Perhaps politicians should check their own houses are in order before attacking the church?

On Saturday, I remember reading Noel Whelan’s sage, but ultimately hopeless, advice to politicians to steer clear of beating up on Cardinal Sean Brady, and shaking my head thinking, why would he think they could ever resist the temptation to get in on the act? As a former FF politico he knows the creature better than most. Yet, there’s no doubt it was worth saying.

For one, the Catholic church is not the only organisation that has played an ignominious role in its past dealings with children. The church was for many years a proxy for the state in childcare, health and education. Many of these things went on, apparently unregarded for generations.

It’s also clear that the Catholic church is not the only offending religious institution in either jurisdiction, though the very centralised nature of its bureaucracy has functioned to spread the mess more widely and more deeply than most.

So are politicians really to remain silent on the secret life of a church that was so integral to the construction and maintenance of the social institutions of an emergent Ireland?

Well, no. But they might do well to recognise the fact that the Catholic church is not the only institution on these islands with such an abysmal record of silence on the nature and character of child abuse. Jenny McCartney in the Sunday Telegraph puts hammer squarely to nail, with regard to at least one crucial aspect of the problem:

The younger Father Brady was instrumental in turning Brendan Smyth’s abuse into the Church’s little secret. The children’s parents, who would have been a source of both outrage and protection, were deliberately not informed, and nor were the police. The Church saw a choice between protecting its own reputation, and shielding young children from ferocious abuse, and it unhesitatingly chose to protect itself. Quite unbelievably, it did not even take definitive steps, within its own clandestine terms, to arrest the foul behaviour of Smyth.

This is the most damaging aspect of this case. The secret keeping aids the abuser and acts as a licence to continue the behaviour.

It might be tempting to think that, right now, the Catholic church may actually be the safest place to put children in care.  Though this side of this crisis, I doubt many would willingly take the risk. Yet the truth is that it is not alone in keeping it’s own secrets.

Indeed, child abuse has been widely accepted as part of the landscape in Northern Ireland, where the terms ‘scum’, or ‘scumbags’ are still used to justify the mutilation of children as a preferred means of social control.

For one churchman, the auxiliary bishop of Down and Connor, the hypocrisy of some northern Irish politicians in this regard was too much to resist a little ‘Whataboutery’ of his own:

“It’s hard to take criticism of Cardinal Brady from many people who during the Troubles were involved in state bodies, paramilitary bodies or who shared platforms with those organisations, who did huge damage to children and their families. What I’m trying to say is, have we anyone who can help us see the big picture rather than just be driven by what’s a comparatively narrow question on Cardinal Brady?”

Whataboutery it may be, but this is more than a passing defensive point. The state has huge responsibility in its oversight of the welfare of children whether they are at home or in the care of other institutions.

And we even have the case of the leader of one of the island’s major political parties apparently keeping the secret of his own brother’s alleged abuse of a daughter for more than twenty years.

Read Ms McCartney, with some of those broader references in mind:

We are all aware now that paedophiles may seek to conceal their abuse by presenting it to the victim as “our little secret”. The younger Father Brady was instrumental in turning Brendan Smyth’s abuse into the Church’s little secret. The children’s parents, who would have been a source of both outrage and protection, were deliberately not informed, and nor were the police. The Church saw a choice between protecting its own reputation, and shielding young children from ferocious abuse, and it unhesitatingly chose to protect itself. Quite unbelievably, it did not even take definitive steps, within its own clandestine terms, to arrest the foul behaviour of Smyth.

What we know about child abuse, sexual or otherwise, is that it thrives in the dark.  And we also know that Ireland has acquired more than its fair share dark places. In common with other societies however, we also suffer from a fatalism that tells us that there is nothing we can do.

The thought of such disgrace emerging in such a highly socialised society is so deeply shaming for those closest that there is a tendency to close ranks and keep it secret, which is almost overwhelming. For all the understandable reaction to this issue, its full extent goes way beyond just one church.

Politicians might be well advised to check their own bailiwick before jumping thoughtlessly on to the anti church bandwagon and consider not just what’s to be done with adults who’ve had the best of their lives stolen not just by the abuse but the Omertà they’ve endured for twenty, thirty or forty years for the sake of other people’s reputations.

But to consider what they might do prevent it happening to those children who will otherwise have to endure such hateful experiences, both now and in the future.

, , ,

  • exsdlp

    There are quite a lot of ‘unspoken’ arguments in all of this.

    Of course Brendan Boland is a victim in this and deserves respect and admiration for coming forward. But where in all of this were his own parents?

    If I was his father I certainly would not have meekly sat outside the room while my 14 year old son was questioned by 3 priests. I also would have made damn sure myself that the police knew of what had been happening, even though that would have involved taking my life in my hands since Martin McGuinness and his mates were busy abusing anyone who went near the RUC in 1975 – children and all.

  • “It’s also clear that the Catholic church is not the only offending religious institution in either jurisdiction,… ”

    Over the past week these broad statements have been made as if we should all know what is being talked about. No specific examples are provided. At best it is sloppy at worst it is deliberate deflection from the specifics being discussed.

  • exsdlp
  • jthree

    exsdlp – hardly unspoken.

    You’re regurgitating perhaps the most shameful argument used by those running interference for the hierarchy.

    “It was really the parents fault”

    Though you win the internet for managing to also make it the Shinners fault.

    *bokes*

  • jthree

    And here’s another random example – which Darragh McIntyre also exposed

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-435141640418192099#

  • exsdlp

    jthree – are you saying it wasn’t the case that people were murdered in the 1970s for dealing with the RUC?

    Not sure what age you are, but thats undeniable. Pointing it out isn’t ‘blaming the Shinners’, it is simply that, pointing it out.

  • cynic2

    I greatly admire Donal but on this one he has dropped a spectacular clanger.

    Justifying the retention of a Cardinal who was a party – either passive or active – to the cover up and continuation of the most awful child abuse by comparing it to the fact that we have murderers now elected to Stormont isn’t a good idea.

    If that is the argument just where does the Church draw the line for clergy (aside from homosexuality with adults but excluding with little children.)

    We know that a priest who pops into bed with a male will be out on his ear immediately – but apparently not if the male is under 16. Perhaps at that age they are just too damn attractive and lead the poor dears astray

    Is a Cardinal who is a rapist OK? What about a thief? A fraudster? A drunk driver who mows down and kills pedestrians?

    For the Catholic Church just where is the line drawn?

    The fact that Someone as good and intelligent and honest as Donal is forced to put forward this argument shows just what a mess the Church is in and how desperate it is on this matter.

    So why is the Cardinal – who seems an honest enough man – holding out? I think the answer must be Rome. If he goes the questions will still be asked, where was all this directed from? And the answer based on evidence in Ireland, the UK, USA, France and Germany all seems to point to the Vatican.

    That, I fear, is why they are holding out, One boy’s treatment in Ireland is terrible. That multiplied a hundredfold and more internationally and all covered up, is devastating and may amount to serious criminal offences in many states by leading Church Members.

    If these people REALLY believe in God they must be a tad worried about what awaits them. But perhaps they have all confessed their sins to each other so its all OK then.

  • exsdlp

    If you listen closely enough, Donal McKeown didn’t justify retaining the Cardinal, in fact he stopped way short of that and rightly so.

    I think he was right to point to the hypocrisy of the politicans rushing to make statements.

  • Whatever happened to the promise to ‘pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally’? It seems the institutions are more cherished than the people, let alone the children; it also seems that the sexual abuse of children is considered more heinous than other forms of atrocious abuse, up to and including murder.

  • cynic2

    exsdlp

    I agree…it wasnt explicit …but where else is one expected to see this lead than to the comparison apparently offered?

  • tacapall

    “Over the past week these broad statements have been made as if we should all know what is being talked about. No specific examples are provided. At best it is sloppy at worst it is deliberate deflection from the specifics being discussed.”

    Politicians like priests it seems are the worst offenders when it comes to the rape and abuse of children. Proof if its needed why perhaps politicians should check their own houses are in order before attacking the church

    http://ffkfightingforkids.weebly.com/political-perverts–sex-offenders.html

  • Rory Carr

    .”We know that a priest who pops into bed with a male will be out on his ear immediately – but apparently not if the male is under 16.” insists Cynic2 omnisciently.

    We know nothing of the sort, nor is there the slightest evidence to suggest that this is the case. If every priest were to be “out on his ear” for such transgressions, whether with an adult male or female, then the ranks of the Catholic priesthood would be a lot thinner than they are.

    It really does not help when people make things up from out of their own skewed prejudices. Better to deal with the known facts which are quite bad enough.

    It is all very well to be awfully Christian about Cardinal Brady and the politicians and demand that “He who is without sin…” etc., but political leaders are in a position where it is part of their function that they make such demands. By failing to notify the parents of the children whose abuse by Brendan Smythe was made known to him by Smythe’s other victim, Brendan Boland, the cardinal was in grave error. The consequence of his failure was that those children and others were then repeatedly abused by Smythe for years thereafter. This is starkly appalling – the Cardinal must resign. Indeed he should count himself very lucky not to be up on serious criminal charges.

    Finally – is it not somewhat ironic that some journalists would judge politicians unfit to judge prelates ?

    If there’s gonna be any judgin’ goin’ on around these here parts…

  • Mick Fealty

    I agree that “he who is without sin” is an inappropriate response… what I am saying is that politicians have some responsibilities in this area, and it is unbecoming of them to try to slip out of their own responsibilities just because of the horrifying stories emerging from one church…

    But et me take it away from Ireland for a minute…

    This interview with the black, woman novelist Saffire on Woman’s Hour this morning: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01h666m#p00s6hry

    She’s speaking about her latest novel “The Kid”… (It’s on the Slugger bookshop: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/sluggerotoole-21/detail/0241145295)

    The interview is fascinating, not least for the contextual information she almost casually throws into the conversation about child sex abuse in black working class America…

    She also talks about the difficulty of just raising the precise nature of some of these cases in a way that throws some light on how to deal with it…

    Not just those cases where it gets to the extreme but what role these forms of abuse play in the secret life of public and private male identity…

    It’s not a neo feminist tract on how bad men are, but she poses some real questions that are not going to go away…

    And they particularly will not go away if we fantasise our way into thinking that this is all the sole responsibility for the Catholic Church…

    Saffire’s novel certainly features a Catholic orphanage in the US but she gives no impression that the problem begins and ends there… Indeed she quotes some pretty high figures for the number of kids who are abused in the US…

    Less indignation and more application would suit the situation much fitly…

  • carl marks

    I’m delighted to discover that so many of our PUL posters have changed their line on Gay rights,
    After all this could not be just an attempt to hijack a serious and very nasty situation to launch a sectarian attack on Catholicism by pretending to be concerned about the church’s stance on homosexuality and must surely must represent a sea change on this issue.
    I look forward to the next gay pride march and the support it will receive from those who short while ago thought being gay was a abomination,
    Well done boys 😉

  • Mick Fealty

    What are you talking about Carl? Can we just stick to playing the ball on what is a very complex and difficult subject? Peter Robinson was probably the most circumspect of all the Irish political leaders north or south on the matter.

  • alan56

    Politicians on both sides of the border run administrations with responsability for education. It is within their power to reduce church control of any schools….Will they act? I doubt it

  • cynic2

    Carl

    “Well done boys?”

    Errrr …… I hope I am one of the hardest critics of the Church on this post. I am also an atheist, completely pro gay rights (and marriage for that) and feel that a celibate priesthood is decidedly odd but a matter for the Priests, Church and the Congregations. I also respect the rights of others to hold very different views on all this.

    Your attempt to allege that this is all a mere sectarian squabble is risible (look that up). Perhaps for the first time in many years here I find myself in full agreement with Martin McGuinness!!!

  • seamus60

    What a sad reflection on all of us when it takes whataboutry to open up the whole (or some of ) the bigger arena. Maybe this is the right time to have whataboutry let loose in an effort that it just may bring people from all perspectives to re-examine their REAL position on the subject at hand. What is there to defend that takes priority over the children ????????

    Your church, my church, your party ,my party, your perpetrator or those who sheltered them, my perp or their shelterers. The good things that any of these have done to date, the good standing of the church, the good standing of the party etc etc. I for one don`t want to hear any of these joke excuses in aid of present day abusers in another 10 or 15 years time.

    Lets get all the dirty washing out for once and all, deal with it and close down all the get out of jail clauses that are presently allowing those who have sheltered known peadophiles from the past. There`ll be less sheltering regardless of background and a safer society for all of the children.

  • lamhdearg2

    One would hate to think that covering up abuse helped some folk along in their career.
    As for the folk on the hill, you doth protest to much, may spring to mind, however maybe its best to allow them to highlight the unacceptable, all the while feeding them plenty of rope.

  • carl marks

    Sorry Mick perhaps I was being a bit obtuse but I can’t get over the feeling that some of the contributors here are less interested in child safety than they are in using this as a attack on Catholicism, indeed many seem to be in denial about the probability that other churches and groups are also guilty of the same cover-ups and hypocrisy as the hierarchy perhaps I should work on my sarcasm.
    I think that everyone has a duty to speak up on this issue but anybody using it for sectarian point scoring is not helping.
    Every member of every church, political party, GAA club, flute band, Hibernian or orange lodge should look to their own as these abuses could be happening closer to home than they think.

  • Mick Fealty

    Yes, well try to resist the call of that pulsing sectarian nerve and deal directly with people who you think are making improper or misleading points on the matter. Please?

  • carl marks

    cynic2
    I would take you more seriously if you looked at what the thread is about which is Omerta that is common all the way across our society. However all your posts deal with what is happening inside Catholicism and not the fact that this is happening and has happened within other churches and groups.
    If you bother to read my other posts on other threads on this issue you will see what my stand is on this matter.
    And I have no need to look up risible many of your posts fit the description better than any dictionary definition.

  • cynic2

    Carl

    Care to name names? And what gives you that feeling?

    I am constantly amazed by the efforts here to drag everything down to themuns and usuns

    And for the record I don’t care if its an Orange man Hibernian Priest or Free Presbyterian – its all the same at the individual level.

    I do however think that the institutional nature of the Catholic Church and its place in our society may be an issue in the sustained and systematic cover up. Frankly the other churches and bodies just don’t have the discipline or power to sustain that.

    With great power should come great responsibility that needs to be carefully exercised. It wasn’t

  • carl marks

    .
    Mick I resent the” pulsing sectarian nerve” comment but I will accept the rest of the points you make. I have just been called out and will return to this hopefully tomorrow.

  • lamhdearg2

    How many non R.Cs bite their lip, for fear of being seen as anti R.C.. I for one am guilty of this.

  • cynic2

    Carl

    I agree that the issue of Omerta is a critical factor – but omerta flows from a set of cultural values that praise the institution over the individual and therefore countenance the most appalling wrongs in the name of saving the whole organisation.

    In an organisation that purports to preach a religious creed that is the basis for almost all ethics (well they would argue that perhaps) it is the utmost hypocrisy to pervert that into protecting child abusers and even allowing them to continue their activities.

    The case in point at this moment is the Catholic Church in Ireland. There have been other cases in England and Wales (and possibly NI) for example involving Childrens homes where staff were in place for a long time, never reviewed and protected by local politicians who were also in place for along time and thought they were doing a grand job. Sound familiar?

    So pedestary and the cover up aren’t exclusively a Catholic affair – no-one ever suggested they were – but the cover up on the scale we have seen in the UK, Ireland, USA, Germany and France is unique in its scale and organisation and suggests a degree of corporate co-ordination and that is the really worrying thing.

    Flowing from that are, I suggest, two issues.

    First holding to account those who were complicit in the cover up – and that may be very painful as ultimately it goes to Rome.

    Second, making sure it doesn’t happen again. And that will be even more difficult as the culture and Omerta seems so very deeply ingrained

    I have no doubt that there are many good and true Priests and Bishops who abhor this and want to fix it. I count a number of them as my friends (I know – shocking – a unionist with catholic friends who knows priests! Whatever next! What will the Lodge think!”)

    But will the Church Corporate let them fix it? Have you any views on that? Yes, that’s another ‘attack’ on the Mother Church – but I believe the questions are justified ones in the context of what has gone wrong

  • cynic2

    OK Mick

    You win. when calling a post that tries to reduce this issue to ‘youse prods is attackin the church’ ‘risible’ warrants a yellow card but alleging that my and other post are sectarian merely because we try and analyse the issues in a post you started, its time to pack it in.

    So long and thanks for all the fish.

    I hope you are all very happy together.

  • lamhdearg2

    what has cynic2 got the yellow for?.

  • Mick Fealty

    Your call. you got a card. and Carl got a slap. The thread is about child sex abuse. In fact it was about politicians joining in the kicking ofvan institution as though it was the sole originator of the problem.

    Just stick to the bleedin problem!!!

    [On reflection, I’ve rescinded the Yellow. But you should leave the moderators to deal with the tit for tat stuff. The more you allow yourself to get dragged in the worse the quality of the discussion gets.]

    Note for Carl when he gets back. I meant it. Whatever you meant by it, this is what it amounts to: http://sluggerotoole.com/2006/03/13/dont_listen_to_him_hes_a_bollix/

    Now can someone have the decency to pick up Seamus’s point?

  • “such an abysmal record of silence on the nature and character of child abuse”

    There’s much confusion on this thread. Are we supposed to limit the discussion to the sexual abuse of children or are all forms of abuse on the table?

  • Just heard Marty’s attack on the RC hierarchy. Arguably this Holy Roman Empire has done more damage to Nationalist youth than the British Empire. At what stage did the Republican Army decide not to carry out punishment attacks, exile persistent offenders, or just disappear paedophile priests. Amazing what goes on in and between closed societies.

  • Mick Fealty

    Nev,

    Well, if you are minded to change the subject by inferring that by talking about child abuse we are somehow holding other forms of abuse as lesser, I think you will find that is a tree in an altogether more ethereal non linear forest.

  • cynic2

    Dear Lord. Mick rescinded a card. What next?

    Fair comment too. Risible was ok. Look it up wasn’t. Sorry

  • seamus60

    Articles. Appeared Martin was pointing out that the buck stops at the top. Obviously not on all occassions. A point that appears lost in the chamber he chose for this hard hitting statement. Can they all have simular skeletons in the cupboard.

  • Alias

    Separation of Church and State works both ways: it is not the business of the state or its self-serving political class to determine who is a fit and proper person to be a cardinal. That is a ‘reserved’ matter.

    This abuse is historical and has been addressed, so there is no rational or practical purpose to continue to attack the Church if such a purpose is to protect children.

    But when have the political or the media class ever whipped the public into a state of frenzied hysteria for a rational purpose? Usually the practical purpose is to divert the public’s attention from some other matter. In this case, the futile ranting and raving nominally based on ‘reasoned’ journalism serves a plethora of compatible agendas, most of them are long-term and all of them are opportunistic. Then, of course, you have the ad hoc agendas (belonging to the political rather than the media class).

    In Ireland’s case, as Mick Fealty points out, the Church was a proxy for its own under-resourced institutions. While the first Magdalene asylums in Ireland were started by the Protestant churches, the business model (cheap supply of labour and a guaranteed state contract) proved attractive to the Catholic church. It also proved popular with the courts, which took to sentencing juvenile delinquents to a spell in them. The rest of the girls went there because their own families failed to support them at a time when there was no welfare state to finance the offspring of randy teenage mothers. They can complain all they like but the alternative to the services provided by the Church was homelessness. The same applies in education and health care. Looks for folks wouldn’t be able to read or write or have received medical if the Church didn’t provide it.

    And really, isn’t it beyond a bad joke to hear the deputy first minister call for Brady to resign? Even in a multiverse universe, there will never be a world where that joke isn’t surreal. Sadly, the joke is on the people of NI. And as for Gerry “Move him to another parish” Adams…

  • “if you are minded to change the subject”

    I never am so minded; I just asked a question.

  • 241934 john brennan

    The Old Testament prophet said: “Speak Lord, Your servant is listening”.

    Stormont’s deputy first oracle says: “Listen Lord, your commander is speaking.”

  • Mick Fealty

    Can we just lay off the personal animus? The subject is too serious for that kind of rabbit punching.

  • cynic2

    “This abuse is historical and has been addressed”

    What about the next batch/ ANd has it been addressed. DIdnt the inquiry in the Republic have a few problem with evidence spirited away to Rome which then wouldn’t release information to the Grada – apparently they were using the wrong form to make the application. Strangely I dont seem to ever recall hearing that the papers were then sent back to Ireland. Were they?

    So, as with death and taxes, the cover up is ever with us and, honestly, that must a source of great sadness for what it exposes.

  • Mick Fealty

    Links?

  • cynic2

    “Can we just lay off the personal animus?”

    I agree but I mean this as a genuine point not a cheap shot. It may be that Martin is really seized by this and tapping into a vein of deep public concern in the Catholic Community. i genuinely hope so and as I have already said I agree with what he has said on this so far.

    On the other hand, there is a clear read across from this situation into other alleged matters within his own Party that may soon be back in court and where, depending on whatever verdicts emerge, his words might return to haunt him.

    Now SF are usually so adept at PR that I would be surprised that this would just slip through without being noticed. So is perhaps some repositioning imminent or even underway?

    Something for another day and thread perhaps – but one to watch.

  • HeinzGuderian

    Any other institution,in any other society would have the mob out on the streets,burning these places of backwardness to the ground.

    THEY RAPED YOUR CHILDREN FFS…………

    Ah sure,but what about the education they got between times ?

    Why Brady hasn’t been arrested for witholding information,is beyond belief.

    In the name of pity people,look through the oversized hats and brightly coloured skirts. The BIG buildings and the meaningless words…………..

    Not only have they sold you a pup,they were RAPING YOUR CHILDREN while you paid for it.

    The power of belief in the invisible Sky Daddies is beyond belief,(if you’ll pardon the pun),and you know what ? You deserve each other.

    [text removed – mods]

  • Alias

    Cynic, the culture that allowed the Church to fail in its duty of care wasn’t simply internal but was shared by the wider society. Case in point:

    “Why Brady hasn’t been arrested for witholding information,is beyond belief.” (Our friend Herr Guderian)

    You might note that the parents weren’t arrested either, and given that they had the greater duty of care, why not and why no calls for the said arrest?

    That was the culture of deference that existed back then, not just toward the Church, but toward all forms of authority. It doesn’t exist now. Indeed, contempt for authority is now the norm.

  • seamus60

    Alias. Were he arrested it would no doubt open up the real can of worms as to why Tom Dick or Harry weren`t or aren`t. Even the victims parents would make up the firing line. They surely were also prisoners and victims of the culture by design of the church and state. The same culture that kept frontline victims suffering in silence. We would have yet another deflection and rescue for the perps and shelterers. We need a platform of exposure that is all victim friendly other wise we are pushing the issue back underground. With get it all out and lets hear the excuses, then we are in a position to apply fairness accross the board. We might also be laying open the option of a preferred conclusion witnessed recently of “put it all behind us, lets move forward” with too many institutions etc on the firing line. I say preferred on the above, based on the lack of reprisals from the usual suspects on the tail end of a hard hitting speech that is true yet full of holes because of who is making it.

  • seamus60, the Smyth business highlights structural problems within the Catholic Church and in the Church’s relationship with the Irish state:

    Helen McGonigle has learnt that the Vatican’s Congregation for the Religious issued a decree that Smyth wasn’t allowed to take Confession and was to be supervised following abuse complaints made in the late 60s.

    Yet, in 1975 the Bishop of Kilmore and the Abbot of Killnacrott agreed a similar censure of Smyth — seemingly oblivious that a similar reprimand had already been handed down. .. Claire O’Sullivan, Irish Examiner

    Archbishop Martin’s call for an independent Commission that would ‘look “North and South”, and at “Church and State” in the whole island’ would seem to fall short in the sense that the Vatican itself would appear to have many questions to answer. Cardinal Brady may be the top man in Ireland but he’s well down the Vatican power ladder.

  • I was in the South East at the weekend, highly recommended.

    Anyhow I heard tell in the bar of a new I spy game they have of spot the Yankee priest in the backs of beyond up and down the country ie relocated paeodophile clerics hidden away in remote parishes.A website was even mentioned, (I couldn’t resist checking, their isn’t, nice one Cathal ) but the gist of the story was vouched for by someone in a good position to know.

  • “hard hitting speech”

    Here’s the link, seamus60.

    McGuinness: “Of course, the issue of Cardinal Brady’s position in all of this is important for a lot of people. However, of more importance to me is the attitude that pertains in the Vatican. The major failing that exists within the Catholic Church resides in the Vatican… .. and I absolutely agree with Denis Bradley, who, over the past number of days, recognised that the issue of Cardinal Brady was of less importance than the attitude of the Catholic Church in the Vatican and how it has miserably failed the victims of child sex abuse.”

    Earlier in his comments, in relation to the institutional abuse inquiry, he states: “In order to guard against anyone not fully co-operating, we will ensure that the inquiry has full power to compel people and documents”. Despite acknowledging the Vatican role he fails to spot that the Vatican would not be compellable.

  • seamus60

    Nevin , It was hard hitting in contrast to all of the silence that accompanied it. But in the real world what would we be doing chasing after the vatican who have an ability in par with the USA when it comes to disclosure. Get our own house in order. By dealing with our own local dirty washing we can set up local safeguards before going International. Investigations should start at the crime scene. Time for some bottom up thinking as its not working the other way round.

  • seamus60

    Nevin, Getting it now lol.
    Brady reported it to, Gerry reported it to.

  • Reader

    articles: Anyhow I heard tell in the bar of a new I spy game they have of spot the Yankee priest in the backs of beyond up and down the country ie relocated paeodophile clerics hidden away in remote parishes.
    Dammit – lynch mobs starting to form. Remember, before you know whether these guys are guilty of anything horrible, you need to check them out with a pedometer. Bishop Brennan might have sent them out to the sticks for other reasons entirely.

  • cynic2

    “the culture ……wasn’t simply internal but was shared by the wider society”

    agreed

  • carl marks

    Cynic
    Firstly I apologise for any remarks thet may have caused you offence, and on reading my earlier posts could be misunderstood as a attempt to turn this into a themmuns against usuns argument, this was not my intention.
    Back to what I hope is the point (and I hope this isn’t man playing) the two main political have had issues involving their leaders ( Addams and Paisley) on the issue of child abuse, while it must be said that there is no suggestion that either was guilty of abuse, one was a family matter the other a church matter.
    The behaviour of both left a lot to be desired yet it didn’t seem to have any effect on their ability to get elected.
    Effectively Omerta reigned inside not only their parties but among the constituency that they draw support from this means a lot of people turned a blind eye and a few tried to bury or spin the story.
    Now can we expect those who work with children either in public, private or the voluntary sector to be willing to put their head above the parapet when we as a society are willing to let our politicians remain our politicians.
    The only way forward is a policy of zero tolerance for anyone harming children or allowing children to be harmed, the DPP and police should follow this line as a matter of course but more importantly we as a society should also follow it,
    A persons standing in society either in a political, religious, Social setting or within any of the many cultural groups we have should not be a factor in how to deal with them.

  • cynic2

    Carl

    i took no offence but thanks anyway

  • Zig70

    evidently moral authority isn’t required for politics. It’s like management where all the text books talk about trust and honesty. If you can get the job done and nothing sticks then all the better. Ain’t that the truth. However, moral authority is in the job description for church leader.

  • Greenflag

    ‘moral authority is in the job description for church leader.’

    Was . Now it’s become an ‘aspiration ‘ Heinz Guderian got it right . The Cardinal at this point has no moral authority remaining and should resign .At the very least he was aware of what was happening and put the interests of the ‘institutional ‘ church above those of the ‘abused’ . No other Bishop or Cardinal or Pope would have done different such was their ‘moral ‘ or should that be ‘immoral ‘ authority at the time .

  • Greenflag

    ‘the Vatican itself would appear to have many questions to answer.’

    And even more questions they don’t want to or won’t answer .

    Their eh God doesn’t want them to ye see 🙁

  • seamus60

    Greenflag.
    Anyone who has defended all concerned in either vile acts including cover up should also have their moral compass questioned. Who will fill the place of brady should he go.

  • streetlegal

    Why is the role of Cardinal O’Fiaich never mentioned in relation to these matters? He was the head of the organisation from 1977-1990, but apparently still celebrated as a great leader – even the Culturlann in Belfast changed its name recently to honour his record.

  • Greenflag

    @ seamus 60,

    ‘Who will fill the place of brady should he go.’

    Everybody can be replaced no matter the organisation or institution . There are no ‘indispensible’ cardinals , bishops or prime ministers or banksters.

    @ streetlegal,

    ‘Why is the role of Cardinal O’Fiaich never mentioned in relation to these matters?’

    Or Archbishop McQuaid or Pope John Paul etc etc etc .Simple public convention of not speaking ‘ill’ of the dead as it might upset their ‘reputations’ not just on the Earth but in the supposed ‘afterlife’

    Flogging dead horses is not to be preferred to bringing ‘live’ criminals in front of the judicial process I’d have thought .

  • seamus60

    Greenflag. I was being sarcastic with the who will replace Brady. As in, it appears some people be they in a political party or other institutions really believe that the loss of any individual will be the end for all.