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BS: And yet more abusing priests (Ireland)

Joe Offer 18 Dec 10 - 05:37 AM
Richie Black (misused acct, bad email) 18 Dec 10 - 05:50 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 18 Dec 10 - 05:55 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 18 Dec 10 - 05:56 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Dec 10 - 06:16 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 18 Dec 10 - 08:57 AM
Greg F. 18 Dec 10 - 11:42 AM
Joe Offer 18 Dec 10 - 11:50 AM
Ed T 18 Dec 10 - 12:31 PM
Smokey. 18 Dec 10 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,mg 18 Dec 10 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 18 Dec 10 - 12:56 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Dec 10 - 01:15 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 18 Dec 10 - 01:27 PM
Ed T 18 Dec 10 - 01:28 PM
akenaton 18 Dec 10 - 01:28 PM
Ed T 18 Dec 10 - 01:33 PM
josepp 18 Dec 10 - 01:52 PM
Ed T 18 Dec 10 - 02:09 PM
Smokey. 18 Dec 10 - 02:49 PM
Smokey. 18 Dec 10 - 04:36 PM
mg 18 Dec 10 - 04:57 PM
mg 18 Dec 10 - 05:44 PM
Ed T 18 Dec 10 - 06:09 PM
Joe Offer 19 Dec 10 - 02:10 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 19 Dec 10 - 02:45 AM
Joe Offer 19 Dec 10 - 03:09 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 19 Dec 10 - 03:19 AM
Joe Offer 19 Dec 10 - 03:46 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 19 Dec 10 - 04:04 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 19 Dec 10 - 04:15 AM
akenaton 19 Dec 10 - 05:12 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 19 Dec 10 - 05:26 AM
akenaton 19 Dec 10 - 05:35 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 19 Dec 10 - 06:29 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 19 Dec 10 - 06:45 AM
Ed T 19 Dec 10 - 07:35 AM
Jack Campin 19 Dec 10 - 09:42 AM
Ed T 19 Dec 10 - 10:01 AM
mg 19 Dec 10 - 12:53 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Dec 10 - 01:14 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 19 Dec 10 - 02:03 PM
katlaughing 19 Dec 10 - 02:51 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Dec 10 - 03:01 PM
Ed T 19 Dec 10 - 03:09 PM
Smokey. 19 Dec 10 - 05:15 PM
Smokey. 19 Dec 10 - 05:21 PM
katlaughing 19 Dec 10 - 06:17 PM
Smokey. 19 Dec 10 - 07:01 PM
Smokey. 19 Dec 10 - 07:06 PM

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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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