.

This is different from the problems in the US, Canada, and Australia, which are primarily sex molestation cases committed by a relatively small percentage of priests. Canada had some schools where abuse was universal - I don't know whether this happened in the U.S.

Both problems are deplorable.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 04:14 PM

Of course it's systemic; most of the officials who let it happen in Ireland were Catholics too. That's the danger of a single religion having so much influence in one place. It will undoubtedly be happening to some degree wherever the Catholic church is 'caring' for or 'educating' children. The same structure that enables good people to do good things also facilitates abuses just as effectively, maybe more so. There will be a lot more scandal to come yet - India and Africa, for example.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 04:37 PM

A 'relatively small' percentage (4.3?) means quite a high number of priests, and they're only the ones who've got caught so far. The rest will now be more careful, but they'll carry on whenever and wherever they can. Many will seek posts in places where they are less likely to be discovered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 06:55 PM

That's the problem with child molesters, that they can hide quite easily. I had to interview a number of child molesters in the course of my 25 years as a U.S. government investigator. All seemed to be very admirable, normal, balanced people. Their victims rarely complain because they may not even completely understand what happened to them until they reach adulthood.

I think that it may be futile to try to screen out child molesters before they prevent their crimes - from what I understand, they almost always appear normal. There are things we can do to help prevent the crime itself, especially by eliminating situations where a child is alone with an adult - this has worked well for the Boy Scouts, but has not completely eliminated their problem.

Another thing that's essential, is very honest education of both children and adults, so they learn how to detect when a man's conduct with a child is suspicious, and so they learn to report the problem to somebody who had the ability to look into it further. Too often, people just don't realize that child molestation is going on right under their noses.

I know my viewpoint is not a popular one here, but it's clear to me that child molestation and child abuse are NOT an inherent aspect of anyone's religious faith, be it Roman Catholic or any other religion. these crimes are always aberrant behavior, and are not the norm for any religious group.

I still haven't seen data that indicates that the percentage of priests who molest, is significantly higher than the percentage of molesters among men in general. That figure of something between four and five percent seems to appear again and again, although there are places where the percentage was as high as ten percent. Yes, that's a lot of offenders - no doubt about that at all. Still, I think that fairness demands that we recognize that the overwhelming majority of priests have never and will never commit such a crime.

Just as embezzlers gravitate toward occupations where they are entrusted with money, I suppose it's true that potential child molesters are drawn toward occupations where they are entrusted with children. At one time, it was unthinkable that a priest would commit such an evil crime as child molestation, so priest-molesters could carry on undetected for years. Nowadays, every priest is suspect, so I think you'll find that the priesthood will no longer be a safe haven for child molesters - at least I hope so.
In the past five years, the Catholic Church in the U.S. has paid about two billion dollars in settlements to people who were sexually abused by priests. As far as I can tell, the vast majority of victims who were compensated, were adults who were molested as children many years ago. It would appear that the preventive measures the Catholic Church has enacted are working, but are they? How many crimes against children are happening today, and how long will it take until they are reported?

As for the Irish schools, I think it was chiefly an aspect of the attitudes of another age. Dickens wrote about the same kind of abuse in Oliver Twist, and the orphan trains of the U.S. displayed the same kind of abusive attitude toward lower-class children in America. In Ireland, the Catholic Church was a willing instrument of the same sort of abuse, but Angela's Ashes demonstrates that the attitude of abuse toward lower-class children was an intrinsic part of Irish culture into the 1960's. Why did it last so much longer in Ireland? yes, I suppose the oppressive and obedience-obsessed attitude of the Irish Catholic Church was a major factor. But once upon a time, it was almost a universal truth, that anyone confined to any institution was likely to be abused - orphanages, mental hospitals, military academies, wherever. Until about 35 years ago, the U.S. military used abusive treatment as an essential part of its training of new recruits. "Spare the rod and spoil the child" was once accepted as a universal truth.

I do not believe that abuse and molestation of children are inherent aspects of the Catholic faith. They are aberrations - certainly widespread, but still not an inherent aspect of the religion.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 07:01 PM

I don't think it was I am a pedophile I think I will be a priest. I think it was far more complex...I am from a very poor family more often than not. I truly believe in all the church teaches. I really do not want to be a substinence farmer. If I never see a spade again I will be very happy. I want to study Latin and Greek and not potato weevils.    Girls scare me. My mother is the saintliest person in the world. She was defiled by you know what and is a physical wreck from having 13 children in 14 years. I believe, as the church teaches, that sexual activity between man and woman is really really frightening and repulsive and horrifying and will lead to eternal damnation and I am capable of denying myself that contact and will do my darndest to see that others do the same.

Then they find themselves in a situation where their every move, at least with vile women, is watched...I don't know the whole story...but someone should be doing some research on this.

And as to Africa..it seems to me I have heard of abuse of nuns by priests concerning the AIDS situation..I can't say for sure. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 10:25 PM

There are so many types of, and motivations for child abuse I think it's practically impossible to lay the blame in any one place or set of circumstances. It's true that sexual repression will invariably mess people up, as it directly contradicts our survival instinct, but even the result of that is unpredictable. Generally speaking, if we are told something pleasurable is 'wrong' (sex, drugs, rock and roll, bacon sandwiches) it makes it more attractive. It is the power that the Catholic church has over societies (Ireland in this case) which gives rise to the structures in which child abuse can easily occur, not the faith itself. That power varies in degree from place to place, and I'd guess that the level of abuse varies in tandem with it.

To sort of back up some of what Joe's saying, it occured to me that I personally know of three child abusers locally. Two of them play in folk bands - statistics can be deceptive, and usually are.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 11:43 AM

Joe:

'I think it was chiefly an aspect of the attitudes of another age'.

Bullshit. If they thought they could still get away with it they'd still be at it. That's the only thing that's changed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 06:40 PM

And your supporting evidence, Chris? You don't get many points in a debate by simply responding "bullshit" to your opponent. But let me call attention to a statement you posted, so people will see that your perspective might be a bit skewed:
    It is clear that from its inception the Irish 'Republic' has been a corrupt and degenerate state. I hope that in the light of what has happened Gordon Brown or David Cameron will find the courage to clearly state that no British subject will ever be compelled to live under such a regime.
What about the orphanages Dickens wrote about in Oliver Twist, or the workhouses in England and Ireland. If they weren't run by priest or nuns or brothers, why were they cruel? It's because society was cruel to lower-class people, and especially to children. It is a terrible shame that the Catholic Church was an instrument of that cruelty - but the cruelty would have been there, with or without the Church.
Oh, and think about getting your facts straight. The government-owned schools in Ireland were operated by religious orders of nuns and brothers, not priests.
The Catholic Church cooperated with slavery in the United States, and with the cruel dictatorships of South and Central America. Again, a terrible shame, but by far not the only source of such cruelty. All of our ancestors were complicit to some extent in such atrocities - it was not merely a Catholic phenomenon. I think that society has reached a point where such societal cruelty is not as likely - I hope I'm right.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 08:08 PM

Any religion into which people are born and raised without choice, (as opposing to knowingly choosing membership on an informed basis at a responsible age) is pretty much bound to encompass both the best and worst ends of humanity and everything inbetween, as there is no selection process. One glance at the history of Catholicism and that is horribly obvious; the bigger the religion, the more obvious those extremes are. Whatever brand of dogma people happen to be raised on, they will ultimately process and interpret it to suit themselves, albeit within the confines of their surroundings. I personally think that Catholicism (the monolith as seen from outside) couldn't care less who it has as a member as long as it maintains its economic growth, stability, power structure and expansion. I don't think it sets out to produce either good or bad people, just people who aren't non-Catholics. It started as a political movement seeking power and wealth, and (when viewed from the outside) it still is. Their power structure provides equal opportunities for both 'saints' and child molesters, and as Joe says it's impossible to tell them apart, save by their actions, and even then it can be debatable. Catholicism should start caring for people instead of just regarding them as a means to an end if it wants to maintain any credibility in a world that is slowly but surely waking up to reality. Or at least a broad band of mutually acceptable reality anyway. We yet have a fair way to go..

Child molesters almost invariably don't give it up unless they are physically forced to - Chris is right; they would still be doing it if they could get away with it, no question about it. It's not a disease and there isn't a cure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 03:27 AM

Smokey, Chris was responding to my comment about the child abuse in Irish schools, which was an institutional phenomenon, supported by the mores of Irish society as a whole.
There is no question that child molesters will act again, given half a chance.

As for the rest of what you say, I think you are misinformed. Oh, I'm sure there are bureaucrats in the institutional structure of the Catholic Church who are concerned with "economic growth, stability, power structure and expansion," but that's something you'll see in the structure of every organization, and it's not particularly overpowering in the Catholic Church. Those are the strange priests I described above, the ones who "work downtown" in the bishop's office. I've been known to refer to them as "eunuchs" and "company men." Parish priests generally don't think very highly of them.

You see a Catholic Church that is far more compulsory than has been my experience, and my experience is very broad. Certainly, I raised my kids Catholic, but I didn't beat it into them and I did my best to make it an enjoyable experiece for them; and I didn't require them to go to church once they were in their mid-teens. My parents raised me the same way in the 1950's. The same is true for most American Catholics nowadays. Even in the 1950's, it wasn't as rigid as one might think. Now in Ireland, it appears to have been a completely different story. In my experience, Catholic churches I attended in Ireland were joyless and repressive - although I'm sure there are exceptions.

As for your comment about the Catholic Church not caring for people, my home town of Sacramento has a network of food banks, the women's center where I work, a service center for the homeless, and a dining room for the homeless - all founded by Catholics and serving everyone who comes to the door, no matter what their religious beliefs or lack thereof. Together, these programs feed thousands of people every day, and provide housing for hundreds - without preaching or recruiting or attaching any strings. In other words, I think you're making broad generalizations with little basis in fact.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Barry Finn
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 04:55 AM

"And your supporting evidence, Chris?"

Because they continue to have to be dragged to the courts screaming, kicking & biting. Crying all the way about monetary limits & caps on payments aside from hanging on to books & evidence that they covert & have their lawyers shield until they have no other choice. They should've come clean from the start but they always put themselves before their victims, at least untilthey're shamed & have their backs up against the walls,,,, in the same way they held their victims. They still to this day won't come clean.

"What about the orphanages Dickens wrote about in Oliver Twist, or the workhouses in England and Ireland"

Joe, could you point to any evidence of sexual abuse in Dickens or are you lumping child abuse & child labor as a catch all? Child abuse & child labor belongs in all our backgrounds.

My thoughts so far are that there is no proof yet that the sexual abuse in not a modern system wide (20th century) happening. That's because it wasn't a haven for predators until the system failed in where it wanted to go & how it was to get there in modern 20th century society & what it wanted to go after.

"The Catholic Church cooperated with slavery in the United States, and with the cruel dictatorships of South and Central America. Again, a terrible shame, but by far not the only source of such cruelty. All of our ancestors were complicit to some extent in such atrocities - it was not merely a Catholic phenomenon."

Think Native Americans & Native Hawaiians as the tip of an iceberg & the Cathloic (though they were not alone) as the first wave in the conquest. While colonizing far off lands they attracted a certain element of pious preachers hell bent of stealing resources. It was the same attraction then the only difference was the focus of the desires. Then it was resources now children, all done in the name of the Lord.
If the focus were saving souls maybe they would still be in the business.

So where, what & when was the start of the predators gravitating to become beacons of the church? What was the timing & where were they (the church)going when this all got beyond what would be rational (because at the moment it way beyond out of control)? They went off course somewhere. I always believed that the Catholic Church always had it's dark sides, ever since mid-evil :0) times as did other religions but not to this point there was a balance of give & take. "We take your________ we save your soul" but now it's way past the taking & not much in the giving.

If the predator percentages inside the church were the same as those outside the church it would not be this far out. I don't belive the percentages quoted above as 4% are true. Most of those were from the studies done in the early 90's when this 1st came to light. I mentioned a quote in the above links where LA was at 10%, this was in 2008 a much more recent study. Add to that that very few incedents go reported & very few victims (I think I read 5%) report so the suspected percentages are suspected to be much higher than prviously thought. Which to me makes perfect sense.
There is just to many cases for those privious 4% numbers to even be close to the mark.

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 02:42 PM

Joe, I think adding to your posts later, after people have made their replies and with the benefit of hindsight when not everyone has that advantage or privilege is a bit of a dirty trick in my book, and hardly a gentlemanly way of debating.

I take your point about the difference between abusers and molesters and I'm pleased that we both recognise that distinction - I thought it was in danger of getting lost at one point. Basic violent abuse of children, or corporal punishment as some would have it, is as you say, hardly peculiar to Catholic society. Nor is sexual abuse, come to that, but I don't see what that has to do with the discussion. However, the violent abuse is only dying out because more and more people are recognising it as being fundamentally wrong, and that process seems to have taken a bit longer in Ireland. I think the Catholic faith has played a significant part in keeping Irish society 'behind the times', and I think that is because by sheer weight of numbers, it could. It's all down to control and power, in my opinion.

My view of the Catholic church is what it is - I'm 'outside' the faith so it could never be like yours, Joe. I'm grateful for your insight into U.S. Catholicism; mine is very much a European viewpoint - where its power and influence has always been somewhat greater than in the U.S.

My point about the Catholic Church not caring for people was referring to 'the monolith', as opposed to individual occurrences. I see a distinction between Catholism and Catholics, and in that context I meant Catholicism. I apologise for not being clearer. What you refer to as a 'broad generalization', I see as a view of the bigger picture - I'm fully aware there are many possible viewpoints, and we are both only stating our opinions after all. Indeed, we could probably clog up the internet with an argument over the phrase "with little basis in fact." :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 01:46 AM

Sorry about the confusion, Smokey. There was only a short time between my post and the update, and I thought I'd get it in before anybody read the incomplete message.

I think it's important to realize that the "institutional" Catholic Church is only one aspect of a very complex whole, and it's probably not the most important aspect. In a place of business, it's the people who do the work who are most important, not the managers who get the pay and recognition. Same goes for a church. The essence of a church is not the poser-authority structure, even though that structure is often the most visible aspect. The essence of a church is the local congregation.

While the Catholic Church has a very visible worldwide structure, parishes (local congregations) are largely autonomous. Life in a parish can go on for weeks with hardly a mention of Rome, and the essence of parish life is the interaction of people who pray and work and socialize together. Each parish has its own personality. I judge the health of a parish by how long people linger after Mass on Sunday, chatting and enyoying each other. In my parish, it's an hour to 90 minutes, and a good number of people stay after the weekday Mass for a good 45 minutes. Tonight, we cooked dinner for 50 homeless people who stay overnight in the church hall one night a month - and we had a great time doing it. People who come to our parish say they enjoy our friendly atmosphere and our wonderful music, and our pastor's stories and Irish humor, and his remarkably gentle way of dealing with babies and the dying - he's especially good at baptisms and funerals.

Now, I used to go to another parish five miles away, but it was taken over by a new pastor who's a megalomaniacal petty despot. But I have a choice - why should I choose that? I live in a conservative area, and many people choose to go to the maniac's parish because they feel comfortable with his authoritarianism, but that's their choice. I certainly wouldn't go to such a church on a regular basis.

The problem with threads like this, is that they reoprt bad things way out of proportion. Yes, the child molestation scandal is a horrible thing, but even the broadest estimates say less than ten percent of priests were involved - and the nationwide estimate in the U.S. was 4.3 percent. The church-run government schools in Ireland were a serious problem, but what percentage of Irish children attended such schools? There are all sorts of comments in this thread about how shameful it was for the Catholic Church to allow such a thing to go on, but how widely was the problem known? How many of you know the goings-on in children's institutions in your own town?

Chris B says, "every Irish man who was trained and worked as a priest since the 1920s is guilty" - how many of these priests had knowledge of the goings-on in these government schools? Most Irish priests belong to dioceses, or to religious orders other than the Sisters of Mercy and the Christian Brothers - the two orders who operated most of the schools.

So, yeah, I'm still complaining that people in this thread are painting too broad a picture of the "dark side" of the Catholic Church. Every organization has a "dark side" - but people don't usually have to buy into an organization's bad side if they don't want to. I would venture a guess that I have a wider experience in the Catholic Church than almost all of you combined, and almost all of my experience has been very good. I asked my Irish pastor this morning about his upbringing in the Catholic Church in Cork, and he said it was a positive experience - a few problems here and there, but nothing notable.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Roughyed
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 08:05 AM

You are fortunate in your experience of the Catholic church Joe, mine was considerably darker. It didn't include sexual abuse, just physical abuse, injustice and humiliation. It also was not mainly delivered by the clergy but by lay teachers some of whom clearly enjoyed their cruelty - only they can judge what the nature of their pleasure was but some of them did get remarkably red faced. But it was done at a school in England run by the De La Salle brothers and they took an active part in the violence.

Most of the time I just get on with what has been till now a very happy life but every few years I find that something crops up that brings the abuse back causing me psychological problems that I have to work through. The most damaged people I have met are the ones who say it never did them any harm.

But I know many kind and good Catholics. The organisation is closed to me because it makes me feel very uncomfortable but this has been positive because it has made me look elsewhere for spirituality.

Part of that journey has been the realisation that it is not so much the religion you have that matters as the way you put it into practice. The Christian god is traditionally one of authority as well as love. The problem is that it is easy to delegate authority but you can't delegate love; that has to be discovered anew by every individual and many Catholics use their religion as an inspiration to do just that.

By the way Joe, I think you're a really nice bloke but you might be a heretic! :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 06:52 PM

I daresay in practice there's a great deal of variation, but are there any definite guidelines as to what action a priest should take if a crime is 'confessed' to them? I didn't have a Catholic upbringing, so I don't know, but how likely is an abuser to 'confess' what he or she has done? I've heard many times of people inventing sins in confession just to keep the priest happy; I can't help wondering what the overall level of honesty really is.

I can't see much point in arguing over statistics - one can make statistics say virtually anything. The fact is that anything greater than zero percent child abuse is unacceptable, and it doesn't matter whether it's priests, nuns, brothers or the Pope who's doing it, it's the fact that it's going on in Catholic institutions which have a duty of care.

There have undoubtedly been cover-ups, and they have been committed either for the benefit of the church ('not rocking the boat') or for the benefit of the offender/s. Either way it's to the detriment of the child and society in general. Abused children often go on to be abusers, that's been a well understood phenomenon for years. They, however, will not be the ones who are coming forward. We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg, and anything less than 'zero tolerance' is perpetuating the problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 08:29 PM

Every organization has a "dark side" - but people don't usually have to buy into an organization's bad side if they don't want to.

But it could be argued that they support the 'dark side' simply by being part of (thus supporting) the organisation as a whole.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Jun 09 - 09:36 PM

Well, yeah, Smokey, leaving is an option, why I should abandon MY Catholic Church, because there are some bad people who are members who try to pervert the ideals of the church. I'd rather stay in and do my best to wrest it away from them.

And in every parish I've belonged to where there have been problems, I've made noise until problems were resolved. I've chewed out drunken priests more than once, written long letters of protest to autocratic priests, withheld contributions, and cooperated in two sexual misconduct investigations (neither one involved children). That has earned me a reputation for being a pain in the ass to some in the Catholic Church, but such is life. Generally, I'm well-known and well-liked in my diocese.

Smokey, "zero tolerance" for child molestation is now the rule in all dioceses in the United States except Lincoln, Nebraska (led by the infamously ultraconservative Fabian Bruskiewicz). I don't know about policies in the rest of the world.

As for the "seal of confession," there is a rule that prohibits priests from revealing anything told to them in the Sacramento of Reconciliation (formerly known as "confession.") HOWEVER, we were taught in the seminary that if a person confessed something that was a crime, the person was to be strongly encouraged to turn him/herself in to law enforcement authorities. Priests have the authority to refuse absolution (forgiveness of sin) to anyone they think isn't truly sorry for what they've done - evading the police would certainly be an indication of lack of true contrition. the Sacrament of Reconciliation is supposed to be a sacrament of healing, allowing a person to go on with life instead of wallowing in guilt. It's supposed to help people take responsibility for what they've done, make reparations, and then move on to a better life. But yes, what's said to a priest in confession is held in strict confidence.

But priests complain about what they hear in general, without specifics. They grip about people who are overly scrupulous, going to confession once a week to confess ridiculously minor infractions. They also complain about people who do something really bad and figure they can get off scot-free by just confessing what they did. Priests take the Sacrament of Reconciliation very seriously, and it's generally a very healthy thing for the psychological welfare of people.

I have an Irish-born pastor who was a bastard to me as an employer, and that's why I give my money to the poor instead of to the parish. Still, I have to admit that he does a very good job, especially with baptisms, funerals, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. His sermons are good, too - he's a great storyteller, and not a bad singer. I think part of his value is that he is a deeply flawed person, and he knows it. That helps him have empathy for other people. He doesn't even hold it against me for withholding my contributions.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 01:09 AM

I wasn't actually suggesting you left the church Joe, I wouldn't be so personal and it's none of my business, but I can't help thinking that the 'dark side' of the Catholic faith would have great difficulty existing all on its own.

Regarding confession of abuse, if I understand you correctly, that is one way a priest could be guilty of what might be called aiding and abetting a crime over here, or at least failing to report a crime. There seems to be a conflict of interests between 'church law' and actual law, and yet the priest cannot actually be touched by the law as long as he keeps his mouth shut forever, which of course the church has directed him to do. In that sense, the church is without doubt helping the abuser to offend. Despite the intention, that seems immoral to me, and an ineffectual way to discourage or prevent crime. Socially speaking, I think it sets a poor example, and I'm inclined to disagree that it could possibly be beneficial to anyone's psychological welfare unless they had been first conditioned to think they needed it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,TonyMcT
Date: 09 Jun 09 - 02:13 PM

Well said smokey, bring on the schism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 10 Jun 09 - 07:59 PM

Tony - I don't know whether you're being serious or ironic, but I don't think there are any 'sides' to this discussion..


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Den
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 02:53 PM

Chris B (born again Brit), please substantiate your following comment, "Easter rising of 1916 led by the homosexual paedophile Patrick Pearse." Please provide proof or withdraw the comment. Sounds like you're letting your bigotry blind you again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Neil D
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 07:26 PM

I heard about this yesterday on NPR: Michael O'Brien

   They also talked about how the Catholic Church in Ireland has fought to keep the government out of institutions like schools and orphanages, etc... over many decades, even going so far as to bringing down public officials and administrations. Possibly not intentially, but this maintaining of total control of these institutions could only have exascerbated the problems of abuse and corruption. So of course it is the church that must bear the brunt of the responsibility. I know that there has been much good done by the Catholic Church but there are also centuries of inhumanity, the Crusades, the Inquisitions, wars and oppression. So if this current crisis must bring down the church, which I grant would be bad for poor people all over the world, then so it must be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST, Smokey
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 09:10 PM

Thanks very much for that clip, Neil; the courage and dignity of that man is inspiring and should be a lesson to us all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: nutty
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 07:14 AM

IT'S A VERY STRANGE WORLD THAT WE LIVE IN ....... but at least people are being prosecuted now.

CLICK


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 07:54 AM

Den, you may want to read this piece by Pearse's biographer Ruth Dudley Edwards.
http://www.independent.ie/unsorted/features/the-terrible-legacy-of-patrick-pearse-348632.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 08:11 AM

Den,

I refer you to Charles Townsends recent book on the 1916 rising.

And yes, I was born in Britain. Having read parts of the recent report on child abuse in Ireland I can only thank God that I was.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 09:07 AM

By the way, Keith, thanks for the link. Are we seriously to believe, though, that in all that time Pearse kept his hands to himself? Hmm....


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Den
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 09:36 AM

Keith, no evidence of paedophilia in the piece you pointed to. Ruth Dudley Edwards is a meticulous researcher. I'm sure if there had been evidence to suggest anything untoward she would have mentioned it at least once in her book as her's is considered the definitive account of Pearse's life. Lets not forget Dudley Edwards was no great admirer of Pearse or Irish independence. This quote from the author is interesting, "I was sure Pearse was celibate and as innocent as he was honourable."

I have no problem with Pearce being homosexual, if indeed he was. But to call the man a paedophile is quite another matter. Townsend's book is pure speculation. Again no proof. Surely if there were proof it would have come to light by now.

The paedophile/homosexual theory is based on one single poem written by Pearce, where the narrator of the poem refers to their lover as he. This is the only "evidence" ever used to justify claims that Pearse was homosexual or paedophile.

Oh, nice parting shot Chris. I'm truly stung. So, what are you saying, we're all paedophiles now? No more proof then I take it.

The danger with these misguided statements is, that they end up being tagged in Google searches and ultimately result in influencing the less enlightened.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 09:43 AM

Den, continue reading the "celibate" sentence and you find,
.."the evidence showed him to have been attracted by boys and young men."


Also, one of his poems includes;
'There is a fragrance in
your kiss

That I have not found yet

In the kisses of women

Or in the honey of their

bodies.'


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 11:42 AM

Right, I think the jury's out on Pearse.

What seems to me to be really important is what this whole episode says about the Irish State. Which is not only what the priests did but how the whole apparatus of the state as well as the wider society allowed it to go on for as long as the did.

One of the findings of the report is that a contributory factor was the continuation of the Industrial School system in Ireland after independence - the report says the system was abolished in the UK after 1920.

The implication seems to be that at least some of these children would have been safer if the 26 counties had not seceded from the UK. Not that there was no abuse in the UK and not that the Catholic church had a monopoly on it - but the Catholic Church in the UK did not have the same power over the state that it did in Ireland.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 12:44 PM

Smokey, You're absolutely right about Michael O'Brien's courage. To have survived such childhood horror and go on to become a councilor and mayor took incredible fortitude. And then to so publicly expose his anguish to try to make the horror stop, to ensure that future generations of defenseless children are never victimized in that way again. In my book Michael O'Brien is a great hero. If you don't know what I'm talking about yet, go to my last post and click on his name.
It will tear your heart out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 06:55 PM

Neil, it brought tears to my eyes, and I urge everyone to please watch that clip of Michael O'Brien. He is indeed a hero, and I hope everyone can appreciate why. Consider too that he is but one in thousands. Apologies from the Catholic Church to these people are a pathetic gesture and amount to nothing more than a massive insult. As I remember, it was St. Patrick who introduced Christianity to Ireland - I don't think he did them much of a favour.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 09:29 PM

The Pope speaks


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,mayomick
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 11:54 AM

People are rightly incensed at the Catholic Church , but it wasn't only the Catholic orders that abused children in their care . Ireland's protestant churches in the south also ran orphanages where children were sexually and physically abused.
A protestant friend of mine who was abused in a Dublin protestant orphanage in the nineteen-fifties and sixties told me that in many ways the abuse felt worse for protestant boys .They held ,he said ,a certain sense of outsiders' loyalty towards their co-religionists in a country where Protestantism and protestants were often blamed for British colonial oppression .
For a long time this sense of "sticking together" and "not letting the side down" stopped my friend from coming forward and claiming the compensation that both the state and the protestant church acknowledged he was entitled to. His wife eventually persuaded him to make a claim.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Smokey
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 02:34 PM

Mayomick, I think Catholics feel, or felt, that same sense of loyalty as well. It makes 'religious' abusers that bit more powerful, and I'm sure they know that and use it to their advantage.

The real scandal is that the abusers look like getting away with their revolting crimes, anonymously and free from prosecution, and most of the compensation will be paid by the Irish taxpayer, not the Catholic Church who are both complicit and ultimately responsible. If it was any other organisation there would be a very different story; they'd be put out of business and the offenders would be jailed.

One in twenty four abusive priests (and that's only the priests) is maybe an understatement, but if we were discussing a disease that had infected a twenty fourth of the population, it would be regarded as a serious epidemic. Child abuse can be passed on to the victim; in a sense it could be said to be contagious. The Catholic Church has proved itself to be, at best, irresponsible and not worthy of trust.

Publicity is the only weapon against corruption of such magnitude.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Den
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 10:13 AM

Keith, why do you have such a hard-on to discredit the Irish. Again no evidence and by the way that is the one poem that all of Pearce's detractors point to. What does it prove? Nothing. Might be time to put up or shut Keith. Chris B has already backed away from this discussion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 15 Jun 09 - 03:11 PM

Den, you asked for evidence, so I found some for you, and it came from a historian you say you respect.
The evidence was also that he was celibate, therefor there is no evidence at all that he did anything wrong even if he was attracted to boys.
It does not discredit Pearse, nevermind the Irish nation!
I am just amazed that you want to pick a fight over this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Den
Date: 17 Jun 09 - 10:25 AM

"Pick a fight," moi?


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 18 Jun 09 - 09:23 AM

Backed away? No, I just happen to have a job, a family and a life. And therefore a limited amount of time to spend putting the world to rights on the internet.

Oops, here comes the boss. Catch you later. Anyone else read Townsends book, by the way? You'll be relieved to hear it mostly isn't about child abuse.

I can't help wondering whether these kids would have been safer if the 26-county state had never existed. Can you imagine the NHS and the British Labour Movement and welfare state covering the whole of Ireland? Would we still be thinking of Pearse, Connolly and the rest as heroes for trying to prevent that?

Anyone without a vested interest might have looked at British actions in Ireland during the first world war and the 1920s and be struck by the amount of restraint rather than any exceptional severity.

I know they executed most of the leaders of the 1916 rising but spare a thought for the ghastly treatment meted out to the survivors. They got sent to North Wales for two years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Barry Finn
Date: 18 Jun 09 - 02:53 PM

200


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 18 Jun 09 - 02:54 PM

not quite!


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Subject: RE: BS: Child abuse in Ireland
From: GUEST,mayomick
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 02:34 PM

Fot a link to an interview with Derek Leinster one of the Protestant survivors of abuse I mentioned above .

http://www.indymedia.ie/attachments/jul2009/derekleinsterirtimes1jul09.gif

The way the churches treated the children shouldn't be seen as something seperate from the attitudes of the whole of Irish society at the time. What did the newspapers ,politicians ,trade unions do about it? Even people as progressive in his social attitudes as Noel Browne didn't address the problem.
Orphans were always pitied and at the same time blamed for their positions ,the sins of the mothers visited on the children - they became the embodiment of the concept of original sin . The institutions acted as a warning to women in the same way as prisons did to men. The message they sent out at a time when contraception was banned was don't transgress or this is where your child will end up.
In the end it was the children themselves who exposed the whole thing when they grew up , and the whole of Irish society owes them for that. We should be thanking them as well as apologising to them.


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