Child abuse: the full story at last?

The frenzy over MPs’ expenses in the UK should pale by comparison with the public reaction in Ireland to the long-awaited report this week of the Commission to inquire into the horrific extent of 60 years of child abuse by Catholic priests and order members. At least it ought to: I expect it will, I’ve only observed the unfolding story from a distance. Or could it be that the public are becoming desensitised by the subject at last? Outrage and witch hunts are hardly the right response, but even now, shouldn’t people be on the alert for more evasion? Is it just me or has the coverage trailing the report been fairly muted? The Irish Times ran a substantial backgrounder yesterday by Mary Raftery, whose RTE doc sparked the decade-long investigation. Raftery recounts a tale of official obstruction and later compromise, in the interests of natural justice and handling an almost overwhelming volume of material. This weekend the BBC in NI and on networks trailed the report. So far though, I can’t trace any more in Google news Ireland or from RTE. Notoriously, in spite of more than a decade of exposures worldwide, foot dragging has dogged the whole subject for years, not only in Ireland. At least the current archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin was savvy enough to warn on Holy Thursday that the impending report would “shock us all.”. Further action from government and the Church will be keenly awaited.

  • “Is it just me or has the coverage trailing the report been fairly muted?”

    Brian, this is an absolutely shocking story. Sometimes when people in power and authority are involved in abuse, corruption and even possibly murder the MSM is reluctant to take the gloves off. For example, I make no apology for drawing attention to the Freddie Andrews story, a story that has just been brought to my attention.

  • MacBeth

    The cutting question in all this is how can the Catholic Church wbich is apparently just a 2,000 year old pedaphile cult cleverly disguised still be allowed to have anything with the education of young people?

  • Big Maggie

    Brian,

    Thank you for blogging this and the link to Mary Raftery’s article in the Irish Times.

    There were two parts of that which caught my attention:

    “The religious congregations for their part asserted that many of their members concerned were deceased or elderly and infirm, making it impossible for them to mount an effective defence.”

    and this one:

    “The commission listed weapons used, leather straps, together with “a variety of sticks and other instruments including ash plants, blackthorn sticks, brush handles, pointers, farm implements, drain rods, rubber tyres, fan belts, horse tackle, sliotars and hurling sticks”.

    “Sexual abuse is described as being commonly associated with physical violence and “ranged from detailed interrogation about sexual activity, inspection of genitalia, kissing, fondling of genitalia, masturbation of witness by abuser and vice versa, oral intercourse, rape and gang rape. Witnesses described their sexual abuse as sometimes a single event while for others the abuse lasted for their entire stay in the institution.”

    So we’re supposed to have pity on the swine who did that to little children? And the reason being that they (the perpetrators) are to old to defend themselves. Did it not cross the minds of those perverts that the abused children couldn’t “mount an effective defence”?

    I’m also disturbed by the stonewalling of the Irish authorities. Call me suspicious but I wonder how many of the stonewallers have themselves a clear conscience on the domestic front? Otherwise why not welcome the opportunity of bringing the criminals to justice and restore the good reputation of the nation?

  • LURIG

    I welcome this report and the shame it has brought on both the Church and the authorities. At least it is now being addressed which cannot be said of other sex abuse crimes that have been covered up for decades. There must now be an independent investigation into the Kincora scandal and the subsequent British government/Military/Intelligence Services & Loyal Orders/Masonic cover up. Kincora was just the tip of the iceburg on British/Unionist Establishment sexual abuse stories. These have been ignored for too long and cannot be allowed to be forgotten. If we are to be consistent on all of this we MUST address ALL these incidents.

  • Big Maggie

    Nevin,

    I don’t want to send this thread off topic. It’s much too important for that. At the same time the Freddie Andrews story you linked to rang some bells with me. My husband and I had dealings with “Master” Brian Hall, whom we found to be odious and arrogant. I’m not surprised the MSM didn’t want to touch this story. There are so many high-placed solicitors involved that you print at your peril. I understand it’s gone to Brussels now and I wish Freddie’s aged sister (92) luck with her fight for justice.

    Lurig,

    Yes, let’s open up the Kincora scandal and unmask the perpetrators. Child abuse doesn’t recognize borders and I’ve a feeling there’s as much of it in NI as anywhere else. Possibly more, since NI consistently tops UK polls for all the wrong reasons.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Quoting the article in the Irish Times:

    [i]”Again, the decision to no longer name and shame has been severely criticised by victims, who feel with some justification that the commission has had its teeth pulled.

    The commission might no longer fulfil its original commitment to reflect fully the experiences of all who testified before it, or even to expose the perpetrators” [/i]

    Want to know why the commission has backtracked keeping the identity of the Priests hidden? Look no further than (Decret. Gregorii, lib. ii. tit. ii. cap. i. ii. vi, and Sexti Decret. lib. ii. tit. ii. cap. ii.)

    [u]”It is not lawful for a layman to sit in judgment upon a clergyman. Secular judges who dare, in the exercise of a damnable presumption, to compel priests to pay their debts, are to be restrained by spiritual censures.” [/u]

  • “I’m not surprised the MSM didn’t want to touch this story.”

    Big Maggie, you’ve made a very telling point about the selective approach adopted by the MSM to important stories from our rather sick society. The stories about child abuse were ‘overlooked’ by a spineless media for too long.

  • MacBeth

    What has happened in Ireland is a crime against humanity and must be prosecuted as such by an international court, and not by the Irish authorities who are fully complicit. The Irish authorities must also be prosecuted as an accessory to this crime against humanity.

  • joeCanuck

    It’s good if the abusers are going to be exposed.
    Don’t let anyone for a moment think that this pedophile behaviour is confined to Irish priests. It has been widespread in N.A. too, including Canada. It’s my belief that the reason that the higher ups in the church did not discipline those priests that were brought to their attention is that a large number of them were at it too. It is hard not to believe that the pedophiles were not deliberately recruited.
    I know something about it since I was educated in Catholic schools, although thankfully, I was not sexually abused, just physically abused along with all of my classmates, with the only exceptions (in Primary schools) being the children of the doctors, lawyers etc.

  • Pigeon Toes

    The abusers will not be identified, as it goes too deep to the core of those in power.

    The state aided and assisted this. Surely that makes them culpable?
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/may/05/trafficked-chinese-children-crime

    Apparently large numbers of vulnerable children have vanished, yet the authorities claim that it would breach these vulnerable childrens human rights to detain them…

    And anyone who is familiar with the story of Madeleine Mc Cann, will surely question why her parents have not been prosecuted with Child Neglect…

    Rumours abound that the British Government assisted in a cover up there too.

    I utterly despair..

  • Joe, it would be a shame if all religious were tarred with this brush. Some of the most helpful supporters of our cross-community projects came from that sector of society.

  • “The abusers will not be identified, as it goes too deep to the core of those in power.”

    PT, I think we can expect a certain reticence from the MSM when it comes to naming and shaming.

  • joeCanuck

    Nevin,
    I agree totally that not all should be tarred. I have met and been taught by some very good ones.
    When I entered Grammar school, I was warned by older boys to avoid certain priests. At my particular school that was about 10% of them.

  • Rory Carr

    An aspect of this institutional abuse that might be lost, whether in Catholic schools and “care” homes or in institutions like Kincora is the class system that gave such unchecked power to abuse to the perpetrators and allowed for those who were to be victims to be classified as underclass, untermenschen, in the first place.

    Here we had children who were orphaned, or illegitimate, or with learning difficulties or with physical or mental disorders, or those (but only from the poorer classes) who had been criminalised already stigmatised as being of little worth, essentially ‘bad’ and deserving to be so labelled because they either did not matter to anyone with any economic clout and were seen as a nuisance and a drain on the economy.

    Those into whose charge they were given were to be sanctified as ‘caring angels’ burdened with a thankless task caring for the hopeless, the stupid, the lazy, and those plain wicked. And so long as they were kept from making a fuss and no hike in taxation became necessary we were happy.

    If we consider that if all those thousands who became nuns, priests and brothers had instead stayed at home demanding their share of the farm or adding to the (unemployed) labour market then we can understand why it was that their ‘saintliness’ was never called into question and Bill Clinton gave the answer, “It’s the economy, stupid!”.

    Those who would cite the practice of celibacy as a major contributing factor that led to abuse are I think sometimes missing the point that this was also economically dictated. It would just not have been economically viable for all those thousands of priests and brothers had they been burdened with wives and children to be supported.

    What played a major factor in the ability to abuse such power, I believe, was the custom of deference created by both the economic hardships of Ireland itself and the disgusting deference demanded by the better-off and received from those below them. In parts it was as bad as Sicily where a publican, medium-sized farmer or cheese-paring grocer (often, like the Holy Trinity, framed in the one person) held cap-doffing dominance over a whole area, impervious to criticism because any that did arise would be stopped by those fearful it would reach his ears.

    But it would not be simply irony if those who wreaked such savagery on the least among us when these their wards were unable to defend themselves should now be exonerated because “it [would be]impossible for them to mount an effective defence”. No, that would be a crime in itself howling to the heavens for redress.

  • Joe, it makes you wonder why so many parents apparently remained silent. I was in the company of some folks from Ferns around the time that story broke. They had a catalogue of misdemeanours to relate yet none of this was being dealt with.

  • Pigeon Toes

    “that was about 10% of them.”

    For Crying out loud Joe, would you think it’s acceptable for 10% of parents to be abusing their kids?

    Jesus, these people had more control of us than our parents…

    What about the kids who didn’t have the warnings?

  • Pigeon Toes

    Rory, and very often very nebulous criteria were used to institutionalize such children.

    Like “mixed marriages”, I may be wrong but we have now come so far down the road of fear mongering regarding what is child abuse, that children are now being taken from their parents under the same “We know best attitude”.

    Most studies indicate that children who have been in care, are more at risk from being exploited at every stage of their life and in most senses.

    It is often not because of their home background, but the very fact that they have been in care.

    So by crying Child abuse they perpetrate further child abuse

  • Rory, I think deference of whatever sort has been no shield for the victims.

    I dabble in genealogy. I came across a couple who’d been abandoned by their respective spouses – had several kids – she died, possibly in child birth – he wasn’t allowed to keep the kids – they were signed into care by the local magistrate – some years later they were shipped off to Australia. This happened a long time ago. I managed to link together some of the kith and kin from the two hemispheres – with the aid of Google.

  • John O’Connell

    MacBeth

    the Catholic Church wbich is apparently just a 2,000 year old pedaphile cult

    Let’s be reasonable for a moment. From memory, it seems that the statistics show that paedophilia is no higher among the Catholic clergy than other clergy, other occupations working with children and parents. Maybe this is just the dark side of mankind. Those rates of abuse are quite low in terms of percentages. But let’s not tarnish everyone with the same brush.

  • Pigeon Toes

    John,
    So it’s fine for some clergy to abuse some children. Glad we got those Christian values sorted then..

    Now what if the Pope turned out to be one of that small percentage, would that still make him like Jesus, and beyond reproach?

  • John O’Connell

    Pigeon Toes

    You believe what you want to believe.

    You know the point I am making and it is that there has always been a residual level of child abuse in society and it comes from all who come into contact with children including older children. It is all repulsive and evil.

    The Pope is revered because he is good. Of course he would lose that reputation if he failed. But I’ll bet that he won’t.

  • Pigeon Toes

    “because he is good”

    Wouldn’t that have been voted by the clergy?

    A percentage of whom are by your admission, paedophiles?

    “It is all repulsive and evil”.

  • joeCanuck

    For Crying out loud Joe, would you think it’s acceptable for 10% of parents to be abusing their kids?

    Pigeon toes, do you think I implied that?
    I have zero tolerance for that behaviour and I agree with Rory, their age should not be a factor in them being, not only exposed, but also being prosecuted. They will have to convince a Judge that they cannot mount a defence due to dementia or whatever.

  • John O’Connell

    Pigeon Toes

    Wouldn’t that have been voted by the clergy?

    By Cardinals guided by the Holy Spirit. There has never been a paedophile Cardinal, but if you know so little about the Church, would you describe yourself as a non-Catholic mischief maker?

  • Pigeo Toes

    “By Cardinals guided by the Holy Spirit”

    Oh would that be the same Holy Spirit which came to the clergy during their Confirmation?

    So I am supposed to accept that these Cardinals had the presence of the Holy Spirit, but not er these paedophiles who also had the benefit of the Sacrament of Holy Orders?

    Are all Catholics not supposed to be guided by the Holy Spirit in matters of conscience?

    Obviously my understanding of the Church has been built on premises very different from yours…

  • Pigeon Toes

    Joe,
    Sorry didn’t mean to imply that but we were all aware of “the ones too watch”. Surely there is something inherently wrong, when you can state “ach, sure it was only some of them”…

    I know that I got taught by some mad sadistic bastards. And if I thought one of my children would endure such an “educational experience”, I would be calling the police.

  • joeCanuck

    Yes, Pigeon toes, there must have been parents who were aware yet still sent their children to the same schools that they went to.
    I’m happy to say that when three of my siblings (triplets no less) went to Grammar school, I went to my parents, told them the full story and after a number of talks, persuaded them to withdraw them. I saw the Headmaster of the State Grammar school, and they all transferred there. They, the children once, have been very appreciative, even at the time, of what I did.

  • Pigeon Toes

    To me it all boils to that awful thing of parents being so brainwashed, that they disbelieved children when they even hinted that there was something going on.

    I know, if we had gone home and told our parents that we had even been told off that my parents automatically came out on teachers side.
    So as a result it was easier not to tell, it avoided getting told off twice!!

    My parents still refer to teachers as “Master”

    Which really says it all….

  • UMH: Want to know why the commission has backtracked keeping the identity of the Priests hidden? Look no further than (Decret. Gregorii, lib. ii. tit. ii. cap. i. ii. vi, and Sexti Decret. lib. ii. tit. ii. cap. ii.)

    UMH, I’m quite sure I asked you this before, but can you please tell me where you got this translation….presuming you didn’t personally translate it from the Latin original?

  • John O’Connell

    If you’re looking for the Antichrist, take your pick:-

    http://johnoconnell.org/number_of_the_beast_calculat.htm

  • joeCanuck

    John,
    I believe you have been told off before about using SOT as a free advertising medium. For shame.

  • Greenflag

    ‘But let’s not tarnish everyone with the same brush.’

    The same old hoary excuse used again and again . So why not reveal ALL the names and then the ‘innocent ‘ clergy can refer all accusations to their absence on the ‘list’

    I went to a Catholic secondary school where it was known that the Head Brother regularly molested younger boys . We all knew it in our senior years but the new first year boys were easy prey for this sicko .

    As far as I know he got away with it . Connections to the ruling FF at the time -his cousin being a TD and having a son of a Government Minister teaching in the school at the time was helped to ensure that any complaints were muted .

    We need a total separation of Church and State in Ireland . The Churches (all of them ) need to be treated as business organisations and should be required to submit a detailed list of all revenues and expenditures for taxation purposes. Such taxation raised from these businesses should go into a fund to redress the effects of the whatever crimes against humanity these people were involved in !

    The assumption that the Church (Churches ) as institutions are above all miscreance and can be trusted to obey the civil laws of society is outdated and was never true anyway. The history of all countries in the West shows corruption and venality has been just as prevalent in the religious as in secular society . Given the non democratic control exercised by the RC Church and others over many of their members it was easier for them to abuse the innocent and get away with it !

  • Pigeon Toes

    What Joe, ye didn’t immediately follow it to find the numbers?

    Guess his own infallible parents came up with a name that did not correspond.

    Brian: I’m not the Messiah! Will you please listen? I am not the Messiah, do you understand? Honestly!
    Girl: Only the true Messiah denies His divinity.
    Brian: What? Well, what sort of chance does that give me? All right! I am the Messiah!
    Followers: He is! He is the Messiah!
    Brian: Now, fuck off!
    [silence]
    Arthur: How shall we fuck off, O Lord?

  • Greenflag

    O’Connell ,

    You need to print that shite on rough sandpaper and then wipe your arse with it ;( .

    There is no anti christ -there are no leprechauns and the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus are for little children !

  • John O’Connell

    Greenflag

    Oh, yes, there is!

  • joeCanuck

    Greenflag,
    Someone once gave me a great piece of advice – don’t feed trolls.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Whilst O Connell is an aggravating bastard, why not enter into discourse with the “gentleman”?

    As my dear daddy says “He’ll get tired before you do”
    I note that said troll does not have a fluent argument, but reverts to his standard…

  • Greenflag

    pigeons ,

    ‘I note that said troll does not have a fluent argument, ‘

    You note well . Note also the effluent basis on which said arguments rest . Throne room tissue at best – mildly zany at worst.

    J Canuck – True .

  • Securocrat

    Lurig

    Well done. Three posts in and we get “themmuns done it too”

  • Big Maggie

    The BBC spoke to Colm O’Gorman about the forthcoming report.

    He was abused by one of Ireland’s most notorious paedophiles, Father Sean Fortune, and believes the Church still has too much power, particularly in education.

    “Well over 90% of all Irish primary schools are administered by the Catholic Church in Ireland,” he said.

    “The local bishop is responsible for child protection within those schools.

    “That means we still have a situation where an institution that was so entirely negligent in how it addressed child protection concerns in the past, has full legal responsibility for child protection in the majority of Irish schools.

    “That’s obviously a concern, and the state needs to do more in Ireland to take on that responsibility.”

  • Greenflag

    ‘“The local bishop is responsible for child protection within those schools.’

    “That means we still have a situation where an institution that was so entirely negligent in how it addressed child protection concerns in the past, has full legal responsibility for child protection in the majority of Irish schools.’

    Which political party will speak out and state that this needs changing now ? Not I said FF -Not I said FG -Not I said Labour – SF ? Greens ?

    The RC Church is not a ‘democratic’ institution , never has been and probably never will be . It believes it is God’s voice on earth and is only answerable to the State in so far as over the centuries it has been forced to cede it’s previous temporal powers by the people of Europe.

  • Fergus D

    A few observations:

    1. Child abuse has really only recently been revealed and discussed (in the developed world – imagine the situation in the developing world!) and clearly has happened in state institutions as well as religious ones. Paedophiles gravitate to children’s homes etc and it is only relatively recently that state authorities have publically recognised this and started to act.

    2. I would suggest that paedophiles are attracted to secretive, celibate organistations such as the Catholic Church, it’s good cover and allows them to get close to kids, plus the arrogant un-(anti-) democratic organisation protects them.

    3. The RoI should vigorously prosecute those responsible for abuse regardless of their status. I suggest those RC hierarchy who evidence suggest helped guilty priests escape justice should be prosecuted too.

    4. How about corporate responsibility? The buck stops withe the CEO, in the case of the RC church, the Pope.

    5. Greenflag is spot on IMHO, clear separation of church and sate is necessary in the RoI.

    6. May I make a suggestion to the Catholic church? Try a bit of democracy and accountability why don’t ya! If it was held to account by the congregation I bet “performance” would improve. Also, let priests marry, (the orthodox and prtestant churches do). May make the club less attractive to paedophiles. Bin your ridiculous homophobia, allow gay priests to have relationships. Combined these measures may allow priests (and nuns) to have a decent life with loving personal relationships (shocking!) which I think must be a great weapon against paedophilia.

    7. If the RC church can’t do 6 above, just cut priest’s nuts off. After all they wouldn’t need ’em. Problem solved.

    8. Alternatively everybody just stop believing all that daft sky fairy nonsense.

  • I do this in the name of the father…..

    Fergus-that would be Presbyteriansm then?

  • Pigeon Toes

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-407808/Pope-led-cover-child-abuse-priests.html

    “Cardinal Ratzinger reinforced the strict cover-up policy by introducing a new principle: that the Vatican must have what it calls Exclusive Competence. In other words, he commanded that all child abuse allegations should be dealt with direct by Rome.

    Patrick Wall, a former Vatican-approved enforcer of the Crimen Sollicitationis in America, tells the programme: “I found out I wasn’t working for a holy institution, but an institution that was wholly concentrated on protecting itself.”

    And Father Tom Doyle, a Vatican lawyer until he was sacked for criticising the church’s handling of child abuse claims, says: “What you have here is an explicit written policy to cover up cases of child sexual abuse by the clergy and to punish those who would call attention to these crimes by the churchmen.

    “When abusive priests are discovered, the response has been not to investigate and prosecute but to move them from one place to another. So there’s total disregard for the victims and for the fact that you are going to have a whole new crop of victims in the next place. This is happening all over the world”

  • John O’Connell

    Pigeon Toes

    Whilst O Connell is an aggravating bastard, why not enter into discourse with the “gentleman”?

    It seems okay for you to abuse adults so why wouldn’t you be a child abuser too? You’re some gentleman by the way. Clearly you’re yet another egomaniac using this website to promote your own agenda.

  • Fergus D

    I do this in the name of the father….. “Fergus-that would be Presbyteriansm then?”

    Would it, dunno, I am not theologically minded but I thought there were other differences besides the issues of celibacy. the Pope and democracy in the church (“transubstantiation” rings a bell, sad how you remember this stuff).

    My view is that Presbyterianism was “progressive” in the 17th century. Not now though. Best to abandon the sky fairies all round.

    Mind you I suppose many a Presbyterian would like to cut the nuts off a Catholic priest! (joke?)

    As for post above from “Pigeon Toes”. Clearly responsible states have to try and see justice is done, the RC church cannot be trusted to do so. Seek ’em out (vigorously), prosecute and bang ’em up if convicted. Also go after the hierarchy who protect them, surely that is criminal too. All the way up to the top.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]If the RC church can’t do 6 above, just cut priest’s nuts off. After all they wouldn’t need ‘em. Problem solved.”[/i]

    They used to do that too Fergus D.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7a/1749_eunuch.jpg

  • Ulsters my homeland

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/aug/17/religion.childprotection

    “A 1960 Papal document bearing the seal of Pope John XXIII was sent to every bishop in the world. The instructions outline a policy of ‘strictest’ secrecy in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse and threatens those who speak out with excommunication.

    They also call for the victim to take an oath of secrecy at the time of making a complaint to Church officials. It states that the instructions are to ‘be diligently stored in the secret archives of the Curia [Vatican] as strictly confidential. Nor is it to be published nor added to with any commentaries.”

  • Pigeon Toes

    “You’re some gentleman by the way”

    Hmm not last time I checked….

  • Pigeon Toes

    “It seems okay for you to abuse adults”

    Mr O Connell, what adults have I “abused”?

    There is obviously a very clear distinction in an opinion held by me, and to which you have the right of reply.

    Are you really drawing a comparison between this and the depraved sexual abuse of young innocent children by clergy in the Catholic Church?

    If you cannot see the distinction, then I suggest that you may need to examine your conscience (and your sense of logic)

  • I presume the people referring to Crimen Sollicitationis have never actually the document. It is dealing with sex abuse committed in the confessional (an acutely sensitive area, given that priests may never disclose the sins of penitents), and demands secrecy in the canonical court. Please see my [url=http://ulstertaig.blogspot.com/2009/02/no-facts-please-were-irish.html]blog post[/url] about this. It did not impede people from reporting the crime to the civil authorities.

    And UMH, you still have to give me your source for those translations of the Gratian decretals.

  • read*

  • Ulsters my homeland

    [i]And UMH, you still have to give me your source for those translations of the Gratian decretals.[/i]

    I don’t have to give you anything.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    CO, ask the Vatican

  • You mean you don’t want to back up your point? Fine then.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    [i]I presume the people referring to Crimen Sollicitationis have never actually the document. It is dealing with sex abuse committed in the confessional (an acutely sensitive area, given that priests may never disclose the sins of penitents), and demands secrecy in the canonical court.[i]

    Catholic Observer, so the civil lawyers are wrong when they claim excommunication from the church is treatened if victims speak out?

  • Ulsters my hoemland

    italics fixed [/i] checking

  • Ulsters my homeland

    try again [/i] checking

  • Catholic Observer

    Catholic Observer, so the civil lawyers are wrong when they claim excommunication from the church is treatened if victims speak out?

    Not sure which civil lawyers you’re referring to and the substance of their argument, but if claiming this, they would indeed be wrong.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    [i]Not sure which civil lawyers you’re referring to and the substance of their argument, but if claiming this, they would indeed be wrong.[/i]

    So this article is fabrication, is it?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/aug/17/religion.childprotection

  • Catholic Observer

    Not a fabrication, just misrepresentation. Richard Scorer conflates apples and tennis balls. The secrecy applied to the procedures in the internal court trials, it did not impede victims from reporting the crimes to the police. As the quoted spokesman said: ‘This document is about the Church’s internal disciplinary procedures should a priest be accused of using confession to solicit sex. It does not forbid victims to report civil crimes.’

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Is the threat of excommunication upheld in the document?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Is the document designed to silence victims of abuse or not?

  • Catholic Observer

    For anyone disclosing content under the seal of a court trial, excommunication is incurred latae sententiae. Very standard procedure – priests who disclose their penitents’ sins also automatically incur the same penalty.

    “Is the document designed to silence victims of abuse or not?”

    No, it’s designed to silence people from disclosing information revealed under the seal. It actually iterates the excommunication of victims of abuse should they fail to report it.

  • Pigeon Toes

    So if they fail to report it, erm how would they be excommunicated?

    Are we to assume that said abusers would admit, “well I abused them, they didn’t report it, so we’ll punish them for my crimes?”

    Now I know why I failed to believe this shoite as a youngster..

  • Catholic Observer

    Excommunication was applied latae sententiae

  • Pigeon Toes

    So all those children have been automatically excommunicated?

    There’s Christian justice

  • Catholic Observer

    Nobody under 18 can incur excommunication.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    CO, so black is white and white is black?

  • CO

    ya wa?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    ….and in the real world the RC church is digging a big deep hole, all the way to hell, big enough to bury all the sadistic perverts who abused under the name of Christianity.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Then surely the abuser has one month to reveal their crimes, or be automatically excommunicated?

  • CO

    No, the abuser was to be put in canonical court where if found guilty he would more than likely be defrocked, not excommunicated.

  • susan

    If victims of abuse can be excommunicated for failing to report the abuse, why is Cardinal Bernard Law still a cardinal?, Law knowingly transferred paedophile defrocked priest John Geoghan from parish to unsuspecting parish where he had access to innocent children despite documented and numerous complaints from victims and their families, but Law was not excommunicated, was not defrocked, and is in fact still an influential Cardinal who voted in the election of the last pope?

    Why would a Cardinal be held to a lower standard of accountability than a victim of abuse?

    Likewise, because no one under 18 can incur excommunication, the nine year old Brazilian girl pregnant with twins after being repeatedly molested by her stepfather was not excommunicated by her bishop after she received an abortion, but her mother and the doctors at the hospital where she received the abortion were.

    Few nine year olds can conceive, but even of the few who can, what nine year old womb is physically capable of carrying twins to term without rupturing? A uterine rupture might well have cost the child her life, or, more than likely, her future fertility.

    Do you know who there has been no move to excommunicate?

    The little girl’s stepfather.

  • susan

    Why are we all whispering in italiics? Are the moderators having a nap and we’re all supposed to be very, very quiet till they wake up?

  • CO

    Law was not covered by C.S. This is a historic document which is no longer in force.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Susan,
    I had read that story and it made me physically sick.

    What message does that send 1. to the child
    2.Other victims 3.Catholics worldwide?

  • susan

    CO, with or without C.S. — why is Law still a Cardinal?

  • CO

    RE: the excommunication in Brazil

    The girl’s family was not excommunicated by the bishop. The bishop simply declared they were excommunicated. Facilitating an abortion results in latae sententiae excommunications—penalties do not apply when it is motivated by grave fear, ignorance of the law or when life is endangered. I believe that is why Archbishop Fisichella, the head of the Pontifical Academy for Life denounced Cordoso.

  • CO

    “CO, with or without C.S.—why is Law still a Cardinal? ”

    Don’t know. Can’t stand the man. He should of course get the boot. Predictably he was appointed to the cardinalite by JP2, a pope well known for very bad cardinal and bishop picks (not least the inexplicably choice of Cardinal Mahoney).

    Anyway I can’t be accused of being liberal on this issue. I have long advocated the death penalty for these sorts of crimes.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    [i]This is a historic document which is no longer in force.

    Posted by CO[/i]

    It has been reported that the document is still in force.

    This was before Razi became Pope.

    “The Vatican sent to bishops in May 2001 clearly stating the 1962 instruction was in force until then. The letter is signed by Cardinal Ratzinger, the most powerful man in Rome beside the Pope and who heads the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – the office which ran the Inquisition in the Middle Ages.

    and this is after he became Pope.

    Before being elected as Pope Benedict XVI in April last year, the pontiff was Cardinal Thomas Ratzinger who had, for 24 years, been the head of the powerful Congregation of the Doctrine of The Faith, the department of the Roman Catholic Church charged with promoting Catholic teachings on morals and matters of faith. An arch-Conservative, he was regarded as the ‘enforcer’ of Pope John Paul II in cracking down on liberal challenges to traditional Catholic teachings.

    Five years ago he sent out an updated version of the notorious 1962 Vatican document Crimen Sollicitationis – Latin for The Crime of Solicitation – which laid down the Vatican’s strict instructions on covering up sexual scandal. It was regarded as so secret that it came with instructions that bishops had to keep it locked in a safe at all times.

    Cardinal Ratzinger reinforced the strict cover-up policy by introducing a new principle: that the Vatican must have what it calls Exclusive Competence. In other words, he commanded that all child abuse allegations should be dealt with direct by Rome.

  • CO

    The Guardian is wrong. The letter it is referring to, De delictis gravioribus, available [url=http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20010518_epistula_graviora delicta_lt.html]here at the Vatican’s website[/url] (in Latin) does not say that that CS is still in force (though it does refer to it). CS was issued at at time when the 1917 CIC was in force, that was abrogated under the 1983 CIC

  • Pigeo Toes

    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/hundeds-of-missing-hse-children-lured-into-sex-work-says-unicef-chief-1062055.html
    Sunday August 19 2007
    “Almost 400 children have gone missing in Ireland from the care of the Health Service Executive (HSE) in the last five years — and many of them are believed to have been trafficked into the sex industry here and in Europe..Sunday August 19 2007
    Almost 400 children have gone missing in Ireland from the care of the Health Service Executive (HSE) in the last five years — and many of them are believed to have been trafficked into the sex industry here and in Europe.”

    So whats changed?

  • Pigeon Toes

    http://www.paddydoyle.com/vaccinetrials.html

    “The letter below deals with Vaccine Trials carried out on babies and children in institutional setting in Ireland during the 1960’s and 1970’s.”

  • John O’Connell

    Pigeon Toes

    Are you really drawing a comparison between this and the depraved sexual abuse of young innocent children by clergy in the Catholic Church?

    Abuse is abuse.

    If you cannot see the distinction, then I suggest that you may need to examine your conscience (and your sense of logic)

    If you can see the distinction, then you may need to examine these things.

  • Big Maggie

    Good heavens, I thought this thread would deal with the grim reality of the rape of children by clergymen. Instead we have people arguing the finer points of documents written in Latin.

    I actually wish the Catholic Church had excommunicated me when I was a child. I would have been spared many years of emotional and intellectual abuse by this organization of self-serving and arrogant celibates.

    My hope is that the 21th century will see the belated demise of this and other frightful institutions who place the interests of their hierarchies above the lives and well-being of little children.

    Sorry for my lack of diplomacy but I’m sick to death of the hypocrisy of these people. Their only gods are power and prestige.

  • John O’Connell

    Big Maggie

    If all you suggest was true I would be with you in this.

    But you know there was a recent armed struggle or the tactical use of human suffering and there are still people walking the street who think that that was just and deserving on those at the other end of it. Some were little children, some were parents and grandparents. How about a little consistency against all those who abuse, not just celibates, priests or otherwise.

  • Pigeon Toes

    “It seems okay for you to abuse adults”

    Mr O Connell, what adults have I “abused”?

    There is obviously a very clear distinction in an opinion held by me, and to which you have the right of reply.

    Are you really drawing a comparison between this and the depraved sexual abuse of young innocent children by clergy in the Catholic Church?

    If you cannot see the distinction, then I suggest that you may need to examine your conscience (and your sense of logic)

    Again, Mr O Connell, it is my opinion that you are aggravating. That hardly constitutes “abuse”. Are you going to abuse my human right to hold such an opinion?

  • Pigeon Toes

    And I don’t believe I am “The Chosen One” either..

  • John O’Connell

    Pigeon Toes

    bastard

    Do you recall the word?

    That amounts to abuse as you now seem to have realised. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

  • John O’Connell

    And I don’t believe I am “The Chosen One” either..

    That’s because you’re not.

  • Big Maggie

    John,

    “How about a little consistency against all those who abuse, not just celibates, priests or otherwise.”

    I hope I am. It’s simply that in this instance we’re dealing with child rape by clergymen. We can debate other issues elsewhere.

  • joeCanuck

    Jesus said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. Mary picked up a stone and threw it. Jesus said “I hate it when you do that mother”.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Pigeon Toes

    bastard

    Do you recall the word?

    That amounts to abuse as you now seem to have realised. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

    No, i still am of the opinion that you are an aggravating bastard.

    And I don’t believe I am “The Chosen One” either..

    “That’s because you’re not.”

    How do you know?

    Is it because you are?

    One would have thought that you would have been able to ascertain my gender.

    “You’re some gentleman”…

    Guess we can’t expect a “loaves and fishes” scenario around Derry any time soon then…