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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

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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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