“Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Church in Ireland…”

Will Crawley provides some background on the “relationship between the Vatican and the international sex abuse crisis.” Meanwhile, Damian Thompson, who thinks Seán Brady should resign, has the text of Benedict’s pastoral letter to the Catholic Church in Ireland. [Adds See also Brian’s post below] From the pastoral letter

14. I now wish to propose to you some concrete initiatives to address the situation.

At the conclusion of my meeting with the Irish bishops, I asked that Lent this year be set aside as a time to pray for an outpouring of God’s mercy and the Holy Spirit’s gifts of holiness and strength upon the Church in your country. I now invite all of you to devote your Friday penances, for a period of one year, between now and Easter 2011, to this intention. I ask you to offer up your fasting, your prayer, your reading of Scripture and your works of mercy in order to obtain the grace of healing and renewal for the Church in Ireland. I encourage you to discover anew the sacrament of Reconciliation and to avail yourselves more frequently of the transforming power of its grace.


Particular attention should also be given to Eucharistic adoration, and in every diocese there should be churches or chapels specifically devoted to this purpose. I ask parishes, seminaries, religious houses and monasteries to organize periods of Eucharistic adoration, so that all have an opportunity to take part. Through intense prayer before the real presence of the Lord, you can make reparation for the sins of abuse that have done so much harm, at the same time imploring the grace of renewed strength and a deeper sense of mission on the part of all bishops, priests, religious and lay faithful.

I am confident that this programme will lead to a rebirth of the Church in Ireland in the fullness of God’s own truth, for it is the truth that sets us free (cf. Jn 8:32).

Furthermore, having consulted and prayed about the matter, I intend to hold an Apostolic Visitation of certain dioceses in Ireland, as well as seminaries and religious congregations. Arrangements for the Visitation, which is intended to assist the local Church on her path of renewal, will be made in cooperation with the competent offices of the Roman Curia and the Irish Episcopal Conference. The details will be announced in due course.

I also propose that a nationwide Mission be held for all bishops, priests and religious. It is my hope that, by drawing on the expertise of experienced preachers and retreat-givers from Ireland and from elsewhere, and by exploring anew the conciliar documents, the liturgical rites of ordination and profession, and recent pontifical teaching, you will come to a more profound appreciation of your respective vocations, so as to rediscover the roots of your faith in Jesus Christ and to drink deeply from the springs of living water that he offers you through his Church.

In this Year for Priests, I commend to you most particularly the figure of Saint John Mary Vianney, who had such a rich understanding of the mystery of the priesthood. “The priest”, he wrote, “holds the key to the treasures of heaven: it is he who opens the door: he is the steward of the good Lord; the administrator of his goods.” The Curé d’Ars understood well how greatly blessed a community is when served by a good and holy priest: “A good shepherd, a pastor after God’s heart, is the greatest treasure which the good Lord can grant to a parish, and one of the most precious gifts of divine mercy.” Through the intercession of Saint John Mary Vianney, may the priesthood in Ireland be revitalized, and may the whole Church in Ireland grow in appreciation for the great gift of the priestly ministry.

Adds Some reaction here.

And Of course, it’s all Francis Bacon’s fault…

  • Seosamh913

    I’m not playing the man per se granni, purely helping identifying TMM’s source.

    Re. the II, could be a case of ‘nice’ folks with some not at all nice ideas… it represents itself fairly unwholesomely to me I must say based on what I know and have seen about them.

  • Greenflag

    200 posts already on this subject sheeeeeeesh.


    ‘it was not the govt or the gardai who exposed the church. It was the media.’

    And lets not forget it . I watched a German TV discussion program on the subject and there too the Church authorities did everything they could to stop reports of abuse finding their way into the media .

    We’re back to Thomas a Beckett and Henry II . Are the Church authorities obliged or not to report criminal behaviour by their priests and officials to the state authorities ?

  • Seosamh913

    …still waiting for an answer to my question on what penance would be issued by a priest for someone confessing to child rape, it’s gone awful quiet in some corners !

  • Greenflag

    The only answer I can give you is: I am not sure! The church says it will (I think) but I have heard it said on various news programs that this is not the case.

    I would value some up to date information on this myself. The Popes letter did not say and the Vatican was less than helpful to the Murphy report.

  • Paddy

    “…still waiting for an answer to my question on what penance would be issued by a priest for someone confessing to child rape, it’s gone awful quiet in some corners ! ”

    Why not ask a priest? I live in the 21st century. You yokels continue on in the 19th. Unsurprising to know that old Hibernophobic hatreds still linger.

  • TellMeMa

    Seosamh913: It seems to me you are a secularist. Is this correct?

    Can you let us have your solution to the elimination of paedophilia in institutions.

  • Seosamh913


    Few idea to get the ball rolling. Elimination may be a tall order but we shall see…

    Dispensing with the appalling sexual repression deep deep within the DNA of the catholic church and its belief system would be good start. This is of course highly idealistic and my own view would be that a lot of the sexual repression is actually innate within the faith itself (in common with many other religions).

    Educating children as to their rights and removing the filthiness and shame dimension which religion brings to their sexual health and education.

    Introduce substantial restrictions on clerical access to children. Banishing the clergy from schools, hospitals and care institutions of all kinds in any capacity would be a start.

    Independent effective state monitoring of all complaints against clergy and severe penalties for any evidence of crimes, collusion, concealment and prior knowledge, all excuses/’cover’ provided by canon law removed/countered as appropriate.

    New legislation/constitutional change formally separating church from state and full formal clarity on the rights of children.

    Loads else but got a meeting to go to so….tbc

  • Munsterview

    Grannie & S913

    Attempting to explain why certain things happened is one thing. It is however another to confuse the message with the messenger and conclude that I in any way agreed or approved with these actions.

    I most definitely did not in any sort shape or form agree with any cover up and have been involved in ‘outing’ these things since the mid eighties, when like most people passionate about the subject, I got involved because I knew a victim and became involved in the mothers attempts to get accountability from the authorities, little help was available back then and one case brought on another etc.

    In the previous seventeen years of public life while I had met some C.S.A. abuse survivors, I was totally unaware of the scale of extent of the problem.

    I would also like to differentiate here between the clerical abuse of paedophile priests involved in parochial duties and what happened in religious run institutions. In the first, few if any clerics in authority, appreciated how destructive or soul destroying this activity was for victims or how irredeemable or incapable of reform paediphile priests were.

    Back then C.S.A. by a priest was regarded by the R.C. authorities as just another type of sexual transgression by the offender and these C.S.A. offenders were treated no different to say priests having affairs. In fact if a priest was discovered to be involved in adult heterosexual relations there was a whole support section there to whisk the offender into a retreat house and deal with his partner, admittedly usually by bullying, intimidation and moral blackmail of herself and her extended family to shame into silence even where the priest was clearly the seducer!.

    The rational: as a senior cleric once said to me back then when I was on a learning curve and questioned the lack of urgency in dealing with C.S.A offenders as against priests having a fling, he asked …. ” tell me how many priests left their parish duties to run off with a ten year old boy, there is your answer.”

    Victims C.S.A. victims of institutions are another matter, put simply if some of these Irish Religious controlled so called reformities existed in Bosnia at the time of recent war and their people did the same things to children as happened in Ireland, they would be referred to the Hague and tried for War Crimes and quite rightly so!

    Institutional C.S.A. abuse took so long to uncover because the children committed to these institutions had no value to the decision makers and middle class society that they came from. They simply did not give a damm back then and if the truth be told, as a whole since or now!

    Look back then how T.B patients were treated, I knew some that had to trap rabbits on the hospital grounds to have a decent meal! How are we now treating the sick lined up on trollies even as I write. In years to come too no doubt a future generation will be equally horrified that we as a society tolerated this. Unlike C.S.A. back then, we know the extent of this problem of hospital underfunding, our politicians do nothing and society tolerates they doing nothing! What has changed?

    The politics and culture of neglect remain the same. Yet again I make the point, where are all the postings that rushed to defend the Southern State from previous accusations. They too have not gone away you know and they will all be again out of the woodwork defending the undefendable once this site moves on to a safe topic.

    Could I respectfully suggest some questions, ire and indignation be spared for them when they resurface?

  • Seosamh913

    ….”differentiate here between the clerical abuse of paedophile priests involved in parochial duties and what happened in religious run institutions. In the first, few if any clerics in authority, appreciated how destructive or soul destroying this activity was for victims or how irredeemable or incapable of reform paediphile priests were”

    … so why differentiate then ? Ignorance is I’m afraid no defence here – unless you’re telling me that Bishops and priests are as a rule morally sub-normal psychopathic or sociopathic ?

    Not quite clear on your point re. the southern state but rest assured I have ample reserves of ire and indignation when it comes to that quarter too.

  • I think it is true to say the religious institutions were powerful at a time when the vast majority of people here were very poor. It is not an excuse, not at all, but it may explain some of the blind acceptance of that power.

    The brutality within the schools was known and operated with the cooperation of state institutions including the Gards and the judiciary.

    As Munsterview points out if this had happened in, Bosnia, for example. The leaders would be on trial at the Hague.

  • joeCanuck

    Not just powerful. I was pestered for many years about fulfilling my declaration at age 8 that I wanted to be a priest. I was serious when I said it; the priest was the only one I knew personally who had a car. Boy did I want a car!

  • joe

    Ah the dreams of youth! I have no doubt you got your car.

  • Munsterview

    S 913

    I differentiate on these grounds, all parishes did not have child abusing priests nor were all priests child abusers. When the numbers of clergy that served in any given parish going back over the last sixty years are compared to the offending priests ( if any) from that particular parish a far more realistic picture emerges as to just how much in a minority these abusers were. The majority of practicing clergy never had to confront or deal with C.S.A.

    There appear to be an exceptional number of C.S.A. victims protesting at present but only because most of these abused people up the recent past did not get hearing for their hurt, never mind an acknowledgement of their abuse, proper counseling or financial compensation for their harrowing ordeal. We are currently dealing with the accumulation of a problem spanning sixty years or more. This is not to say that the problem did not exist in the decades prior to this, I am dealing with the age spans of those currently coming forward.

    Institutional abuse is in a different category: there could be few, very few indeed of religious within the confines of those closed intimate buildings and grounds that did not know of the physical brutality, the mental cruelty and the child rape perpetrated in these places. The blanket silence about the abuse in these places was henious and inexcusable

    Again not every Brother or Religious was an offender, most were, it now appears, encultured into the daily raw brutality of these regimes. However even here the sexual offenders per se remained a minority, if albeit, a larger number than when compared to parish clergy.

    I fully accept that a victim, is a victim irrespective of where or how the abuse occurred. We have seen in Southern civilian society and planning corruption payments how quickly a main Political Party attempted to establish the myth that ‘They were all at it’ This avoided isolating and identifying the actual corrupt politicians or the extent of their corruption.

    The experience of the average Roman Catholic member is not of a corrupt priest but rather that of a caring pastor, a member of the community and an asset to the parish they were assigned to, who left friendships and fond memories behind when they moved on.

    Ironically this present anti-clerical wave is also diminishing the scale of the actual outrage at the perpetrators offenses. If the average parishioners see good priests that they know to be innocent maligned, badmouthed or under suspicion, then it will be easier for pedophiles, who as a class represent some of the most effective and skilled manipulators that exist in society, to pass them selves off as victims too who were not as bad as they were painted!

    It is time to harness the energies released and passions invoked in this debate by widening the spotlight to identify and include all Child Sexual Abuse, Paedophile and Pederacst activity still happening and tolerated by society. This abuse cannot contained, much less eliminated by concentrating in any one sector to the exclusion of all others!

  • granni trixie

    Munsterview: I disagree as I think this is precisely not the point to take the spotlight off the church (and the POpe!). Its now or never to bring the church up to scratch in safeguarding children.

    But I totally take your point as regards widening the scope of the enquiry, infact in previous posts I was taken to task for saying that parents/families were part of the equation. In my own case for example I and my sister were in a home and laundry because of domestic violence.

  • All investigations need to be completed before the church can declare it has fully dealt with the problem.

    There are and have always been children abused within the family but, in by far the majority of cases this abuse is isolated to the children in the family and ideally should be dealt with by social services.

    In the south, orphaned children were removed from the family home and placed in the institutions and schools, children accused of trumped up charges were placed in them. Dysfunctional families hardly had the opportunity to become dysfunctional! and in these schools and institutions there were more victims and more abusers.

    Munsterview states that child abuse is prevalent among the top tier of government and institutions. It may be that the collusion between church and state will expose this. Or it may be that more pressure will be needed to expose the truth.

  • TellMeMa

    I agree with Munsterview. It’s now or never to bring the whole of society up to scratch in safeguarding children. It’s terrible that one of the posters on this thread said he was too scared to let his young children go to a secular nursery for fear of paedophiles.

    Most of these Catholic Church cases happened decades ago, and it is also terrible that they were not resolved at the time by both the civil and church authorities. They are being exposed now, better late than never. I think the Catholic Church has learned its lesson already.

    Maybe Mick can ask that guy from the Iona Institute to detail to SOT just what child protection measures the Catholic Church in Ireland have had in place since the mid-1990s and how effective they have been.

    That may satisfy S 913 (though I doubt it – I am sure he’ll find another reason not to accept any change. I think he just does not like Catholics, period).

    S913: have you any suggestions for overcoming paedophilia in all of society? You have only provided so far what you want done to the Catholic Church and you did say tbc in your partial reply. Thanks.

  • Seosamh913


    It’s clearly not either/or and you really should be mindful of how any attempt to divert attention from, or dilute the scrutiny currently upon, the catholic church’s role in this looks. Strongly suspicious is how it looks to me.

    Also, can some of us please stop euphemising about this issue in public debate. In most cases the correct terminology is straightforwardly child rape.

  • Seosamh913


    I resent your accusation of anti-catholicism and would ask you to retract it. I am certain that fair-minded and intelligent readers will be able to assess your rationale for making that statement without any assistance from me.

    I very much doubt that we can expect anything objective, useful or even interesting in relation to the catholic church’s role in this or other matters from the likes of the Iona Insititute.

    I am happy to discuss child protection in its broadest terms however let us not distract ourselves from the subject of the thread which is specifically clerical. Roman Catholic clerical, in this case.

    Incidentally, what is a secluar nursery… ?

  • Alias

    Goods points, Seosamh913. You wouldn’t expect a paedophile ring was to say “What about the Catholic Church?” as its means of defending itself from public scrutiny, but we are hearing defenders of the Church saying “What about paedophile rings?” It’s a red herring fallacy it claims crimes committed by one party should not be investigated because similar crimes are committed by another party, and if you ignore one then you must ignore the other. Of course it isn’t possible for all crimes to be investigated as one case, so it’s a fallacious argument.

  • TellMeMa

    S913: a secular nursery is one not run by a religious organisation. Like the one in England in a very recent paedophile case.

    I think you are being too narrow in your focus on paedophilia (or child rape) in the Catholic Church. Isn’t child rape terrible in any circumstance? Your focus leads people to suspect that you have other issues about the Catholic Church here and I am sure fair-minded and intelligent readers may have that suspicion too.

    I would ask the Iona Institute for more details – yet you would not believe them – even if they are true. Is a refusal to believe what is found to be true being fair-minded and intelligent? Apparently the source is more important to you than the substance.

    You claim you would like to see an end to child rape, yet you refuse to acknowledge that protections may have been established, or to look into those claims further. That may be considered prejudice….

  • Munsterview

    S 913 “…… and for appropriate steps to be taken to separate church and state once and for all”. Agreed and the sooner the better, no argument there !
    Pip…….. Cover up do not go all the way to the top, rather it comes from the Very Top Down as a State Culture. Harry Wheelan as Attorney General was given details at a person to person meeting of as C.S.A. case involving State Forces collusion followed up by two personal phonecalls elabourating on the details. The abuse was not stopped. When Appointed President of High court, child’s mother went to Sunday Tribune.
    He resigned days before a two page article was about to appear with full details. How many more were told in Government, Justice Dep. and Senior Civil Service ?. How many were left in high places ? Only Harry knows! Someone should ask him! Oops forgot; he is a Barrister not a Bishop…… some chance!
    ( tetchy….. from a mature Wicca…. surely not : any certainties left in life? Wassail Sister !)

    Grannie……. “to put ‘the good name of the church’ the focus of their attention not the child”….. If a reference to me, it is sadly misplaced.
    While my proof is in legal terms ‘hearsay evidence’ given the source, I am personally satisfied that the Bishop’s Conference was aware of a huge problem, if not the numerical magnitude of it over twenty five years ago. What they did not collectively appreciate was the mental anguish of the victims, their broken suffering lives the mentality of paedophiles and pederasts ( precise legal terms) or the capacity of the problem to ruin and discredit the Irish R.C. church possibly beyond renewing as presently structured.
    As to Southern Societies awareness as far as I can remember it was Bob Geldof in the Late Late T.V. that first said the unsayable over three decades ago.
    Any one recall the outcry his comments provoked back then ?. Everyone, politicians, public, airwaves media, press, church voices rushed to voice their outrage at Bob. He then stood alone.
    Society’s awareness came slowly, painfully and at a terrible price.
    The church and Civil Society may have woken up but I can say after over twenty five years experience in this whole sorry area that the cover up by the Dep of Justice where State forces or issues ( the majority of cases) are involved has not changed one iota. It has merely got more sophisticated covert and organized.

    Pip……. “ The church may say it has cleaned house, but it is not immediately obvious to most”.
    ‘ By their fruits you shall know them’ It will be evident in the outworking of the new structures and this will take time to manafest and prove. While there has been a sea change, defects will still be exposed, it is an ongoing process.
    Even after all the outcry I would personally be amazed if active pedophiles are even now are not operating uncovered in the Church. They always will, in the Church, in Schools, in Hospitals and in civil society.. It is the nature of the beast and their mentality and that will not change!

    Tellmema…… “They are being exposed now, better late than never. I think the Catholic Church has learned its lesson already……”
    Safeguards are in place but so are the ‘ Old Guards’ Archbishop Dermot Martin may be respected by the press and laity…….. just how poplar is he with the majority of his senior clergy in his ecclastical area of governance ?

    “…….have you any suggestions for overcoming paedophilia in all of society……?”
    Not a snowball’s chance in hell of doing it, it has been part of human sexuality as far back as recorded history go and will be there until the end of time. This is especially so while the use of children ( not the abusers own of course ) for sexual activity and pederasty is accepted by some practitioners in High Society, is tolerated by their professional friends and society associates and is ignored by the remainder who do not want to know.!
    For any visitor to any major European city keyed into this perversion, Cork, Dublin and Belfast included, the suppliers of children for sexual activity are only a phone call away, just as are the suppliers of call girls or cocaine. This is the reality of the situation and anyone believing otherwise is living in Cloud Cuckoo Land!

    S 913….. “Also, can some of us please stop euphemising about this issue in public debate.”
    Emotive terms like child rape may be satisfing to use in expressing outrage but such nomenclature also integrates this specific abuse of children back into the greater field of all kinds of rape and sexual abuse generally where the true horrors are lost.
    To do actually blurs a problem that should be isolated and in sharp relief. It is only when people take the trouble to inform themselves as to the mentality and the activities of paedophiles and pederasts, of the psychologies and types of activity that these of sexual predators of children do that they can appreciate just what is involved in this sick, vile activity.

  • Munsterview

    I agree with you time will tell if the changes promised are maintained. I also think it very unlikely that all paedophiles have been discovered, either by the church or the state. It is always an ongoing process. If we can be sure the culture of cover up and excuse is gone for ever, then I think that is the most we can expect from the church, or indeed any institution.

  • Munsterview

    Tetchy? Oh yes! and sometimes even downright bad tempered.

    Hubble bubble toil and trouble,

    Who will burst these bad boys bubble!

  • Seosamh913


    A considered response however I don’t see how the adoption of the term child rape is not appropriate, to me ‘child abuse’ is more bland and, for some, conveniently imprecise. For example we could also not unreasonably view psyhological practices (among them, non-consensual indoctrination into religion in the first place from infancy) as an abuse of the minds of innocent children.

    Clearly the sick practices of perverted priests ventures involve other forms of sexual abuse but in the main this is precisely what we are talking about.

  • Munsterview

    I thought that this debate had run it’s course but apparently not. I regret the need for quite lengthy postings but the area of child/adult sex is as complex as the rest of human sexual activity and needs explanation. I accept that the anger and outrage expressed in the postings is genuine but that of it self is useless to past, present and future victims.

    Unless the details and practices of all areas of the sexual abuse of children is appreciated then the problem cannot be properly confronted or curtailed. This is where the energies should be channelled. It is unlikely to be eliminated in the foreseeable future short of science coming up with a solution!

    If interest in the subject continue to-morrow, I will attempt over the weekend to get the M.A. expert on C.S.A. to review the postings to date and comment from her expertise if she is prepared to do so. Meanwhile another long posting coming up to cover issues raised.

  • lamhdearg

    “stone them” That was short.

  • Munsterview

    Rape: The act of taking anything by force ( The Shorter Oxford English )

    It is neither pedantic or euphemistic to use appropriate terminology. Consider briefly the adult sex world and prostitution. Some practitioners are physically forced into the sex for sale industry, some are there because of personal economic circumstances but there have always been men and women who have serviced this industry for no other reason other that from a range of economic options open to them, this was the most lucrative profession that they could engage in.

    I appreciate that this will take a mental leap for the majority of uninformed people to take on board, but as any expert in the field can confirm, irrespective of how the activity started, there are children involved in child/adult sex also for financial reward and the power it gives them in the adult world. Most major cities have numbers ranging from children that choose to live outside adult authority and sell themselves on the streets to survive, right through to those at the upper end of the market who are agency supplied and have every whim indulged by the suppliers and adult perpetrators alike.

    Anyone know of books with titles like ‘I was a high class child prostitute’ from these people in later in adult life. We have had dozens of books about child sex abuse, so why none from these child sex operatives when adults?

    To curtail, control and dismantle as much of this child sex industry as possible, the component parts of it and the operative practices of this industry must be identified and appreciated by everyone concerned. ( And I do accept the concern of all who posted here are genuine ) The average reader of the Cork Examiner was shocked at what was revealed in the newspapers two full pages per day three day expose over twenty years ago on paedophile activity and child sexual use and abuse. Any Dublin or Belfast paper could have done the same thing, why did they not do so?

    The topic dominated the local radio for that week. Cork is a large city but small by some Continental standards. Do anyone in their right mind think for one moment that The Gardai were entirely ignorant of this activity before the Newspaper Article ?

    What of all those involved in the legal profession, were all of those ignorant too before they read the reports ?. What of the Judiciary that heard regularly re occurring allegations and even got some evidence of this child sex activity in ‘behind closed doors’ hearings over the years, did not any of these think of having a quite word with others in authority who could have investigated the problem?

    In the two decades since that Cork Examiner six full pages of information were published, can anyone name a network of paedophiles exposed and brought before the Courts? In fact can anyone name a single serial paedophile that has been before the courts since arising out of the Examiner articles? The Gardai did say to the press that they had been aware of this activity for some years before, that makes nearly twenty five years of information, almost a quarter of a century since this was first brought to light yet no action arising.

    Cork is an intimate place where even the drinking habits of the notable citizens are known never mind their sexual propensities and scandals. Those ‘in the know’ also know damm well why there were or will be no prosecutions in this area. For reasons we too can look to the Continent and to Belgium in particular.

    If the use of children for sexual purposes is the same is all Western E.U. Countries, it is also well past time where we looked at the people in authority over there that shielded the perpetrators and then subjected our own people in similar positions to scrutiny for their lack of concern, never mind action regarding the same activity.

    The Church is no longer the major offender in this area, it never was to begin with, and now it is so browbeaten and afraid of taking a stand that it will not even defend its own good and decent people who have done nothing other than follow, to the best of their ability, the footsteps of the The Man From Gallile in lives of blameless service to laity and church alike.

    This, as far as I am concerned, is no different to the same moral cowardice shown in the silence about sex abuse victims down the years, they are now also silent while while a decent majority are daily vilified for the actions of a depraved, unchristian, minority that betrayed both God and man with their vile activity.

  • Munsterview


    ‘A hole in the head and a hole in the ground’ to quote a saying from the past.

    Give me the nearest equivalent within the rule law acceptable to society as a whole and I have no problem with that and neither would the vast majority of people North or South.

  • lamhdearg

    “society does not exist”
    there are children involved in child/adult sex also for financial reward and the power it gives them in the adult world. I dont like you.

  • Munsterview

    I am shocked! If you are saying that abusers in the church are less than the average paedophile ring (if there is such a thing) then I would say you are very, very wrong. It is possible, and has actually been quoted, that one priest could abuse a hundred, if not hundreds of children, multiply that by the number of priests known to be offenders.

    Children get involved with paedophilia for the power it gives them? I have yet to hear of a child leader of a ring, or even of a ‘relationship’. You also seem to be suggesting that two wrongs make a right, wrong again. It is well known that young people have turned to prostitution. Who knows an extremely rare few may have gone on to become millionaires, most will have ended up drug and alcohol addicts, and died far too young.

    It was indeed a vile minority who were committing the abuses,(and that phrase is your saving grace) but that minority had the silent consent of various and multiple members of the church hierarchy for decades. Not once did you mention in this latest epistle the sheer sadism and brutality of the schools and institutions.

    It is perfectly true to say paedophilia has gone one for hundreds of years, it is not true to say there have not been, as there are now, continuing attempts to prevent it and apprehend the offenders. It is possible some people in positions of power are abusers, if there are they will be keeping their activities a closely guarded secret from their colleagues.

    If the ‘man from Galilees footsteps ever turned in the direction of child abuse and cover up I have yet to hear of it. I think you should reread this and check the latest news, from America and Europe, from Cardinal Brady, Bishop Magee, the several other bishops hanging by a thread, and even the Pope. This time the rot has gone right to the top.

  • granni trixie

    Munserview: whilst I agree that it is important that experts examine the ins and outs of this problem,including the psychology of the perpetrators,the ordinary joe does not need this to see it for what it is -a despicable crime made all the worse because it is conducted by ‘fathers’ in a position of trust.

    In the face of the Churches attempts to define and gloss over the problem with weasel words, moral clarity is more necessary than educating the public/sluggerites as to the nature of paedophilia.

  • Procrasnow

    For the first 19 years of my life I was a Roman Catholic, not by any choice of my self, It was not of conversion, simply my parents were Roman Catholic and the brought me up as such.

    When I left home at 18 for career purposes, one of my past-times was reading my catholic Bible. Being an intelligent young man ( and that is true not boasting) I began questioning many things as Luther had done so centuries before. It soon became clear to me that the Roman Church had went off on a tangent from the scriptures, that in many ways it was in error. There came a point where I made the decision to seek the God of the Bible and no longer consider myself as Roman Catholic, for He was not to be found in it.

    On telling my parents of my decision I became an outcast “No son of mine” and parent-less. But doing as my mother asked I went to see the local priest, made an appointment and sat down with him. I left him more confused than I had ever been. Much of our talk centred on the finished work of Calvary and the office of Bishops.

    I remain of the belief and conviction that had the roman Catholic not set aside the content of the Bible, not made their own rules to satisfy the needs of their own agenda, these coverups would never have happened. I cannot believe it possible that loving fathers of their children, their own children could have the divorced-from-reality attitude that the Catholic Bishops have shown in respect of abuse of other people’s children.

    I am not suggesting that abuse would not have occurred, sick individuals will abuse any opportunity they can irrespective of where they are. But it would not have been covered-up.

    Non of the Bishops in the catholic church, including the bishop of Rome is scripturally qualified to hold that office. 1st Timothy chapter 3 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1Timothy+3&version=KJV AND Titus Chapter 1 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Titus+1&version=KJV clearly show what makes a bishop. By their own rules the are bishops, but by God’s Law they are imposters.

    I see the catholic church today beginning to implode, it’s a bit like Nixon and Watergate, drip drip drip then waterfall. Pope Benedict I predict will be the first pope in many years to leave office, not in a casket. The BBC panorama program Sex crimes and the vatican http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panorama/5389684.stm which was shown in 2006 investigated the secret document Crimen Sollicitationis ((Crimen Sollicitationis was enforced for 20 years by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he became the Pope.

    It instructs bishops on how to deal with allegations of child abuse against priests and has been seen by few outsiders.

    Critics say the document has been used to evade prosecution for sex crimes.

    Crimen Sollicitationis was written in 1962 in Latin and given to Catholic bishops worldwide who are ordered to keep it locked away in the church safe.

    It instructs them how to deal with priests who solicit sex from the confessional. It also deals with “any obscene external act … with youths of either sex.”

    It imposes an oath of secrecy on the child victim, the priest dealing with the allegation and any witnesses.

    Breaking that oath means excommunication from the Catholic Church.)) the stream of that program is available in http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni/2010/03/sex_crimes_and_the_vatican.html from our own correspondent. Warning this will bring tears to the eyes of anyone capable of showing emotion.

    I for one would like to know if since the challenge went out in 2006 by panorama to the vatican for comment, whether it ever had.

    Is there any chance for survival of the Catholic Chruch. I believe there is, but not in the hands of the clergy. The Church belongs to Jesus and his people. Jesus is no where to be found in these abuse cases or the cover-ups. In fact it is not only the priests bishops and popes that have abandoned the abused children, it is through them that Jesus abandoned them.

    I would urge Catholic men and women to take charge of what is their church, to advertise to the position of bishop, to recruit only married men. They own the church, not the clergy, and route out all the unqualified people who hold those offices today. The people did not employ these. they have been imposed on the people.

  • Fabianus

    “Rape: The act of taking anything by force ( The Shorter Oxford English )”

    Oddly enough my (complete) Oxford English Dictionary of 2009 gives this as its third definition:

    3.3 To ravish, commit rape on (a woman). Also, with a man as the sexual object and a man or woman as the subject.

    No mention of a child as the “sexual object”. The OED is the world’s leading dictionary, in any language. I’m very surprised by this omission.

    My Chambers on the other hand offers this:

    Rape, n. unlawful sexual intercourse (by force) with another person without that person’s consent….

    I know this is all pretty academic but thought I’d mention it anyway.

  • Munsterview and Granni Trixie

    I doubt I or most others need ‘educating’ in to the nature of paedophiles

    Munsterview appears to have made an elaborate and long winded attempt to justify and defend the indefensible.

    It sounds to me at the end of his lectures as if he is exactly the kind of ‘social worker’ who should never be allowed near the subject.

  • Rape is rape. It is the forcible subjugation of a person. It is about power and control more than it is about sex.

    It may well be more true of the abuse perpetrated by paedophile priests than any other euphanism, carefully constructed by, at best, misguided, people to disguise the true viciousness of the assaults.

  • Fabianus


    “It sounds to me at the end of his lectures as if he is exactly the kind of ‘social worker’ who should never be allowed near the subject.”

    I’m glad you said that, not I.

  • Fabianus

    Some people are full of their own ‘expertise and importance’.

    Let me put it this way: I dont give a monkeys who he/she/they may be. I thought it needed to be said, and I stand by it.

  • Munsterview


    I am but trying to impart facts only and as far as possible from within my direct experience of cases. Message and messenger etc. As to your concluding remark, neither did the creeps I have been been exposing over the last twenty five years and putting out of business as I did their facilitators wherever possible!.

    As a father and grandfather, uncle and granduncle, I also know children at their best and worst and everything in between. I was for some years elected to and on the board of management of my children’s school board dealing, among other things, with child problems too serious for teachers. God spare us from all those with romantic, idealized views of children and Oh Boy do pedophiles just love this type of adult, it makes life so simple for them!

    I cannot change reality, some facts are stark, do you suggest I should not refer to some aspect of this activity because they are unpleasant and do not conform to general erroneous public perceptions?. That too would make me part of the the culture of concealment. Ignorance facilitates child sex perpetrators, they rely on it, it contributes to their success. All the facts that I have given can be verified in some of the hundreds of books available on the subject.

    For the sake of clarity, given the passions aroused by the topic, perhaps I should have been more specific; any activity between an adult and child that involves the sexualization of the child is corrupt, it is morally and criminally wrong irrespective of the circumstances or the child’s response to the situation. In so far as there are any absolutes, this is one and there can be no exceptions!

    Granni…… while this problem is left in the hands of experts it will not be solved! Plenty of experts in Dublin and elsewhere who close their office door on the problem at 5.30 friday and do not reopen until 10.30 monday. Most of these are in public services.

    Are staff in these offices taking part in the ‘not answering phones’ ongoing wage deduction protests? I have seen nothing to suggest they are not! Ah well…. it seems if victims of C.S.A already waited ten or fifteen years for professional publicly funded expert help they can hold out a few more weeks or months or however long this dispute or recession lasts! After all these people are the experts and they would not be indifferent to victims suffering, would they?

    It is only when enough ‘ordinary Joes’ and indeed Josephine’s are fully informed and demanding action that anything meaningful will be done. ‘Experts’ have vested interests, they work within parameters, they will not put their promotions or jobs on the line by exposing State shortcomings or Government inaction, I have yet to meet one where their concerns were put before their career prospects when the chips were down.

    There is a big difference, a chasm in fact between using ‘weasel words’ and euphemisms to gloss over and cover up and using precise terms to educate, inform and expose this sordid activity.

    In previous postings I have said that I personally regard clerical child abuse as the most heinous there is as it is a betrayal of God and man, woman child, community and society. If the mitigation of ‘addiction’ of a clerical paedophile to excuse their behavior is morally bankrupt and deserving of complete contempt, it is even more so for anyone that knowing turned a blind eye and especially for those in Church authority that could have acted to control or end the actions of sexual abusers and did not do so.

    If the Pope himself is found to have not acted to stop child sex abuse in even one single case and did not, then to hell with philosophical concepts like proportionality, he should put his ring under a hammer immediately after and the same applies from the top down or the bottom up. I will even go further and say that there is a case for ex-communication there and that should apply to laity as well as all concerned are in grave dereliction of their Christian Catholic duty. Is that explicit enough for you.

  • Munsterview

    You did not address your comment to me, but I think you knew I would read it, I think you knew using weasel words and euphanism would grab my attention.

    I too know children, I know their curiosity and their inability to see danger. It is all the more reason for us to protect them from those dangers that may, at first glance, appear enticing and even fun.

    As you have probably gathered I also agree no amount of carefully trained ‘experts’ will solve the problem. My personal opinion is that no one should be able to become a qualified social worker until they have reached the age of forty or more.

    I did say I could be bad tempered, especially when the welfare of children is involved. I will not make allowances for child abusers. I will not, however much empathy I have for the betrayed, spare the church for the sake of the devout.

  • Munsterview

    Everyone of the victims cases that I have been involved in without exception through the Lower and Superior Courts in Ireland also involved taking on the Health Boards and their workers, agents and servants. The summons titles were usually along the lines of…… xxx V Ireland, The Attorney General, The Minister for Justice, The Minister For Health, The Manager xx Health Board, xxx Department head, xxx and xxx and xx Social Workers, defendants.

    If some of these response are the product of enlightened opinion then it is not surprising that so much of the subject is still cloaked in darkness and ignorance.

    Wednesday evening at 3pm. I was involved in discussions on a case before an English Court on Thursday afternoon where there were abuse issues involved and in assessing the results of the hearing at 3.am this morning, hence the late posting in the early hours. Cases I have been involved in have resulted in a District Court Judge being made a Movable Judge Of The District Court ( odd jobs judge) right through the resignation from office of The President of the High Court.

    I could go on but what is the point, to those who know ( victims and their helpers) no words are necessary, to those that do not no words it seems will suffice.

  • I think everyone knows how abuse cases are often made worse by the authorities involved, case after case shows either incompetence by state officials or even complicity. Cases in England high light the culpability of social services. Only think of baby Peter, the result of that tragedy was among other things the lenient sentences handed to the accused and the sacking of the director of social services responsible.

    It is not enough to know that social services are, in many cases incompetent. Indeed knowing that makes it all the more important to keep trying to put it right.

    In the case of the church the collusion with perpetrators has meant those perpetrators committing further abuses over many years.

    Words as I have said before, are not enough, there are no words.

  • Munsterview

    Pip. Mar 27, 2010 @ 09:02 AM

    Sorry, for some reason this only came up after last posting, occasionally happens with a post or two!

    To clarify; I have said that priest paedophile abusers but represent a minority of the Roman Catholic Clergy. My next point is that these clerical abusers taken collectively are but a small portion of C.S.A. in society as a whole.

    In the U.S.A. the victim figures for R.C. clerical abuse are truly horrific and some individuals were responsible for dozens and hundreds of victims. Undoubtedly there were some clerical child sexual networks but in the main these offenders it seems worked alone. In expanding this abuse to include civilian paedophile activity, organized paedophile sex rings and the Child Sex Market generally, it was never my intention in any way to diminish or excuse Clerical abuse. As a Catholic, I hold this the gravest kind of abuse for the reasons given.

    Co operating children……. some children victims do take control, I do not have the exact figures to hand but it is something like 2 to 3% for girls and 3 to 4% for boys. These are from the general C.S.A. abuse survivors population.

    The child prostitutes supplied to perverts in High Society are in a different category. They are highly rewarded and pampered, their every whim indulged. I never once said that a High Society offender was less of a perpetrator because of co-operating children. The few exposed sex rings in England, Europe and the States show that high ranking police men, judges, top civil servants, government and ex-government ministers, top army people etc.

    Given the leadership positions that these people hold in Society, and their educational background this perverted activity is all the more condemnable. It is also the most dangerous as these same people are influential law makers and enforcers. Who watches the watchers?….. A question preoccupying society as long as society has been organized.

    Will you and the Watchers carefully note that I have not included Ireland. Arent we the luckly little country to be that one exception in Europe, I wonder why ?…….. excuse me a moment…. be right back. Sorry about that I just had to shoo off some pigs flying around my garden and over my roof!

  • Munsterview

    You mean the bright pink pigs with pretty blue spots of course.

    I know it can be a thankless task and I know that in some cases members of the judiciary are as responsible as anyone. Indeed one of the victims of child clerical abuse wanted to know why the Ryan report had not investigated the judiciary as well! It could not have been missed by many it was on RTE news.

    There will always be exceptions to the rule of the beaten and abused child. I recall a famous member of one of the most famous rock bands, married the girl he had been having an affair with since she was fourteen. Needless to say the girl had huge problems and the marriage did not last. There is another case of a rock star, different band, just as famous, getting off being charged at all by saying, when caught watching child porn, he was investigating the subject!

    Both the above cases are England based and as previously indicated I do indeed note the reference to Ireland.

    It is just a question of keep banging away and dealing with each case as it arises. The worst thing would be to assume there is nothing anyone can do.

    I have to apologise, again! I do get angry about child abuse, dont blame me, blame my Irish temper!

  • Paddy

    Plenty of fine, irrelevant, bandwidth eating essays here.

  • Munsterview

    Seems the usual leg has been cocked at the lamp post !

  • Paddy

    Surely this is a classic, if very poor attempt to ‘shoot the messenger’.