Questions and Answers – The Ryan Commission Report

Michael O’Brien from the audience on RTE’s Questions and Answers last night :-

  • joeCanuck

    It’s almost unbearable to see the pain that that man is still experiencing after so many years and to know that the buggering bastards responsible for these crimes against children will not face the justice that they deserve.

  • Rory Carr

    Wow! After that, debate over. Time for action.

    Full prosecution of all those active in the abuse must now be relentlessly pursued. As with Nazi war criminals, whatever of our sensibilities towards prosecution of the elderly and infirm these needs be suspended in the interests of a more compelling sense of justice that the public now surely demands.

    The young age and defenceless of the victims was no shield to their persecution and advanced age should not now be a protection from prosecution for their torturers who should thank themselves lucky that they at least will have the full protection of law and an army of barristers well versed in law and untold amounts of wealth and every comfort that that wealth can provide behind them during their trials which is a hell of a lot more than can be said for their victims at the time.

    Further, whatever difficulties in law might be presented by agreements previously negotiated that limited the responsible religious orders’ financial liability to what are now regarded as derisory amounts must somehow be transcended in order to satisfy the public demand.

    While pressure on and from the Vatican might persuade the orders to cough up I somehow doubt that it will and in any case this would be less than satisfactory politically as what the public now wants to see is that their government are able and willing, by whatever means in law, to remedy past injustices in law perpertrated by their predecessors.

    Until that is done none of us should sleep easy in our beds and least of all should we allow our politicans to sleep the sleep of innocents. Maybe then, when justice is seen to be done, Michael O’Brien and the countless other true innocents at last rest easy.

  • Rory Carr

    Erratum: Second para: defenceless should read defencelessness.

  • joeCanuck

    Time for action.

    Couldn’t agree more Rory.
    Every member of the Dail, if not every citizen of the State, should be made to watch that testimony.

  • nineteensixtyseven

    That was very powerful and moving, and hard to watch. The poor man. The Catholic Church and the Irish Government should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. A blind eye was turned to these bastards for far too long and heads should roll. The Church is a closed, secretive and deeply sinister organisation and its influence in the Irish Republic should be destroyed.

  • Big Maggie

    “The Church is a closed, secretive and deeply sinister organisation and its influence in the Irish Republic should be destroyed.”

    Its influence everywhere, particularly in AIDS-ridden Africa, is baleful.

    And lest we think the rapists were all Irish:

    Corrupt Legionaries exposed

    “Press calls Father Maciel ‘the Aztec Rasputin’ after details emerge of abuse carried out by his Legionaries of Christ”

    “Commission” takes a double-s BTW.

  • The Holy C***

    Where’s Flashman and John O’Connell to filter this for us and put it in the correct perspective?

  • Big Maggie

    “Posted by The Holy C*** on May 26, 2009 @ 07:40 PM”

    And “Cross” takes a double-s as well :^)

  • Greenflag

    Well done Mr O’Brien for speaking out . I don’t know if it was just me but the Minister looked like a very whiter shade of pale as he was forced to listen to this victim of Catholic institutional corruption and Irish Government neglect .

    What’s needed now is for 1,000 or more O’Briens and the families of these victims and their supporters as well as outraged citizens of the Republic to march on the Dail and the Archbishop’s palace in Drumcondra and let both the clerical and civic authorities know that this issue will run and run until such action is taken by both State and Church that another report like this will never have to be written again.

  • lambs to the slaughter

    And yet more and more people are entering Catholic pews and sending their children into the care of this institutions.

  • Big Maggie

    Greenflag,

    I agree. The march would probably move things along.

    Another idea would be for those victims who accepted their inadequate compensation money on condition they name no names to do just that. Let the orders sue them and see how far the unholy Brothers and Sisters get in a court of the present day.

  • alan56

    Amazing piece of television. The church and the state let this man and all the other victims down badly. This issue should not be buried but it probably will. The church has no business being involved in running education, regardless of denomination.

  • percy

    What a brave man, that Michael.
    Pass a Bill to close down the Orders, they can’t be trusted

  • AN Other

    My jaw hit the floor watching this last night – and that was after viewing the emotive “After the Goldrush” Prime-Time special [it was about financial horror stories in the after-math of the Celtic Tiger’s collapse – the solvency expert on the verge of suffering repossession really summed the show up].

    Michael O’Brien deserves huge kudos for his emotional contribution and at the least, a heartfelt apology from FF – a party he served with distinction, rising to be mayor of Clonmel.

    As an aside – Brian Cowen would have seen real-life woe of clerical child-abuse; family-home repossession, the effects of unemployment on both Irish and immigrant workers last night.

    A two-hour window of State-broadcast TV that read as a damning indicatment of 12 years of FF rule.

  • susan

    Shatteriing. Genuinely heartbreaking. I admire O’Brien so much for ripping the bandages off his own wounds to expose the wrongs not only of the priests that raped and beat him, but the political party he trusted that betrayed him as well. I hope O’Brien and his family are receiving social, emotional and psychological support right now — hard as it is to watch and to hear his testimony, begin to imagine the strain on him to survive that and to share it, knowing it is now making the rounds in the news and on the net.

    For me, Patrick Miurphy’s piece in the Irish News last week hit closest to the bone.

    In case anyone missed it, an excerpt —

    “…some Catholic clergy saw orphans, the poor and children of single mothers as worthless and expendable.

    They did not kill them, they just took their lives away.

    Child abuse was an inevitable product of a totalitarian state, governed not just by the Dail but by the Church. Much of the problem originated in the actions of Eamon de Valera, three times Fianna Fail taoiseach and twice Irish president.

    De Valera gained power by preaching republicanism while practising partitionism. He allied himself with the Church for electoral support. The Church responded because he gave them a “special position” in his 1937 Irish constitution.

    That position was illustrated in 1950 when the inter-party government’s health minister, Noel Browne, proposed the mother-and-child scheme. It would provide free maternity care for all mothers and free healthcare for all children up to the age of 16, regardless of income.

    Dublin archbishop John Charles McQuaid opposed it. Welfare states were for pagan England and the Protestant north. The Church would look after Irish children. How could decent clergy men and women oppose him? Fearing a decline in income, the medical profession backed the Church.

    How very ethical.

    In 1951 Browne was forced to resign and de Valera returned to office. The archbishop had more power than the Dail. Even the GAA joined in. Bishops threw in the ball at big matches in Croke Park and the crowd sang Faith of Our Fathers – an English hymn with no Irish connection.

    Child abuse, therefore, was not an accident. Irish children were given the same ideological treatment as Romanian children under the communist dictator, Ceausescu.

    His policies deferred to the ideological purity of the Communist Party. The Church was de Valera’s communist party.

    Children were forcibly seized from their homes and carried off by the thought police to remote locations away from family and friends.

    Ceausescu was shot by firing squad. De Valera was given a state funeral. ”

    http://www.irishnews.com/articles/540/606/2009/5/22/618255_382239244026Aninevita.html

  • redhugh78

    It begs the question, is this still happening in Africa and other third world countries?

  • Harry Flashman

    “Where’s Flashman and John O’Connell to filter this for us and put it in the correct perspective?”

    In me bed sayin’ as ye asked.

    Right then. Just so as I’m clear on all this, according to all the sanctimonious hypocrites who are leaping aboard the chance to use this poor man’s suffering as an indictment of the Catholic religion can I just get this cleared up once and for all?

    Did the Catholic Church descend from a great spaceship and take upon itself the right to run Irish children’s homes against the deeply anti-clerical, secularist, left-liberal wishes of the people of Ireland, is that how it happened?

    Were the Irish people in the early and mid twentieth century all social liberals who had remarkably relaxed attitudes to single motherhood and children from socially deprived backgrounds and who if they had known that the Christian Brothers tended to give the wee’uns a bit of a hiding every Saturday night would have sided with the children against the Brothers?

    No, I didn’t think so either!

    Yez want to drag the geriatric priests and brothers out of their nursing homes and lead them at the head of pitchfork wielding mobs to the guillotines? Fine, go ahead, then right after them you can stick your own grandparents and your own mothers and fathers who knew fucking well what was going on in those places and thoroughly approved of it and you can horsewhip them through the streets too.

    For fuck’s sake spare us your sham outrage, you all knew perfectly well what was happening and you couldn’t give a flying fuck back then so stop pretending now.

    Remember the poor wee girls who were stripped and had their hair shorn off after the liberation of France because they had a German boyfriend? Well the man usually leading the mob was invariably one of the town’s biggest collaborators. Mobs are not a pretty sight, they are even more repulsive when they are mobs of stinking hypocrites desperately trying to rewrite history and their own role in it.

  • Harry Flashman

    Oh, in answer to your question redhugh, yes it is currently going on in Africa, it is being done by staff members of the United Nations against poor and vulnerable African children, it is quite widespread and the facts about it are easy to find.

    However we don’t want to find those facts do we? Because we want to delude ourselves that the UN is a good and benevolent organisation and so we shut our eyes to the systematic rape and abuse of African children by UN members.

    But don’t fear in forty years time we will have utterly changed our opinion of the UN and we can then shriek with outrage about how this sort of thing could have been allowed to happen, we will demand that the UN be abolished and its leaders suffer condign punishment.

    And we will feel very good and self satisfied about our own moral virtue.

  • The Holy C***

    HARRY FLASHMAN wrote;

    “For fuck’s sake spare us your sham outrage”

    Okay, but you first.

  • Big Maggie

    Harry Flashman,

    I wonder whence and from whom my parents and grandparents (I’m from the South) received their moral compasses. And thoughts on that?

  • Harry Flashman

    Well for a start the disgusting allegations against me by that gobshite above can be removed and we can then continue the discussion.

    So Maggie, you and your parents and grandparents were utterly unaware of the fact that among the Christian Brothers there were men who were little more than sadist brutes were you?

    Until last week when you read the Ryan report you were under the impression that Ireland and the Irish people during the last century treated unwed mothers and their children and the children of disadvantaged families in a thoughtful, decent, benign and tolerant manner, is that the case?

    Your family were lovely secularist, liberal, humanists who assumed that Ireland was run according to your principles, right?

    Suddenly you read that report last week and the scales fell from your eyes did they?

    Now you see that in fact life in post independence Ireland was pretty fucking shite if you were poor or got pregnant outside of marriage and like the police captain in Rick’s Bar in Casablanca you are “shocked! shocked! I tell you!”, to discover what really was going on.

    Bleeeeeccchhhh!

    Spare me the crocodile tears.

    Sure, pin all the blame on the Catholic church, organise the lynch mobs for the oul’ priests and brothers because like the Germans in 1945, you and your family had no idea what was going on, no you were the nice people, it was those horrible Christian Brothers who were to blame.

    Pah!

  • The Third Policeman

    I’m only 20 Harry, is it alright if I be annoyed?

  • Harry Flashman

    “I’m only 20 Harry, is it alright if I be annoyed?”

    Sure TTP and no doubt this very moment you are organising protests against the UN for their collusion in child sex abuse and indeed calling on total disbandment of the British Labour Party for their roles in covering up child sex abuse in their Labour run local councils in the UK.

    What, aren’t you?

    It’s only the Catholic Church which warrants this level of vituperation? I wonder why that is, no hidden agenda here of course.

    So here’s a wee thing for you, in many Muslim immigrant communities there are widespread and probably true allegations of dreadful abuse of young girls within families, we’ve heard rumours, social workers have spoken out, a few brave Muslim women have provided evidence of what is going on. It seems that there is wholesale marrying off of young British Muslim girls to family and clan connections in Pakistan against the will of the girls themselves, some girls who have protested have been murdered.

    These things we know, what has been our reaction? Well precisely the same reaction that the people of Ireland, your mothers and fathers let I remind you, had to the revelations which seeped out of the children’s homes of Ireland all those years ago.

    You couldn’t give a flying fuck basically because it ain’t your problem, I’m the same, I have to be honest and admit while I believe such practices are shocking for various social and ploitical reasons I’m prepared like everyone else to turn a blind eye to it all.

    The difference between me and the rest of you however is that in forty or fifty years time, after the government has an investigation and the truth comes out I will have the honesty to admit I knew all along and and I didn’t care.

    Hypocrites like the rest of you will no doubt rend your garments, arrange lynch mobs against octogenarian imams in Bradford and pretend that you are shocked to discover what was happening.

    Oh ye whited sepulchres! You hypocrites, you who pretend to be so morally superior, go away and join the post war Germans who had no idea what the Nazis were doing.

    You make me sick the lot of ye.

  • Skintown Lad

    that’s all very entertaining Harry but effectively you’re saying if no-one blows the whistle at the time of the crime, the criminal should not be prosecuted.

  • Michael O’Brien should apologise to Harry Flashman

    “You hypocrites, you who pretend to be so morally superior, go away and join the post war Germans who had no idea what the Nazis were doing” Jesus christ Harry Flashman how can mention Nazi germany without mentioning Rwanda you horrible hypocrite you slinking snake in the grass, how can anyone mention one crime without mentioning them all?

    “I will have the honesty to admit I knew all along and and I didn’t care” But you are a peculiar individual in the rage that you get into into about people who DO profess to care.

  • The Holy C***

    Skintown Lad Wrote
    “that’s all very entertaining Harry but effectively you’re saying if no-one blows the whistle at the time of the crime, the criminal should not be prosecuted”

    Not only that, Harry Flashman seems to believe that is hypocritical to protest one crime, when worse things may being done elsewhere.

    So I look forward to the next criminal trial when the defendant points out to the “sanctimonious” judge and jury etc that their failure to to prosecute any other crime I can think of exposes them as hypocrites. I wonder if it will work.

  • Michael O’Brien should apologise to Harry Flashman

    “You make me sick the lot of ye.”

    You were sick enough as it was, before we came along.

  • Harry Flashman

    I am not saying no one should be prosecuted I am making a very forceful point about the rank, foul stench of hypocrisy that is flatulently filling the airwaves of Ireland and these forums.

    Your parents, I’ll repeat that for emphasis, your parents, your Mum and Dad, and your darling wee Granny and Granda knew full fucking well what was going on in those places, they knew and approved.

    Now you lot start dancing up and down in faux outrage and blaming the Catholic Church as if it was them and them alone who were responsible for this situation.

    Bollocks on stilts and you know it.

    Those institutions were Irish state funded, the employees were Irish state employess, the gardai, the doctors, the ISPCC workers, the nurses, the solicitors, the judges, the businessmen who supplied those institutions were all upstanding pillars of Irish society and every last one of them knew what was going on inside.

    Not a word of protest came forth from these people, your parents, your grandparents again I remind you, not a letter was written to the Irish Times in hand wringing anguish.

    Why?

    Because Irish society wholeheartedly approved of what was happening. Now you want to say “ah sure it was only them horrible Christian Brothers who were doing it, if I’d have known I’d have put a stop to it”.

    Pathetic.

    Hang your scapegoats if you must but spare me your hypocritical cant and bullshit.

    Let me give you the full ‘whited sepulchre’ quote to make you realise what canting hypocrites you all are:

    “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

    Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous.

    And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

    Yeah, honestly, it was just those nasty Christian Brothers, you and your family were the nice Irish people.

  • Big Maggie

    Harry Flashman,

    “Your family were lovely secularist, liberal, humanists who assumed that Ireland was run according to your principles, right?”

    No, like the vast majority of Irish families of those times they were Catholic and priest-ridden—I hope I can still use that term today without sniggering from the back of the class.

    “Suddenly you read that report last week and the scales fell from your eyes did they?”

    No, Harry, I’ve known about this for many years now, thanks to the indomitable Mary Raftery, Colm O’Gorman and others.

    And yes, I do continue to blame the Catholic Church. This is the wretched religion that told me when a child that I had been born with “original sin”. Imagine saddling a child with something so perverse as that! And that was only the beginning. I and my sisters were “occasions of sin” to boys, we were supposed to be ashamed of our bodies, etc etc. We were taught about hell, purgatory and limbo. We were all doomed.

    The Catholic Church exercised such a baleful influence on Irish society that my parents and grandparents held its priests to be above mortal men, and certainly mortal women. To dissent would have been nigh-on impossible for my family. They’d have been shunned by the parish had they criticized the Church in any way.

    Thankfully my generation and the younger generations saw sense. The scales fell from our eyes a long time ago. I’m delighted that the Catholic Church has finally got its comeuppance, been shown for what it is and was, and I look forward to its demise.

  • Harry Flashman

    “people who DO profess to care.”

    You’re a lying bastard, you pretend to care now, but you know in your heart of hearts that your own family were almost as complicit in this whole thing as the actual Brothers who were doing the beating.

    Your nice wee granny who ate the altar rails and was a daily communicant knew what was going on and fully agreed with it.

    It might ease your hypocritical conscience to pretend she didn’t but if she denies it now she’s a liar too. You knew, you all knew and now half a dozen geriatric Christian Brothers are the scapegoats for your stinking hypocritical consciences.

    Hang them if you must, but at least have the decency to hang your own heads in shame afterwards.

  • Skintown Lad

    I’m a northern protestant in my twenties, Harry, and I hadn’t the foggiest that people were sent to these places to be raped and beaten. I don’t know whether my parents or grandparents knew but I don’t see how that can affect my view. in any case I don’t think you can completely equate knowing crimes were being committed with actually committing them. Those who chose to bugger small boys purely to satisfy their own perverse lust are not simply “scapegoats”.

  • nineteensixtyseven

    Harry Flashman,

    You can flail about and blame everyone else but the Catholic Church but the blame lies primarily on the people who carried out the crime. Shut up and stop being an apologist for paedophilia you sick fuck.

  • The Third Policeman

    Tell you what Harry, lets hang the cruel, sadistic, raping cunts, let’s hang them and be done with it. And then afterwards we can worry about what our wee Granny did or didn’t know. And the next time a man is arrested after years of beating his wife, or molesting his children, let’s lay equal blame to the entire family. Every time the young fellas lay in bed listening to mammy gettin a thrashing and did nothing they were aiding in the act weren’t they?

  • The Holy C***

    Am only partly Irish and not in ireland, but even if i was To what degree can people be held accountable for their parents crimes?

    This is getting weird.

    Harry sez “You’re a lying bastard”
    Assuming you are not trolling, your hyper-emotional responses, plus the way you create false logic (and imaginary persons and sceanrios) to support your points leads me to believe that (regardless of the value of your arguement) you have of some kind (probaly mild) mental dysfunction — whether this is a result of trauma, physical or chemical imbalances etc I don’t want to go into, but I see nothing to be gained from attempts to communicate with you in an adult way.

    I wish you luck and a speedy recovery.

  • Greenflag

    BM ,

    ‘The Catholic Church exercised such a baleful influence on Irish society that my parents and grandparents held its priests to be above mortal men, and certainly mortal women.’

    Harry Flash underestimates that aspect of Church influence in the Ireland of early and mid 20th century .

    ‘To dissent would have been nigh-on impossible for my family. They’d have been shunned by the parish had they criticized the Church in any way.’

    Of course -and as these ‘crimes’ were predominantly committed against vey poor and broken families and not ‘us’ or our children then it was easier to not speak up – well not if you wanted your kids to get a job locally or be accepted into a local secondary school.

    Harry seems to believe it’s more important to blame the people of today for their parents and grandparents sins of ‘omission’ than the actual institutions and individuals who committed these crimes . So instead of trying former nazis for committing atrocities during WW2 Harry’s ‘moral course ‘ of action would be to judge the Germans of today for

    a) Being guilty of not being born at the time of the criminal acts ?

    b) Having parents or grandparents who refused to stand up to Hitler’s tyranny because they preferred to live a quiet life ?

  • Interesting to see David Norris say during the week that Protestant institutions who also took liberties with the children under their care are getting away with it. The Catholic issue is deeper of course, as it involves attempts to shield perpetrators from civil justice.

  • Skintown Lad

    What institutions are those Mark? Genuine question – wasn’t aware there were any.

  • Big Maggie

    Skintown Lad,

    This is what Senator Norris posted on his blog:

    “21st May 2009

    “The most chilling and damning words on the front page of The Irish Times this morning are “systematic” and “endemic”. They tell the whole story. This was known to many people in authority. In the Church, responsibility goes right to Rome, where a report detailing the systematic and endemic sexual abuse of children gathered dust for 60 years.

    “… The Protestant section of this society is not exempt, except by whitewash. I attended an up-market Protestant boarding school where sadism was rampant and someone very close to me had his life destroyed by this sadism.

    “It is extraordinary that the Protestant churches should be so completely excluded. I feel great compassion for the victims but I also feel compassion for the many decent, good and self-sacrificing members of the clergy who are now tarred with the same brush, in the same way that we as politicians are tarred.

    “What about the judges? Children, trembling, terrified and clearly physically injured, routinely turned up in front of the judges of the State and not one of them ever asked a question. The judges are as guilty as anyone else in this State and we are guilty too.

    “I remember what Senator O’Toole was talking about and the debates about the Stay Safe programme. Those people were in this House as well. I listened to them talking about protecting the family against children. It was disgusting and repellant and it is disgusting, repellant and obscene that still we have a situation where the churches, the very people that are indicted in this report, are exempt from the operation of the equality law. They are not equal with the rest of us and they are placed above the law. How can anyone tolerate that the people who visited this on the innocent children of the country are exempt from equality law?

    “The bullying and psychological torture of young people is still going on and is facilitated by us. Christ and Caesar are still hand in glove in this place and we are guilty of it.”

  • caoimhin

    I agree with the man, the influence of the churches should be greatly reduced.

    Did you know that the churches in the north still have say over what children learn in schools. The formation of the Revised Curriculum of N.I was overseen by these anti-humans.

  • Harry Flashman

    “The judges are as guilty as anyone else in this State and we are guilty too.”

    “Christ and Caesar are still hand in glove in this place and we are guilty of it.”

    Thank you Senator Norris for making my point exactly, yez can dump this on the Catholic Church if you like but that merely exposes you for the canting hypocrites you are.

    In today’s Irish Times there are letters from men who attended Catholic homes and received nothing but love and attention, one then went to a lay school and suffered years of abuse, Norris points out this was also going on in protestant schools and homes.

    But it suits the emoters and Catholic bashers to pretend the fault lies with the Catholic Church and the Catholic Church alone, stuff and nonsense.

    This was not a sin committed by the Catholic Church, it was a sin committed by the Irish state and Irish society and abetted by the Catholic Church.

    Stop trying to evade the blame that goes far wider than a mere handful of Christian Brothers.

  • Big Maggie

    “In today’s Irish Times there are letters from men who attended Catholic homes and received nothing but love and attention”

    Ah, so the counter-offensive begins, does it? How predictable of the Brothers.

  • HARRY Flashman is right

    We have to start treating the criminals as victims.

  • greenflag

    harry flashman ,

    This was a CRIME committed by clerics of the Catholic Church aided and abetted by a negligent Irish State and covered up by the medical , professional and legal establishments.
    Not for the first time have you got it arseways yet again 🙁

    So what will your next defence of tyranny be ?

    a) A plea for the rehabilitation of Slobodan Milosevic as he was a victim of Kosovan and Croatian ‘nationalisms ‘ and both his parents committed suicide ?

    or

    b) A plea for the justification of the killing of mostly women and children by the recent Israeli
    mass bombing of civilians in Palestine ?

  • nineteensixtyseven

    “This was not a sin committed by the Catholic Church, it was a sin committed by the Irish state and Irish society and abetted by the Catholic Church.”

    It WAS a sin committed by the Catholic Church, abetted by Irish society and the Irish State. I don’t live in the Irish Republic and I have never attended any Catholic educational institutions so I am genuinely shocked by the sheer scale of this. The responsibility for committing a crime lies primarily on the person and/or institution who committed it. If that principle does not hold then I should start blaming you for not doing enough to prevent the situation in the Darfur or blame my grandfather for the liquidation of the kulaks as a class in Stalinist Russia. Your argument is bizarre and it does nothing but shift the blame from the primary actors in this affair which are people in positions of responsibility within the Catholic Church. Yes, the state is to blame for not doing enough to stop it but their crime is one of negligence, not positive abuse. Either way this affair is an argument for the separation of Church and State and a widespread investigation into the unaccountable nature of the Catholic Church and its vast undemocratic powers.

  • Big Maggie

    1967,

    “It WAS a sin committed by the Catholic Church, abetted by Irish society and the Irish State.”

    Sin, my arse. It was a concerted and sustained criminal assault on defenceless little children and must be seen in those terms. To label those horrendous crimes “a sin” is to play into the hands of the Catholic clergy, who have long regarded themselves as somehow above the law of the land and subject to “canon law”, whatever that is.

    The criminals, lay and religious, must be treated as criminals if and when they’re found guilty and the maximum possible sentences imposed. They must be made an example of. Any less would be an affront to the victims and an incentive to others to try something similar. It must not happen again, anywhere at any time.

  • nineteensixtyseven

    Big Maggie,

    I don’t disagree, I was just using the parlance of the quote I was refuting. It’s a crime, nothing less.

  • Big Maggie

    1967,

    Apologies. I hadn’t read all of Harry’s post.

  • Vision Razor

    Harry Flashman Wrote “Your parents, I’ll repeat that for emphasis, your parents, your Mum and Dad, and your darling wee Granny and Granda knew full fucking well what was going on in those places, they knew and approved”

    Maybe, maybe not but we are not our parents, not our grandparents. We want justice for the victims. We want those animals who abused a position of power to pay for their crimes as the law rightly dictates. Is the Roman Catholic Church now above the law? Last time I checked Ireland was supposed to be a Republic.

  • Big Maggie

    Vision,

    Iran is a republic too. Do you think the imams are subject to its laws?

    We (all of us, worldwide) have to get beyond the idea that clergymen, courtesy of some god-given right, are better than the rest of us and the arbiters of morality. Plainly they are not and I wonder whether they ever have been.

    It’s hard enough for a society to keep its citizens on the straight and narrow at the best of times, while having recourse to legal constricts. It’s quite another when a part of that society that’s unelected and seemingly answerable to no one but its own hierarchy, can have free rein.

    The Churches have had it their own way for far too long. The dark collusion between Church and State in Ireland has revealed itself for the monster it is. Let’s sever those unholy ties right now.

    And while we’re about it, let’s turf those bishops out of the House of Lords. Their presence there might have been acceptable to those living in the Middle Ages but what possible right have they to be there now, dictating how we should conduct ourselves?