Paedophile scandal follow up needed in the North

Alan Shatter the Fine Gael TD who has long been a family law specialist, has asked in a speech worth reading in full, how severe was clerical child abuse north of the border. We already know one that one case cited came from Termonbacca boys’ home in Derry. Shatter said:

“There is no reason to believe that clerical sexual abuse stopped at the border. I am calling on the Government to engage directly in discussions with the Northern Ireland Executive; with the Northern Ireland Secretary of State and with Gordon Brown, the British Prime Minister, to seek the creation of structures to address allegations of clerical and institutional abuse in Northern Ireland”.

I hadn’t realised until reading Jason Berry in the Irish Times that bishops have escaped from ultimate censure over paedophilia.

Since the 1990s, the Vatican has forced at least 15 bishops and one cardinal (the late Hans Hermann Groer of Austria) to step down for sexual abuse of youngsters. The Vatican has defrocked dozens of priests but not one bishop has been so punished – they have been removed from office but not from the priesthood

The reason it seems, was that the Pope refused to delegate responsibility for unfrocking bishops, so bishops who hid the crimes weren’t fully responsible.

In 1989, as the first wave of abuse survivors’ lawsuits hit America, the bishops sent canon lawyers to Rome, seeking permission to defrock paedophiles. Pope John Paul II said no. … John Paul’s long myopia on the crisis complicates his case for sainthood…. Why did the pope, so brilliant a force against communism, stand passive before the worst Catholic scandal in centuries?

At home, Eamon casts a beady eye on all that wide-eyed episcopal surprise.

  • Fr McGee

    Brian Walker, You should really be much better informed on this, especially as you seem obseessed with it. You should also know the historical evolution of the Church’s view on this. If you went back to the early schisms and heresies, you would get an idea of the Church’s teaching and outlook, warts and all. Better to bang your bible though.

    And if Mr Shatter thinks Jews do not partake in child abuse, he should check out Dublin’s prison population, where some “good” Jews are demanding kosher food. Palestinian children do not get that luxury.

  • Framer

    The RUC, like the Guards, allowed the Catholic Church to deal with cases of child molesting internally until the end of the 1970s.

    Later, offending priests and brothers were shipped south with tales of terminal ailments.

    Non-Catholic church offenders when caught went to jail.

    The Kincora boys’ home scandal in the early 1980s brought in its train investigations into other homes and half a dozen staff etc were put through the courts.

    The EHSSB then banned homosexuals from working in caring roles, a policy the Department of Health ultimately over-turned.

    Essentially, homes here were cleaned-up decades before those in England and the south.

    The Catholic Church’s problem became the exposure of decades of abuse that would have been dealt with year by year if it had not been given (or demanded) an exemption from having to involve the police and the criminal law.

    That and the fact that the Church gave people unchecked power and respect in what became after independence an English-speaking Catholic state – not the Gaelic-speaking, progressive united Ireland that the 1916 rebels died for.

    And then the Unionists got blamed for Connolly’s predicted ‘carnival of reaction’ (after any partition) because they would not come in to temper the impending Catholic power!

  • eamonn mccann

    What a disgusting racist remark by “Fr. McGee”. Alan Shatter didn’t say that Jews “do not partake in child abuse.” What would that have to do anyway with the scandal of child abuse and rape by Catholic priests?

    Incidentally, Brian, the first piece I wrote about the physical and sexual abuse of children in the Termonbacca home in Derry was in September 1993, in the Sunday Tribune. The piece, and a number of others about clerical child sex abuse in the Derry diocese, was included in the 1999 book, “Dear God: The Price of Religion in Ireland”.

    Meanwhile, I note that the cover-up of the cover-up is well under way.

  • Marty McG

    We used to hear about the IRA’s P. O’Neill….now it’s the RC church’s P. De Phile.

  • Garza

    Its amaing how far some of the religious will go to lengths to excuse their religion/church.

    What I HOPE is that catholics will no longer take the church’s word for value and infallible especially in terms of gay rights, abortion, contraception etc.

    But I’m not holding by breath.

  • Greenflag

    Alan Shatter is 100% right to pursue this issue and SF in NI as well as the other parties should be able to ‘unite’ on this issue at least .I hope to see Alan Shatter take on the position of Minister responsible for the whole area of family law reform in the Republic .

    Fr McGee ,

    I doubt you are a priest but I’d guess that any ‘good jews’ who are demanding ‘kosher ‘ food in Mountjoy will still be on a less ‘fattening’ diet than the resident incumbent in the Archbishop’s palace down the road in Drumcondra .

    Jews btw abuse their male children . It’s called circumcision and is sanctioned by tradition and the offensive foreskin is cut off shortly after birth . Horrific imo but that’s ‘tradition’ fpr you. Female circumcision is also sanctioned by some Islamic tribes in East Africa – also a tradition . Catholic priestly celibacy could also be called ‘abuse’ of a human being’s natural instinct but it’s also sanctioned by church tradition .The Calvinist protestants practice another form of abuse by their doctrine of predestination i.e some (us ) are destined for heaven by the grace of God alone and no matter how much you give to the poor in alms or in good works if your name is not in the book then tough tittie ? Even Jehovah’s witnesses believe that heaven has room only for 144,000 of the Godly elect . There is no room at the heavenly smorgasbord for the remaining 89, 999, 956,000 human beinghs who have so far to date lived on earth ?

    What is it about religious leaders that makes them want to abuse children and not just sexual abuse but psychological and emotional abuse also ?

    Maybe the religious institutions mentioned above might decide in the light of 21st century scientific findings to stop their bat shit crazy abuse which in most cases is implemented under the guise of ‘tradition’ and ‘practice ‘ but is really motivated by ‘market share considerations .

    Tradition my arse -It’s abuse plain and simple by the strong over the weak . Time the weak of all faiths and none said enough and told these ‘spiritual’ ayatollahs to take a running jump over the cliffs of Moher !! Give them nothing say I -no not even the sting of your passed water ;)!

  • ulsterfan

    I hope the Catholic Church in NI clearly declare their assets for all to see and make sure these are used to compensate those who have been abused.
    We should learn from the church in Boston and do all we can to.make it bankrupt and thus reduce its ability to repeat these vile offences for which it was responsible throughout the World.
    The Church to pay for the damage it caused and then a case made for the State to pay thereafter.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Nice post ‘Fr’ McGee — irrespective of whether you’re a ‘real’ priest or not, your Jewish comments are vile and presumably a crude attempt to deflect from the subject.

    This week we see an 89 year old Nazi literally wheeled into court to face Holocaust charges — there are few dissenting voices nor should there be. Likewise the clerics who raped and abused children should be persued to the full extent of the law for their crimes. Bishops and other hierarchy found to have covered up crimes and perverted the course of justice should at the very least be dismissed.

    Root and branch reform is vital if the church is to retain any credibility outside it’s most blinkered faithful.

    Full investigations must be carried out in Northern Ireland to ascertain the extent and nature of clerical abuse and appropriate action taken.

    The church at best have made and continue to make a complete mockery of whatever good they stood for. By being frank and open over this issue they may yet salvage some respect — by continuing to obstruct and conceal they become pariahs and must be regarded as such by all decent people.

  • RepublicanStones

    Never thought i’d be in agreement with uber-zionist Alan Shatter. He was on Radio Uladh earlier.

    ‘Fr’ McGee how about re-directing your ire toward those guilty of child abuse instead of merely criticising those looking for the truth. You’re a bit of a muppet aren’t ya?

  • aquifer

    The Catholic Church ran a state within a state, and with the permission of the state, in the north. The had close to full control of children. Alan Shatter is quite correct to ask the question.

  • Dave

    “And if Mr Shatter thinks Jews do not partake in child abuse, he should check out Dublin’s prison population, where some “good” Jews are demanding kosher food.”

    And if he did that, he would find one mentally unstable Irishman by the name of Peter Dunne who converted to Judaism from Catholicism and who used the farcical kosher defence in the English courts to appeal his extradition to Ireland for a sex offence involving a mentally incapacitated person, citing Articles 2 & 3 of the ECHR. His defence was rejected.

  • Fr McGee is that name just an alias?

  • Shiksa

    So anti semitism and Jew baiting are still around big time, “Fr. Magee” ? What an appalling comment. There always was and still is a vile anti-semitism in Irish society and here it comes again. Good for Alan Shatter. Mazel tov!

  • Rory Carr

    In the decade and more that I spent at the coal face of child sex abuse prevention I certainly became aware of sexual abuse of children by Jews… and by Muslims and Anglicans and Methodists and Calvinists and Catholics and, though it might startle some here, even atheists and agnostics.

    What is certain is that they did not abuse children because they were Catholics, Calvinists Jews, Muslims or atheists, they abused them because they allowed themselves to wallow in moral degeneration something that might have indeed been prevented had they turned to the spiritual and moral aids available to them within all of these religions.

    What did become clear however was that in many instances it was the institutions of these religions that provided the opportunity for the abuse, the power to indulge in it unopposed and the cloak of respectibility to cover up their wrongdoing.

    There is no question but that any individual who paid heed to the call of any of these religions could not have fallen so far from grace as to have indulged in such heinous exploitation of the innocent and vulnerable but the respective institutions became the vehicle in which the morally bankrupt members of such religions progressed their perversions.

    In this instance it is the institution of the Catholic Church in Ireland where the blame must be directed and it is that very institution that such as Bishop Willie Walsh and it appears, the Vatican itself are determined to protect and it is unlikely that the institution of the states, North and South in Ireland, both of which worked hand-in-glove with the Catholic Church in order to oppress and control the citizens of those states will be of much help in bringing the Church to account.

    The debate instead will be allowed to focus on the appropriateness or otherwise of now prosecuting individuals, with those for prosecution citing the example of Nazi war criminals and those opposed appealing to Christian mercy, the feebleness of the perpetrators, time elapsed since the offences and on and on while the institution of the Church secures its assets and assures us all that this was a tragedy which cannot be repeated.

    This assurance we must not, cannot accept for, if what Eamonn McCann calls “the cover-up of the cover-up” is to continue and proves successful (as I believe is likely) then we would be foolish for our children’s welfare as to ever trust their care again to any Church institution.

  • Leon Trotsky

    “not the Gaelic-speaking, progressive united Ireland that the 1916 rebels died for.”

    Uber Trot E McCann has now waded in with a predictable attack on Ireland’s Catholic Church. Some time ago, McCann wrote, presumably correctly, that the GPO 1916 mob spent their time saying the Rosary. So much for the secular webs of lies spread here.

    I am not sure if any of the 1916 mob were pedos but the PIRA had plenty in their ranks. And judsging from the BBC and other sites, everyone is at it. But few allow such easy targets for political and religious secrarians as does the RC Church. Kinda reminds me of OIRA, helping the UVF stiff Micks.

    So a few young abandoned boys got rooted and rich extremist homos/ prfessional “victims” have got rich by suing and cashing in on their life of whoredom as did the thing who exchanged fluids with the Moral Majority swinger in the USA.

    Little boys are still available outside the offices of the Irish Times in Dublin.

    Does Alan Shatter speak Irish? Is this another new Mossad rule?

    My God. Thank God the World Cup Finals are coming up so the Micks and Orangies can have something else to whinge about.

  • Ronnie Dunbar

    Ronnie Dunbar tried to change the world with pitbulls and interfering with kids. Shatter does it by the Law of Moses and Man.

  • granni trixie

    This debate (on Slugger and more widely) is surreal for me and personally disturbing:I spent my formative years in the Sacred Heart Home, a few hundred yards from the Nazareth Home,where many stories of abuse have emerged. I will be very surprised if stories emerge from the SHH where a culture of curelty did not prevail (when I and my sibling were there, for sure).

    It does not serve the truth,if we overlook that some children, in the kind of domestic homes like mine,where violence prevailed,ended up in institutions. Where lies responsibility in such cases? It is not sufficient, for example, to take as the norm institutions where a culture of cruelty prevailed, but rather to contexturalise them as part of the picture for accomodating children whose families were disfunctional.

  • Greenflag


    ‘There always was and still is a vile anti-semitism in Irish society and here it comes again.’

    Do you base your analysis on the remarks of the troll gobshite Fr McGee above or is is based on the thousands of Jews who were NOT killed in pogroms in Ireland during the middle ages ?

    As far as I know no Jew was ever killed because of his religion in Ireland -North or South . The same cannot be said for Catholics or Protestants down through our history. Our only pogrom was iirc carried out in Limerick in the 1930’s when a mob led by the rantings of a Catholic priest drove the Limerick jews out of the city to Cork where they were rehoused and given comfort by the local mayor and citizenry .

    For the record you might want to study the history of anti semitism in England where the
    word ‘holocaust ‘ was first used re the slaughter of the Jews of York and where ‘good ‘King Richard was credited with the novel idea of Jews having to wear a yellow star on their clothing . The English continue to honour said King Richard the jew slayer and nay payer by having a large statue erected in his honour outside Westminster .?

    Strange one never hears of English or British jews protesting about this ‘racist ‘affront to Jewish dignity in Central London ?

    The British historian Simon Schama (himself a jew) details some of the horrors of English anti semitism down through the ages in his book ‘History of Britain. You might want to read his ‘facts’ rather than ‘Fr McGee’s’ trollery above

    Good for Alan Shatter.

    Indeed .

    Mazel tov!

    If you say so – but then with a name like shiksa which is yiddish for pisspants you might want to consult a urinary specialist before posting again or at the very least get your facts right before making a proper gobshite of yourself :(!

  • Greenflag

    Rory Carr ,

    ‘This assurance we must not, cannot accept for, if what Eamonn McCann calls “the cover-up of the cover-up” is to continue and proves successful (as I believe is likely) then we would be foolish for our children’s welfare as to ever trust their care again to any Church institution. ‘

    Excellent post above no 14 as was Eamonn McCann’s description of the ‘cover up of the cover up’

    And no this atheist was not startled by your comment above . It might be an odd comparison but we could compare the ‘turning ‘ of the blind eye by Church institutions to the suffering of the child victims to the turning of the eyes of our governments and leaders away from the rapacious gouging of society by the financial institutions over the past few decades .

    I just listened to a program today and I will have to listen to it again before I can believe it for real but apparently the major financial institutions in the USA were allowed to pick their own ‘regulator’ . And you’ll never guess which regulator they picked 😉

    A bit like the RC Church picking a known paedophile to ‘regulate ‘ and report on the behaviour of errant clergy .

    Trees rot from the top down . The RC Church and the financial institutions are not the only examples of this ‘human ‘ and institutional problem .

    What’s the answer ? Eternal vigilance and give them nothing except sackcloth and ashes and well aimed rotten tomatoes whenever and wherever possible imo 😉

  • Greenflag

    Grannie Trixie

    ‘It does not serve the truth,if we overlook that some children, in the kind of domestic homes like mine,where violence prevailed,ended up in institutions. Where lies responsibility in such cases?’ It is not sufficient, for example, to take as the norm institutions where a culture of cruelty prevailed, but rather to contexturalise them as part of the picture for accomodating children whose families were disfunctional.

    Nobody doubts that many clergy and sisters did the best they could for the children in their care and that it was a minority of the clergy who were abusive . I think that public anger while certainly directed at the individuals who were guilty of these criminal acts is NOW more directed at the RC Church as an Institution incapable at least in Ireland of recognising the dramatic change in their previous ‘status’ as role models for Christianity and or Roman Catholicism .

    ‘Where lies responsibility in such cases?’

    Responsibility lies with those who are supposed to care for the children . If the family is ‘dysfunctional’ then the ‘parents’ are deemed incapable of bringing up the children . Thus ‘adoption’ or institutionalisation . Ideally people would think before they bring children into the world that they can’t feed or look after or nurture . In the Ireland of the 1950’s , and 60’s and to an extent even later strict catholic doctrine enforcement re contraception and abortion meant that the ‘poorest’ families had the most children and were least equipped financially to look after them . The RC Church of course knew that but shure it was God’s will was’nt it ? Inshallah as the Ayatollahs would say 🙁

    It was not God’s will . It was just nature taking it’s course . Better educated catholics ‘practiced ‘ the rhythm method or disregarded the Bishop’s missives . There’s probably many an RC today in Dublin who owes his or her existence to the ‘failure’ of his/her parents to get the calendricallly inspired rhythm method ‘right ‘

    If there was ever an example of how idiotic and unrealistic the RC Church’s prescriptions for family planning were and are, it has to be the ‘rhythm ‘ method and their prescription fpr preventing aids in developing countries through ‘abstinence ‘ is about as realistic as attempting to build a snow igloo in the Sahara desert !

  • paddy

    none of these bullroots were cristians or brothers clonard monastry must be investigated theres plenty of bullroots hiding in there

  • Lets Sue

    When Ted Haggard was outed for having sex with a male prostitute, the hooker got rich and haggard was destroyed. This has happened in Ireland, where the Irish, the eternal victims, will not own up to their own culpability.

    How many of the serial posters here will put themselves out and offer their lives up to their own tin gods? Rhetorical question of course as we all know the answer.

  • Rory Carr

    I’m not quite sure what you are asking, Lets Sue. Are you suggesting that I, for example, should do a “kiss ‘n’ tell” here on Slugger?

    How long have you got?