“typical of the slithery sleeveenism that still infects Irish politics.”

The report of Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin’s meeting with the Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, ends on this note

Responding to Mr Martin’s expression of “deep disappointment” at the lack of a response by the pope to the Dublin diocesan report, Holy See sources said until the Holy See received a formal complaint from the Government via its diplomatic mission in Rome, a Vatican response would be “inappropriate”.

Meanwhile, in the Irish Times, Fintan O’Toole questions the validity of legislative echoes of a Byzantine Empire. From the Irish Times article

THE VATICAN, in its refusal to deal with the Murphy commission on child abuse in the Dublin diocese, made it clear that it wishes to be regarded, not as a church organisation, but as a foreign state. Which raises the rather stark question: why do we allow a foreign state to appoint the patrons of our primary schools? If some weird vestige of colonial times decreed that the British monarch would appoint the ultimate legal controllers of almost 3,200 primary schools in our so-called republic, we would be literally up in arms. Why should we tolerate the weird vestige of an equally colonial mentality that allows a monarch in Rome to do just that?

Fintan O’Toole notes

The current line from both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael is not to defend the retention of these powers by unelected and unaccountable people who may or may not recognise Irish law, but to insist that they are little used. This is typical of the slithery sleeveenism that still infects Irish politics. Anti-democratic powers are okay so long as they are not used.

There are just two possibilities here. Either the statutory powers of the bishops have fallen into disuse, in which case who can object to the clearing away of this offensive anachronism? Or they have not fallen into disuse, in which case they remain as an affront to a republican democracy.

Even if the bishops were not collectively and institutionally incapable of putting the welfare of children first, the idea that the primary school system of a 21st century democracy should be ultimately controlled by the appointees of a foreign dictatorship would be shameful.

We need to grow up as a society, and that means growing out of our dependence on a 19th century instrument of power and control. Every intelligent theologian knows that that institution (as opposed to the faith it has distorted and betrayed) is effectively dead. It is long since time that politicians who claim to be republicans stopped prostrating themselves before its corpse.

, , , , ,

  • igor

    It also raises the question of why you allow that state to retain a diplomatic presence when its agents refused to cooperate with an investigation into paedophile activity by its representatives and a cover up by its senior clergy

    Should the nuncio go?

  • John East Belfast

    Is the Pope still intending to visit Ireland north and/or south next year ?

    It will be telling the reception he receives this time around

  • Coll Ciotach

    Cannot see what the Murphy commission was playing at. This was a crass act to demean the Vatican which has backfired on them, it is very easy to use the proper channels and this would have garnered them the information they required.

    As for the Pope’s possible visit. You can rest assured thta Catholics will be able to discern the differences between appointees of the Church and their acts and ommissions and the Church itself, for they are the Church.

  • Brian Walker

    And the implications for schools governnance in Northern Ireland? As previously noted, Cardinal Brady has already shown his anxiety over the impact of the new Education and Skills Authority,now in the doldrums. Are northern
    catholics likely to want to cling to nurse for fear of something worse in the uncertain political climate?It would be undemocratic- impossible – to deny them. There’s another problem with straight secularisation, as faith schools are recognised as specialist schools in GB.Straight abolition may be against human rights (though I’m not sure). Try this option from Bernard Cullan.
    http://gtcni.openrepository.com/gtcni/bitstream/2428/7928/21/2020 Book – The Principle of Subsidiarity and the Governance of Schools – Bernard Cullen.pdf

    “My proposal is that the government should offer the adult citizens of that area
    (and many others) a local plebiscite, asking them whether they wish to continue with the current
    monopoly situation of school governance, or whether they would prefer to have local democratic
    control over the management of their schools….

  • igor

    “the implications for schools governnance in Northern Ireland?”

    Will they pass their Child Protection vetting?

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Coll: ‘This was a crass act to demean the Vatican’

    It’s impossible to demean the vatican any more than they have already done themselves.

    Given the gravity of the situation, the vatican should have been falling over themselves to co-operate fully with the Murphy commission and all others concerning past conduct regarding child abuse. Do they wish to be honest and open about crimes committed or do they wish to whistle in the wind and hope it will all go away?

    By playing the frankly pathetic diplomatic card the vatican merely portrays itself as uncaring, unco-operative and quite incapable of any pretence of moral standing.

    The anti-church venom evident in Fintan O’Toole’s article would have been unthinkable a few years ago and represents an animosity which will not dissipate without strong and genuine action on the part of the vatican. The days when the population blindly accepted the words and deeds of church leaders are long gone — if they are to avoid becoming the corpse which O’Toole refers to, they need to be seen to be fully co-operative over the actions of THEIR representatives.

    As for a future papal visit, I have no doubt that there will be cheering crowds north and south, but nothing on the scale seen in the 1970s and the whole thing greatly overshadowed by the elephant in the room.

    In the current climate I believe benedict would need quite some neck to come here.

  • McGrath

    I’m wondering how much more evidence will come to light in the furture regarding abuse in other countries. Unlike what has been suggested on this site by a few tooles, the abuse won’t have stopped at the border, it’s not likely to be limited to just here are parts of the USA. I’m guessing the silence by the Vatican is due to them having a look to see how widespread this problem is. Maybe they already know.

    I never understood what the flying spagetti monster had to do with education anyway.

  • Greenflag

    Well said O’Toole :))

    And now for the slogan

    Irish Citizen Army update 2009 😉

    ‘We serve neither King nor Kaiser nor Pope’ !!

  • Coll Ciotach

    Gerry Lvs Castro

    The Vatican has not demeaned itself – the problem lies at the heart of Irish society. The vatican is quite right to insist that protocal is observed, in fact on matters of this gravity it is all the more important that this is the case, otherwise you create a “fog of war” which could be exploited by people trying to escape the rap. I would have thought anyone with an iota of sense would be able to appreciate that. The structures are there and should be used. The Enquiry has shown that it is not professional, I wonder who wants to ensure the spotlight does not fall on them.

    The vatican is proceeding properly. In an ordered and structured way. await the announcements following the meetings currently in progress in Rome. Less histeria and more results are needed. This stupid approach and hoo haa serves no one excepyt those more interested in Church bashing than the children involved.

    I would love to see it opened right up. Police and Politicians are involved – let us hope they too are jailed. Let us rip open this disgusting underbelly of Irish society.

    And why stop there? Lets go on and find out what was happening in the North. Every single orphange, whether state or secular should be investigated. Every single one. No opt outs. and that includes Kincora.

    We cannot allow any organisation, from British Intelligence to the Church have an opt out. No national interest comes before children.

  • Ryan

    Fintan O’Toole is a joke. The Catholic Church saw off Stalin (‘how many divisions has the Pope?’) in double quick time. It will have even less difficulty with O’Toole, Stalin’s representative on earth. The vast majority of the Irish people will always prefer Faith schools to State schools. If anyone disputes this, let’s have a referendum in every parish in the country right NOW. Apart from Faith-related reasons, Faith schools provide far better education than State schools. That’s one of the reasons why the standard of education in the Republic is so far above that in Britain (source: check recent PISA and HBSC reports). As for O’Toole’s absurd claim that the Catholic Church is ‘effectively dead’, a recent survey showed that almost 70 per cent of the population attend Mass at least once a month and almost 50 per cent attend Mass at least once a week. Some death!

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    ‘Let us rip open this disgusting underbelly of Irish society.’

    Of course Coll my mistake — it’s all Irish society’s fault that the church’s representatives raped and abused children, entirely the police’s fault that they naively assumed the church hierarchy would deal with paedophiles in their midst, entirely parents fault that they trusted these men of god and their supposed moral guardians.

    This happened in the US too — is that all the fault of the ‘disgusting underbelly of US society?’

    It is Irish children who have been the victims of a church who demanded and still demand complete control over society. The vatican bear responsibility for the actions of their employees — such ‘diplomatic protocols’ are entirely superflous and merely give the impression of an unco-operative hierarchy hiding in ivory towers.

    I’ve no arguments with you regarding the scope of child abuse investigations — no organisation can have any excuse for concealing such actions. I personally would feel no different were the organisation in question the presbyterian church, the GAA or the OO.

    Unfortunately for the catholic church, the extent and duration of the abuse and the cynical and criminal way it was systematically covered up completely dwarf any accusations of other groupings. The extent and scope of these crimes against children are literally mind-boggling and require complete unconditional co-operation and access.

    Rather than hiding behind diplomatic protocols, the vatican should be doing everything in it’s power to demonstrate it’s good faith and determination to fully put it’s house in order.

    ‘No national interest comes before children.’

    And no church interest comes before children either.

  • Couldn’t comment – shouldn’t

    THe key question that is running through my mind regarding the vatican’s refusal to release papers – why had they these papers inthe first place?

    If the vatican is now a foreign state, why was it holding papers relating to crimes committed by irish citizens against irish citizens? or were the crimes committed by vatican citizens against irish citizens?

    If they were of course acting as a wider part of the church then no diplomatic niceties should have been necessary.

    This whole mess exposes the duplicity of the catholic church, one minute they are part of the country’s society, involved in everything part of everything and then amazingly they are they are a foreign state.

    So quick question when a priets sits on the board of a school or a hospital, is he an irish citizen representing the church or a vatican citizen representing the vatican?

  • Alan – Newtownards

    It’s kind of ironic that republicans who shortly after winning freedom from England, freedom which they claim(and I don’t doubt)came at a great cost to nationlists, hand it over (willy nilly) to a foreign power……the Vatican. Can anyone answer why?

    It appears that the R.C. church controlled the police commanders in the south along with the politicians. Would I be right in saying that John Charles McQuaid helped write the republics constitution? An elderly relative of mine who worked for the Irish Times in Dublin just after the war, told me recently of the clashes between the protestant editor of the paper and McQuaid and how he believes(McQuaid)didn’t want a protestant about the place.

    It looks like the old saying Home rule is Rome rule was actually true. It would be interesting to know what the political parties in the south knew about what was going on and was there any cover up at the behest of the R.C. church. It is good to see that foreign minister Martin is prepared to speak out and as we say here to “call a spade a spade.”

  • Peter

    Home Rule was indeed Rome Rule in the Republic, and it seems it will continue to be so. However the power was not taken rather it was freely handed over.

    There is something in the Catholic psyche that at a fundamental level avoids questioning the old men of the Church and meekly accepts their edicts.

    As a Protestant I had to accompany my then soon to be wife to see her priest to ask permission for her to be married outside her home parish.I was astounded to see this strong-willed intelligent woman become a meek little mouse totally in thrall to the priest.

    I had to endure poorly veiled insults about my own church (I had been warned before the meeting to keep my mouth shut) and that the prospects for our intended marriage was down to this man’s whim.

    I was left with the impression that if this was typical of the interaction between priest and parishioner there was something deeply unhealthy about the clergy’s attitude to their flock and vice versa.

  • Greenflag

    alan ,

    ‘Can anyone answer why?’

    At that particular time broadly (1890 to 1920 ) the RC Church hierarchy was coming around to the idea that an ‘independent ‘ Irish State might actually come into being and thus they hedged their bets for a while with the higher clergy still supporting the Union because of the worldwide ‘marketing’ reach of the British Empire whereas the lower clergy were more influenced by the rising ‘nationalist ‘ elements . At that time also the RC Church was what distinguished the majority of Irish from the majority of Britons so it became a badge marker for identity. The RC Church lashed on to this stick as a way to ‘differentiate’ themselves from the mid 19th century RC Church which was very pro Union

    With the Free State 90% plus RC the Vatican did’nt have a lot to do in the 1930’s except collect the cash . Dev’s ‘1937 ‘ Constitution was an artful ploy to find favour with the hierarchy of the RC Church many of whom would have accused the Dev of the 1920’s of being a ‘red’ .

    peter ,

    ‘However the power was not taken rather it was freely handed over.’

    I don’t think the new political establishment either the Free Staters under W. Cosgrave or the later Dev could have tackled the Church authorities in the way that is possible today -particularly given the religious demographics of the 26 county State at that time .

    ‘I was left with the impression that if this was typical of the interaction between priest and parishioner there was something deeply unhealthy about the clergy’s attitude to their flock and vice versa.’

    Typical of many I would say but not all . I can recall family members standing up to clergy in no uncertain terms but then in rural areas that would have been less possible or would have consequences .

    But you are correct it was and where it still exists deeply unhealthy . Those clergy accused of abuse you will find mostly performed their abuse on the weakest members of their flocks – the poor -the orphans -the isolated the ignorant and uneducated and the fearful .

  • Coll Ciotach

    gerry

    Of course it is not the fault of the Church – it is the fault solely of men within the church and beyond. It is purely societal. It occurs outside the Church, and not only in Ireland also. The secular orphanages in England for example, were just as bad. Irish society is full of this. Ask the men at Garnerville – they will tell you as they told me that there is a paedophile on every street. What the Church is guilty of is not dealing with it properly. They are no more guilty of paedophiles in their priesthood as the schools who also have them as teachers. So, yes, it is societal.
    As for the US there is more Protestant clergy been found to be paedopghiles there than Catholic clergy so it is hardly a solely catholic problem there at least and yes – some of those establishments also covered up.

    If you say that “The vatican bear responsibility for the actions of their employees—such ‘diplomatic protocols’ are entirely superflous and merely give the impression of an unco-operative hierarchy hiding in ivory towers”

    then you accept that as employees of the state the state also holds responsibility. And, this is a serious point, those who do not address that are seeking to cover that involvement up. As for “ivory towers” that shows how flawed your approach is. It allows others involved to escape. Rome will answer, but only in the correct fashion ensuring justice is done. The politicos trying to cover up their colleagues and their police forces part in this may get upset. That is their peoblem. I suspect Rome is going to make sure that all is revealed. More surprises are on the way for seculatr society. I wonder if their will be many calling for the demise of the state or its police?
    I would agree with most of the rest of your post but I do insist that all involved are equally to blame for the cover up. And it is the cover up which is really galling. Who does not expect these things to happen? They will happen again. The recent expose of boxing and swimming coaches show how widespread this problem is.

    No one is hiding behind protocol except those who do not want to use protocol as it would expose those who do not wish to be involved. I trust the vatican is putting the house in order – await the result of the talks ongoing in Rome.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Coll I don’t intend to get into a theological argument over ‘who’ or ‘what’ the church is. For my purposes here the church is it’s human representatives as opposed to buildings or supernatural aspirations.

    You seem extremely eager to point out that child abuse is present in all stratas of society and no-one would dispute that. The difference here is not only the magnitude of the abuse and cover-ups but the fact that the church purports to be a guardian and teacher of morality whereas say the GAA isn’t.
    As such everyone is entitled to expect much higher standards — in any large organisation with close proximity to children there will inevitably be paedophiles present — the proof of the organisation’s morality is how they react to this discovery. At the very least we might expect such individuals to be dismissed and reported to the police. Is this unreasonable?

    Instead we find an institution whose repeated policy is to move the paedophile to another parish, merely to abuse elsewhere. A culture of denial, obstruction and arrogance. An organisation supposedly of high moral standards branding children and their parents as liars for having the temerity to report crimes of whic they are already well aware.

    It’s the sickening hypocrisy, the complete lack of even the most basic morality, the arrogance of self-preservation at all costs that sets the catholic church apart from the secular institutions. The fact that the church demanded and was given complete immunity from investigation merely made a bad situation infinitely worse.

    Yes the state must accept some culpability — a police force failing to act in the interest of it’s most vulnerable citizens — children, a govt so dependent and complacent that they brushed aside all reports and rumours. But the ultimate blame lies with the catholic church and their abject failure to ensure even the most basic morality in an institution purporting to be moral guardians.

    ”Rome will answer, but only in the correct fashion ensuring justice is done.”

    Coll Rome has had decades if not centuries to do justice by the innocents. They chose not to in the face of overwhelming evidence and went to incredible lengths to ensure that no-one even attempted an investigation.
    To suggest that after all this time we should trust the vatican to do the right thing is beyond laughable.

    Your attempts to defend the indefensible with arguments such as ‘sure everyone does it’ and ‘the police & state are just as guilty’ are valiant but ultimately misplaced.
    The time for diplomatic protocols and deafening silence is long past — Ireland north & south as well as the rest of the catholic globe deserve at the very least to know what went on and why. The church can co-operate and salvage something from the wreckage or become pariahs to all but the hardcore few.

  • ciaran

    coll, you are very niave indeed if you think that Rome will co-operate fully or release all the information it posseses about the abuse.It is Rome that has been helping to cover it up for all these years. This has been going on for generations and the church has been moving priests all over the world to hide them from the authorities. There is no way on earth that any of the previous popes knew nothing about what was going on. In fact did jp11 not make benedict his troubleshooter for a while to help cover it up?

  • Úna Walsh

    The Papal Nuncio should be expelled for the appaling disrespect shown to the Irish people and State by his failure to respond let alone co-operate with the Inquiry. The Church wants to be a foreign power when it suits and an integral part of Irish society when that suits. Every person with any knowledge of this matter should be before the Courts.

  • K. Scott

    ‘Couldn’t comment – shouldn’t’, asks why the Vatican had “these papers”.

    In 2001 the Pope, then Cardinal Ratzinger sent a letter to every bishop in the world.

    The letter, ‘concerning very grave sins’, was sent from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office that once presided over the Inquisition and was overseen by Ratzinger.

    It spells out to bishops the church’s position on a number of matters ranging from celebrating the Eucharist with a non-Catholic to sexual abuse by a cleric ‘with a minor below the age of 18 years’.

    Ratzinger’s letter states that the church can claim jurisdiction in cases where abuse has been ‘perpetrated with a minor by a cleric’.

    The letter states that the church’s jurisdiction ‘begins to run from the day when the minor has completed the 18th year of age’ and lasts for 10 years.

    It orders that ‘preliminary investigations’ into any claims of abuse should be sent to Ratzinger’s office, which has the option of referring them back to private tribunals in which the ‘functions of judge, promoter of justice, notary and legal representative can validly be performed for these cases only by priests’.

    ‘Cases of this kind are subject to the pontifical secret,’ Ratzinger’s letter concludes. Breaching the pontifical secret at any time while the 10-year jurisdiction order is operating carries penalties, including the threat of excommunication.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/apr/24/children.childprotection

    I live in the Republic of Ireland. I doubt I will continue to do so if I can sell my house any time soon!! Today I listened to an old man who was sentenced to 15 days in Mountjoy jail because he had adopted a small dog from the ISPA and had forgotten to get a licence. His ‘debt’ – 12.50 Euro. A state pensioner, he was fined 350 Euro + a further E300 to cover costs.

    It is impossible to reconcile this with the fact that priests who abused children have been facilitated by the Church and the political system to move to the UK without any warning given to the relevant authorities there. That none of them appear on the Republic’s sex offenders register that only came into being in 2002. That many of them are living in Ireland, in retirement, funded by the pennies of the elderly still attending mass.

    Seanie Fitzpatrick of “no f**king Prod is getting my bank” fame, (David McWilliams quote) is a free man, his bank, Anglo Irish, bailed out by taxpayers. Nobody in the upper echelons on banking has been removed despite evidence of corruption and fraud.

    Politicians have squandered millions on themselves and the country is bankrupt. Developers and builders have conned people into buying houses built on flood plains. Those houses are unihabitable today.

    NOBODY in that ‘golden’ circle – Church, government, banks, developers, builders – is called to account. This is a people indoctrinated from birth to grave in Roman Catholic dogma – unquestioning obedience to authority and a carefully divided society – the privileged got an education and gave their allegiance to the church. The poor got dumped in slave labour camps, emerged illiterate and then emigrated. The irony of that is the huge numbers that found refuge in England!.

    NO child of the middle-class was incarcerated in the Industrial school hell-holes, I haven’t heard of any child of a lawyer, doctor, dentist, politician, rich builder, having been abused by the parish priest. No.The victims are ALL children of the ‘devout’ working class or the poverty-stricken poor.

  • just_today

    Well said K. Scott!

    Its time for the Irish people to throw these bunch of parasites off our backs. Their collective behaviour over the past years displays very clearly what they think of us. Now, let us stop bowing and scraping. No more deference to those who would protect child abusers.

  • Coll Ciotach

    GerryLvsCastro 17
    No an awful lot of that I disagree with. However let us remain focused. I do disagree with the attack on the Vatican for its insistence that protocol be maintained. This is because I do not want anyone escaping the net. The best way to ensure that is to follow procedure and ensure that a thorough investigation occurs, however painstaking and slow it may be. I prefer slow and sure than fast and loose. Which is what the enquiry is playing by not observing proper protocol.

    I especially agree with your assertion that more is expected from the Church. I am very much aware of the entire Chapter 12 of St Luke. Very appropriate.

  • Coll Ciotach

    K Scott – seems you have been dupedd by people with an agenda against the Church which means they will misrepresent facts. The letter deals with Canon law and in fact imposes stricter control to ensure malefactors are more seriously dealt with. It has nothing whatsoever to do with civil law.

    http://www.snapnetwork.org/news/vatican/Doctrinal_congregation_takes.htm

  • Coll Ciotach

    just today

    They are irish people – and we are them.

  • K.Scott

    They are irish people – and we are them.
    Posted by Coll Ciotach

    Sorry mate… the Vatican is NOT the Irish people.

    I am for the Republic – 1798 … 1916. What De Valera, desperate for respectability and the acceptance by the Church gave us was a Theocracy.

    And his natural inheritors FF, the incompetent ‘Soldiers of Destiny’ (the lots of dosh for me and mine breed) have corrupted, squandered and imitated their masters in the Vatican – secrecy, self-interest, arrogance and silence. And don’t forget “assets”. Assets gained on the backs of child slave labour and the pennies of the Irish poor.

    They don’t know a damned thing about Republicanism. The men of ’98 had principles. So too the men who died in 1916. Do you think James Connolly and Michael Collins would have sold the Republic to Rome?

    It’s a betrayal – a Theocracy masquerading as a (Banana) Republic. If you cannot see that then the conclusions of the Ryan and Dublin reports are totally accurate. Everybody knew, nobody saw, nobody spoke. What’s changed? A brainwashed, infantillised nation.

  • just today

    “The vatican is proceeding properly. In an ordered and structured way. await the announcements following the meetings currently in progress in Rome. Less histeria and more results are needed”

    I cannot believe you actually typed this Coll.

    Brother, the vatican has had YEARS to deal with all of this stuff all they have ever done is dodge the ball and you seriously want everyone to shut up and wait for them to solve the problems of THEIR making?

    They are rotten, cant you see it? All they care about is their control and good name.

    I say this as a survivor of physical and psychological abuse at their hands (I wont say sexual, because the touching up I got is nothing compared to others)

    I am almost speechless that people like you exist who will still even now apologise for them. And your reference to Kincora etc is just fucking shameful. I read your words about examining the past of all institutions but what it actually sounds like is ” WE ARENT THE ONLY ONES WITH PEDOS, BOO HOO”. Shame oh you.

    I hope they reap what they have sown. Churches would be better empty until the vatican puts its house in order, if it ever can.

    Oh btw, the priest that knocked the shit out of me, and backed a teacher doing the same is still working in schools. Great to see things have changed eh?

  • Dave

    “Which raises the rather stark question: why do we allow a foreign state to appoint the patrons of our primary schools? If some weird vestige of colonial times decreed that the British monarch would appoint the ultimate legal controllers of almost 3,200 primary schools in our so-called republic, we would be literally up in arms. Why should we tolerate the weird vestige of an equally colonial mentality that allows a monarch in Rome to do just that?” – Fintan O’Toole

    Another europhile with absolutely no sense of dramatic irony! We have given the “unelected and unaccountable” monarchs in Brussels more control over our lives that we have given to the monarch in Rome.

    It is never smart practice to allow “unelected and unaccountable” elites to have any control over us – either in Rome or in Brussels.

    Not being Catholic, I tend to avoid discussions about the role of Chruch in Irish society but maybe folks do need to seriously consider if the Church should have any role at all in the provision of state services such as health care and schools.

  • Coll Ciotach

    25

    Nobody said that the vatican was – your are misrepresenting what I am saying. I was talking about the priests who abused the children and the bishops who covered up.

    And the FF government over the last ten years has been successful compared to any other European government

  • Coll Ciotach

    Just Today

    You are clearly not reading the posts. I want all guilty dealt with. Your myopic concentration on the Church allows the others to escape. Now is the time to get them all. If you do not follow the proper procedures you allow that to happen.

    Shame on you for allowing the rest to escape

  • The Catholic church in ROI needs a divorce from the geriatrics in Rome. An independent Catholic church with married priests will ease the widespread suspicions of the flock about the personal qualities of their pastor/bishop, plus ease the rising unemployment rate :). The Catholic church does have an excellent reputation in education but most of the teachers are lay nowadays and the removal of the church from that area would make little difference. If all else fails, we could all go back to our pagan roots.

  • Coll Ciotach

    Exile

    It was the Irish people in Ireland in the Catholic Church in Ireland that caused the problem not the vatican, and pagan roots or women priests would not have stopped paedophiles taking advantage of the vulnerable.

    There are many many married paedos out there, so marriage does not stop the perversion occurring.

    The solution you offer does not stand scrutiny.

  • K.Scott

    “It was the Irish people in Ireland in the Catholic Church in Ireland that caused the problem not the vatican,…”
    (Coll Ciotach)

    Sorry Coll, I’m sure you are a sincere man but … this is sophistry. The first allegiance of the ‘religious’ trained in Roman Catholic seminaries is to Rome, not Ireland. This reads as though you too hold the Vatican paramount.

    ‘Give me a child until he/she is seven’? That is precisely WHY the Hierarchy agreed to the division of Ireland in 1922. They were promised ‘control’ of Catholic education. Catholic doctrine, not religious education, not the basic teaching of that rebel Jew, Jesus Christ, is taught on a daily basis in all Catholic schools.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, that aspect of ‘education’ in the ROI conforms to the methodology employed both in Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union; children brainwashed to ‘inform’ on their parents; children brainwashed to belief in an institution and an ideology which confounded nature.

    I fear your purpose is deflection. Hundreds of thousands of Irish children were taken from their parents and incarcerated in Industrial schools in the totalitarian Ireland of 1930s, ’40s, ’50s, ’60s; thousands of babies were removed from their natural mother and ‘sold’ to good Catholic Americans; hundreds of small children were shipped to Industrial schools in Australia.

    All this with the collusion of the judiciary, the government and those apologies for good governance, the health and education authorities. The basic human rights of the Irish people were violated and abused from the establishment of the state.

    How did it happen? Simple: Give me a child until he/she is seven. All those in ‘authority’ in Ireland were, and still are, educated by the Roman Catholic church; educated to unquestioning obedience of Church doctrine and Vatican supremacy.

    Dissembling on diplomatic protocol is simply a means of deflecting attention from the essence of the debate. Either the Vatican is a separate political entity or it is, as it claims, the infallible representative of Christ to which all Catholics owe first allegiance.

    It is a long and convoluted tale of raw political ambition; intimidation, brainwashing, deception and social engineering, all the way back to 1155 when Pope Adrian issued a Bull encouraging Henry II to invade Ireland.

    How many of us were taught that in school? How convenient that our Catholic education taught hatred of the ‘Old Enemy’ (England) without any mention of the machinations of the Vatican.

    Cowen’s cringing genuflection to Rome was an act of public disloyalty to the state. It saw him engage in an act of transference (blaming Judge Yvonne Murphy) and absolving the Vatican while at the same time expressing “regret” for giving the wrong impression to the Vatican!!

  • Greenflag

    Dave ,

    .Not being Catholic, I tend to avoid discussions about the role of Chruch in Irish society ‘

    Why not ? If you are Irish -north or south or emigree or even English or American or whatever you are -you free to make any point you want .

    Sometimes the forest is better seen from those outside the wood and a different perspective can shed light . We have seen how the RC Church has ‘reformed ‘ itself from within 🙁 and without the ‘forced ‘ assistance of outsiders 😉 Have we not ?

  • Dave

    Sure, Greenie – in theory. However, as Alan Shatter’s intervention shows, the Irish are quick to engage in whataboutery when ‘outsiders’ (or the outsider within) comments unfavourably on their customs. On just one Slugger thread we get dark mutterings about Israel, darker mutterings about ‘Jewish’ sexual abuse of kids (a mentally unstable Irishman by the name of Peter Dunne who converted to Judaism), and even odder mutterings about the practice of circumcision.

    I think you will find that it is the well-founded practice of Ireland’s minority religions to stay out of the turf war between its two principle religions.

    “An independent Catholic church with married priests will ease the widespread suspicions of the flock about the personal qualities of their pastor/bishop…” – Exile1

    I doubt it. Most sexual abuse of kids occurs among the hetrosexual group and not among the ‘unmarried’ group.

  • Coll Ciotach

    KScott

    The first allegience of a priest is not the vatican – he takes an oath of obedience to the ordinaryt. He is also made fully aware of the principle of false obedience. Allegience to the vatican does not exist in the terms you outline.

    The catholic Church did not sign the treaty so that is just wrong.

    Your allegation of what eductaion in the republic is/was is just so silly it is laughable.

    “Hundreds of thousands of Irish children were taken from their parents and incarcerated in Industrial schools in the totalitarian Ireland of 1930s, ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s; thousands of babies were removed from their natural mother and ‘sold’ to good Catholic Americans; hundreds of small children were shipped to Industrial schools in Australia.
    All this with the collusion of the judiciary, the government and those apologies for good governance, the health and education authorities. The basic human rights of the Irish people were violated and abused from the establishment of the state.
    How did it happen? Simple: Give me a child until he/she is seven. All those in ‘authority’ in Ireland were, and still are, educated by the Roman Catholic church; educated to unquestioning obedience of Church doctrine and Vatican supremacy.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5AE0YC20091115

    It had nothing to do with the policies of the Australian govt (the “Europeanisation policy”) which the British govt too, for example, sent thousands. Interested to see were the hundreds of thousands figure comes from. Histeria does not make allegations facts you know.

    “Dissembling on diplomatic protocol is simply a means of deflecting attention from the essence of the debate. Either the Vatican is a separate political entity or it is, as it claims, the infallible representative of Christ to which all Catholics owe first allegiance.”

    The Vatican is a state

    “It is a long and convoluted tale of raw political ambition; intimidation, brainwashing, deception and social engineering, all the way back to 1155 when Pope Adrian issued a Bull encouraging Henry II to invade Ireland.”

    To encourage paedophilia was it?

    “How many of us were taught that in school? How convenient that our Catholic education taught hatred of the ‘Old Enemy’ (England) without any mention of the machinations of the Vatican.”

    Taught what? I think you will find that you were taught Irish history from a particular viewpoint – which has little if anything to do with the vatican

    “Cowen’s cringing genuflection to Rome was an act of public disloyalty to the state. It saw him engage in an act of transference (blaming Judge Yvonne Murphy) and absolving the Vatican while at the same time expressing “regret” for giving the wrong impression to the Vatican!! ”

    Perhaps he too understood why Murphy was wrong

  • K.Scott

    I see Coll.

    1) The Pope is completely innocent in the matter of cover-up? Despite the fact that his cover-up is now public record?

    A confidential letter ( De Delictis Gravioribus) sent to every Catholic bishop in May 2001 was signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

    The letter asserted the church’s right to hold its inquiries behind closed doors and keep the evidence confidential for up to 10 years after the victims reached adulthood.

    The letter ordered that “preliminary investigations” into any claims of abuse should be sent to Ratzinger’s office, which has the option of referring them back to “private tribunals” in which the “functions of judge, promoter of justice, notary and legal representative can validly be performed for these cases ONLY by priests”.
    [My capitals]

    “Cases of this kind are subject to the pontifical secret”, Ratzinger’s letter concluded. Breaching the pontifical secret at any time while the 10-year jurisdiction order is operating carries penalties, including the threat of excommunication.

    The Ratzinger letter was co-signed by Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone who gave an interview two years ago in which he hinted at the church’s opposition to allowing outside agencies to investigate abuse claims.

    “In my opinion, the demand that a bishop be obligated to contact the police in order to denounce a priest who has admitted the offence of paedophilia is unfounded,’ Bertone said.
    (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/apr/24/children.childprotection)

    It is a matter of record that for 24 years, Cardinal Ratzinger responded to abuse accusations by referring Bishops to the rules of ‘Crimen Sollicitationis’, in force since 1962.

    That instruction too called for secrecy – specifically in cases where priests are accused of abusing the Sacrament of Confession to sexually proposition penitents, and in extension, to clerics accused of homosexuality, child sexual abuse and bestiality. In effect, he used that document to insure secrecy and cover up.

    2) You are suggesting the Australian government ‘asked’ the Roman Catholic Church (and indeed other churches) to send small children to work as slave labour in an Australian version of Irish Industrial Schools?

    3) The Magdalene laundries (another source of slave labour) are a figment of the imagination of those who wish to destroy the Church.

    4) The Industrial schools ditto?

    5) No Irish children were taken from their mothers and shipped to America?

    6) The Irish psyche is responsible for the terrible crimes committed in Ireland by Irish priests and religious orders?

    7) What we should be chasing up is the numbers of children abused in their own homes or by near relatives and friends?

    If these are your opinions, I don’t think there is much point in continuing. It is a transparent strategy of deflecting attention from the depravity endemic in the Church. I am not just talking about the abusers, I am talking about all those who looked the other way – bishops, judges, government, and people who chastised their children for telling lies about the ‘Lord’s Holy Anointed’.

    The Ferns report showed that 10% of priests in that diocese were guilty of abusing children. The Ryan report found that “mental, physical and sexual abuse was endemic” in Industrial schools. The Murphy report confirmed that figure (10%) for the Dublin Archdiocese.

    Have you actually read any of these reports. Are you suggesting that the Irish bishops did not follow, the instructions laid down in Crimen Sollicitationis; that they did not receive the letter De Delictis Gravioribus?

    What is “pontifical secret”? Are you in disagreement with the explanation in Enchiridion Vaticanum 5 (Centro Editoriale Dehoniane, Bologna, Italy 1979).

    “Business of the Roman Curia at the service of the universal Church is officially covered by ordinary secrecy, the moral obligation of which is to be gauged in accordance with the instructions given by a superior or the nature and importance of the question. But some matters of major importance require a particular secrecy, called ‘pontifical secrecy’, and must be observed as a grave obligation.”

    Is it not the case that violation of ‘pontifical secrecy’, is regarded by Rome as a grave sin likely to incur excommunication?

    Is it not a fact that the ‘religious’ take a vow of obedience? To whom do they make this vow? Superiors? The Pope? The Church?

    I can find no distinction here between those people who looked the other way and your determination to exonerate and absolve the powerful institution which made it all possible.

  • Coll Ciotach

    K.Scott
    1. I do not know if the Pope is guilty of cover up or not. Neither do you. These letters and instructions are relevent only to Canon Law. This is the law which governs the Church and therefor is not Civil law and thus is restrictive and applicable only within the constraints of the Church. If conflict exists with civil law it is clear that the civil law must be obeyed. These have to read solely in that framework and are designed to allow a fair trial for all concerned. The Civil courts do the same for the same reason. The civil law would of course supercede it. That is quite obvious to anyone who reads it. So your allegations do not stand up to scrutiny.

    2. Yes – And to Canada also

    3. No – they are an indictment not only of the Church but of the society. I would expect the Irish church to have risen above the mores of the society at that time

    4. Ditto

    5. Are you referring to “home children” – the sending of which was accepted at the time by society?

    6. I could not define the Irish psyche so therefor cannot answer. However I would say that the Magdalene Laundaries and such were accepted as the right thing by the society of the time although I would not accept that the extreme physical abuse would have been or indeed any sexual abuse.

    7. Yes – we should be chasing down abuse from whatever quarter.

    If you had been reading my posts on this matter you will see that I have been castigated for asserting my position that ALL who are involved in this cover up and the actual abuse, no matter there role in life, be brought to justice.

    The problem is that the Church here has not followed the instructions laid down in Crimen Sollicitationis and De Delictis Gravioribus.

    And I do not have any problem with Pontifical Secret and if you would explain yours perhaps I could understand what point you are making.

    Religious do take an oath of obedience but that is restrictive, false obedience is also a sin.

    I do not wish to absolve anyone. You fail to realise the thrust of the posts, I suggest you take a deep breath and reread them. I started these transactions asserting that each and every person no matter who no matter to what extent that is involved should be brought to justice. I have been consistent in that.

  • K.Scott

    Coll – It would appear that you have spent a great deal of time analysing and interpreting the (usually) secretive operations, instructions, laws of the Church.

    I suggest the majority of Irish Catholics merely accept what they are told – from birth to death – and have accepted a supine, accommodating role in relation to the clergy.

    This is the time for a wake-up. I am an unapologetic Republican in the tradition of 1798 -Unity of Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter. A HEALTHY aspiration.

    The six counties of the North became a ‘Protestant state for a Protestant people’ in direct response to De Valera’s ‘Catholic State for a Catholic people’ and the ethnic cleansing of Protestants from the Republic.

    For too long, pluralism was anathema to the Catholic church and by extension to (particularly) FF governments. A healthy minority NOT indoctrinated in obedience and deference might well have produced a system of adequate governance and a separation of church and state.

    Compared to other European countries (including the UK where I worked for many years) a corrupt crony ethos permeates every level of local and national government here. A two nation state – the haves at the top, the have-nots at the bottom.

    It is no coincidence that the legislators have, over the years, put in place laws which allow clergy and members of the top echelons to escape criminal charges. Every suggestion that criminal charges should be brought against fraudsters, white-collar criminals and/or priests is answered by FF shouting “unconstitutional”.

    Time for a revision of the Constitution. That it was ‘approved’ by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid tells us all we need to know about its clerical underbelly, and undemocratic derelictions.

    Thank you for taking time for this exchange. I wish you and yours a peaceful Christmas. Thanks be to God, I am off, out of this benighted country tonight, to spend the holiday in a civilised, democratic environment. A country, France, where a politically mature electorate knows how to demand accountability.

  • Coll Ciotach

    K Scott

    I do hope you have a pleasant break, if our leaders had the backbone that leaders such a Salazar had and explained the doctrine of the two swords we would have been better off.

    I therefor maintain the problem was primarily a societal one. Other societies were able to avoid it even though they shared similar conditions.

    Anyway – like I say – have a nice break and say a prayer for the victims and hope that justice will be done by them, stay angry.