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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
GUEST,mg 17 Dec 10 - 07:32 PM
Joe Offer 17 Dec 10 - 08:37 PM
Ed T 17 Dec 10 - 08:42 PM
Smokey. 17 Dec 10 - 08:53 PM
bobad 17 Dec 10 - 08:55 PM
Joe Offer 17 Dec 10 - 08:57 PM
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
GUEST,mg 17 Dec 10 - 09:40 PM
Joe Offer 17 Dec 10 - 10:25 PM
Rapparee 17 Dec 10 - 10:32 PM
Joe Offer 17 Dec 10 - 10:47 PM
katlaughing 17 Dec 10 - 10:54 PM
Joe Offer 17 Dec 10 - 11:24 PM
Smokey. 17 Dec 10 - 11:30 PM
Joe Offer 17 Dec 10 - 11:34 PM
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
GUEST,Peter Laban 18 Dec 10 - 03:19 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 18 Dec 10 - 03:34 AM
Joe Offer 18 Dec 10 - 03:58 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 18 Dec 10 - 04:05 AM
Joe Offer 18 Dec 10 - 04:10 AM
Joe Offer 18 Dec 10 - 04:26 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 18 Dec 10 - 04:27 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 18 Dec 10 - 04:28 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 18 Dec 10 - 04:36 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Dec 10 - 04:39 AM
Joe Offer 18 Dec 10 - 04:41 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 18 Dec 10 - 04:42 AM
Joe Offer 18 Dec 10 - 05:08 AM
GUEST,CrazyEddie 18 Dec 10 - 05:15 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 18 Dec 10 - 05:24 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 18 Dec 10 - 05:37 AM

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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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