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BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)

GUEST,Peter Laban 17 Dec 10 - 04:50 PM
Rapparee 17 Dec 10 - 05:13 PM
Smokey. 17 Dec 10 - 05:22 PM
Brian May 17 Dec 10 - 05:35 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 17 Dec 10 - 05:37 PM
Ed T 17 Dec 10 - 06:05 PM
Smokey. 17 Dec 10 - 06:16 PM
GUEST,999 17 Dec 10 - 06:28 PM
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bobad 17 Dec 10 - 08:55 PM
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Richie Black (misused acct, bad email) 17 Dec 10 - 09:03 PM
Smokey. 17 Dec 10 - 09:08 PM
Ed T 17 Dec 10 - 09:31 PM
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Joe Offer 17 Dec 10 - 10:47 PM
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Smokey. 17 Dec 10 - 11:30 PM
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Smokey. 17 Dec 10 - 11:40 PM
Joe Offer 17 Dec 10 - 11:49 PM
Smokey. 18 Dec 10 - 12:08 AM
katlaughing 18 Dec 10 - 12:29 AM
Joe Offer 18 Dec 10 - 12:30 AM
Smokey. 18 Dec 10 - 12:36 AM
Joe Offer 18 Dec 10 - 12:50 AM
Smokey. 18 Dec 10 - 01:09 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 18 Dec 10 - 03:06 AM
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Bonnie Shaljean 18 Dec 10 - 04:27 AM
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Smokey. 20 Dec 10 - 08:14 PM
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mg 21 Dec 10 - 02:38 AM
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mg 21 Dec 10 - 03:02 AM
Joe Offer 21 Dec 10 - 03:59 AM
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Joe Offer 21 Dec 10 - 05:41 AM
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mg 21 Dec 10 - 10:11 PM
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Joe Offer 22 Dec 10 - 01:08 AM
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saulgoldie 22 Dec 10 - 06:21 AM
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Ed T 22 Dec 10 - 07:30 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 22 Dec 10 - 10:05 AM
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GUEST,999--apologies, that was me. 22 Dec 10 - 03:45 PM
Smokey. 22 Dec 10 - 05:21 PM
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Smokey. 22 Dec 10 - 06:03 PM
Joe Offer 22 Dec 10 - 06:46 PM
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Joe Offer 22 Dec 10 - 07:02 PM
Ed T 22 Dec 10 - 07:28 PM
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Smokey. 22 Dec 10 - 07:50 PM
GUEST,mg 22 Dec 10 - 08:13 PM
GUEST,mg 22 Dec 10 - 08:19 PM
Jack Campin 22 Dec 10 - 08:40 PM
katlaughing 22 Dec 10 - 09:27 PM
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Ed T 22 Dec 10 - 11:26 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 23 Dec 10 - 02:10 AM
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Joe Offer 23 Dec 10 - 04:50 AM
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GUEST,Peter Laban 23 Dec 10 - 05:40 AM
Joe Offer 23 Dec 10 - 05:49 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 23 Dec 10 - 06:24 AM
Smokey. 23 Dec 10 - 12:36 PM
Smokey. 23 Dec 10 - 01:08 PM
Joe Offer 23 Dec 10 - 05:38 PM
Ed T 23 Dec 10 - 06:16 PM
Smokey. 23 Dec 10 - 06:56 PM
Joe Offer 23 Dec 10 - 08:06 PM
Smokey. 24 Dec 10 - 05:44 PM
Joe Offer 24 Dec 10 - 05:53 PM
Smokey. 24 Dec 10 - 06:11 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 24 Dec 10 - 06:11 PM
Smokey. 24 Dec 10 - 06:23 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 25 Dec 10 - 07:19 AM
Ed T 25 Dec 10 - 07:33 AM
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Jim Carroll 18 Jan 11 - 12:27 PM
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Subject: BS: And yet more clerical abuse (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 04:50 PM

With the latest revelations about yet another serial abusing priest and a new chapter of the Murphy rapport released there is yet another string of canons, monseignors, bishops, cardinals right up to and including the pope who kept the priest in question on the job. Only over fifteen years after the first (of many) complaints about the man were received and nearly a decade after fully admitting to allegations and even one case that was not known, Archbishop Connell had to beg the pope to have the man removed from the priesthood.

The priest in question is described in the Murphy report as the most notorious of all child abusers that has so far come to their attention.

With each and every case that comes in the public domain it is astonishing to see again and again how the Vatican and the hierarchy kept again and again exposing children to known abusers and protected them (the abusers) for indecent lengths of time in the full knowledge of what crimes they were perpetrating on the young members of their flock. All, seemingly, for the purpose of avoiding scandal.


It's disgusting beyond description.


The priest in question was the frontman, Elvis impersonator, of the 'All Priest Holy Show' and as such a wellknown face in Ireland.




Irish Times article


Guardian article


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Rapparee
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 05:13 PM

Clean 'em all out, forget the Synod of Whitby, and restart Celtic Christianity.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 05:22 PM

I hope he's locked up for a very long time..


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rpn_7OMV0c


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Brian May
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 05:35 PM

Trouble is 'they' close ranks and protect these abusive scum.

I feel SO sorry for their victims, how many of those poor souls were disbelieved, because everyone takes the priest's word over theirs?

It destroys their self-esteem and that'll probably last a lifetime, long after this animal is released.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 05:37 PM

He is now. But he was left at it for a decade and a half of horrible abuse. Even in 1991, when it was well understood the man was a serial abuser the college of Bishops thought it was 'unimaginable' that the matter would be referred to the Gardaí. The pope refused to remove him from the priesthood for a long time after the ongoing abuse and potential future dangers became known to the Vatican.

Again it's the hierarchy that's sitting there without being answerable to any authority for their knowingly allowing another one of their priest to continue his hideous abuse of young children.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 06:05 PM

Unfortunately, it's not likely the last of the lot.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 06:16 PM

There should be charges of 'aiding and abetting' and 'failing to report a crime' brought wherever they can be proved. The facilitators, where known, should not be allowed to think they have got away with it and examples should be made wherever it is possible to do so. I include the police in that as well as the clergy.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,999
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 06:28 PM

Hear, hear, Smokey.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 07:32 PM

Absolutely. I really do not care if they remain priests, as long as they are dealt with by civil authorities, as well as the enablers, and are kept away from vulnerable populations. It is the enablers who are at least equally sick, and it is an institution that has great sickness embedded within it, and the church creates these men and women, as well as some very fine ones. You have to look at the whole system, the whole ways the mothers and fathers, probably more the mothers, bought into it, the whole repression to the point that anything was less sinful than being with a woman. ANd it was done by terror, and that is why most people bought into it. Oh yes..some guilt, but mostly terror of hell and purgatory. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 08:37 PM

Not to discount the serious of these offenses, which took place from 1978 to the early 1990s, it's interesting to see the difference in the coverage of the story by The Guardian and The Irish Times. The Guardian makes it sound like all this happened just yesterday, while the Irish Times puts it more into its proper time frame.

The original offense was in 1978, and church officials apparently did not find the original complaint credible. After other complaints, the priest was sent to psychiatric treatment in 1985, and a psychiatrist said he was "cautiously optimistic" after treatment.

There were more complaints, and he was sent away for treatment in 1988. Then there was another molestation in 1989. He was removed from the ministry in 1990 and sent for further treatment. The process to dismiss Walsh from the clerical state began in January 1992, and he was dismissed from the priesthood in August, 1993. He appealed the dismissal to Rome, which upheld his appeal saying he should be reinstated provided he enter a monastery for a period of 10 years. No monastery would take him, so Pope John Paul II confirmed the dismissal in 1996. Mind you, he was removed from active ministry in 1990 - when Margaret Thatcher was still Prime Minister of Great Britain.

The Irish Times says, "In November 1995, Garda stations began collating all cases they had concerning Walsh. In 1996, Cardinal Ratzinger confirmed Pope John Paul II was dismissing Walsh from the priesthood. The DPP directed Walsh be tried in relation to six complainants and he was sentenced to six years in jail." It appears that other complaints have resulted in more criminal convictions in the last year.

So, this priest was removed from ministry in 1990, twenty years ago. His actions resulted in criminal convictions and time in jail. Now, I do not mean to make light of these offenses, but do you have any information about recent child molestation - say, in the last five or ten years?

Maybe we need more threads about Margaret Thatcher and about how horrible she was in 1990, eh?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 08:42 PM

"Maybe we need more threads about Margaret Thatcher and about how horrible she was in 1990, eh?"

To me, sexual crimes against children, especially by those in positions of authority, should have no time limitations...nor comments that seem to try to bellttle their impact.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 08:53 PM

If the current revelations are anything to go by, we won't be hearing about 5 - 10 year old incidents for a few years yet.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: bobad
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 08:55 PM

I fear that these abuses will continue as long as the Catholic church maintains it's archaic law of clerical celibacy.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 08:57 PM

....and when the perpetrators are no longer in authority and have gone to jail for their offenses; and the victims are well into adulthood, what then? How long do we keep pointing the finger of blame?

I will admit that this story is particularly interesting, since this former priest was unbelievably tenacious in his attempt to fight his removal from the priesthood, and in his efforts to find children to molest.

We can keep pointing back at these incidents of twenty and more years ago, and we can smugly condemn all the retired and dead and incarcerated people who committed the offenses - but that won't prevent future offenses, unless we come up with honest answers about why such offenses happen in our society, and what can be done to prevent them. This is a problem that afflicts all of humankind, not simply other people and churches we don't happen to belong to. We need to find solutions, and it's damn well time we quit wallowing in blame.

Do I think the problem has been solved? No.
Do I think the Catholic Church has instituted practices that will prevent future problems? No, and I think the Church and society are naive to think that any "solution" is fail-safe.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Richie Black (misused acct, bad email)
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 09:03 PM

Watch this programme that went out on Irish television last night about them. These scum deserve the full wrath of the law to come down on them.

http://www.u.tv/utvplayer/video/134183

Margaret Thatcher was never found guilty of child molestation, so why bring her into it ?

That comment was in very poor taste.

Watch this video.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 09:08 PM

If the news takes 20+ years to reach the public, that is when it will be discussed. I can't see any way round that, apart from making a much greater effort to catch current offenders.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 09:31 PM

"unless we come up with honest answers about why such offenses happen in our society, and what can be done to prevent them"

More specifically, why these happen in The RC church, (rather than watering it down to society) and why the RC organization has failed to deal with it in a meaningful way?

I suspect more energies have been directed on attempts to minimize the impact on the brand "the church and the central organization" than on compassion towards the abused than on actual change. It is predictible to put the blame on the victim, rather than focus on the source of the problem (which I suspect has not gone away on its own, but is merely in remission).


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 09:40 PM

We have to ask why it is protected at the highest levels. Why molesting children, mostly boys it seems, is protected, when if a priest runs off with a nun, or someone like Father Cutie is seen on the beach with a pretty woman, that is truly shocking. There is something, some sickness that has endured throughout the ages, that not only wants to protect this behavior, but almost preserve it. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 10:25 PM

You're fooling yourself, Ed T. Child molestation happens wherever there are children. If you can find a convenient organization like a church to blame it on, then you don't have to face the problem yourself. There's no doubt that the Catholic Church is in large part to blame for countless instances of molestation that were committed by priests. I'm not denying that at all. But if you scapegoat the Catholic Church, you're looking at only the tip of the iceberg.

Statistics show that most likely, it has happened in your own family and in your own neighborhood, and you have ignored or denied the telltale signs. Or maybe you just didn't notice - that happens a lot. Everybody ignores it. Everybody denies it. Nobody wants to get involved, because it's somebody else's business - until we can find a convenient scapegoat to dump all the blame on.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Rapparee
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 10:32 PM

It has happened, to my certain knowledge, in the Baptist, Latter-Day Saints, Methodist, and Lutheran religions. It has also occurred in both the Boy Scouts and the Girls Scouts.

I know people who, if they had their way, would permanently remove all proven child molesters from society no matter who they might be.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 10:47 PM

When I lived in Sacramento in the 1980s, the man across the street beat his kids. Not brutally, but he'd lose his temper all the time; and he'd hit them a lot, yelling terrible things at them. Sometimes, I did quiet things to intervene, but I never reported him to the police. I figured it was his wife's responsibility to do that. Everybody in the neighborhood knew he was beating his kids, and I was the only one who even made a feeble attempt to intervene - and believe me, my attempt was feeble.
You watch something like that, and you don't know what to do. You're half afraid that calling the police will just make him madder and more likely to harm a child. And he and his wife lost a child to drowning early in their marriage - was that the cause of his anger, or was the death of his child really his fault somehow.
All I can say is that I saw it, and I didn't know what to do. Eventually, the wife divorced him and he moved out of the house, and the neighborhood quieted down. But his angry outbursts were a disconcertment in the neighborhood for a long, long time; and nobody did anything about it.

Physical abuse of children is a very obvious thing. Sexual abuse isn't. It often doesn't get reported for years; and people really aren't likely to believe a report of a five-year-old incident if it wasn't reported right after it happened. It's human nature to deny things like this. If you don't see it, the tendency is not to face it. Even in very obvious cases like the child abuse I witnessed, it was hard to know what to do.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: katlaughing
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 10:54 PM

It's the RC which puts such an unrealistic onus on its priests and nuns, though, Joe, to never have any kind of sex. That's not the norm in any other part of society. And, it's not always been the case in the RC. They used to allow marriage. I don't care how noble a "calling" is, very few individuals are invulnerable to the sexual drive. If it is suppressed and coupled (no pun intended) with dire predictions of purgatory, etc. it can become perverted and the adults look to the most vulnerable, the children, for release. It is sick and, yes, it does happen in all of society, but that does not excuse what has happened in the RC and could still be happening for all we know. Your remark about Thatcher was not germane and really beneath you, imo. I know you love your church and you feel defensive about it, but there is no justification for any of what has happened and it will be an ongoing process of revelations as people continue to grow up, speak out, investigate, etc. One doesn't stop talking about the elephant in the room and hope it will go away.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 11:24 PM

The thread title is "And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)." But actually, that's not the cases. The thread presents no evidence that there is one more abusing priest than there was yesterday, or ten years ago, or twenty years ago. This isn't news - this priest was prosecuted in 1995. No, there's no excuse for this having happened in the Catholic Church - I never said there was an excuse. All I'm saying is that Mudcatters are experts at beating old news to death. And yes, it smells like bigotry to me.

This former priest's story is significant because, as the Murphy Report says, "Fr Tony Walsh is probably the most notorious child sexual abuser to have come to the attention of the Commission… His pattern of behaviour is such that it is likely that he has abused hundreds of children."

But it isn't news. It's an old, old story - just like Maggie Thatcher is an old, old story. It's not "more abusing priests" - it's new and revealing information about a molesting priest who was convicted of his crimes and went to jail - a long time ago. There's more to come in this story. The Catholic Church was merely one of the first places where it was discovered. Child molestation is happening everywhere. That's an old story, too - but nobody has paid any attention to it.

I don't that celibacy should be required for priests, but I don't see any evidence that celibacy causes child molestation. Child molesters are mentally disturbed, not just victims of celibacy rules. Child molestation is something far deeper. Having a wife won't cure a child molester.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 11:30 PM

The news is his recent belated conviction:

"His conviction on December 6th paved the way for the publication of the 29 pages of the report referring specifically to him. He was jailed for 16 years, with four suspended, following his conviction of the sexual abuse of three boys from Ballyfermot during the late 1970s to the early 1980s."


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 11:34 PM

But as I read the Irish Times article, he was convicted of other offenses in the 1990s and sentenced to 6 years in prison. The more recent conviction is apparently for offenses that came to light more recently. The article is a bit unclear on that, but it does appear he did prison time after a conviction in the 1990s.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 11:40 PM

Yes, but that, as you say is old news and incidental to the subject matter.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 11:49 PM

This Irish Times article gives very graphic details of the actual offenses, and makes it clear that Walsh had at least one criminal conviction in the 1990s. Apparently, he fought the more recent criminal trial for some eight years, but lost his fight. I hope he was in jail during those eight years, but maybe that's too much to hope for. Still, the fact of the matter is that the church dealt with the matter in 1990, and the Garda in 1995. What's happened since, is merely the time that it takes for judicial procedures to progress.
As Smokey says, the recent conviction was for offenses that took place "during the late 1970s to the early 1980s" - the same offenses that got him removed from the ministry in 1990 and began the police prosecution effort in 1995. Has he been in police custody since 1995?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 12:08 AM

He could be out for good behaviour in nine years, despite getting a total of 123. Seems very wrong to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 12:29 AM

Me, too, Smokey.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 12:30 AM

Nine years in prison is a long, long time. Thisis on top of the six years the man has already served, 1996-2002 (click). I know there's a tendency to think that longer and longer prison terms are needed for the more heinous crimes, but I think that anything over five years in prison is a lifetime. The current Conventional Wisdom demands harsher and harsher sentences, but there's no evidence that it does any good for anybody but prison employees.
Our current system of "justice" in the Western World is vengeance-based, and it hasn't served to solve our crime problems.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 12:36 AM

It's more a question of removing him from society to where he can do no harm. He should be locked up until he is at the very least decrepit and incapable of further offences.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 12:50 AM

It's controversial, but I wonder if castration and five years in prison might be a more effective punishment.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 01:09 AM

I doubt it, and it's rather crude.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 03:06 AM

Old case Joe? Well maybe. But tell that to the victims.

The most disconcerting about the whole affair to me is that once again the hierarchy failed their flock by letting the man at it. I have probably seen more news coverage on this at this stage and, based on more extensive coverage than the newspaper articles provide, there is no denying that the man was let go about his business while there was full knowledge what his business was.

Is that old hat? I am not so sure. Many of the priests that failed to act, indeed actively shielded the affair from the authorities, are still functioning within the hierarchy. Should they be held accountable? I think they should. Because if they don't I don't believe there can be any guarantee present and future abusers will not be shielded from justice again and again. Will that result in full proof safeguarding against abuse? I am afraid not but it just might go a bit towards avoiding letting these matters go on, and let the perpetrators of these crimes do what they do without any serious attempt at stopping them. Until then, we'll keep pointing the fingers of blame.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 03:19 AM

This morning's Irish Times :

Arxhdiocese took 17 years to report abuse priest to gardaí

Start a Thatcher thread if you think that's an appropriate comparison to this sort of cases.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 03:34 AM

In a lot of these cases, the "original offense" may have taken place a long time ago (as though that's supposed to make some difference) but how about when the abuse also WENT ON for years too? It's an irrelevant point to even bring up, much less try to use as a mitigating factor. The abused kids who later committed suicide over it - and don't kid yourself there weren't any - stay dead. Yep, even twenty whole years later. Still dead.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 03:58 AM

Well, I have to say I'm still struggling to understand all this, and I haven't found answers that make sense to me.

People seem to be so certain that they know all the answers, and it all looks pretty foggy to me.

I can certainly agree that those who commit crimes against children should receive swift, certain, and severe punishment - I have no question about that whatsoever, and I am very reluctant to believe in the possibility of rehabilitation.

What I'm not so sure of, is the extent to which other people should shoulder responsibility for these crimes. Sexual crimes against children are very difficult to detect and to prove, because children don't completely know what's going on and they are reluctant to report it.

These crimes often go unreported for years, and often are never reported. Adding to the problem is that child molesters are often very charming and convincing - that's how they attract the children they prey on. That also makes it hard for adults to believe that such a charming person could do such a thing. It's not only church leaders who don't believe the children and don't report the crimes to police - the parents also should be responsible for reporting crimes committed against their children. That's something I can't understand - why didn't the parents go to the police?

Another thing I don't understand is why people expect church leaders to be aware of these crimes and able to control them. Parish priests are largely autonomous, with very little supervision from the bishop's office. It is the people of the parish who have the opportunity to observe the conduct of priests on a day-to-day basis. In our town, there is a cadre of right-wing lay people who monitor the priests very closely, and keep a steady stream of complaint letters going to the bishop's office, if Father says so much as an inaccurate word during Mass ("people" instead of "men," for example). The most common real problem we have with priests is alcoholism, and usually it's parishioners who make sure the problem is dealt with - the bishop's office has no way of knowing, unless parishioners convey that information.

I've been in the Sacramento (California) Diocese since 1980, and this diocese has always had procedures for dealing with complaints of sexual misconduct by priests. In almost all cases, the complaints were handled quickly and with compassion, and with a minimum of red tape. Almost all of the offending priests were removed from ministry as soon as the complaints were found to be valid. I was in the seminary in Milwaukee 1962-70, and that diocese had procedures for dealing with sexual misconduct back then - we were put through extensive psychiatric screening when I was in college, and several seminarians were removed (at the same time, the director of St. John's School for the Deaf next door was molesting students, but that's not something we knew about).

Both Sacramento and Milwaukee had cases that weren't handled perfectly, but that's to be expected. If you've ever worked in a criminal justice system, you know that it's impossible to stop or to catch every crime. One hundred percent just isn't possible. Whatever you do to prevent or punish it, crime is still going to happen. You do the best you can during your work shift, and then you go home and try to forget it until tomorrow.

I spent 25 years as a federal investigator, so I'm not naive about these things. I have investigated a number of people who were accused of child molestation, and there were a number of cases where nobody was able to do anything about the crime because there was no solid proof. Crimes against children are very, very difficult to detect - and even more difficult to prove, especially when they happen within families. I can think of one law enforcement supervisor who molested his stepdaughter, and I was not able to get him removed because I couldn't get solid proof. If I can't prove a case against a two-bit macho molester cop, how can I expect a bishop to know how to deal with a priest who's molesting? And in my own experience, the most frequent offenders were married law enforcement officers, not clergy. There's something about being employed in law enforcement that can really bring out the weirdness in people.

It's a complex issue. I hear lots of blame repeated here, over and over again - but I don't hear any answers. All I hear are cries for revenge and punishment, but very few rational answers to this terrible problem. I think we need to begin asking questions and thinking. It's time to get to work, and stop pointing fingers of blame.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 04:05 AM

It all looks pretty foggy??? Things do look foggy when you don't want to see them.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 04:10 AM

OK, Bonnie. Tell us.
If you're so damn knowledgeable, tell us how to solve the problem of child molestation, once and for all.
I tried to be honest. I'm not covering up or denying anything. It's a problem I take very seriously, I've studied it for years, and it is still a puzzle for me.
I find no easy answers to this problem, but apparently you know all the answers.
So, why don't you just enlighten us all?

If you get the impression I'm angry, then your perception is correct. This is a horrible problem in the Catholic Church and in all of the western world, but it's not going to be solved if all people can do is point the finger of blame at each other.

-Joe Offer-

In this case, there's no doubt that the molestation went on for a long time, from about 1978 to the early 1990s, even after Walsh was removed from the ministry in 1990. It didn't stop until Walsh was prosecuted in 1995 and convicted and sent to prison in 1996 - but that was 14 years ago. This is not a new case.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 04:26 AM

C'mon, Bonnie. I want answers. I take this problem every bit as seriously as you do, and I want a rational solution.
Rational. Got that?


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 04:27 AM

Oldest trick in the book, Joe.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 04:28 AM

Speaking of this case, things aren't fuzzy. Complaints were made, the nature of the man's crimes was known. A member of the hierarchy spoke with the man, I believe during the mid eighties, the man did not deny any of the allegations and in fact admitted to one case that had not been reported. He was NOT reported to the authorities. He remained a priest. He remained in a situation where he could and indeed did continue his offences on a large scale. The gathering of Bishops called it 'unimaginable' that the perpetrator would be handed over to the authorities.

What's not clear about that Joe? Don't you think the people who shielded the man and his crimes from justice should shoulder some of the blame?

I have no solution for the problem but removing abusing priests from office and let justice take it's cause would be something of a start wouldn't it? And I mean ofcourse, these having these actions take place immediately, not after letting a situation fester for a decade and a half. Because that's the thing Joe, the church is only seen to be acting when it can no longer avoid it. Not immediately and decisively when it needs to.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 04:36 AM

Irish Times:

Scale of Walsh cover up by church breathtaking


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 04:39 AM

"If you're so damn knowledgeable, tell us how to solve the problem of child molestation, once and for all."
You will never find a cure for child molestation - but institutionalised abuse by employees of the most powerful body in the state in the full knowledge of their employers is inexcuseable and unforgiveable - I wonder how long any political party (or political system, for that matter) would survive if it was politicians who had been using their position to rape children?
According to the latest revelations the leadership of the church was fully aware of the abuses throughout the time they were happenning AND DID NOTHING - they were implicated in the abuses, and in other circumstances, would be liable to prosecution.
The very least that has to happen is that the church must never again hold a place of authority in the state, should ONLY minister to the spiritual needs of those who freely choose to accept them, and only then, under close scrutiny.
THEY SHOULD NEVER AGAIN BE A LAW UNTO THEMSELVES.
If these are "old" crimes, perhaps we might be told when rape, or murder, or assault, or torture, or terrorism..... reach a sell-by date and are no longer criminal offences?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 04:41 AM

Peter, it was a different time back in the 1980s, when these crimes were committed. People believed that child molesters could be sent to expensive psychiatric treatment programs and be cured. Criminal justice emphasized "rehabilitation," and there were all sorts of diversion programs designed to reform criminals and keep them out of prison.
These programs didn't work, and the response to crime has swung to the other extreme - all we do now is punish, punish, punish.

I don't think either is the answer - but I'm honest enough to say that I don't know what the answer is.

I do think that the threads on this subject have gone way overboard in dwelling on the past and on blaming all sorts of elderly people for things that happened twenty to forty years ago. We need rational, practical answers to this real, terrible problem - but all Mudcatters can do is point the finger of blame.

The Fr. Tony Walsh story was a terrible thing, but it ended when he was prosecuted 15 years ago. Expanding the blame for a story that ended 15 years ago is fruitless - what can we do now to stop future molestation? That's where the issue is. We need answers, not blame. This is an urgent problem - wallowing in blame is not going to solve it. Give me answers.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 04:42 AM

You want a neat solution to a complex problem, handed to you on a china plate. Even if that could be done, what's the point? All you will do is reframe it so you can ignore the bits you don't like and reclassify the rest until it suits your views. You haven't given a solution either, I notice.

And don't you dare imply I'm irrational. You're the one with the denial issues. I'm not wasting more energy and constructive work time going over the same ground again and again when you're only going to believe what you choose to believe anyway. How about you give us a solution? And a rational one. Got that?


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 05:08 AM

No, Bonnie. I don't have a solution. Nobody has, and so they run around crazy looking for somebody to blame.

I do know that the problem will be solved only if people take responsibility, rather than simply passing the blame onto somebody else. You don't want to hear this, but why didn't the parents of the victims report the crimes to the police? And if the police didn't listen, why didn't the parents keep pushing until somebody listened? Who better than the parents to fight for justice for their children?

Yes, it was cowardly for church officials to attempt to cover up these crimes, but they were going to have to pay a high price for what happened. I do not absolve them whatsoever of the blame they must shoulder for covering up these terrible crimes - but what did the parents have to lose by reporting these crimes?

I was brought up to think that if I saw an injustice, it was my responsibility to see that it was put right. That fact that somebody didn't listen to me the first time, wasn't a valid excuse that allowed me to drop the matter.

The question now is not what happened fifteen years ago. The question is what we can do NOW to prevent these crimes from continuing. What's your answer? I really want to know. I want a rational, honest discussion, not a constant circle of nothing but blame. Blame doesn't heal.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,CrazyEddie
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 05:15 AM

"The Fr. Tony Walsh story was a terrible thing, but it ended when he was prosecuted 15 years ago."

I wonder if his victims would agree with that statement? I's say they are still living with the consequences.

The points that must be made are:
(1) There can be no statute of limitations on crimes like his.
(2) Those who covered up his crimes(whatever their actual intentions) helped to enable him to carry on abusing others. They should be prosecuted as the law allows, (accomplice/ accessory/ perverting the course of justice etc.
(3) It must be made clear that society will never again allow any institution to operate as a law unto themselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 05:24 AM

""I do think that the threads on this subject have gone way overboard in dwelling on the past and on blaming all sorts of elderly people for things that happened twenty to forty years ago.""

Joe, people are blamed for their actions only when those actions come to light, and the evidence is there to be acted upon.

How many years after WW2 was Adolf Eichmann caught, tried, and convicted.

Besides that, you are pleading special privilege for the Roman Catholic Church, based on its religious nature.

We wouldn't even be having this conversation if it were a case of another organisation (e.g. a private school) which had covered the actions of a member of staff to protect its reputation, and I believe you know that.

Those who abet and hide a crime are as guilty as the perpetrator, and as deserving of just retribution, whatever and wherever they may be.

We are discussing neither the prevention, nor the causes of child abuse. The subject under discussion, stripped of irrelevant matters, is the proper treatment of those who wantonly allow it to continue, thereby becoming accessory to the crime.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 05:37 AM

""I was brought up to think that if I saw an injustice, it was my responsibility to see that it was put right. That fact that somebody didn't listen to me the first time, wasn't a valid excuse that allowed me to drop the matter.""

Joe, do you really not see the inconsistency in that statement.

You acquired that moral compass, at least in part, from your Roman Catholic upbringing. Do you not think that the actions under discussion were an injustice, and do you not think that the Church should practise what it preaches?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 05:37 AM

We wouldn't even be having this conversation if it were a case of another organisation (e.g. a private school) which had covered the actions of a member of staff to protect its reputation, and I believe you know that.

No, Don, we wouldn't be having this conversation - because in most cases, the statute of limitations would have long expired. In this case, limitations have been totally ignored, because the Catholic Church has "deep pockets." In my diocese, the victims were compensated generously and promptly at the time they filed their complaints. The standard rate was $25,000 or $40,000. But when the matter arose again in the press in the last decade, the victims demanded and were given additional compensation - a million dollars apiece. Mind you, the matter was handled correctly the first time, and the crimes were reported and the offenders punished.

But fifteen years after the fact, it's well-nigh impossible to prove or disprove what actually happened. There's no doubt the molesters should be punished severely, no matter how long ago their offense - but the rest of this has become a witch hunt. And worst of all, this witch hunt won't heal any of the harm that has been done, and it won't serve to prevent future harm. Nobody cares about the children who suffered - it's all about blame.

And no, there is no inconsistency in my statement. It is my responsibility to right the injustice I see - not merely to pass the blame on to somebody who failed to take action. Again, I have no doubt that church leaders failed terribly in these incidents that took place twenty and thirty or more years ago. I do not deny that.... but has anybody ever heard of the futility of crying over spilt milk? What are you going to do to ensure this sort of thing doesn't happen in the future? Dwelling on the past will do nothing, nothing at all.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Richie Black (misused acct, bad email)
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 05:50 AM

How can people come on here and make excuses for them ?
Abuse is a long tradition in the Catholic Church. There is not a clergyman today that can claim he had no knowledge of abuse in the church since his/her very first day in seminary. The church always looked the other way and seriously rebuked complaints within. Reckless sexuality is the hall mark of a large majority of the popes. Our latest was a flagellant and Pius12 had a long term lover that left him at his death, never to be seen again. Murder, rape, pillaging, assasinations, torture, child abuse, gluttony, lust pride, avarice...all a part of Catholic historical identity.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 05:55 AM

"Nobody cares about the children who suffered"????!!!! Do you bother to even read anything anyone else says? "It's all about blame"? No. It seems to be all about denial. You don't count the victims' testimonies as proof, knowing damn well that after this amount of time forensic proof is impossible. A nice getout which allows you to dismiss the whole lot. Blame at least SEEKS justice, which is better than pious platitudes.

And we've been through all these why-didn't-the-parents etc. issues in the other thread(s), exhaustively, trying to make clear to you the demographic conditions in the Ireland of those days, and the reasons why ordinary members of the community couldn't just "keep pushing until somebody listened". That's a luxury of a freer society, which has choices and isn't emotionally held to ransom by a single almighty institution in power. The final Somebody was the Church. All complaining did was make pariahs of any troublemakers, who were then also emotionally blackmailed with the flames of Hell - which were very real to true believers - if they dared speak out against holy Big Brother.

Just re-read some of the past posts in those other threads, where people try to point out to you the differences of the world those families lived in and the world you live in, from where you cast your judgments and call anyone who contests them irrational, and decide what they do and don't care about. You're a pretty dab hand at casting blame yourself, I seem to recall.

I can't see the point of taking time to write everything out again and again just because you don't want to believe certain things. We've been over this same ground before, repeatedly. You just don't like the answers.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 05:56 AM

""No, Don, we wouldn't be having this conversation - because in most cases, the statute of limitations would have long expired.""

In most Western countries the statute of limitations allows for prosecution of cases by adults who were victims in their childhood, commonly more than twenty years on.

In California, an abuser was prosecuted in 1998 for abuse committed as long ago as 1955.

And your comment about the depth of the RC Church's pockets is utterly unworthy.

What has the size of their bank balance to do with the prosecution of those who allowed more children to become victims by covering up the activities of knownabusers?

Apportioning blame is not the issue, since the accessories to these crimes are already known.

They perpetrated the grossest injustice upon the victims, and in line with your above statement, I am not prepared to shut up and let it drop, and I wonder why you apparently are prepared to do so. It doesn't fit with your earlier comment.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 06:16 AM

".......the statute of limitations would have long expired."
Are you seriously suggesting that there should be a statute of limitations on serial child rape spread over decades, possibly centuries, by members of the most influential organisation in the state?
It took seventeen years for the Diocese of Dublin to act on Walsh's crimes, during which time hundreds of other children were abused - making the diocese full accomplices.
The first complaints, at a time when Walsh could have been stopped in his tracks, were not acted on by the diocese, except to send a priest around to visit the victim and lecture him on "the issues of male sexuality" - the rest is history.
The Vatican overturned Walsh's expulsion because of their attitude that paedophelia is a sickness rather than a crime.
From an outsider's point of view, the chuch is rotten to the core, from the top down and is a threat to the wellbeing of the people - particularly the children, of any nation where it has influence- prove to us that this is not the case.
Far from this going away, it is now proposed that an enquiry is opened to examine the behaviour of the Catholic Church in Northern Ireland - watch this space.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 08:57 AM

While I do not agree with Jim's inflammatory language, insofar as I am concerned with individuals who (for whatever reason) let down the ideals of the Church, not the institution itself, he is right in supporting both enquiry into, and action upon these events.

Two interesting snippets of fact which quite accidentally dropped into my lap last evening.

Within the Vatican State the age of consent is twelve, unchanged when the rest of Italy raised it to sixteen in the 1920s. I have no idea whether there are any children among the 500 population, though it seems unlikely.

Also, the Vatican State, with a population of 500 has the highest per capita crime rate of any state on Earth, with some 600 crimes reported annually.

I wonder who are the miscreants among a population mainly composed of clerics?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Greg F.
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 11:42 AM

Ya know, its probably way past time that folks stopped abusing priests.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 11:50 AM

Don, special legislation was enacted in California to temporarily lift the statute of limitations so dozens of cases could go to court - and most of these cases had been settled decades earlier. No, if it had happened in a public school or an athletic team, the recent cases would not have gone to court.

The case of Fr. Tony Walsh, which engendered this thread, went to court for criminal prosecution in 1995. Walsh was removed from the priesthood in 1990 - as I said, when Margaret Thatcher was still Prime Minister, which means it was a long time ago. The story of Walsh was thoroughly covered by the Murphy Report in 2009, but was withheld from publication so as not to jeopardize criminal prosecution. As I have said before in this thread, this is not something new.

So much is said here about the "power of the Church." Go into an Irish Catholic Church on a Sunday and count how many people are there. You'll find most churches are almost empty. The "power of the Church" is no more. You're beating a dead horse, and ignoring the current problem.

Several people have accused me of "denial." Just what is it that I have denied? All I've said is that I think people here dwell on the past far too much, and go crazy over every new revelation of something that happened in the 1980s. There is no discussion here about what is being done now or what should be done now. There is no attempt to understand the causes of child molestation or the solution of the problem. The problem has not gone away. What can be done to actually solve the problem?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 12:31 PM

"You're fooling yourself, Ed T. Child molestation happens wherever there are children. If you can find a convenient organization like a church to blame it on, then you don't have to face the problem yourself....Statistics show that most likely, it has happened in your own family and in your own neighborhood, and you have ignored or denied the telltale signs"

Does anyone recall anyone saying that this child molestation does not occur in other areas or in society? I do not.

The reason the RC church and its organization are being blamed for sexual abuse is it happened, and the organization has not fully dealt with it. Just how many who allowed this to happen inside the organization has been held accountable?

Joe Offer continues in his attempts to "water down" the "child molestation elephant" inside the RC organization (as many other RC's do). Sorry, it does not work.

There were (are) cover-ups and there is no reason to believe those responsible are not still inside this organization. There are also no reason to believe that many more got away with it, and quite possibly still are at it (child molesters don't get better, they just get better at it under closer scrutiny).

Facts show many of those abused by RC priests were not those very young children who are molested in society that Joe spoke of earlier. They were young boys. Many did come forward with their stories, and were pushed aside by the RC organization to allow the guilty to continue their abuse. Only after facing civil actions by these boys, turned adults) has the RC eventually "fessed up".

I suspect the loss of respect for the RC organization will not end until this church "gets it" and forgets trying to protect the guilty and the brand. Attempts top water down the abuse just makes it worse. It's like an unremorseful murderer saying "many people murder, so my actions are not that bad.

And, yes Joe Offer, I do personally know the stories of a few children who were sexually abused. Each one is now an adult. Two were young girls abused by their father. But, four of them were abused by RC priests.... priests who got off with it. But, that's another story. I am certain that not one of them would be comforted when you say callously "oh heck, it happens all the time".


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 12:34 PM

The problem has not gone away. What can be done to actually solve the problem?

Keep the clergy etc. and young people separate at all times. Don't provide the opportunities.

Unfortunately I don't know how to prevent other areas of child abuse, nor does anyone else, and they aren't that relevant to this discussion.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 12:38 PM

To solve the problem? Call the bishops and anyone who did not report crimes to the police, or who obstructed justice, and have the legal system run its course. Shine the light of day on the coveruppers and let the people have their say to them. Let the people say how this has affected their participation in the church and their monetary contributions. Listen to what non-Catholics and fallen-away Catholics have to say. Hold the pope responsible for a lot of this mess, especially for what he failed to do in positions of power prior to being pope. Won't solve the problem, but it will give the rats fewer places to hide. And I am sympathetic to a man driven to this sort of behavior for what knows cause. I know a good part of the cause as I was raised in the same way by a religious fanatic mother..originally protestant so I can't blame the Catholics, especially the Irish Catholics for her behavior, other than basically encouraging it. But my father, a nice man, a mild sort of Catholic, somehow taught us to put up with her abusive ways wrapped up in religion. You have this dynamite combination of religion, repression, out of control behavior on the part of some who somehow end up being Christian brothers, and a passive, submissive group of people. It needs to be studied to death. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 12:56 PM

I have said a few times Joe, making those who sheltered the abusers from the law and let them continue their abuse answerable would be a good start wouldn't it? They'd think twice about doing the same next time a case of abuse is brought to their attention.

It's a start and above all it would show the victims that justice is done by them.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 01:15 PM

"inflammatory language,"
I don't know where you are Don, but here in Ireland the victims of clerical abuse are still being treated with contempt by the church as a whole, and by some of the laity.
Earlier this year a victim who attempted to protest at a service officiated over by a bishhop who was deeply implicated in the cover up, was shouted down by the congregation and told she should be ashamed of herself.
The Vatican has recently said that they find the accusations that they were part of the cover-up "deeply insulting".
One thing that has been missing from this affair right from the beginning has been a total absence of any form of contrition on the part of the church, who have largely treated it as a damage-limitation operation.
Lives have been damaged, even ruined; as it has been constantly suggested that the abused sometimes become abusers themselves, we have no idea what future damage has taken place - and the sympathy is mainly bestowed on the abusers rather than the abused - "the old men".
I'll happily tone down my inflamatory language when I see those who allowed the abuse to go on for so long and to the extent it did, are made to pay for their crimes, or at the very least, to apologise to THEIR victims - they still walk among us.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 01:27 PM

Trying to separate past and present as though they have nothing to do with each other is denial. Seeking to deal with only the present so that you don't have to face the uncomfortable events that led up to it is denial. Refocusing the present in such a wide and all-encompassing angle that the original issue gets conveniently blurred is denial. Yes, of course society must "attempt to understand the causes of child molestation" - that's a truism so obvious and huge that it doesn't really need stating. It's also a great place in which to evade the specifics.

You clearly have no idea how insulting to the victims calling past abuse "a dead horse" is.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 01:28 PM

"What can be done to actually solve the problem?"

To start, open up the RC books up to scrutiny.

Have an open investigation on who knew what in the RC organization, who covered up what and why.

Initiate a major arms length investigation on what happened, including recommendations for change.

Sack, or demote those who allowed it to happen and continue to happen from positions of authority.


Put measures in place in all RC churches to limit the liklihood of reoccurance in RC churches in all countries.

Accept responsibility and initiate arms length measures to see that those who were abused are helped and healed.

Reach out to those who were abused, and never reported it.

Link with representatives of (and organizations) representing the abused to seek ideas for change.

Stop making excuses, or attempting to belittle these crimes.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: akenaton
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 01:28 PM

"The problem has not gone away. What can be done to actually solve the problem?"


-Joe Offer-
Scrap the celibacy rule...encourage family men with family values into the priesthood, that is all that's required.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 01:33 PM

A good one akenaton.
I would add,this is a problem beyond the civil nature of it.
End the time limitations for RC investigating of abuse cases. Make the investigation process arms length, not just a "peer review" process.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: josepp
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 01:52 PM

Since I'm not Catholic, I don't give a flying fuck--if you catch my drift.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 02:09 PM

"Since I'm not Catholic, I don't give a flying fuck--if you catch my drift"

Nor am I...but, I do care about the welfare of our youth..


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 02:49 PM

Do you have children, Josep?


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 04:36 PM

Or an ounce of empathy, perhaps?


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: mg
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 04:57 PM

I have two songs on the subject if anyone wants to PM me. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: mg
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 05:44 PM

I am struggling to understand the coverup mentality. Not why they become abusers themselves--I think I understand that part. But why would higher ups, especially in recent years, continue to hide this and not cooperate? I have to ask..what is going on in the Vatican that might be similar to all this? Are there rumors? Facts? It does not make sense for a church as horrified by sex as the RC one is to not make clean sweeps etc right away, unless there is some reason. Saving the reputation of the church does not cut it..it is ruined for the time being anyway. Fear of law suits -- I suppose but they have to know the wheels of justice will keep on turning and that things are not as suppressible as they used to be. Is it female-phobia? That at least they stayed away from women? Why weren't problem priests at least put where they absolutely could not have contact with vulnerable people? They could have counted money, or drawn pictures for holy cards, or made up more ugly songs for us to sing...Why the stonewalling? And I am not interested in why they protected the priesthood of priests..I don't mind for one that they do..as long as the priest can not hurt anyone it is fine with me. I honestly do not get the logic of trying to cover things up. Shame about any sexual behavior at all..sure..Trying to limit financial loss..OK..but it still does not add up to me unless there is something more entrenched. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 18 Dec 10 - 06:09 PM

MG:

An interesting perspective.

It seems reasonable that out of the many priests who abused, some, possibly many were promoted to high levels within the RC organization. IMO, because there are many inside the organization, some who have not been found out, that fear they would be implicated. These people could have a lot of influence. And, implicating people at high levels could be seen as damaging to the RC church.

I suspect there is a fear that the (organizational) house of cards could tumble.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 02:10 AM

Well, I haven't heard a single bishop give a credible explanation of what happened, and why so many bishops stonewalled the child molestation problem. I'm sure that some of it was cold, hard, and heartless - but most people aren't so steely cold. I think that more common responses on the part of bishops were:
    -inability to believe that a popular priest could do such a thing
    -bewilderment, because such a crime is truly bewildering and impossible to understand
    -fear - the payments in the US quickly escalated to a million dollars a victim, so how could a bishop dare tell the truth and risk losing even more millions of dollars
In this discussion, I find myself in much the same place as I find myself when I oppose the death penalty or the escalating strictness of anti-crime measures. Here in California, it is said to be political suicide to oppose the death penalty or the constant escalation of the length of prison sentences, or to attempt to refute the term "country club prison" (I've worked in many prisons, and never, ever seen a luxurious prison). California has huge financial problems, but it houses a huge percentage of its population in prisons. The cost of prisons is bleeding California to death, and it isn't solving our crime problems. Yet those who oppose the cost of ever-stricter punishments, are accused of being "soft on crime" or "unsympathetic to the victims."
That's hogwash. Nobody favors crime or criminals, and nobody is unsympathetic to the victims of crimes. I have a lot of sympathy for the victims of child molestation in the Catholic Church, and I have worked to prevent such crimes in church and Scout organizations for many years by conducting background checks on people likely to be working with children (I did this mostly as a volunteer, but occasionally as part of my job).

Nobody favors crime, but somewhere there is a line where punishment for crime becomes counterproductive. There is no amount of punishment, no amount of money that adequately compensate for the terrible evil done by a child molester, or by those who commit other horrible crimes. Even execution is not an adequate punishment. But when society becomes hungry for vengeance against criminals, it's a hunger that cannot be satisfied. Eventually, that hunger can destroy the integrity of society itself. Somewhere, we have to draw a line and stop our hunger for retribution and begin the process of healing.

It feels like we've turned the corner in the child molestation problem in the American Catholic Church in the United States. The price was huge, and many lay employees lost their jobs because church institutions could no longer afford to pay them. The process is at an earlier stage in Ireland and Europe, but I'm hoping the American experience will make the process move along better. And I hope that some day soon, the healing can begin.

Maybe once healing has begun, we can get some honest answers. I've tried to ask for honest discussion here, but it's obvious that the anger is still too strong to allow for honest discussion.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 02:45 AM

Joe - why is this discussion "dishonest" just because we disagree with your forget-about-the-past-and-only-think-about-Now stance? I resent your dismissal of everything that's been said here as somehow not valid just because it doesn't conform to your views/wishes and tell you what you want to hear. And, interesting as your reflections on California prisons are (I don't mean that sarcastically) what has it got to do with child-molesting priests in Ireland?

How is healing ever going to begin when people like you insist on ignoring the troublesome part of the problem - what happened Then - and only looking at Now? A new broom may sweep clean, but it also sweeps under the carpet.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 03:09 AM

Read my previous post again, Bonnie - and read it without thinking that it's an attack against you.

Overwhelming anger against crime in California prevents honest and open discussion of any preventive measure other than incarceration or execution. Those who oppose the death penalty or increased incarceration, are shouted down. Rational discussion of crime is impossible in the California political forum, and those who suggest a reduction of harshness are called "soft on crime" or "sympathetic to criminals," which is ludicrous. That's the same response I get here when I ask for a quiet, dispassionate discussion that might lead us to the truth.

There is overwhelming anger against the crimes of child molestation by priests, and that anger is justified. I have no question at all about the crimes of molestation themselves. The priests who committed those crimes did a horrible, horrible thing and there is no defense for them.

But the matter of the bishops is different. Many were callous and cruel and deceptive, and they deserve to be punished severely. But many were not so callous. Many (at least here in the U.S.) were quite sympathetic to victims, and provided generous compensation and paid for psychiatric treatment and referred the criminals to the police for prosecution. My bishop in Sacramento was like that. He did what he was supposed to do. Still, when the scandal got widespread coverage in the press in the current decade, every victim got an additional million dollars of compensation.

In a litigious society, any admission of guilt or responsibility opens a person to limitless financial liability. If I have an automobile accident, my insurance company requires me to not make any admission of guilt, since that's their responsibility to determine. When I was hit behind by a pack of street racing cars, nobody could apologize - because to apologize in a litigious society is lethal. Even if you did the best you could, you open yourself to limitless liability.

So, in the United States, the bishops can't explain even if they wanted to, because the price is too high - even though the amount already paid is absolutely phenomenal.

But we need answers. We need to understand why this happened.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 03:19 AM

I didn't think - or say - it was an attack against me. Please don't put words in my mouth or twist my meaning OR dodge the question.

I read it again.

The question stands.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 03:46 AM

Bonnie, whether you think my message is an attack against you or not, read it as if it were not an attack against you. I have no reason to deny any of the crimes that took place, and knowledge of those crimes is essential to any understanding and any effort to prevent such crimes from happening again.

But dwelling on the anger is self-destructive. Despite the fact that outrage is a natural response to such a crime, the outrage will destroy us if we do not set it aside at some point and deal with the aftermath of the problem dispassionately and constructively.

The crimes of Fr. Tony Walsh took place in the 1970s and 1980s. He was removed from the priesthood in 1990 and twice convicted and imprisoned for his crimes. The time for anger against Walsh is past. Now is the time to move on. How can his victims find healing - by continued retribution against Walsh and his ilk? How much healing does anger and vengeance provide?

The underlying premise of your question is unfair and untrue, and I have no answer for it. These horrible crimes can never be forgotten or ignored, and I would never suggest that they should be.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 04:04 AM

> JO: Maybe once healing has begun, we can get some honest answers. I've tried to ask for honest discussion here, but it's obvious that the anger is still too strong to allow for honest discussion.

> BS: Joe - why is this discussion "dishonest" just because we disagree with your forget-about-the-past-and-only-think-about-Now stance?


I don't see how it's an unfair question. You've used the word "honest" three times in two sentences, and stated that the above discussion can't be honest. My question is why you think it isn't, and you still haven't told us.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 04:15 AM

Joe, anger for what happened is past? The evasion, the shielding and protection, bygones?

You ask why parents did not go to the Guards. In 1991 a mother went to the Gardaí to report the abuse of her so by Tony Walsh. The Gardaí started an investigation and asked Mgr. Stenson if there was any record of previous abuse by the priest in question. Mgr Stenson 'evaded' the question (his own words here).

I hope we're allowed a bit of anger over that. Not just this 'evasion' but for the fact this sort of thing was (is?) systemic and recurring theme in all abuse cases.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: akenaton
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 05:12 AM

Still no answer on celibacy?

Another elephant in the room?

Priests are father figures....they should embody the values of fathers, understand how a family environment works.
I would go futher and suggest only men with a wife and at least one child should be employed in the priesthood.....and paid properly for doing their job.

The celibacy rule encourages people with sexual and psychiatric problems to come into the priesthood and the resuly is shown in these high rates of abuse of teenage boys by adult males.

The answer is staring you in the face.....unfortunately that answer does not fit well with "liberal" ideology......so we must keep searching for any other reasonas to...."why this is happening"


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 05:26 AM

In that context you should probably be aware that Fr Michael Cleary, Walsh' 'mentor', another member of the singing priest cast and the one who was appointed to have some stern talks with him, once the abuse became known, on the subject of male sexuality, lived openly in the Ballyfermot parish house with his house keeper and their family. The son always called him 'father'.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: akenaton
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 05:35 AM

and your point is?

I am speaking in general terms, and studies have shown rates of between 20 and 40 percent homosexual males in the priesthood.

If you deny there is any link between these rates and the abuse of young men and teenagers then perhaps you should not be commentung here.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 06:29 AM

""I'll happily tone down my inflamatory language when I see those who allowed the abuse to go on for so long and to the extent it did, are made to pay for their crimes, or at the very least, to apologise to THEIR victims - they still walk among us.""

That is exactly what I want to see Jim, and sooner rather than later, "pour encourager les autres".

But we should not forget that all of this was the fault of a comparatively small group of men within the Catholic Church.

By all means let's hunt those men down and bring them to justice, but tarring the whole church with the same brush is a step too far.

I come from a long line of Irish ancestors, and I know how the Irish clergy have behaved toward their flocks.

I well remember the parish priest in Ballyclagh back in the sixties, going through the village and dragging grown men by the ear into church on a Sunday morning.

I also remember the occasion when, one hour after our arrival from England one summer, the same priest was at the door threatening hell and damnation failing a donation to his church.

My father committed the only violent act I ever saw from him, and kicked his arse two hundred yards down the road, with a promise of a repeat performance if he bothered my grandmother again.

But I repeat, these are individuals, and it is the individuals we should concentrate on.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 06:45 AM

""But the matter of the bishops is different. Many were callous and cruel and deceptive, and they deserve to be punished severely. But many were not so callous. Many (at least here in the U.S.) were quite sympathetic to victims, and provided generous compensation and paid for psychiatric treatment and referred the criminals to the police for prosecution.""

That's the best reason I've seen for investigating and prosecuting those responsible for the coverups.

It would sort the wheat from the chaff, and while punishing the guilty, it would exonerate the decent, honest, men of God, and also show that the Church is not institutionally corrupt.

Isn't that a resolution to be desired.

Left alone as you suggest Joe, this cancer will eat out and destroy the heart of the Catholic Church.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 07:35 AM

"But we should not forget that all of this was the fault of a comparatively small group of men within the Catholic Church".

The focus is frequently on those who were caught sexually abusing those in their care. Unfortunately, it is not on those that knew it and let it happen. Until the latter are swept from the organization, the RC church will never be a safe place for children, nor, IMO, the wrongs put right.

What Joe O sees at as anger. I see as honest discussion, but maybe not in areas to his liking? Some are more comforted when discussion focuses on the "RC party line" that often seems to be put forward. But, I see that that approach will never cleanse the RC church of its real problems, inside nor in the public eye.

One big step would be to "get over" bringing up the financial "costs" of the RC crimes to the local churches. That is a "cost to financially compensate individuals", not a "solution" to the problem, nor healing for those abused.

Joe asked for suggestions for solutotions. Posters gave some good ones. From his reaction, it seems that they were not what he is prepared to hear, or consider. So, why ask the quetion, Joe O? There is some comfort in maintaining the status quo, that got us here...but, where does that take you?


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 09:42 AM

I think Joe's comparison with Thatcher was entirely reasonable.

By any imaginable standard, Thatcher did incomparably more evil than Walsh to far more people. Millions of lives wrecked and thousands dead, from gratuitous warfare, poverty and despair. Why the fuck isn't SHE in a cell, along with the gang of thugs she operated with?

For that matter, the Irish power elite have done far more to ruin people's lives by stealing the country's wealth and leaving millions with no prospect of anything in their future but endless grinding slog paying off "debts" they did nothing to incur. Far more will end up committing suicide because of them than because of perverted priests.

The abuse and the coverup are real issues, but they're very far from being the most important and the most urgent ones.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 10:01 AM

"The abuse and the coverup are real issues, but they're very far from being the most important and the most urgent ones".

To me, Joe threw in a red herring, Thacher. I don't know his purpose, (I suspect it was for comparison purposes). But, it is often a technique used to dillute the focus of in a discussion, in this case the thread topic relates to RC priest abuse.

Yes, there are many important issues that impact human kind around the world. But, is it reasonable to deal with each one going down a priority list, or, priority by country? That would mean one would never reach action on most issues, only on a few priorities at the top?

Or, is it more reasonable and productive to deal with many (or,all) at the same time, given our combined resources, the ease at which change can often be made, and considering our differing views on what the priority is, and their impacts on individuals and organizations?


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: mg
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 12:53 PM

I have been wondering why the words honest discussion. I think with heated emotions there probably can't be a discussion at all..so why add the word honest? If people have true emotions, what could be more honest? Now, some of them will be dead wrong, but they will all be honest. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 01:14 PM

"But we should not forget that all of this was the fault of a comparatively small group of men within the Catholic Church."
Don't know how closely you've been following this Don, but here in Ireland the situation has moved far beyond your small group of men.
The focus has now shifted to the cover-up - two full pages devoted to it in yesterday's Irish Times.
The fact that the diocese knew about Walsh's crimes 17 years before they did anything about it, enabling him to assault many more children, just about sums it up; far from it being a matter of individuals, it is fast becoming a case of corporate crime.
The surface has not yet been scratched yet.
And it really isn't good enough for anybody to point the finger and say "So-and-so did worse things"; that really is scraping the bottom of the barrel in defence of the indefencible; who next, Hitler, Pinochet, Jack the Ripper.
Far from this being over, I'm afraid it's ony just started - we have yet to see what has happened in Northern Ireland; and one day the Magdelene girls will get their place in the sun.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 02:03 PM

""Don't know how closely you've been following this Don, but here in Ireland the situation has moved far beyond your small group of men.
The focus has now shifted to the cover-up - two full pages devoted to it in yesterday's Irish Times.
""


Don't know how closely you've been following this Jim, but if you had you might be aware that everything I have posted on this thread has been directed toward the prosecution of those responsible for the coverup.

However, they still are a tiny minority of the Catholic priesthood, and an even more miniscule proportion of the Roman Catholic Church membership as a whole, and it is necessary to weed them out rather than tear down the whole organisation.

On balance, the RC Church is an influence for good, so let's confine ourselves to removing the guilty, both abusers and accessories to abuse.

Baby and bathwater ring any bells?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 02:51 PM

ake, while I disagree with most of what you post, I would like to point out that this liberal said, way up thread, that the RC needed to stop the celibacy requirement before you ever brought it up.

Also, Joe, you would gain more credence, imo, if you quit referring to Walsh as "Fr." It is not so and is insulting to those he abused and to priests who are not of his ilk (of which there must be some.)

I think it is far too easy for residents of the USA to forget we live in a very liberal society and that the rest of the world is, generally, far from that "free and easy." To suggest a parent in Ireland has only to contact the RC authorities and all will be taken care of, is naive at best. In such a patriarchal institution and society, a woman and her family can be destroyed by those in authority via shunning, calling on damnation they believe in, etc. And, guys, most of you are great and supportive, but most also will never truly understand what it is to be a woman in such a society with male dominance in authority from home to church, etc. It is not easy, even in this country sometimes, for a woman to go to authorities and be believed and supported.

The guilt runs from the highest offices down to the parishes, imo. Anyone who was complicit in covering up deserves to be called to justice. It's incredible, imo, that the RC hasn't turned priests over to the law in the first place for criminal investigations. There is no defence for that, imo, Joe, no matter when it happened.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 03:01 PM

"you had you might be aware that everything I have posted on this thread has been directed toward the prosecution of those responsible for the coverup."
I was talking about what is happening in Ireland Don; no argument with what you've posted.
"Baby and bathwater ring any bells?
Not much use if the bath's full of aligators.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 03:09 PM

..."and an even more miniscule proportion of the Roman Catholic Church membership"

This reminds me of the much repeated RC "press line" you can see all throughout the web, used to defend the brand by minimizing the crimes. Fortunately, most folks don't fall for it.

Let's be clear. Not one poster is blaming the parishoners, the membership of the RC church. The finger is clearly being pointed to the abusers, and those in the organization that knew and let it happen (by some of the same abusers) for decades.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 05:15 PM

Chapter 19/Murphy report.

Note that Walsh is referred to as 'Fr. Jovito' throughout.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 05:21 PM

Good grief, they actually awarded him £10,500 in severance pay when they chucked him out of the priesthood..


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 06:17 PM

Interesting, Smokey, about the name thing. Suppose it was something to do with legalities? I couldn't find anything cite re' the asterisk by his name, but then I only scanned very quickly for one.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 07:01 PM

It was explained in the original full report why some names had been changed - pending outstanding court proceedings, I imagine, but I can't specifically remember now.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 19 Dec 10 - 07:06 PM

Sorry, it wasn't actually explained:

"*Names marked with an asterisk are pseudonyms."

The Vatican dictated the conditions under which the report could be made before they would agree to cooperate.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 02:49 AM

Just a reminder the Vatican considered it a great insult they were asked to cooperate with the Murphy report in the first place. And they only did cooperate after the demanded, and got, total immunity.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 03:39 AM

""Not one poster is blaming the parishoners, the membership of the RC church. The finger is clearly being pointed to the abusers, and those in the organization that knew and let it happen (by some of the same abusers) for decades.""

Maybe so, but my reason for urging caution was that Jim was talking in terms of attacking of attacking the organisation as a whole, and severely curtailing all its activities, as a read through his earlier posts will confirm.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 04:42 AM

"Jim was talking in terms of attacking the organisation as a whole"
No I certainly am not - otherwise I would have been pointing my finger at members of my own family, being from an Irish Catholic background.
I have never at any time suggested that parishoners played any part in the abuses, nor do I believe it to be the case. These are crimes committed by church authorities, from priests upward.
"Not one poster is blaming the parishoners, the membership of the RC church".
Quite rightly - but on other threads defenders of the church have stooped as low as blaming the parents of abused children for knowing about the abuses and allowing them to continue.
There is no question of the culpability of the heirarchy of the church throughout the period covered by the abuse reports - that is a matter of record and has led to the resignation of several bishops, though nothing like all of those directly implicated.
What has not been dealt with to any great extent is the role of the Vatican, regarding its actions (or non-actions) while the abuses were taking place and being reported, and more recently, in its obstructing the enquiries and continuing to cover up the truth.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 06:55 AM

When people refer to "the RC organization", I suspect they do not mean the parishioners, nor lay persons. I suspect they refer to the authorities in the Vatican downward to the bishops.

While these church "leaders" are likely sensitive to public opinion, I suspect they are more concerned about keeping the support of the parishioners. IMO, that is why it is important for parishioners to aggressively lobby for change.

Unfortunately, change runs very slow in such structured organizations.

I would wager that placing a few women near the top of the organization would make a real difference. I would even go as far as suggesting opening up the top post to a woman. (But, I make such a suggestion with caution, as some in this organization may see this topic as taboo, as they would have to first be priests).


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 07:17 AM

On balance, the RC Church is an influence for good

How can the active propagation of lies, superstition, poverty, disease, suffering and general spiritual & cultural impoverishment possibly be for good?


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 10:04 AM

Pope calls on Church to repair damage of child abuse

But interesting enough blames it all on 'moral relativism, sex tourism and child pornography'.

I won't take the cheap shot of asking if he thinks that were the things his priest were engaging in before they started their abuse. But it leaves one wondering what he is thinking though. No word about the actively shielding of perpetrators and the ignoring of complaints.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 05:09 PM

"In the 1970s, paedophilia was seen as a natural thing for men and children,"

Of course it was, Ratso.. back in the good old days when there were no consequences, eh?

Speaking of moral relativism, the age of consent in the Vatican State is 12.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 05:32 PM

... that is, according to the BBC recently. Wiki says otherwise, but is highly likely to be edited by representatives of the Vatican.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 05:55 PM

I had to read his words to see that you really meant that he said that. He did. OMG. We have to ask for thorough investigations of whatever groups think this is natural behavior. Of course those who are involved in it think it is natural behavior. OK historians here..how much of this has always gone on in the church, how much is protected, etc. and how much is the Vatican involved? This is not a few lonely Christian Brothers in the darkest, coldest most isolated cement buildings Ireland has produced to store its orphans in...I say again this is somehow endemic and how long has it been going on and protected? How much is it entrenched in the Vatican? To say that in the 1970s this was seen as normal? No, it was not anywhere I ever was. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 07:43 PM

You were justified in checking, mg - I had to look several times myself. No, it wasn't normal in my world either, albeit merely the sheltered moderation of life in psychedelic rock bands.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 07:49 PM

I am not going to say that it is not natural behavior. Perhaps it is natural, but it still can not be condoned or explained away or not dealt with. We have developed what we call civilization to stop us from some of our natural behaviors because they will chew up the weaker members of a society and leave it all to predators. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 08:14 PM

Well, Ratso obviously thought it was normal, which doesn't say much for the company he was keeping. I don't suppose he's had a great deal to do with real people except in the course of his duties, which only provide limited windows.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 08:49 PM

How can the active propagation of lies, superstition, poverty, disease, suffering and general spiritual & cultural impoverishment possibly be for good?

When you have a billion members, some of those members are going to do this sort of stuff - unless you happen to be that rare sort of organization that can command complete and mindless obedience from all its members. Despite opinions to the contrary, the Catholic Church is diverse and its members (and clergy) are largely autonomous. Many Catholics have accomplished wonderfully good things - and some have not (and in a church with a billion members, "some" is a very large number).

Bonnie, I am sorry that I misunderstood which of your questions you claimed I failed to answer. I thought it was this one: How is healing ever going to begin when people like you insist on ignoring the troublesome part of the problem - what happened Then - I don't ignore the child molestation that is the at the heart of the problem at all, so the underlying premise of this question is false.

Your other question, about "honest discussion" being impossible, is another matter. The ability (or inability) to be honest is on my part - it is difficult to speak honestly when faced with a mob of people carrying bludgeons. One person even questioned my referring to the person being discussed as "Fr. Tony Walsh." I used that title reluctantly, but I felt I was obliged to. At the time he committed his crimes, Tony Walsh bore that title as a priest in my church, a fact that causes me deep shame and embarrassment. I certainly would not refer to him or address him NOW as "Father," but that's the title he bore at the time he committed his crimes. And that is a horrible and deplorable thing.

But no, there is no middle ground to be found right now in this forum on this subject. Those who disagree with the Conventional Wisdom are not free to speak their opinion honestly. When I have dared to ask for open discussion, I am greeted with the same hostility experienced by those who dare to oppose the death penalty here in California. Certainly, I oppose the crimes these people have committed. Certainly, I have deep sympathy for their victims. But some day, there must be an end to this frenzy of anger and vengeance. The anger and vengeance must give way to rational plans to prevent such horrible crimes form happening again.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 09:03 PM

Joe, you suggested lopping their plums off the other day.. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 09:23 PM

"Many Catholics have accomplished wonderfully good things - and some have not (and in a church with a billion members, "some" is a very large number)".

Are there reliable (independant) sources to back these very broad statements up(especially the odd use of many and some)? How does one know it is not actually Many and Many, outside of wishful thinking?


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 09:32 PM

Well, Smokey, there is some evidence that castration significantly reduced that likelihood that a child molester will commit similar crimes after castration. In fact, it seems to be the only remedy that has any level of certainty of success. There are places that have experimented with "chemical castration," using medications that make a man impotent; and there has been some success with these experiments.

Ed T, as to your question about "many" Catholics accomplishing good things, I have only to look to the city of Sacramento, California - that's the big city near my home. Catholics have established a huge and successful network of services for the poor and hungry and homeless. But you are well aware of the many good things Catholics do in your community - and some of the bad things. I think your question is insulting. In my experience, most people do good things, far in excess of the evil done in this world.

I've done a few good things myself. As I said, it's hard to speak honestly when your opponent is armed with a bludgeon.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 09:36 PM

"I think your question is insulting. In my experience, most people do good things, far in excess of the evil done in this world"

Well Joe, take off your rose coloured galsses and look farther away than your local parish. Or, are there billions of RCs there?

There are many bad things happening in the world, and to boldly say ony a few of the billions of RCs do aby of them is an insult to logic.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 09:51 PM

Well, Smokey, there is some evidence that castration significantly reduced that likelihood that a child molester will commit similar crimes after castration. In fact, it seems to be the only remedy that has any level of certainty of success.

Hanging's reasonably effective too, and cheaper.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 09:55 PM

"Hanging's reasonably effective too, and cheaper"

Possibly, if they are well hung.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 10:17 PM

Smokey and Ed, no need to be so crude.

Joe, you said, But some day, there must be an end to this frenzy of anger and vengeance. The anger and vengeance must give way to rational plans to prevent such horrible crimes form happening again.

I say to you, again, if you truly want to help in bringing that about, quit honouring him by calling him that which he is no longer. There is no need to keep reminding people, some of them victims of his ilk, that he once held such a position, esp. if you purport to move on. We all know and many of us do not carry bludgeons...I truly think you are not looking beyond your own backyard. It's okay to still love your church and the individuals you work with whom you know and trust, but it's unseemly, imo, to keep on defending the RC as a whole.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 10:29 PM

..."I truly think you are not looking beyond your own backyard"

Yes, just look at the violent crime statisticts for some of the RC countries. Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Haiti, Dominica....and these are just a few. To suggest only some Rcs do bad things,not many makes no sense at all.

I submit that globally, (and logically) RC's do just as many bad things as people of other religions and those who have no religion at all. For sure crime differs from coutry to country and by culture and form of government. But, I cannot see that RCs do any bette than others in avoiding it and doing bad things. And, what one may see as good, another may see as bad, if you are on the other side of a situation.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 10:31 PM

"Smokey and Ed, no need to be so crude"

Sorry Mum:).


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 10:38 PM

Aw, right, then, gi' on wi' ye.:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 10:42 PM

It weren't me bein' crude, Miss, it were that other lad - 'e's a wrong un.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 10:52 PM

It's me spell'in dat's jus dun rong


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 11:20 PM

Aw, right then, that's it fer the lot o'youse..inta the jammer ya go for the nicht! G'wan ,now!


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 11:22 PM

...sniff...


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 11:53 PM

Anyway, it was Joe who suggested slicing their alberts off.. That's a bit too biblical for me. Personally, I'm more in favour of a longer sentence.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Yvonne
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 01:04 AM

I have stumbled onto this discussion from something I noted in Concertina.net about lyrics for Captain O'Kaine. Please be patient with my comments as they are a bit circuitous. I have an answer to how the abuse of power exercised by the clergy could be obviated. Please read on.

I am 60 years old and have practiced Obstetrics and Gynecology for the last 31 years. I have seen the life long suffering of women who have been sexually abused as children. It is no different for those men who have been molested as boys.

Priests and physicians have in common the desire to help others. Both either work for G-d, do G-d's work, or think of themselves as at least being close to G-d, if not G-d like. (Tongue in cheek). Physicians in general have fallen off the pedestal and are no longer treated like G-ds but rather like people who have to learn to get along with others and conform to standards of good behavior (no throwing instruments in the operating room).

I had a startling thing happen to me when I finished medical school and submitted an application for a license to practice medicine in California. The first thing I had to do was go to the police department and have my fingerprints taken. I thought to myself, why am I being treated like a criminal? I am here to help people, I have not committed any crimes!
That was in 1979, 31 years ago. I have learned a lot in the intervening years. Physicians commit crimes, and commit them with some regularity. I read about them all the time……the Board of Medical Quality Assurance in California periodically publishes a list of all the physicians who have lost their licenses to practice medicine in California and the offenses for which they lost their license.

I am licensed to practice medicine in two states: California and Oregon. I am licensed by the federal government to prescribe narcotic medications. The hospital where I work requires me to resubmit my credentials for the practice of medicine every two years. The American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecologists requires me to maintain my Board Certification every year by submitting answers to articles that I've read. I have to repeat my Advanced Cardiac Life Support training every two years to stay current.

One may not be able to eradicate child sexual abuse, but if priests had to be licensed every two years like physicians it would be much harder for the abusing priests to hide. Priests could be licensed by the State just like physicians are.

Here are the questions on the form that the State of Oregon requires me to fill out every two years in order for me to maintain my license to practice medicine in the State of Oregon:

Has any state licensing board refused to license, refused to renew, denied you a license to practice, or asked you or permitted you to withdraw an application for licensure?

Have you had any disciplinary or adverse action imposed against any professional license or certification, or were you ever denied a professional license or certification, or have you entered into any consent agreement, stipulated order or settlement with any regulatory Board or certification agency, or have you been notified of any complaints or investigations related to any license or certification?

Have you been denied approval to prescribe controlled substances, or been charged with a violation of federal or state narcotic laws, or been asked to surrender your DEA number?

Have you been arrested, convicted of, or pled guilty or "nolo contendere" to ANY offense in any state in the United States or any foreign country, other than minor traffic violations, or a substance use related offense which has been evaluated by the Oregon Health Professionals Program and you are in compliance with their recommendations?
Matters in which you were pardoned or diverted, or the conviction was deferred or set aside, must be disclosed. Serious traffic convictions, such as reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, hit-and-run, evading a peace officer, driving while the license was suspended or revoked, or failure to appear, must be disclosed. This list is not all-inclusive.

Have you been contacted by or asked to make a response to any governmental agency in any jurisdiction regarding any criminal or civil investigation of which you are the subject, whether or not a charge, claim or filing with a court actually occurred?

Are you aware of any current, proposed, impending or threatened civil or criminal action against you? This includes whether or not a claim, charge or filing was actually made with a court.

Have you entered into any formal, informal, out-of-court or confidential settlement to deter, prevent, or settle a claim, lawsuit, letter of intent to sue, and/or criminal action? This includes whether or not a claim, charge or filing was actually made with a court.

Has any award, settlement or payment of any kind been made by you or on your behalf to resolve a malpractice claim, even if it was not required to be reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB); or have you been notified in any manner that any such claim is proposed, pending or threatened, whether or not a claim, charge or filing was actually made with a court?

Have you been restricted, suspended, terminated, requested to voluntarily resign, placed on probation, counseled, received a warning, or been subject to any remedial or disciplinary action during medical school or postgraduate training?

Have you had privileges denied, reduced, restricted, suspended, revoked, terminated or have you been placed on probation, been subject to staff disciplinary action or non-renewal of an employment contract, or been requested to voluntarily resign or suspend your privileges while under investigation from a hospital, clinic, surgical center, or other medically related employment; or have you been notified that such action or request is pending or proposed? Have you been allowed to withdraw your staff privileges from a hospital or surgical center?

Have you interrupted the practice of your health care profession for one year or more?

Have you ceased the active practice of medicine in your specialty?

Have you had, or do you currently have any physical, mental, or emotional condition which impaired, or does impair your ability to practice your health care profession safely and competently? Has there been any type of inquiry into your physical, mental, or emotional health?

Have you been admitted to any hospital or other in-patient care facility for any physical, mental or emotional condition?

Have you had, or do you currently have a dependency on the use of alcohol or drugs which impaired, or does impair, your ability to practice your health care profession safely and competently?

Have you engaged in the excessive or habitual use of alcohol or illegal drugs, or received any in-patient therapy treatment or been hospitalized for alcoholism, or illegal drug use, or been arrested or received a citation for a DUII (Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants) or DWI (Driving While Intoxicated)?
"Excessive" as used in this question means the use of alcohol or drugs that leads to disturbances, fights, arrest, injury, accident, illness, loss of consciousness, or other adverse consequences.

Have you been the subject of any chemical substance screening test which resulted in an indication of the presence in your body of any controlled substance, any dangerous drug, or alcohol level above .08% BAC? Have you refused to submit to any such test? This does not include those drugs taken by you as a result of a legitimate health care diagnosis, and prescribed for you in good faith by another licensed health care professional, unless the test was conducted as part of a criminal investigation, such as DUII.

Have you entered into a diversion program other than the Oregon Health Professionals Program for evaluation, treatment or monitoring for substance abuse or dependency, or for correction of communication or boundary issues, in lieu of or as a condition of resolving a matter before a health care program or facility, regulatory or licensing Board, or criminal or civil court; or have you been notified that such action is pending or proposed?

I certify that I am the Licensee, and the information submitted by me is true, accurate, and complete to the best of my knowledge. I understand that fraud or misrepresentation in applying for registration renewal may be grounds for disciplinary action by the Board, including revocation of license (ORS 677.205), and is reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank and/or appropriate national professional credentialing organizations.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 01:56 AM

You have a very good point there, Yvonne.

How much severance pay do get if you get sacked for molesting children?


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 02:02 AM

Kat, it's quite obvious that you did not understand what I said about my reason for using the word "Father." At the time he committed his crimes, that was his title. I'd rather disown the man, but I have to humbly admit that at the time he committed his crimes, he was a priest in my church. My use of that term was my admission of that sad fact.

You can read other things into what I said, but I carefully chose my words as an admission that my church bears responsibility for the crimes committed by this man.



Ed T, your comment is not worthy of a response, but let me give you details of a number of programs founded by Catholics in my town, Sacramento (about 2 million people in the area):

  • Loaves and Fishes Dining Room, a network of services for homeless people, directed by Mercy Sister Libby Fernandez, a friend of mine
  • Francis House, founded by St. Francis Parish in Sacramento, a counseling and resource center for poor individuals and families
  • Wellspring Women's Center (where I've worked for 11 years), directed by Loretto Sister Judy Illig. We serve breakfast to over 200 women and children every day, provide counseling and childcare and other services
  • Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, formerly Immaculate Conception Community Services because it was founded by Immaculate Conception Parish - provides a five-day food supply to over 18,000 individuals per month through a network of distribution centers all over the Sacramento area.

If you look at the Websites of these organizations, you will see that they provide all sorts of services and have developed innovative solutions to a number of needs. While all started out as Catholic organizations, they are all non-sectarian and have volunteers and clients from all creeds and colors. There are many other Catholic-based organizations that serve the poor of the Sacramento diocese, but these four are the best-known.

Bishop-Accountability.org, an organization that is very critical of the conduct of Catholic priests and bishops in the child molestation scandal, reports that 16 priests in the Sacramento Diocese were accused of molesting children. 33 victims filed claims against the diocese in the past decade for offenses dating back to the 1960s, and they were paid a total of $35 million. Were there other victims who did not file claims? Most probably, but these numbers give somewhat of an indication of the extent of the problem. Compared to the number of poor people served every day by the four organizations, the percentage of child molestation victims is very small.

I do not mean to diminish the seriousness of the crimes that were committed and of the coverups that took place in a number of dioceses. However, as with most crime in the western world, a relatively small percentage of people were victimized, and an even smaller percentage of people committed the crimes. We must take crime seriously and we must do what we can to reduce the crime rate. While it is indeed a significant problem, some people become obsessed with crime, and see it as the primary aspect of human existence; and these people live in fear all the time.

While they are a real and significant and shameful aspect of the existence of the Catholic Church, the child molestation crimes are only one facet of a vast and multifaceted organization. Those who committed or covered up these crimes must be punished, and structures must be set up to prevent and deal with such crimes in the future. But must all Catholic education and health services and services to the poor be subordinated to the crimes committed by a relatively small number of priests? I don't think they should be.

The crimes committed by the priests and bishops are seriously wrong, and they make me very angry. If it were not for the unfair and disproportionate attacks on my church here at Mudcat, I would be in my usual role as an outspoken critic of leadership in my Catholic church, because I believe that many leaders did serious wrong and deserve to be punished severely. In Catholic gatherings and in Catholic publications, I have spoken and written against the requirement for celibacy for priests, against the prohibition of second marriages after divorce, against the prohibition of birth control, against the refusal to ordain women as Catholic priests, and against the obnoxiousness of the "right to life" movement. And I have spoken and written against the conduct of Catholic priests and bishops in the child molestation scandal. I lost my job as a religion teacher in the Catholic Church because I was thought to be too outspoken, and I had to face a hearing because I was accused of teaching things that were doctrinally unsound (I was exonerated, but lost my job a few months later).

But the anti-Catholic criticism at Mudcat is disproportionate and unfair in almost every thread that makes mention of the Catholic Church, and I stand here in protest against it.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: mg
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 02:38 AM

And what do these things have in common? The rules about birth control and divorce and child abuse to say nothing of Inquisition? Cruelty and not even apologies for how it affects people. As in I am sorry Mrs. O'Reilly that you are 48 years old and having your 14th child due to the church's teaching. An ability to enforce cruel rules, that somehow the Protestants, knowing the bible much better than any of us, do not see as necessary parts of religion. I just happened to get a book about Roman gladiators out from the library and was reading about the cult of the gladiator and martyrdom etc...and I went oh goodness..that sounds like what I was told. How much of the catholic religion is based on things like the cult of the gladiator? How much was the result of Constantine and his mother?   I think we have to look at the whole entire picture now, spare no one, including His Holiness, and take out what is criminal to be sure, what hurts people, what is just plain unnecessary because Constantine's mother put it in there long ago and leave what is decent and necessary. And put the pretty songs and frankincense back in..they were never the problem. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 02:51 AM

Smokey, many employers give some severance pay to terminated employees, even if they were terminated for misconduct. It gives the employee something to keep going while looking for another job. Would it be better for a fired priest to go on the dole and be supported by the taxpayers?

mg, the things I mentioned like birth control, are examples to illustrate my usual position as a frequent and outspoken critic of the Catholic Church. I lost a job because of that, so it's unfair to brand me as some sort of mindless supporter of all aspects of the Catholic Church. I call myself part of the "loyal opposition."

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: mg
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 03:02 AM

I am not branding you anything. I am talking about the church, which we have to fix. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 03:59 AM

No, mg, you did not brand me anything. In case you didn't notice, there are other people participating in this discussion, and some of them certainly tried to convince people that I was blindly defending the Catholic Church, even implying I was making excuses for the molesters and the coverup.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 04:51 AM

> Those who disagree with the Conventional Wisdom are not free to speak their opinion honestly. When I have dared to ask for open discussion, I am greeted with the same hostility...

Joe, this is the internet. Of course you are free to speak your opinion honestly. No one is stopping you. It's just that no one is agreeing with you. That's not the same thing. You say you have "dared" to ask for open discussion - well, you got it. We have been open, and we have been honest.

There's quite a diversity of people posting here, from both sides of the Atlantic, and your call to disregard the Church's shameful past and only focus on the present is simply not being supported, for excellent reasons which have been outlined at length above. As for mobs carrying bludgeons, get a reality check. A mob is a crowd of people who are physically in one place at one time, fuelled by a consolidated, focused energy which can certainly be dangerous. By contrast, we are spread out all over the world, writing over a period of days, with plenty of room for anyone to dispute what we say, and no one is threatening you. It's a false and overly-dramatic analogy. It also sounds a little paranoid.

We have been speaking honestly, and we are not a mob. We're simply a bunch of individuals airing our minds freely, in a forum designed for exactly that purpose. I think your real problem with this thread is that no one else shares your views. There's equal space here for a "counter mob" to build up in favour of your stance (would they still be a "mob" if they were on your side?) but no one has come forward. That doesn't mean you're being persecuted.

"No middle ground on this forum"? There's any ground anyone wants to stand on. That's the nature of free speech and the nature of the internet. Your call to turn away - i.e. refuse to face - the Church's evil past and "stop beating a dead horse" is unpopular because many of us think it's a cop-out. That's why you don't get the support. And when you don't, you blame us for being a bludgeon-carrying mob who can't hold an honest open discussion. We've been honest. We've been open. Maybe it's you being paranoid, and calling us names rather than facing the truth - that your position is isolated because people don't share your feelings.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 05:41 AM

Well, I have to say I really like the idea Ed T posted above, suggesting that they should put a woman at the top of the Catholic Church. The Catholic hierarchy is the most exclusive "boys' club" on earth. Bringing an equal number of women into the mix, would make a huge difference.

And no, Bonnie, I do not suggest that we "disregard the Church's shameful past and only focus on the present." I think we need to view the past dispassionately and analytically. If a man was convicted and went to prison in 1995-96, perhaps it's time to ease off on the anger and engage in a quiet and open discussion of the causes of his actions. Most of those who committed the molestation and coverups of the 1980s, are no longer in a position where they can do such things. I think that by the 1990s, it was far more difficult to do such crimes because the Catholic Church was under far greater public scrutiny (and rightly so). This has happened later in Europe than it did in the US, but there's certainly not much shelter left anywhere in the world for molesting priests and coverup bishops.

I am not satisfied with the answers that have come from Catholic bishops on this issue. I do not know how extensive the coverups were, and I have no idea why it was so important to these bishops to cover up the information. I cannot understand how bishops could think they could get away with covering up this sort of crime. All I can do is guess - as far as I know, no bishop or Vatican official has openly discussed the reasons behind the coverups. I don't really care whether people are punished for what they did fifteen years ago, as long as they're in a position where they cannot do it again. I do desperately want to know why they did what they did, so we can make sure it does not happen again.

The U.S. Catholic bishops have put a set of controls into effect, and many of them are quite good. Fingerprinting of volunteers and employees is required, along with psychiatric screening of seminarians. What I don't see is ongoing screening after people have started work, and I think it's dangerous not to have that. In the later years of my career doing clearance investigations, we did updates (partial investigations) every five years. We found that initial screenings and investigations could not guarantee an employee's integrity for a lifetime. The same principle applies to priests and church workers, as Yvonne stated above.

Still, I'm not satisfied, and my reason is that I don't think we have an understanding of the reasons behind this scandal. Saying that people were bad and they need to be punished, is not enough. Understanding is far more important than punishment - although I do not deny the need for punishment for crimes.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 06:07 AM

Can posters to this forum please use the correct terminology. The
discussion in this thread is about the Roman Catholic Church.
As I understand it most, if not all, Christians are Catholic, those
who are thirlled to the Vatican are Roman Catholics.

------------Anonymous GUEST posting is not allowed. Please use a consistent Guest name. JoeClone----------


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 06:52 AM

Ed T, "your comment is not worthy of a response"

Actually, I wasn't advertising for a response:)


Have you ever taken a walk in major cities in mostly RC Brazil, about the population of the USA? Let's say Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, or Brasilia? Try it out and then compare it to Sacramento, or let's say a mostly Buddhist city anywhere the world that is not RC. Tell me where you feel safer.

There is no doubt that many RCs do good charitable work, like folks from other religious or non religious groups globally. But, to suggest that only some RCs do bad things in the world, IMO is true BS. RC's are logically no better nor worse than the rest of us, withe the same problems and potential solutions for them.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 06:57 AM

Guest 6:07: That may be the correct terminology technically, but I think calling non-RC Christians "catholic" is just going to confuse an already volatile issue.

I live in Ireland now but was born and raised in California (only about 40-50 miles south of where Joe is, as it happens). A lot of my friends in school were RC and they just said they were Catholic, while the rest of us were Protestant or Jewish or whatever. (And we did have quite a few Whatevers.) I also spent 20 years in and around London and it was a similar situation there. Is there anything actually incorrect with just using the term "Catholic" (capital C) when referring to followers of the Church of Rome? It's become received usage and we already have enough policitally-correct linguistic hoops to jump through.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 07:18 AM

Many Catholics have accomplished wonderfully good things

People are people the world over whatever their stripe and I don't suppose Milgram would have turned up different results if he'd tested Buddhists, Jews, Catholics, Atheists or Muslims. That said I remain convinced of the intrinsic goodness of humanity despite the occasional glitch, but even so it's rarely gratuitous or else indicative of the sort of evil the RCC would have us believe necessitated the dolorous sacrifice that rests at the core of their bonkers mythology.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,guest cu
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 07:41 AM

B.S. received usage or not, it is still not correct. As was said of a
certain Tony Blair "If a rat be born in a stable that does not make it a horse".


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 07:57 AM

Even though Catholics themselves usually just refer to their faith as "Catholic", in all three countries I've lived in? OK, if you say so. Good luck with changing things. But I think there are more important battles to fight right now.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,guest cu
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 09:02 AM

Recent revelations show that the Vatican still believes it should not
be amenable to any law but it"s own.
"Where the head leads the limbs must follow"
Surely a root and branch change of attitude would go some way to cut out the systematic problem that encourages certain clergy to adopt
these foul practices.

B.S.--I do not need luck. In these parts Roman Catholic or R.C. is
      term used to describe adherents of their branch of religious
      believe.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 10:08 AM

More should be done to protect children and vulnerable people from abusers in general whether it be Priests, Policemen, School teachers, school maintenance staff or Nursery school workers. It seems to me that in the majority of cases brought to light the abuser usually is in a trusted position where the 'sin' committed is totally against everything that he or sometimes she is supposed to stand for. Perhaps there lies the answer it is the forbidden that is the turn on.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: mg
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 11:58 AM

You got it backwards guest...Catholics are Christians but Christians are not Catholic, Roman, Greek Orthodox or whatever necessarily, althought he Catholic ones are Catholic, of which there are several groups. I don't know what percentage of Christians are Catholic..and we tend to not call ourselves Christians unless pressed because it is used more for Protestants and we were taught back then to separate ourselves from the Protestants...and Protestants would hate being called Catholic or catholic or Katholic or whatever. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 01:14 PM

I believe a diffferent version of the story posted before, I noted a couple of quotes from the story that seem odd to me? I don't know of any society where child pornography is or was considered normal behaviour, or treated as such?


#1
Benedict also said, however, that "the scandal must be seen in a broader social context, in which child pornography is seemingly considered normal by society and drug use and sexual tourism are on the rise".

#2
He said (the Pope)that "as recently as as the 1970s, pedophilia wasn't considered an absolute evil but rather part of a spectrum of behaviours that people refused to judge in the name of tolerance and relativism".

#3

"In the 1970s, pedophilia was theorized as something fully in conformity with man and even with children," the Pope said. "It was maintained — even within the realm of Catholic theology — that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a 'better than' and a 'worse than.' Nothing is good or bad in itself."

"The effects of such theories are evident today," he said.



Associated Press version


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 01:29 PM

Most of those who committed the molestation and coverups of the 1980s, are no longer in a position where they can do such things.

---

No. Coverups? One is now the pope. Several are cardinals. Probably quite a few are still bishops. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 02:08 PM

Ed T says: RC's are logically no better nor worse than the rest of us, with the same problems and potential solutions for them.

I certainly wouldn't disagree with that part, Ed. Not in the least.

This is the part I disagree with: But, to suggest that only some RCs do bad things in the world, IMO is true BS.

I would say that only some people do significantly bad things in the world. I would also say that only some Catholics do significantly bad things in the world.

But maybe that's a difference in our overall world view. I see the vast majority of the people in the world as good, and only a small percentage as evil. In my experience, most people are pretty good people.

As for your quotes from the Pope in this message at 1:14 PM, I think they're a misquote or taken out of context. The guy doesn't talk like that, but he's frequently misquoted by the press. He's an intelligent man, and he makes sense when he speaks. Not sure I can say the same for John Paul II.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 02:24 PM

Smokey, many employers give some severance pay to terminated employees, even if they were terminated for misconduct. It gives the employee something to keep going while looking for another job. Would it be better for a fired priest to go on the dole and be supported by the taxpayers?

It would be better if priests fired for child molestation went straight to jail. I don't think further employment is appropriate. We aren't really discussing normal employer/employee relationships and mere misconduct here.

I suppose what struck me was the irony of the difference between my own (unspoken due to wrongness) gut-reaction to all this and the church's in apparently rewarding him for his efforts.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 02:40 PM

I do not know how extensive the coverups were, and I have no idea why it was so important to these bishops to cover up the information.

This document makes that pretty plain, though naturally it doesn't explain the Vatican's reason. We can only speculate on that, but the very existence of the document implicates the collusion of the entire heirarchy.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 02:45 PM

As for the child abuse scandal, I know that the situation in Ireland was far worse than it was almost anywhere else. Dublin had a string of dictatorial archbishops over a number of decades, and their oppressive rule affected the Catholic Church all over Ireland. But Irish church leaders over the past couple of decades seem to be far more moderate (despite some mistakes in handling the horrible damage done by this scandal). I would hope that things are different now in the Catholic Church in Ireland.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 02:47 PM

...or even implies it.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 02:59 PM

"I would hope that things are different now in the Catholic Church in Ireland."
Nothing to do with dictatorial Bishops, who have always been there.
More to do with the uncontrolled influence the church has ALWAYS had over peoples' lives - that hopefully has gone now, thanks to their own behaviour (probably the best thing to have emerged from this sordid mess).
You've got to hand it to them though, they're still trying to maintain their grip on peoples' minds.
Front page news this morning is of a woman with cancer who was advised that her pregnancy was a threat to her life; she was advised to have a termination.
The hospital authorities decided that her condition wasn't life-threatening enough, so, in her delicate state, she was forced to go to England for her termination.
Not too different, eh?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Penny S.
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 03:38 PM

Joe, I came across those quotes in The Guardian.

Report of Pope's speech

It looks as though the paedophile reference is strictly accurate - there were people, though not many, making that argument back then, and the Pope's words can bear that meaning.

I'm sorry you are feeling beleaguered - your vision of what the Catholic Church should be is good - if only the heirarchy wre more like that. Or Andrew Greeley.

Happy Christmas,

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 04:42 PM


Kat, it's quite obvious that you did not understand what I said about my reason for using the word "Father." At the time he committed his crimes, that was his title. I'd rather disown the man, but I have to humbly admit that at the time he committed his crimes, he was a priest in my church. My use of that term was my admission of that sad fact.


No, you misunderstood me, Joe. No one is questioning your acceptance of that "sad fact." What you aren't *hearing* is how hurtful it can be for victims to still hear such ilk called by what they are no longer, i.e. "Father." It was bad enough when it happened. No need to constant reminding.


And, how do you reconcile these two statements:

I don't really care whether people are punished for what they did fifteen years ago, as long as they're in a position where they cannot do it again.

and,

Saying that people were bad and they need to be punished, is not enough. Understanding is far more important than punishment - although I do not deny the need for punishment for crimes.

Do you want them punished or not? Do you really not care if they did it long enough ago?


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 06:43 PM

It seems important to see the actual text of the pope's speech, and a tape of what he said, as they can differ.

Joe said:

"I would say that only some people do significantly bad things in the world. I would also say that only some Catholics do significantly bad things in the world.

But maybe that's a difference in our overall worldview. I see the vast majority of the people in the world as good, and only a small percentage as evil. In my experience, most people are pretty good people".


There is a big difference between the two concepts. One is the act (and interpretation) of doing bad. The other is whether you knowingly participate in doing good or bad. They differ...that is why I took issue with your statements.

Lets say the USA military bombs a village in Iraq, for example. To the folks in the USA (and, the troops), this can be seen as good, as the perception is they are being protected in the fight against terrorism (aggression). To the Iraq people who are impacted, (their families die) this is a bad act. Above all of that is there are dead people that possibly did not need to die? So, would the Global RC church (and the local parishioners) see this as good or bad, if the solder dropping the bomb were a local RC?

I try to stay away from Good and bad RC church (and God believers, in General) arguments related to distant history. While there are some really bad things that happened in history, under the watch of the RC church, there was a certain prevailing view (I suspect) that has to be taken into account...but, I don't know where the line should be drawn? Surely, the slave trade, residential schools and the like.. And treating other humans like sub species must be wrong (bad). But, how do we rate it in today's standards? I don't know...that's why I mostly stay away from those discussions.

Many bad things (that impact others) happen in the world. And, many of the folks doing them feel comforted, even revered, in church.... (In some of the RC countries, and others, I mentioned).

The USA and its allies control a huge amount of the world's wealth. It surely is a good thing to give a portion to aid others (but, what amount)? Is it good to hoard wealth, for shiny trinkets, when others are starving? Others, who are starving may see this as bad? Do you feel God has a western, or USA, sympathy?

Evil is another topic. But, then, some evil acts, under any reasonable standard, have been committed under the sign of white mans cross in world history.

Just some of my thoughts on doing good and bad, and on being a good person.Not to claim they are right, or wrong....


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 07:39 PM

""I don't really care whether people are punished for what they did fifteen years ago, as long as they're in a position where they cannot do it again. I do desperately want to know why they did what they did, so we can make sure it does not happen again.""

Surely the best way to make sure it doesn't happen again is to bring those who covered it up to justice Joe.

Some of the people who committed these crimes have not been put into a position where they cannot again offend, and those who covered up for them are certainly able to do it again, unless we deal with their crimes as we should already have done.

Would you make the above statement in relation to murderers, armed robbers, muggers or burglars?......I think not!!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 10:00 PM

Don, I think that to be effective, punishment for crime must be immediate. If fifteen years have passed, I don't think punishment does a whole lot of good; and I think we reach a point in time where society is better off easing off on its quest to "bring criminals to justice" - yes, even to some extent for murder. In general, I think that felonious crime should be punished. However, I think we reach a point where punishment doesn't do much good and wastes a lot of the resources of society. Fifteen years after the commission of a crime, the whole world has changed. Current priorities need to be considered along with the need for "justice" for past offenses.

As far as I can see, the child molestation crimes peaked during the 1980s, both in Europe and in the United States. I think it's quite clear that all crimes of molestation should be punished, within reasonable limits. As for the coverups, I think it's a different story because responsibility for the offense is not so clear-cut. The coverups are for a large part a function of the organization, and the organization has changed radically in the last 20 years. The Catholic Church is no longer the powerful entity it once was. The number of priests has been greatly reduced, churches in Ireland and Europe are often empty, and the leadership of the Catholic Church in Ireland has changed almost completely. So, whom do you prosecute for the coverup crimes committed so long ago?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: mg
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 10:11 PM

Could we start with Cardinal Law, perhaps in abstentia. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 11:10 PM

Joe, you seem to be ignoring an important aspect of punishment which is as a deterrent to others. However insignificant a factor anyone may claim it to be we know it works to some degree and that is infinitely better than none at all. All offences should therefore be dealt with on an equal basis regardless of how long ago they occurred.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 01:08 AM

Remember that I worked as an investigator for the U.S. Government for 25 years, doing security clearance investigations. I could do a pretty good job investigating incidents that happened up to five years ago, but I hated the ones that went back 15 years. It's well-nigh impossible to do an honest job investigating something that took place 15 years ago. People change, and their memories and perceptions change.

If a person committed a crime 15 years ago and didn't get caught, I suppose that's his good luck. If he hasn't committed any other crimes in the last 15 years, then I don't see a lot of harm done by his getting away. Most likely, he HAS committed more recent crimes, and he'll get the punishment he deserves getting caught on something more recent.

But it always pains me a bit when I see a long-forgotten fugitive get caught and sent to jail, after living a decent life for a number of years. It pains me to see a prisoner executed after 25 years on death row, no matter how horrible his crime was. If punishment is not immediate, people move on and change. If they've changed for the good, then that punishment becomes an injustice.

As for the Pope's speech, I think the Guardian's summary didn't quite do him justice. His entire speech can be found here. The Guardian makes it appear he's shifting the blame for the child molestation, but he doesn't do that at all.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 01:22 AM

So you would disregard the effect of punishment as a deterrent? Or dispute it?

The message to would-be child molesters would be that it's okay if you can remain undiscovered for long enough. Lucky? Not for the victims.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 02:09 AM

Smokey, proving a 15-yr-old case of child molestation is different from proving a 15-yr-old cover-up. Contrary to most crimes, the victims of child molestation are more credible witnesses years after the crime, after they have become adults. Unfortunately, that makes it possible for the molester to continue undetected for a long time.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 06:10 AM

Throughout this and other threads discuussing child abuse, there has been a persistant and somewhat cynical attempt to shift the focus of attention on to the abusers, who now appear to be being presented as old man beyond the reach of the law, and away from the past and present responsibility of the church in facilitating the abuses and allowing them to take place for as long as they did and to the extent that they did.
This letter from this morning's Irish Times sums up what has happened, and what should have happened.
I would be interested in a response.
Jim Carroll   

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


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: saulgoldie
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 06:21 AM

I came in to this thread late, and I am too slow a reader to go over all the posts just now (when I am getting ready to go to work). So forgive me if this has already been said. But...

Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. And we are all G-d's children. And though this person is accused of what I consider the most vile of crimes short of murder, we must remember this.

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 07:17 AM

Does first-hand testimony from the victims count?


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 07:30 AM

"If a person committed a crime 15 years ago and didn't get caught, I suppose that's his good luck. If he hasn't committed any other crimes in the last 15 years, then I don't see a lot of harm done by his getting away."

That statement indicates a disregard for (is insulting to, and belittles) victims of the crimes of those in a position of authority. Unfortunately, many otherwise caring RCs have shown disregard, even contempt for the many victims.... some who have come forward, and some who have not (and, don't fool oneself, they do exist).

Personally, after all that has come forward, I find this attitude mind-boggling. Though, I suspect it is "somewhat representative" of thinking within "the organization".

Most sex offenders offend again, unless caught. They just get better at hiding it. If this organization has not fixed what is wrong, it will likely occur again, and again go undetected by the organization, and enablers. It is not reasonable to put "hope" in the other direction.

It's may be like a mother who never sees her child (who becomes an adult) doing wrong, even it is crystal clear to others.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 10:05 AM

""Smokey, proving a 15-yr-old case of child molestation is different from proving a 15-yr-old cover-up. Contrary to most crimes, the victims of child molestation are more credible witnesses years after the crime, after they have become adults. Unfortunately, that makes it possible for the molester to continue undetected for a long time.""

So, when finally the victims are far enough removed from the horror they have suffered to talk about it they should be told "It's too late, you'll just have to live with the knowledge that the people who caused this harm, by commission or omission, got away with it, while you will live with the consequences for the rest of your life".

D'you want the job of explaining that to them Joe?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 10:48 AM

Smokey, proving a 15-yr-old case of child molestation is different from proving a 15-yr-old cover-up. Contrary to most crimes, the victims of child molestation are more credible witnesses years after the crime, after they have become adults. Unfortunately, that makes it possible for the molester to continue undetected for a long time.

I know that, Joe - what's your point? If it can be shown that someone committed an offence or had knowledge of such and did not report it to the police, they should face the consequences regardless of when the offence took place.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 11:12 AM

Punishment is not a very effective deterrent if it is not carried out.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 12:54 PM

Yes, somebody will be able to make a "show case" out of one or two incidents and maybe get a conviction against somebody for this coverup; but after 15 years, it's a question of who said what when - and how do you prove that after 15 years? It ends up being a witch hunt.
Now, I haven't heard anything about victims in Ireland claiming damages against the Catholic Church. Can it be that all people are seeking is criminal convictions?

As for the criminal charges of coverups, give us a few names and tell us specifically what these people did - and tell us what function these people are serving in the Catholic Church now. Otherwise, we're just arguing in the abstract. If it can be shown that an individual committed a crime, even 15 years ago, then it's up to the courts to decide.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 02:30 PM

"As for the criminal charges of coverups, give us a few names and tell us specifically what these people did - and tell us what function these people are serving in the Catholic Church now. Otherwise, we're just arguing in the abstract. If it can be shown that an individual committed a crime, even 15 years ago, then it's up to the courts to decide."

Now that's a cop out. Joe O is starting to put forward a Steve Shaw type arguments..."show me the evidence, or there is no God".

LOL


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 02:59 PM

I am not necessarily seeking criminal convictions. I am seeking an outing of the coveruppers and an outcry from the faithful that this (coverups, entrenched abuse) is unsufferable. I want independent journalists and law enforcement to do what they must do and that they would do if a regular citizen did certain things..the journalists certainly have gone above and beyond in many situations to inform us and remove the cataracts from our eyes. I want the trails to lead where they may. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 03:18 PM

A cop out? C'mon, Ed - all I'm asking for, is to take the discussion from the abstract to the concrete. It doesn't do a lot of good to get steamed up about a hypothetical situation. What have individuals done, and what proof of criminal conduct is there that will hold up in court? Also, what is the Statute of Limitations on such a crime in Ireland?

My experience as an investigator tells me that getting a conviction for a 15-yr-old coverup would be well-nigh impossible. I'm talking practical here, not whether it's right or wrong.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 03:22 PM

A hypothetical situation? What have individuals done? I don't believe I'm reading this.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Penny S.
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 03:22 PM

Joe, thank you for posting the link to the Pope's speech. It does help to read the original - I was interested to see how he used a vision of Hildegard of Bingen.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,999--apologies, that was me.
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 03:45 PM

`Personally, I'm more in favour of a longer sentence.`

Ya gotta use more adjectives and adverbs.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 05:21 PM

They don't just grow on trees, 9. At the moment I'm so poor I can barely afford punctuation.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 05:59 PM

Joe, the evidence has to be actively sought before it can be found; that's the nature of a cover-up. People have to be hauled in and interrogated. Of course it's difficult - they're covering it up. There's nothing abstract about it though, we are talking about real crimes with a great many suspects, many of whom are on record as having known about the abuse and failing to report it to the authorities. There is no excuse, and the church should bear the cost of investigation.

Do you not have anything to say about the deterrent aspect of punishment for these crimes?


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 06:03 PM

after 15 years, it's a question of who said what when - and how do you prove that after 15 years?

It's more a question of what they didn't do, which is considerably easier to prove.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 06:46 PM

Au contraire!
Proving what somebody didn't do?
Well-nigh impossible!

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 06:52 PM

Not in these cases. It's pretty easy to prove that someone didn't report a crime, and in many cases it's already known that they knew about it.

There are probably also cases where it was reported to the police by victims and they did nothing. That obviously presents a more difficult situation.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 07:02 PM

That's a big question I have - why didn't victims report the crimes to police themselves? If I were victim of a crime, that's the first place I'd go.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 07:28 PM

Read this short report. If you have an interest in answering some of the odd questions posed at this late point,(and I am not sure everyone wants to know). It gives a picture of the circumstances in a "culture of silence" that some of these "young" boys faced. I suspect you will find some of the answers as to why children did not report incidents, as were ignored or punished when they did.



Physical and Child Sexual Clergy Abuse in Ireland Inquiry


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 07:30 PM

If you are seeking "guidance" from the Pope on priest sexual abuse, here are some interesting pieces from his speech...taken directly from what was posted by Joe O.

"under the mantle of the sacred profoundly wound human persons in their childhood, damaging them for a whole lifetime".


"We must accept this humiliation as an exhortation to truth and a call to renewal. Only the truth saves.

We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible the injustice that has occurred. We must ask ourselves what was wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life, to allow such a thing to happen.

We must discover a new resoluteness in faith and in doing good. We must be capable of doing penance.

We must be determined to make every possible effort in priestly formation to prevent anything of the kind from happening again.

This is also the moment to offer heartfelt thanks to all those who work to help victims and to restore their trust in the Church, their capacity to believe her message. In my meetings with victims of this sin, I have also always found people who, with great dedication, stand alongside those who suffer and have been damaged.

We are well aware of the particular gravity of this sin committed by priests and of our corresponding responsibility".


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 07:50 PM

Fine words. Someone should ask him why he covered it up for so many years when it was his job to know all about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 08:13 PM

if you were an 10 year old altar boy? mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 08:19 PM

Are there cults within the Vatican that practice this? I truly and honestly can not understand the motivation to cover up at the highest levels. This is more than the lonely priests of Ireland suffering from too much celibacy. There is something else. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 08:40 PM

why didn't victims report the crimes to police themselves? If I were victim of a crime, that's the first place I'd go.

I made the mistake of trying to get help from the Gardai when I got robbed in Dublin.

If they couldn't be arsed trying to deal with a gang of teenage thugs after a complaint from an articulate middle-aged academic, why on earth would you expect them to take on a rapist priest when the complainant is a probably-incoherent working-class kid?


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 09:27 PM

...why didn't victims report the crimes to police themselves? If I were victim of a crime, that's the first place I'd go.

Joe, I feel real surprise that you seem to be so disconnected. I know you've worked with abused women. Do you know how many times a woman might NOT call/go to the cops because of the threats she's heard, to herself and her children, if she DOES go to the cops?

Can you not imagine how it would be for a young child who has been taught to look up to a person of authority who then abuses them, THEN threatens them with damnation, etc. IF they tell anyone about what was done??

Do you have any idea of the pervasive culture of the RCC in Ireland and other countries? Have you read Angela's Ashes? If you doubt anything of the power he tells about of the RCC in their lives, we have a Mudcatter who lived just around the corner and can you all about why someone would not go to the cops.

I am surprised that you seem so naive, Joe, or, in complete denial.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 11:21 PM

There is also the threat of violent abuse to consider too. I doubt those kids were ever even aware of the option of complaining to someone.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 11:26 PM

"The majority of children will not admit to the abuse even if they are asked. For various reasons children do not report the abuse and sexual abuse is not always obvious. There are warning signs of sexual abuse or behavioral signs that indicate abuse has occurred. Many times very young victims do not understand that they are being abused. They may understand later, but at the time they have no knowledge that the abuse is wrong.

The statistics on victims reporting are shocking. More than thirty percent of victims will never tell anyone that they were ever abused. About eighty percent will deny the abuse when first asked or are afraid to admit it. Seventy-five percent of victims that tell often do by accident; it just blurts out. More than twenty percent will recant their story even when abuse has occurred.

Many say that children lie about the abuse. Young children have nothing to reference to when discussing sexual activity unless they have experienced it. Sexual abuse reports that were fabricated account for only one to four percent of all the reported cases. Adults file seventy-five percent of these false reports. Fabricated stories by children occur about one-half percent of the time".



http://childsafetips.abouttips.com/children-dont-report-sexual-abuse.php


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 02:10 AM

The first time a case of Walsh's abuse was reported to Gardaí they started an inquiry and asked the church, in the person Mgr Stenson, if there had been any history of problems with his behaviour.

This has been mentioned several times Joe.

Stenson 'evaded' the issue and the inquiry was dropped.

Culture of silence, evasion and cover up.


Another case was mentioned in articles linked in this thread where Gardaí didn't act after complaints were made.

Gardaí should bear some of the blame for ignoring signs. The word from the church carried more weight with them than that of working class Dubliners from Ballyfermot.

Why didn't victims didn't go to the police? Do you really have to ask that question Joe?


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 03:29 AM

We should really thank organisations like 'Childline' for enabling children to confide their problems and councellors who are there to encourage children to talk about what has happened to them in strict confidentiality. When I was young there was no such thing and it was very much the child's word against the adult, if the child was brave enough to speak up about it in the first place. Most children then were either acused of lying or of having an over vivid imagination or blackmailed into keeping quiet about it and often having the blame reversed on to them. The culture now is it is alright for children or abused women to speak up against anything inappropriate and probably has to do with why so much is coming to light now.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 03:52 AM

Oh, I'm quite aware that many victims don't report crimes against children. But if it was reported to the church, why not to the police? And if the victim was an adult or accompanied by an adult at the time of the report, I would think it even more likely that they would report to the police. All of the known cases in my diocese of Sacramento were reported to the police and most resulted in convictions, but I don't know whether it was the victims or the diocese who reported the problem.

I suspect that the offenses may not have been reported to the church officials in a way that was credible. It takes a trained and perceptive interviewer to get the facts of a child molestation offense. Still, with abusers with multiple victims, it seems that the problem should have come to the attention of the police more often. Perhaps the Irish police does not have officers that specialize in crimes against children. Not having such officers would be unthinkable in urban police departments in the U.S.

When I came across allegations of child abuse or molestation in security clearance investigations, I relied chiefly on police and court records, and on the testimony of adult sources. There was a time or two when a supervisor suggested that I should interview a victim who was still a minor, and I refused. I saw no value in putting a child through that for a pre-employment or security investigation, although it would most probably be necessary in a criminal investigation. In cases that I investigated, the evidence for the criminal cases was gathered by law enforcement officers with extensive training in crimes against children.

I realize that many of you have your minds made up about all this, but I'm not so sure. It's easy to assume that the church officials were merely callous and evil and protective of their power structure, but was that really the case? My experience is most people (even priests) really would like to the right thing; but that failures like this are more likely to have been caused by people not knowing how to handle the situation - that's why police departments have specialists handle this sort of crime. It's too easy for an untrained interviewer to scare the victim away. We had one investigator who thought he was the best there was, but we constantly got complaints whenever he had to investigate problems of a sexual nature. He just didn't know how to do it in a way that didn't scare witnesses. He didn't intend to scare the witnesses - he just did. I'm sure a celibate, childless priest would not be the best kind of person to elicit sensitive and embarrassing information from a child.

In his message above, Ed T posted a number of Pope Benedict quotes from an address I had linked to. Ed, I think the Pope "gets it" now, and he's sincere in his comments. He really has no reason to dissemble any more. There's nothing more to hide. It's in his best interest to get it all out in the open and get it over and done with.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 04:33 AM

Stop that Joe. Walsh fully admitted what he was doing when asked by the early eighties. The other priests and the hierarchy knew. In detail.

Yet in 1991 when Willie Walsh suggested to the college of bishops that it was time the guards had a go at stopping Walsh he was rebuffed for his 'outrageous suggestion'.

That's matter of record. Don't put the responsibility for reporting and consequent action at the victims' doorsteps. The train passed that station long ago.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 04:50 AM

Stop what, Peter? Stop seeking the truth? How can we ascertain the truth if we don't ask questions?

You're speaking of one case, Peter, the case of the most notorious offender in Ireland. Walsh admitted what he did, was sent for treatment, and was declared cured by a medical expert (with some reservations). He offended again, and was removed from ministry in 1990, prosecuted in 1995 and convicted and sent to prison in 1996. It took a long time, but in Walsh's case, something was done - and there were actions taken in his case from the very beginning. Not criminal prosecution, but intense residential psychiatric treatment.

But Walsh's case was not typical. It was one of the first to be prosecuted; so it's likely that many of those who came in contact with the case, did not know what they were doing.

But what about other cases? It's easy to assume the answers, but what really are the answers? There's no doubt that the church officials failed miserably in dealing with these crimes, but was their failure due to callousness or to lack of expertise? How would YOU handle a child who came to you about a situation like this? How would YOU respond if you were accused of failing to handle the child's complaint effectively? Can you or I honestly say we would have done better?

You can assume that all of these church officials are bad, bad people and they need to be punished to scare people into not doing this in the future, but is that really the case? I think we're a long way from good answers to this problem, and we need to keep asking questions until things start making sense. Assuming the answers isn't good enough. Getting your answers from newspaper articles isn't good enough, either. Too many details are missing from the news accounts, and too often the reporters add "spin" to the article - as evidenced by the differences between the Guardian summary and the Pope's actual remarks.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 05:28 AM

""We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible the injustice that has occurred.""

Is he for real? Does he actually believe it is possible to repair not only the abuse, but the betrayal by those who wantonly failed to take the proper action.

As to the reactions of parents, in Ireland at least the parish priest was the voice of God, and parishioners had been brainwashed from early childhood to believe every word he uttered. Of course they found it difficult to believe any child who accused him. According to all they had been taught, he was incorruptible.

There were in the past two authority figures in every community with whom one did not argue, the priest and the doctor, and there is an old gag about how strong that feeling was.

It seems there was an old couple and one day the wife called the doctor to come and examine her husband who had collapsed. When he arrived the old boy was stretched out on the floor, stiff as a board.

The doc examined him, and told the wife "I'm sorry my dear, but your husband is dead. The "body" suddenly twitched and sat up, and the old boy said I'm not dead".

The wife turned on him and said "Lie down George, doctor knows best".

It was certain that an accusation of abuse would be disbelieved by a massive majority of parishioners, and believe me, you wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of the righteous wrath of a bunch of Irish Catholics when you accuse their priest.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 05:36 AM

""Oh, I'm quite aware that many victims don't report crimes against children. But if it was reported to the church, why not to the police?""

Because they were too scared of the church to demur when told "Don't tell anyone else. Leave it to us. We'll deal with it".

Joe, In the USA you may never have experienced what is meant in Ireland by the phrase "Fear of God". It was very real, and it extended to an equally real fear of the priests.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 05:40 AM

Stop asking the question why the victims didn't report the abuse, as if they were at fault. It doesn't seem hard to grasp that rural and working class children and their parents didn't get their concerns considered credible, or considered at all. I am still not sure at all you fully grasp the might of the church in Ireland that lasted well into the nineties (and one can wonder to what extend it has gone away).


Why didn't people come forward? Because they were threatened with eternal damnation and suffering in the fires of hell? Because the guards wouldn't go against the church? Because the victims were ostracised when they tried to speak out?


I remember well the furore when Annie Murphy spoke publicly about her son, fathered by Bishop Eamonn Casey (and supported by church funds). 'That woman' had dared to speak out and ruin a good man. That was the atmosphere. As the song has it 'sure god love them, they're only human'. And that wasn't by far as difficult a matter as an abuse case would have been at the time (early nineties).


Other cases. Like the Brendan Smyth one? The industrial schools? Aren't the patterns of cover up and evasion we've seen there well enough established to warrant the questions asked about the complicity of Hierarchy, and asked again with regards to the Walsh case? These questions should be asked again and again, certainly as long as the Vatican considers it an insult when they are asked at all.

I believe and agree with you there was an element of inexperience, incomprehension and pure dumb inability to deal with these matters at the time. But only an element, and only up to a point. Cover up and damage limitation to the extend they occurred are unforgivable and deserves further scrutiny. And those responsible for the cover ups should be held accountable. First of all to do right by the victims to allow them justice and vindicate them for their suffering and secondly to avoid this shielding of crimes and protection of evil doers to re-occur.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 05:49 AM

Ah, Peter, it's not wise to stop asking questions. If you don't ask the questions, you don't learn the answers. I did not place any blame on anyone for not reporting the crimes - I just wanted to know why they were not reported, what conditions made it difficult for the crimes to be reported. You gave a pretty good answer, but I had to ask the question several times before I got an answer that began to satisfy me. And still, I think there's more of an answer to be had.
I am imagining that many a good parish priest did listen, and did try to do the right thing - only to have the matter hushed up at a higher level.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 06:24 AM

""How would YOU handle a child who came to you about a situation like this? How would YOU respond if you were accused of failing to handle the child's complaint effectively? Can you or I honestly say we would have done better?""


Here's the bottom line Joe, and you just gave the answer.

Yes, I can honestly say I would have done better,...much better!

I would have followed your advice, and handed the investigation of the complaint over to the authorities who have the requisite investigative skills.

I would have called the police!

I would not under any circumstances have placed the good name of my organisation above the welfare of a possibly abused child, and in this way I would have been preserving that good name by upholding its highest moral values.

You can't have it both ways Joe. These bishops knew of crimes committed by men placed in authority by themselves, and instead of instantly reporting said crimes and allowing the proper authorities to do their job, they elected to cover them up.

The proper focus of the Church is the care of mankind's souls. Other agencies exist to handle their bodies. How can the Church pretend to those highest moral values if its representatives become accessories to abuse, and are given a "get out of jail free" card which is not available to the rest of the community?

Don T.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 12:36 PM

These bishops knew of crimes committed by men placed in authority by themselves, and instead of instantly reporting said crimes and allowing the proper authorities to do their job, they elected to cover them up.

They were ordered to 'from above', and faced excommunication if they didn't. Not that that is really any excuse. The 1962 document I linked to above is proof of this, and of the church's complicity.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 01:08 PM

You can assume that all of these church officials are bad, bad people and they need to be punished to scare people into not doing this in the future

No-one assumes that, Joe. The guilty need to be separated from the innocent, then the guilty need to be punished, not only to deter others, but also for the sake of the victims and to protect the public. This would do both the Church itself and its more innocent members a big favour in terms of credibility. Justice must be seen to be done, and if the Church has any sense or conscience, it should be seen to do everything possible to support that.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 05:38 PM

Smokey, I can't find the 1962 document you speak of. I searched this page for 1962, and didn't find the reference. Can you lead me to it?

And still, I insist, the story hasn't been told in a way that makes sense to me. I live near Auburn, California, about 50 miles northeast of where I used to live in Sacramento. Auburn is the site of the motherhouse of a province of the Sisters of Mercy. The sisters came here from Ireland 150 years ago, mostly to serve Irish Catholics who had come to the Sacramento area during the Gold Rush. A steady flow of young Irish women came to the Auburn convent until the mid-1970s, and the convent also recruited a reasonable percentage of American young women. The Irish women came in their late teens, with the understanding that they would never go home again. In the 1970's, Irish priests in Sacramento collected money so that the Irish nuns could visit their families in Ireland occasionally. I'm an associate member of the Sisters of Mercy, and I have come to know a number of these Irish-born nuns quite well. I used to think of them as sweet little old ladies, but I've found that a number of them are brilliant women, full of passion and courage and wisdom. One of these Mercy nuns was recently excommunicated by the Bishop of Tucson for authorizing an abortion for a woman who was in danger of death. As one might suspect, the nuns don't have much good to say about the bishop.

But I've asked a number of these nuns what it was like to grow up Catholic in Ireland, and it was a good experience for all of the women I asked.

When I moved to Sacramento in 1980, I was amazed to find that almost all of the priests in the Sacramento Diocese had been born in Ireland - the "FBI" is what they were called (Foreign-Born Irish). In time, I grew to like these Irish priests, because most of them are pretty good people. Many of them tend toward alcoholism, and they can tend to be short-tempered; but most of them are good-hearted and generous to a fault. Again, I've asked many of them what it was like to grow up Catholic in Ireland, and it was a good experience for every one of them. One of them, who grew up in a poor family in a rural area not far from Limerick, told me, "That Frank McCourt had a reputation as a whiner" (McCourt wrote Angela's Ashes, about growing up in Limerick. McCourt's brothers did not describe their youth in such depressing terms).

I may well know more Irish-born priests and nuns, than many people who are living in Ireland know. And while I have a very good impression of most of them, I also must say that a number of the worst child-molesting priests in the U.S. were born in Ireland. One of the most notorious US child molesters was Oliver Francis O'Grady, an Irish-born priest of the diocese of Stockton, California. http://bishop-accountability.org summarizes his history:
    Convicted 1993. 14-yr sentence. Served 7 yrs; deported to Ireland. $7M settlement. as well as other settlements. Molested as many as 25 boys and girls. Laicized. Documentary released 2006. Disappeared from Ireland 10/06; Suit filed 12/06 includes Irish Archdiocese Settled 12/06 for $3M. New suit 12/07 by woman. Working in Netherlands but returned to Ireland per 4/10 article. Diocese pd $2M 6/10 to 2. New suit 10/10. Arrested for child porn in Ireland 12/10.


I've found one book that gives an excellent insight into the child molestation problem in the Catholic Church in the U.S. It's called Priestly Sins, a novel written by Fr. Andrew Greeley of Chicago. The main character is a young priest who learns that a fellow priest has been raping young boys. The whistleblower goes through hell in his quest to expose the crime, and wins out in the end.

I know a priest who was a whistleblower. He uncovered a pastor who was using parish funds to pay for a home for himself and a male lover; and two younger priests in the same parish were having an affair. He was away from the priesthood for ten years, because his bishop wouldn't give him an assignment. He appealed to the Vatican and won, and was assigned to a neighboring diocese, Sacramento. This priest is a brilliant and talented man and has a lot of people who think he's wonderful, but other people hate him. I think that often he's a pain in the ass, and I've noticed that whistleblowers are often a pain in the ass. I think it often takes that kind of personality to buck the system and speak out for what's right. I've often found that whistleblowers have tunnel vision, and have trouble seeing the full picture. I'd also say that whistleblowers can be deeply flawed personalities, and can often be problem employees themselves.

Women love this whistleblower priest that I know, and he loves women - a bit too much, for my liking. When he greets a woman he likes, he engages in what somebody told me was a "full-body kiss." I've sometimes said to myself, "It he feels my wife up like that again, I'm going to punch him out." But I don't, because he's twice my size and all muscle - and thankfully, he's no longer in this area.

And still I say, the story hasn't been told in a way that makes sense to me - especially the story of how this scandal has played out in Ireland. I don't deny any of it - the horror of the rape of children by dozens of priests, the beatings and other humiliations suffered by hundreds (maybe thousands) of children in state-owned schools run by nuns and brothers, the coverups by bishops and priests at the highest level of authority in the Catholic Church in Ireland and Rome. It's all true - I don't deny it.

On the other hand, I have Irish priests and nuns who have told me stories of the sweetness of growing up in Catholic families and Catholic parishes in Ireland, so I know it could not have been all bad. While there is much to be deplored, there is still a history of deep spirituality, boundless generosity, and stunning intellectual achievements in the Catholic Church in Ireland. How do we balance the bad with the good and come up with the truth?

So, as I say, the story is yet to be told. It won't be told by the newspapers or by television. It will take a far deeper study to come to the truth.

I'd recommend Greeley's Priestly Sins. It's a good start of telling the tale of the priest child molestation scandal in the U.S.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 06:16 PM

"You'd like the molesters:
Many of the offenders (child sex abusers) are described as "pillars of the community"; some won "citizen of the year" awards in their towns. While a socially awkward stranger-kidnapper occasionally makes big news, what's more typical are these men, many of whom are regular guests in the homes of families whose children they molested".

Most child molesters are likable


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 06:56 PM

It's here Joe. From my post of 21 Dec 10 - 02:40 PM. It's a scan of the original, as you'll see.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Dec 10 - 08:06 PM

That's a real problem, Ed. I've interviewed a few child molesters after they've been released from prison and started a new life. They quickly re-establish themselves and, as you say, become pillars of the community. They are very charming and convincing. It's hard to disbelieve their sincerity. You'd never dream that they would ever molest children again.
But they do.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 24 Dec 10 - 05:44 PM

Any thoughts on 'Criminales Solicitaciones', Joe?

Merry Christmas to all, regardless of grumptious bantering.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Dec 10 - 05:53 PM

Well, Smokey, the document is from 1962, and it sounds like 1962 - another world, another time. I'm surprised that they actually had a policy back then. I admit it was too much for me to read, so I just skimmed through it.

I thought the Child molesters are likeable article that EdT linked to, was very good.

Merry Christmas!

-Joe, more interested in music just now-
We're singing tonight, and there are a couple songs giving me trouble


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 24 Dec 10 - 06:11 PM

Think youself lucky; I have to wrap a tricycle.. The molesters will have to wait:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 24 Dec 10 - 06:11 PM

That's an eye opener Smokey.

It places the good of the Roman Catholic Church above secular law, and above the interests of the whole of humanity.

That, IMHO, should be tested in court, ....and soon!!

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Smokey.
Date: 24 Dec 10 - 06:23 PM

Exactly Don, and with great precision. I can't find any evidence yet that those instructions were ever rescinded. Also, the secrecy of it all speaks volumes.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 25 Dec 10 - 07:19 AM

""Also, the secrecy of it all speaks volumes.""

What bothers me is that this is an indication that the Church was aware of this problem 48 years ago, and was even then pursuing a deliberate policy of internal investigation and coverup.

I don't like to imagine the number of victims sworn to secrecy, on pain of excommunication, who have never come forward and whose abusers have avoided the proper consequences of their crimes.

This needs more than a few glib words of reassurance from one of those who knew what was happening and did nothing to prevent it.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 25 Dec 10 - 07:33 AM

A sad story:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/the-priest-who-abused-deaf-boys-for-24-years-1928743.html


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 06:50 AM

From this morning's Irish Times - is there any reason the church should ever be trusted again?
Jim Carroll

VATICAN EDICT IN 1997 REJECTED CALLS TO REPORT PRIESTS WHO ABUSED.
PATSY McGARRY
Religious Affairs Correspondent
A 1997 VATICAN directive rejected a recommendation by the Irish Catholic Church that priests who abused children should be reported to the civil authorities, it has emerged.
The disclosure is made in an RTE documentary to be broadcast tonight, which also reports that an Irish bishop described the Vatican directive as "a mandate ... to conceal the reported crimes of a priest".
The Would You Believe documentary, Unspeakable Crimes, is broadcast on RTE One television at 10.35pm.
In a January 1997 letter to each Irish bishop, marked "strictly confidential", the Vatican said it would support the appeal of any priest defrocked by the Irish church in connection with child sex abuse. It did so in a number of cases, leading to a threat of resigation by one Irish archbishop.
At a 1999 meeting in Rome the Irish hierarchy was reminded collectively by a top Vatican official that they were "bishops first, not policemen".
The programme claims the Vatican and Pope Benedict himself failed to apply the norms of canon law to the issue of child abuse, one of the pope's major criticisms of Ireland's bishops. The Vatican failed to do so where two US priests were concerned and the pope did so in 2005 where Fr Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, was concerned.
In his letter to the Catholics of Ireland last March, Pope Benedict said to his "brother bishops" that "you and your predecessors failed; at times grievously, to apply the long-established norms of canon law to the crime of child abuse".
The Vatican opposed a recommendation in the Irish Bishops' "Green Book" guidelines on child protection, published in January 1996, which said all allegations of clerical child sex abuse should be reported to the civil authorities.
The programme, by reporter Mick Peelo, also shows a "strictly confidential" letter sent to Irish bishops by the Vatican a year later, in January 1997, which expressed "serious reservations of a canonical and moral nature" about the mandatory reporting of such crimes to civil authorities.
An Irish bishop confirmed to the programme, on condition of anonymity, that he made a note at the time describing this letter as "a mandate to conceal the crimes of a priest".
The programme also reports that at a 1998 meeting with Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy (1996 until 2006), then archbishop of Dublin Desmond Connell thumped a table in frustration as the cardinal insisted it was Vatican policy to defend the rights of an accused priest above all.
Last month, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said that, in the past "most of the Irish bishops felt that dealing with the Congregation for Clergy was disastrous".


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: mg
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 09:01 AM

Much as I liked the man, I hope this derails the canonization of Pope John Paul II. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 05:16 AM

Mg, yes, I agree.

Jim, I take your point but the interesting thing here seems to me that the Irish church seems to have been trying to move towards more accountability only to be prevented from doing so by the Vatican. That doesn't let the Irish church off the hook by any means but it suggests that in this particular instance perhaps they weren't the bad guys.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 06:19 AM

The Would you believe programme mentioned in the Irish Times article Jim posted above can be seen here for another twenty days. Highly recommended viewing for the insight it provides in the background of the cover-up of clerical child abuse.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 12:27 PM

Chris:
"the Irish church seems to have been trying to move towards more accountability"
I suggest that the 'move towards accountability" is more of a fight for survival than a change of heart.
The abuse disclosures haven't by any means run their course yet - Northern Ireland stands to be examined next, and one of these days the Magdalene girls will get a hearing (unless the church and government succeed in their efforts to wash their hands of them).
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 01:18 PM

Nah, they'll just die of old age


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 01:59 PM

Wasn't Sinead O'Connor a Magdelene survivor, or perhaps something similar. Anyway, she had personal experience with this sort of thing. And speaks out. And writes well-published open letters to the pope, plus is an ordained priest by supposedly a bishop with the ability to make her so, but I could be wrong. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 02:11 PM

Better leave that one out of it.

O Connor is none of those things. Her mother was 'a violent abuser' but it was a nun, who ran the   reform school SoC ended up in, that recognised an interest in music and got her guitar lessons.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 03:19 PM

What part is not true

http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2010/03/26/to-sinead-oconnor-pope-benedicts-apology-for-church-sex-abuse-rings-hollow/

From Anderson Cooper website...I presume he checks stuff..not sure.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 04:43 PM

O Connor said about her time in Reform School:

"While it was very traumatic, it was the best thing that ever happened to me actually,"

"They were good to me. They were nice people. The nun that ran the place was the person that bought me my first guitar."


Which makes the 'Magdalene survivor' sound utterly misplaced. She has no personal experience of clerical abuse as far as I can see. She is very vocal about it though.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 08:16 PM

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/25/AR2010032502363.html

Not sure what you are saying. I meant she had experience in a Magdalene laundry or something similar and it turns out it was a Magdalene laundry. There were nice nuns mixed in with mean nuns everywhere..I knew both, but I will say the ones I had in grade school were almost uniformly nice..could throw chalk with the best of them and teach 50 to maybe even 60 kids at a time..mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,JB
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 10:36 AM

Tried connecting to link provided by guest Peter Laban, but it doesn`t seem to work. The message reads:

"Not currently availabe for viewing as it has either expired, been removed or restricted to another territory".

Did anybody else have any luck in connecting up?

BTW have also tried You Tube.

Any tips appreciated.

Thanks

JB


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: DMcG
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 11:11 AM

There's a copy of the letter here; it may be in one of the links above, but I didn't see it.

Maybe it was clear to the bishops who received it, but it is pretty opaque to me. "For these reasons and because the abovementioned text is not an official document ... the procedures established by the Code of Canon Law must be meticulously followed under pain of invalidity of the acts involved if the priest so punished were to make hierarchical recourse against his Bishop" is hardly an example of clear English. It *seems* to be saying that the Bishop must follow Canon Law meticulously otherwise any punishments imposed the priests may be overturned *by the Church heirarchy*. That's not the same thing at all as whether the priest is punished via the State Law, or whether it permissible to report offences to them. Of course, following Canon Law would make it extremely difficult for the Bishop concerned to reveal anything given in the confidentiality of the rite of Penance, and the Law (in most cases) accepts that. But it is not a blanket ban on such reporting. Or so it seems to me. As I say, the author could have been much clearer about what the letter actually means. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that it is deliberately obscure ...


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 19 Jan 11 - 12:26 PM

Guest JB,

The link is valid and live but apparently the programme is not available to all countries outside Ireland


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 17 May 12 - 06:59 PM

more going on today about this Monsignor Lynn, on trial in Pennsylvania I believe.
------------------------------------
thought it might be wise to offer you a summary of these difficulties," Monsignor John Graf wrote to Krol in 1987.

"I do not want to burden you, ... " Graf wrote two years later to Bevilacqua, who had succeeded Krol. He reminded the cardinal that one active priest was a diagnosed pedophile who'd been labeled "a powder keg" by a church therapist.

Lynn's list detailed whether the abuse occurred within the past five years - or if it was beyond the statute of limitations for the accusers to file civil suits.

Bevilacqua ordered a top aide to shred Lynn's 1994 list of 35 problem priests, although a copy surfaced at the archdiocese this year, days after Bevilacqua died.

Other documents recovered from locked safes at the archdiocese contain
---------------

Doesn't that make you furious? The Monsignor Graf does not want to burden the cardinal. Now, if you can not burden a cardinal about a child abuse situation, and one was called a "powder keg" by a therapist, what can you burden him or her about? What is the point of having these religious leeches? How dare they pass moral judgement on the rest of us, who are not burdened with canon law that allows us to wash our hands of the most horrible crimes...Again, I am sympathetic to the priests and bishops and cardinals if they are the abusers, but if they do not have those sick tendencies, they will have to answer to GOd of course, but they had better start answering to the rest of us. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: ollaimh
Date: 18 May 12 - 12:53 PM

you would have to catch a preist raping a child on mudcat to satisfy joe offer. however for those in the real world there was just a few days ago former bishop leahy from nova scotia defrocked for his child porn possession--just a couple of years ago, and his long history of rapes. all interfered with by the higher ups in the catholic church.

in addition there is cardinal bernard law who onastructed the investigations into child rape in boston and was charged with obstruction . he fled the jusridiction and lammed it to vatican city where he has politica asylum. if you want any further proof that the highest levels of the catholic church condone and protect their multiple child rapists there it is. if you obstruct dozens of investigations then you will get political asylum at the vatican. ghere are manu many many more.

i dom wich to pint oput the other major christian denominations have the same probl;ems. especially in regard to native children, in the canadian genocide(and the chair of the truth and reconcilliation commission--a suprem court judge--called it genocide) our lovong churches raped beat and killed thousands of native children. over the course of a hundred plus years half the children taken into the residential schools died there. form neglect of health care and nutrition mostly. the medical supivisor , dr brye , wrote a report calling the actions "criminal" back in 1097 and nothing was done, except to drive him from the cuvil service and then from the medicl profession. so they all have much blood on their hands. more than any other segment of society.
finally, joe offer you are a despicable coward! you watched children being beaten and did nothing? you despicable coward. several times in my life i saw violence against sdmaller and weaker people and went over and offered a real fight. i never had to land a blow. bullyies are not that brave. i had a dodge a couple , but again with cowardly bullyies that's nit hard. when i was young i worked with miners driller sand blasters. they were fucking tough as rocks guys. they cols hurt anyone. hey only did wityh other tough guys.its weak guys who beat children and small women and they back down quickly. once when a couple of us guys went into an bullyies house he did call the cops. i supose it was a home invasion but when the cops arived they had dealt with hin dozens of times and we all were clean of criminazl records. he stopped beating my friend however, and soon left.most of my confrontations were about small women. again i never had to actually land a blow i just had to show up and let it be known there was someone willing to go a few rounds. then a couple of times a drunk will swing but after a few misses those kind of drunk cowards get winded and i just pushed them over. now i'm sixty and would take a hardy young guy now--then i was under fifty(the last time). zs i said the really tough guys i knew never behaved like that.

what the goddamn hell is wrong with you joe, you just had to call the cops, yopu should have confronted the guy but you didn't even call the cops. that's despicable cowardly and repulsive. i see now why you defend nazis and class bigots among your folk cronies. you'd fit right in with the hierrarchy of the catholic church wringing their hads and signing with grief. when a lot of abuse ends immediately with direct cinfrontation


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 18 May 12 - 02:32 PM

THere is such psychopathology in these bishops and cardinals and undoubtedly the pope. People who do not have a dog in this hunt, either to protect the good parts of the church they respect, or who have an anti-Catholic bias in general, need to figure this out..or maybe they have and I have not found it. But what makes someone who puts him or herself as some moral leader not be able to deal with some of the most serious abuse of all..why do they protect it? We can go back to having Mass on the rocks or under the hedges..we don't need fancy churches..we need more priests undoubtedly, but they should be married, gay, women..everyone who is qualified and does not cause harm. There is nothing sacred about the male anatomy (any more than female)that needs to be the cornerstone of a religion...no offense gentlemen. We need to have psychobiologists weigh in here and we need to figure this out..not why people abuse but why others protect them, break the laws of the land and perpetuate this sickness. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 May 12 - 05:19 AM

A sad story from this morning's Irish Times
Jim Carroll

SPURNED PRIEST WHOSE TRUTH COULD HAVE CHANGED HISTORY
The Norbertines cast out Bruno Mulvihill as resolutely as they shielded Brendan Smyth – If Sean Brady, like Mulvihill, had taken moral responsibility, nobody would know who Brady is today.

In last week's Anglo-Celt report on past teachers of St Patrick's College in Cavan, the former priest, Sean Brady, received little attention. Some former students, however, recalled a contentious, dedicated teacher before he was laicised (and ostracised) in 1977, for challenging his bishop's authority over an affair now as forgotten as he is.
Little is known about his life today. Some claimed he survived by selling encyclopaedias, but all agreed his suicidal breach of discipline ended a career that once promised high office. One interviewee said he reminded him of the MUTV pundit Bertie Ahern, who likewise seemed destined for high office before destroying his career in 1986 -expelled from Fianna Fail for questioning his taoiseach about blank cheques.
The above paragraphs are what historians call counterfactuals: exploring alternative outcomes of past events. Today Sean Brady is a cardinal, and I hope he enjoys a long retirement when his superiors deem it expedient to remove him from his untenable position.
The Norbertines removed the title "Reverend" from Brendan Smyth's gravestone, but they should erect a memorial to the priest they ostracised with the same resoluteness as they shielded Smyth: Fr Bruno Mulvihill, who fought his superiors, here and abroad, to maintain the integrity of a once great order.
A devoted priest and brilliant scholar, Mulvihill should have soared in the ecclesiastic firmament. Instead, ostracised by his order, he wound up - like my factional Sean Brady - in London selling encyclopaedias to survive.
Norbertines were encouraged to write to Brendan Smyth in jail, but forbidden to contact Mulvihill who, his superiors-felt, had committed the greater sin. Child molester is a new term in our psyche.
We have many terms for what made Mulvihill more despised than Smyth within his order: grass, informer, whistleblower. As a 19-year-old novice in 1964, Mulvihill realised Smyth was abusing children. His superiors told him to stop imagining things. Repeatedly he confronted them with the reality of Smyth's abuse, becoming such a nuisance for telling in truth that by 1985 he was disciplined and eventually left with no option but to resign. He was an honest priest sacrificed to protect a monster and the order's reputation.
Mulvihill's fate awaited anyone who told the truth. As portrayed by Spencer Tracy in Boys Town, Ballymoe's Fr Flanagan was feted when he arrived home in 1946, famous for establishing an institution that treated destitute boys with dignity.
He returned to America reviled as a stool pigeon for making a speech exposing Irish industrial schools as "big factory-like places ... where little children become a great army of child slavery in workshops, making money for the institutions which give them a little food, a little clothing".
He unified Irish politics, with Fianna Fail's Gerry Boland and Fine Gael's James Dillon condemning his "offensive and intemperate language" as "a grave injustice ... to the decent, respectable, honest... Irish Christian Brothers."
The young Jesuit, Kenneth McCabe, got a truthful report about Irish industrial schools to Donough O'Malley in 1967. The minister was sufficiently shocked to establish a committee that abolished these lucrative sweatshops, but at the last minute McCabe was excluded from the committee. Tainted as a whistleblower, he resigned from the Jesuits and went to work as a priest with deprived London children.
I don't know how many priests were shunned for trying to do what people feel Cardinal Brady should have done in 1975, when, as a minion apparatchik, he was ordered to ask a traumatised child invasive questions and bind him to silence.
But if he had taken moral responsibility by contacting parents and authorities - and not placed blind trust in his untrustworthy line manager, Dr Francis McKiernan - he would never have been allowed hold any senior church position.
Today nobody would know who Brady is. He made the devil's bargain made by junior figures who realise that, only by not questioning their superiors' failings, will they reach positions of authority where they can effect change, even if compromised along the way.
Gary O'Toole, a swimmer of huge moral courage, did what Sean Brady didn't do: he went to parents of children trained by an abusing coach. Most parents listened politely, but confronted by the truth preferred to ignore it. It is easy to say that Sean Brady negated his moral duty in 1975 by not bypassing his superiors. Not everyone is cut out to be a Bruno Mulvihill and sacrifice everything for the truth.
I'd like to think I'd have Mulvihill's courage, but I can't say. Priests lead lonely, difficult lives. Maybe I'd have been a moral coward like the other Norbertines or hoped the matter was dealt with by someone else, like Sean Brady did. He needs to stand aside. But I cannot say what choice I'd have made between being a coward or a total outcast, because like most of us I've never had to make that stark choice.
Dermot Bolger.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 May 12 - 09:12 AM

ollaimh says: you would have to catch a preist raping a child on mudcat to satisfy joe offer.

I think those proven to have committed crimes should be punished. In situations where there is reasonable doubt, the persons should be removed from contact with children - but punishment should be given only if there is solid evidence. Also, it's up to the State to do the punishing, not the church. People scream because the Catholic Church doesn't usually defrock priests for child molestation. Well, defrocking isn't what's done in such cases. If a person commits murder, you don't take away his driver's licence and his high school diploma - those things remain, even though he has committed a horrible crime. "Defrocking" is done rarely, and generally for theological reasons and not for punishment.

The job of the church should be to remove the person from ministry if the accusations are reasonable, and at the very least to remove the person from contact with children until the accusations are resolved beyond a reasonable doubt. Whether the accusations are reasonable or not, all information should be turned over to civil authorities for criminal investigation and prosecution and punishment - and it's clear to me that church officials are criminally responsible for failing to do this on many occasions.

I don't think it's fair to paint the problem with such a wide brush, and to accuse all priests and bishops of misdeeds simply because they're priests. Where there's evidence, investigate and prosecute. If no crime can be proved but there is still reasonable cause for suspicion, then the person should be removed from contact with children.

...and that's what Joe Offer really thinks.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 19 May 12 - 12:05 PM

if it is up to the state to do the punishing, then material must be provided to them and not hidden in vaults with alarms etc. as in Pennsylvania. A rational honest normal pope needs to issue a fatwah clearly stating this out of both sides of his or her mouth. We need to admit that despite very good people and very good priests and nuns and most bishops and cardinals, there is something rotten in the administrative at least core. None of us should ever assist in enabling coverups and we should not make apologies for those who do. Get rid of the coveruppers and the problem is half solved. Prosecute them. We need to understand why they still do it and it can not be ..if they think rationally..that they are protecting the church. Every eye practically around the world is on them and the jig/gig is up. Catholics arise. Put a note in the collection plate along with your money..especially if you are in the jurisdiction of a coverupper. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 19 May 12 - 02:18 PM

""If a person commits murder, you don't take away his driver's licence and his high school diploma - those things remain, even though he has committed a horrible crime. "Defrocking" is done rarely, and generally for theological reasons and not for punishment.""

That's an apples and oranges argument, and a red herring indeed. Those in positions of authority, especially over children, should be held responsible and removed from those positions if found guilty of a crime. If a police chief, a police officer a teacher or a school principal commits a crime against a child, such as rape, they would be punished by the law and would likely loose their jobs. A neigbour of mine recently was stripped of his teaching license for slapping a mentally challenged child in class, after being found guilty in a legal proceeding of assault.

a
It seems that the RC Church is finally "geeting it" (especially in regards to this fellow, and it's about time, regardless of the likely reason why.



A recent case


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 May 12 - 11:00 PM

Well, Ed -
When priests are ordained, the statement is made: "You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchisedek." Ordinarily, ordination is removed only if there is some doctrinal impediment to the validity of the ordination. If an ordained priest is removed from ministry, he is no longer able to function as a priest (he no longer has "faculties"/license to function as a priest), even though his ordination is still considered valid. There is no question that a priest who molests children must be removed from ministry immediately and permanently.
Same goes for a Doctor of Medicine who abuses or molests patients - his/her license to practice medicine should be revoked immediately and permanently. But is it appropriate to revoke his/her doctorate? I think not.

Apples and oranges? I think not. I think the appropriate action is removal from ministry and referral to criminal prosecution by civil authorities, not "defrocking." The problem is, that many priest-molesters were NOT removed from ministry and were NOT referred to civil authorities.

There was a time when the Catholic Church thought it was its duty and responsibility to punish errant priests. We can see in this current scandal, that was a mistake. Far better for the church to take administrative action against such priests and remove them from ministry, and to assist civil authorities who should be the ones to handle the investigation and punishment of the crime.

And yes, I acknowledge that some priests convicted of crimes against children, have been "defrocked." There is a provision for "defrocking" priests who have been found guilty of notorious conduct. Still, I think that criminal investigation and punishment by civil authorities is far more appropriate - child molesters should be sent to prison, even if they're ordained. A priest-molester should be punished like any other child molester. In a way, "defrocking" could be seen as a way for the Catholic Church to disassociate itself from the molester, thereby denying that the church is partially responsible for the misconduct of its priests. Is that what you want? As long as an offending priest is removed from ministry and criminally prosecuted and punished "to the full extent of the law," what difference does it make whether or not he is "defrocked"?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 20 May 12 - 01:21 AM

"what difference does it make whether or not he is "defrocked"?"

It'd would show that the institution takes the matter seriously and totally condemns a person for what is a grievous crime against innocents. The priest for life thing is a surely a red herring? You admit yourself that priests are defrocked for other non-criminal reasons. I think many people would find the idea that holding a different opinion over some doctrine warrants defrocking whilst abusing children within your care doesn't quite bizarre!


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 20 May 12 - 02:37 AM

We have to really think about this...what are they protecting? It can not be at this point the reputation of the church..that is sullied for a good long time. Nor the physical assets..they are targeted. Is it, could it be, that they ars e protecting the very culture of that activity? I mean, something does not compute and something goes to the very top. Why was this pope elected? Why are dissenting priests thrown out on their ears and molesting ones kept around? It does not make sense. I do not know what will be left when the rot is excised and I don't know who I trust to excise it but it had better be done.   mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 20 May 12 - 10:20 AM

""As long as an offending priest is removed from ministry and criminally prosecuted and punished "to the full extent of the law," what difference does it make whether or not he is "defrocked"?""

You still don't get it Joe. I have come to the conclusion that maybe you never will and posters repeating the same - "the problem with the RC church's approach in addressing the sexual abuse priests stuff" - is no more than "blowing smoke" (no pun intended).

It indeed makes very much difference to many as to the credibility of the organization. In IMO, the RC church has an obligation, beyond civil matters, to right a wrong committed "on it's watch and by its agents" to the innocent people wronged. Ask some of those vulnerable victims how they feel when abusing priests are allowed to remain in the priesthood by the organization they totally trusted. For many who trusted in this church, righting that wrong goes far beyond civil punishment.

""When priests are ordained, the statement is made: "You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchisedek'   ""

Well, I suspect that is the crux of the problem faced by the RC church. Until they shake itself from this archaic approache to the priesthood, historically common to monarchies and Kings, from their "holy orders." I suspect that this church will never be free of this philospophy that seems to be at the bottom of some of problems it faces now.

One thing I give you Joe, you always have an answer, whether it involves ignoring inconvenient aspects of the church that you don't like, or strongly adhering to other aspects that don't seem to make much sense to many here. It is an approach that seems very inconsistant to me. Personally, I would find the it very troublsome to maintain.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Musket
Date: 20 May 12 - 12:06 PM

Of course, if they allowed women priests, would the incidence of child rape be similar?

Who knows..

There is a serious side to that flippant observation though. If religious organisations point to work in the community as a sign of their relevance, then putting men AND women in such positions of trust can only serve to lower the risk of such abuse.

But buggering men are, in the eyes of God, of a higher order than trustworthy women. Bit of a bugger for the many many trustworthy men then.

If a priest means being someone in a position of trust and they abuse that trust, then they are no longer priests. Melchisedek is irrelevant. If you cannot be trusted to do the work, you are not the worker. Regarding UK abuse, as opposed to Irish, if it were any charity other than a church, they would have their charitable status removed unless and until they can prove they have removed such people from their ranks.

Sadly, our government are spineless, as the many people who make excuses for such criminals also get a vote, and as we have found, the Catholic church are not beyond asking children to sign petitions to change government policy when it interferes with convenient bigotry.

Despite the strong links historically in Ireland between priests and politicians, not to mention the law.. Ireland is beginning to get it, and the bubble is beginning to burst. it is a long way from freedom from repression and influence of disgusting old men, but it does take time for superstition to lower enough to ask yourself why you trusted them in the first place.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Penny S.
Date: 20 May 12 - 01:06 PM

I wonder if something could be made of the order of annulment about being ordained to the order of Melchisadek. A marriage can be annulled, can it not, if it can be shown that at the time of the wedding, there was some fault in the process, if one of the participants did not fully understand, or commit themself or intend to commit themself to the sacrament?

Surely, if a man, after ordination, then goes on to behave in the manner of the abusing priests, he has not fully grasped or committed himself to what that ordination meant. Surely he has, at a very deep level, not become a priest.

(As an aside, I've just read one of Andrew Greeley's novels, which did mention this issue in passing, while making some interesting comments about what priesthood entails, and I am wondering just how he manages to be kept persona grata in his Church. His Catholic Church is so much more attractive than the one we are discussing.)

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Stringsinger
Date: 21 May 12 - 11:32 AM

Joe, one way to solve this problem is for the Church to have more transparency and less
hiding. As a Catholic, I know you personally, don't support child molestation but you have to admit that the senior officials in t,he Church have been less candid in investigating or coming forth on this issue. Sweeping this problem under the rug will not solve it.

I don't believe in Catholicism but I won't paint all Catholics with the same brush. I'm sure that many are appalled at this behavior. This is a dysfunctional aberration that could be curtailed if there was more honesty about it in the hierarchy of the RC.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: mg
Date: 22 May 12 - 11:27 AM

I have put a name to it and googled it and I think others are thinking these same thoughts..religious narcissism. It is a term I came up with for my mother who could pass for the most saintly person ever but was a monster at home. They think they are above the law, the ten commandments, that whatever they do is right because they do it, that everyone else is wrong and deserves eternal punishment, and they will take whatever is unhealthy about a religion, enforce it on others, and cling to it for dear life. Read harpy mom on google, read up on religious narcissism and see if it applies. We need to label good and bad correcdtly, and not how it suits narcissistic personalities...mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 May 12 - 12:55 PM

You're right, Frank. There hasn't been adequate transparency on the part of Catholic bishops. I have read everything that I could find about this child molestation travesty. I've picked up a lot of information, but there is one piece of the puzzle that is missing - why was there such a widespread coverup? I've seen apologies, I've seen extensive (and pretty good) plans for preventing the chance of this happening again, I've seen detailed descriptions of offense after offense.

But I have yet to see one bishop speak up and explain why priests were simply transferred instead of being suspended from the priesthood and referred to the police for prosecution.

As the risk of incurring the wrath of some here, let me say it seems to me that compensation has been excessive - the going rate of compensation is over $1 million, and that has forced several dioceses into bankruptcy - even some where there were no coverups. I suppose that in speaking to the press with honesty, a bishop (even one with the best of intentions) could expose himself to more financial loss and even possible criminal prosecution. So, I suppose, survival trumps the need for honesty.

That may be an insight into our society. Maybe people can't afford to be honest any more, because the consequences of honesty can be devastating, far in excess of what the consequences should be. The trouble is, without transparency and honesty, the root problem of child molestation can continue.

Still, as a lifelong active Catholic, I think I should have a right to know why this all happened, and what has been said by the bishops doesn't satisfy me.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: MartinRyan
Date: 22 May 12 - 01:03 PM

Come on, Joe - it was done "to protect the Church from scandal". All it did, of course, was store up the "scandal" for generations and magnify its ultimate impact.

What depresses me most about Cardinal Brady is that I am quite sure he KNEW that this was the function of the enquiries in which he took part as a young canon lawyer - he was essentially in training. His apparent continuing self-deception is an indication of how well he was trained, I'm afraid.

Regards


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 May 12 - 03:07 PM

I think I have cracked the code on this. Please everyone with a sociobiological background (hopefully there are some..I studied it in graduate school but am no expert)...read up on narcissistic behavior and see how it applies to the whole institution...they can not at this point think they can get away with it..if they are normal..but Cardinal Brady and others still think they can...mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 May 12 - 04:14 PM

I dunno, Martin. "To protect the Church from scandal" just isn't an answer that makes sense to me. I want to hear a couple of bishops tell their story with blunt honesty - and I haven't heard that yet.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 May 12 - 04:30 PM

It does not make sense at this point. Unless they are trying to protect themselves somehow. Some bishops and cardinals and popes must have the pathology we are talking about. BUt we were always told to stand up and be counted and how few are....we have to look on it as institutional pathology and go from there. Twisted monstrous thinking. Cut out the cancer and see what we are left with. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: ollaimh
Date: 22 May 12 - 04:51 PM

joe, there hasn't been adequeate transparensy"? the vatican has given refuge from prosecutuion to an americaqn cardinal charged with obstruction of justice. saying there hasn't been adequeate transparency is a kin to saying hitler had bad moods.

they have done everything and anything to prevent prosecution and to protect its pedophiles. this is to the point that a group of local catholics i know firmly believe that they are helping the pedophiles move around so they can find new victums(er fun).the catholci church has done everything and anything it can to attack those who were victums--untill they are stopped by the courts. right now they are suing a chicago self help group to force them to reveal their records of people victumized by priests. all the other major denominations have major problems but the catholic chirch is a criminal organozation to the highest levels. ratzinger is being investigated for obstruction of justice in germany right now(although i doubt the german government has the guts to actually charge him.

there are thousands of on going criminal prosecutions and you say "there hasn 't
been adequeate transparancy"/ what there has been is total stone walling and criminal obstruction to protect the child rapists. this could be a golden opportunity to clean house and establish decent levels of oversight and discipline but they have done nothing towards that end.

it's probably jst as well i don't have the time to read mudcatregularly. the kooks rule here


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: MartinRyan
Date: 22 May 12 - 05:28 PM

Joe

Of course it doesn't make sense - that's the whole point! At this remove, it is very difficult to imagine what the power of the institutional church was in post-independence Ireland - and indeed, in a different way, before independence. That power was predicated on the church mediating God to the people, essentially, and was exercised in, no doubt, the sincere belief that the church needed to protect itself from its bad apples. The thought of protecting innocent children never entered their heads! The consequent secrecy became an enabling factor for abusers - in sexual and other fields.

Regards


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 22 May 12 - 06:15 PM

Pick the most likey reason for the braod cover up: Let's not forget it was not the rank and file followers who instituted the cover up-though they pay the financial costs associated (Get over it RC folks, you were "thrown under the bus" for the mistakes and cover up attempts by those at the top of your organization - and punished for their bad deeds by the legal system). Logic says knowledge of the situation and strategy reached to the very top of an organization that was controlled from the top.

1) "Fear of being found out" - is there a logical reason not to believe that a few, possibly more, in positions of authority either committed the same acts, or knowingly let it occur. Do we really know how imbedded this behaviour was inside the organization -that is likely now controlled only mainly because of financial concerns and lessons learned.

2) "Blame the Victims" There has been a lot of that, published and otherwise from rank and file RCs and from those in positions of power (remember Bishop Colin Campbell's comments blaming the victims for luring in the offending priests).

3) "Fear of the impact of the scandal on the RC Empire. There is ample evidence of the dominant (almost ruler-like) role played by RC priests -well beyond matters of the "soul" Priests played a significant role in maintaining this position, which was being eroded by education and enlightened reasoning. Admiting the scale of the problem could have a domino effect in eroding the role of the RC church in many societies.

4) "The Historic internal belief that RC priets could do no wrong". No need to explain this, beyond the concept of the order of Melchisedek."

5) "The Homosexual issue inside the RC church and entrenched theology ". Admitting the scale of the issue among those in a position of authority could have a serious impact on entrenched theology. We see haw far those at the top of the RC organization will go to defend entrenched theological positions - for example abortion, birth control and ordaining women into the priesthood (even though many RC members are increasing enlightened on many of these issues).

6) Belief that this type of behavour could be controlled,was small scale "and the priests could be fixed through prayer and intervention" in a big cumbersome, global organization.

7) You add some more if you like-I don't buy the financial theory put forward frequently by Joe Offer.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: Ed T
Date: 22 May 12 - 09:06 PM

As to the RC Church and large compensation amounts to those abused by priests. This occured over years, while those in authority the organiztion knew it and tried to covered it up.

Good try at "twisting it around" to make the victims the villians - not those in authority. No, I submit they were not covering up to save money for the poor parishoners. They were indeed not "honest", caring, responsible nor, IMO, acting in a "Christian manner".

The legal system does not take such actions lightly and issued large judgements to send a clear message to this church and others - allow the abuse of innocent children under your authority, and you will pay dearly. Unfortunately, those in Authority (as these type folks often do) passed the costs down to others, with some of the guilt.

Punitive damages (do any of the noted misbehavours ring a bell in this situation?):

""The purposes of punitive damages are to punish the defendant for outrageous misconduct and to deter the defendant and others from similar misbehavior in the future.... The usual terms that characterize conduct justifying these damages include bad faith, fraud, malice, oppression, outrageous, violent, wanton, wicked, and reckless. These aggravating circumstances typically refer to situations in which the defendant acted intentionally, maliciously, or with utter disregard for the rights and interests of the plaintiff....

....Proponents of punitive damages believe that this type of award serves a number of important societal functions, including retribution, deterrence, compensation, and law enforcement.

Supporters of punitive damages contend that one function for such an award is to provide retribution to the victim of the defendant's reckless or wanton conduct. When a person is injured by the wanton misconduct of another, the plaintiff has the right to express her outrage by extracting a judicial fine from the wrongdoer. Seeking retribution allows the plaintiff to punish an intentional lawbreaker in much the same way as the criminal justice system punishes him.

Proponents believe that the most important function that punitive damages serve is that of deterrence. As in Criminal Law, the predominant purpose of punitive damages is to prevent similar misconduct in the future. Because the law does not catch and punish all persons who wantonly violate the rights of others, supporters argue that punitive damages help deter misconduct by publicizing, and at times sensationalizing, the punishment of those persons found guilty of egregious misconduct.""

punitive damages


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 23 May 12 - 01:23 AM

trial going on in Pennsylvania right now...same scenarios..files kept locked up with alarms..gee we had no idea it was wrong or harmful. One witness said you can't say no to Cardinal Bevilacqua..Oh..I think you can..or find some old biddy in the parish to do it for you. Or find someone who is not fond of the Catholic church.; Any number of surrogates could have been found...a paster raped a boy all through high school..

why are we , incoluding me, so complacent? Because it is boys most often but not always?


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: ollaimh
Date: 23 May 12 - 12:39 PM

i think there is a valid comparison to the "good germans" knowing noting about genocidal atrocities. most catholics "know nothing, see nothing". however the artocities are so wide spread , horrible, and on going and the continous church attacks on the justice system and the abused compells the belief that the catholicn church is corrupt to the top. especially when you consider they ignore the genocidal residential schools where tens of thousands of native children died from neglect or health care nutrition and open pyhsical attacks.

this church is beyond feform and its defenders are just as culpible as the "ghood germans" were for the nazi holocoust.

again i repeat that all the major christian denominations participated in the native schools genocide and have the same child abuse problems. some are much better at internal discipline than the catholic church. the result is here in eastern canada they are losing the flock. a lot of people who were devote and unquestioning catholics are leaving--and in droves. so they are committing suicide here.

french canada like ireland and poland used to export priests. those were the main areas for new priests. french canada has dried up, ireland is drying up, soon they will not be able to get enough priests to staff the churches. maybe they will refill the ranks from africa? maybe not. untill they have outside review with lkegally binding access to all internal documents and witnesses and out side manditory reforms after there is no good in the catholic church.

i was especially horrified by the american law suits against self help groups of the survivors of preistly sex rape. that shows no decency, no morals and no ethics. just destroy your critics by any means possible, especially if those critics are vunerable. the catholoc church has preyed on the vunerable way too long.


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 23 May 12 - 12:46 PM

Do we know how many priests themselves were abused? I am guessing a fair number. How many bishops? Why does it seem normal to them to rape a child or young teen? mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: ollaimh
Date: 27 May 12 - 08:06 PM

yjr problems in the catholic church are way beyond a lack of transparency. for you to think that joe is monstorous. the church issues passports for some of the most prominent war criminals in the nazi regime, it hid the leading french nazi, paul touvier, for decades after he was charged with war crimes in france. and they are major participoants in the gasnocid against nastives in north america--now legally recognized as genocide in canada.if you need proof of present charges and on going child rape send me a private e mail with you e mail address and i'll put you in contact with the survivors of the catholiv church organizations i know people in. they are mosty native so you won't believe them, but they have irish contacts.

friends of mine in the catholic church have told me this is the first generation the church has not passed on its beleifs. they have just done too many evil things and everybody knows now.

joe your denial is akin to your denial of the vancouver folk nazi helmut ruebsaat. same thinking, your pals are good so what ever they do must be good no matter wehast the evidence to the contrary. you posted norbert ruebsaats bio of his father helmut with no thought as to its subtle twists and lies. norbdrts full story can be found on his blog on geist(i think). google norbert ruebsaat and you will find it. there he says they were deutchland party and stahlhelm, not nazis, ignoring that the deutchland party was an openly jew hating, racist and fascist party. they were only distinct from the nazi party by their aristocratic leadership and their wanting the kaiser as furher or a memeber of his family. and ignoring that they joined the nazi coalition in 1932/33 and were instrumental in hitler getting his majority in the last german elected parliament and in passing the enabling legislation which put all power in hitler's hands. and then the deutchland party joined the nazi party when helmut ruebsaat was 13. sweeping away a decade! waldheimers disease--you forget what you did during the war. so whn helmut stated, as he often did that he was in the stahlhelm, the street marc\hing goons of the deutchland party, he was really saying he was in the ss wing of the sa. who cares, who knows any history? the stalhelm were rewarded for joining the nazi led coalition by being allowed to staff the early ss. hitler wanted a respectable aristocratic group to replace the ernst reohm's sa whom he soon pruged.

your deep in denial joe

in remain amazed you haven't kicked me off mudcat.

however those childen yolu listened to being abused--and did nothing--there's where you start--make atonement.

the native children , half of whom died in the church schools, you give their remains back to their tribes, that's where the castholic church starts to make atonement. the organization is so corrupt i doubt there id any hope==personally i am jst glad i was pulleed away from the curse of christianity. i was baptisized catholic but my agnostic father put a stop to grand parent meddling(they were worried about limbo)

it monstrous to be suing the support groups for their private testimony, its monstrous to withhold native childrens remains, its monstrous to criminals like stengl and bernard law sanctuary. they really need house cleaning, and thisn is a golden opportunity, with the eyes of the world to be witness!


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: eddie1
Date: 28 May 12 - 10:47 AM

As someone who is non-catholic and indeed non-religious, I am trying deparately to follow the arguments here and really failing although I do have every sympathy for the victims.

ollaimh - please can you remember that your keyboard has a "Shift" button which lets you use capitals. This alone would make your contributions a bit more comprehensible.

If you have, as appears to be the case, difficulty with spelling in the English language or perhaps only in typing it, you can type your contributions into Word or any other word processing programme, use the spellchecker then copy and paste into the Mudcat reply box.

I am trying to understand your contributions and arguments but usually give up after a few lines because they are too much work to take in.

I am not being flippant here, I just find your contributions impossible to understand although I would like to.

Eddie


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 30 May 12 - 07:03 PM

There is a petition online for the removal of Cardinal I was just a Notary Brady. I am sorry..but he is just too apparently stupid to run an organization that involves the health of children.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/246/859/640/petition-calling-for-the-resignation-of-cardinal-sean-brady/#'

Oops..can't make a click on this computer...mg


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 31 May 12 - 06:13 AM

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/246/859/640/petition-calling-for-the-resignation-of-cardinal-sean-brady/#'


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Subject: RE: BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 12:41 AM

http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/mc-philly-priest-trial-closing-arguments-20120531,0,1759654.story?page=2&track=rss

When you think it can't get any creepier..a priest wrote a letter..fortunately never sent..to a 7th grade boy, fantasizing about not just oral sex, but sadistic acts. Priest was reassigned to parishes. What does it take? Sadistic acts? There is sadism and masochism running through the church, and when it gets combined with sex, which probably it almost always does...how can you keep it in a religion? mg


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Mudcat time: 22 May 10:11 PM EDT

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