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Ireland’s foreign minister: Vatican must explain itself

By on Friday, 15 July 2011

Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza is received as papal nuncio to Ireland in 2008 (CNS photo/John McElroy courtesy of Irish Catholic)

Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza is received as papal nuncio to Ireland in 2008 (CNS photo/John McElroy courtesy of Irish Catholic)

Ireland’s foreign minister summoned the country’s papal nuncio yesterday and demanded that the Vatican give a formal response to the Cloyne Report into the mishandling of clerical abuse.

The meeting came just a day after a judicial commission accused the Vatican of being “entirely unhelpful” to Irish bishops seeking to implement robust abuse policies.

Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore told Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza that the Vatican had “undermined” best practice in child safeguarding within the Church.

The Cloyne Report said the Vatican, through its opposition to the Irish bishops’ 1996 guidelines for handling child sexual abuse, gave comfort to dissenters within the Church who did not want to implement the procedures. In a letter to the bishops, the Congregation for Clergy described the rules as “merely a study document” and refused to give the document formal recognition.

Mr Gilmore said the Vatican intervention was “absolutely unacceptable” and “inappropriate.” He said he had told Archbishop Leanza that an explanation and response were required as to why the Vatican had told priests and bishops they could undermine the rules.

Speaking after the meeting, Archbishop Leanza, who was named nuncio to Ireland in February 2008, said he was “distressed … by the failures in assuring the protection of children within the Church despite all the good work that has been done” and promised to deliver a copy of the report to the Vatican.

Responding to journalists’ queries, Mr Gilmore said: “I want to know why this state, with which we have diplomatic relations, issued a communication, the effect of which was that very serious matter of the abuse of children in this country was not reported to the authorities.”

Mr Gilmore said the Vatican had conveyed a message that somehow it was “all right to evade responsibility” for reporting these matters to the Irish authorities.

“What happened here should not have happened. What happened here was totally inappropriate, unjustified and unacceptable by the Vatican in the reporting arrangements, even within the context of the arrangements of the Church itself,” Mr Gilmore said after the meeting.

He said he had not set a deadline for a response but that he would judge what represented an appropriate period of time to respond to the formal request from the government.

Earlier the same day, Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said he would not have a specific comment on the Cloyne Report. He said the Vatican views this as one part of the sex abuse issue in Ireland, and he referred reporters to earlier statements by the Pope and the Vatican on the gravity of the problem and the measures taken to resolve it.

The report, based on a judicial investigation into the handling of allegations of child sexual abuse against clerics in the Diocese of Cloyne, concluded that the Church’s own guidelines were “not fully or consistently implemented” in the diocese as recently as 2008.

It said that “the primary responsibility for the failure to implement the agreed procedures lies with” Bishop John Magee, a former secretary to three popes who has admitted to having an inappropriate relationship with a young man.

  • RJ

    Very difficult to assess this report without knowing what the problems were with the guidelines.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Judy-Block-Jones/1065937918 Judy Block-Jones

    All dioceses “world wide” need to be investigated for sex crimes and cover ups. The Cloyne diocese is not unique in the way catholic church officials handle the sex abuse of children.

    To everyone who cares about children, please read the “Cloyne Report”. It is one more example of how the catholic church hierarchy systematically protect themselves instead of protecting innocent kids. 

    Crimes have been committed and the only way to get this abuse stopped is for outside law enforcement and government officials to take action against those responsible.

    ALL who sexually abuse a child, plus ALL who cover up this abuse, need to be held accountable and charged for these crimes. 

    For the sake of victims and for the sake of children, it is imperative for everyone (who has knowledge or has been harmed by bishops, priests, nuns, brothers, employees, etc.) to report your abuse to law enforcement and prosecutors. Do not report your abuse to church officials.

    It is easier to stay silent and let others carry the burden of exposing the truth, but keep in mind your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director,  USA, 636-433-2511

    snapjudy@gmail.com

    “Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests”

    http://www.snapnetwork.org/

  • Dowlers

    The problem with the guidelines is that they require honesty and protection of children, 2 things Rome and the bishops have zero interest in. Back in the 90s the church drew up these guidelines to save face as the full scale of the decades of abuse became clear. This report now shows that those guidelines were never more than a sham. Rome never meant for them to be implemented and continued business as usual protecting rapists and harassing the victims.

  • AgingPapist

    Church property should be seized to compensate the victims. With the exception of archbishop Martin of Dublin, the Irish hierarchy should be placed under arrest.   The papal legate should be sent packing. Interpol should arrest Benedict XVI the moment his plane lands in Berlin in September.

    Other governments now must ascertain what likely action there might be against the Vatican and Catholic bishops who repeatedly dragged their feet  and continue to pursue to this day a scheme of deliberate obstruction of justice.

     ” Step by step”, that popular mantra by Pope Benedict’s apologists is indeed appropriate here.  Step by step towards ending the diplomatic credentials of the Holy See and exploding the myth it is untouchable. Step by step towards phase two of the unfinished  Reformation too.

  • http://profiles.google.com/neptune1235 Robert Kovacs

    Aging Papist. You make absolutely no sense what so ever. Seize Church property. Who would you then sell it to. The Islamic population in your country. Where would faithful Catholics worship. In a field?. Interpol should arrest Pope Benedict XVI. Who then would be the next Pope?. Should Pope John Paul 2, and Paul VI be also held accountable. Should we remove their corpses, from Rome and spread their ashes in the ocean. I think you just don’t like Pope Benedict XVI. Should we arrest the Patriarch of Constantinople, Patriarch of Moscow, etcc. Would that make you happy!.  Maybe Ireland should ban St Patrick’s day and anything associated with him. Would that make you happy!. You think it’s all that simple don’t you. Maybe the real problem is the big change in the late 60′s the church had embraced. Maybe it’s the modernism that Pope Pius X warned about. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/neptune1235 Robert Kovacs

    Hey Judy what about  “”Survivors Network of those Abused by Imams” or “Survivors Network of those Abused by Atheists and Agnostics”. They should all be held accountable. Not just Catholics!!. Only Fair. Right!!.

  • http://profiles.google.com/neptune1235 Robert Kovacs

    Hey Judy, let me ask you a purely religious question here. Should law enforcement be brought in when a Catholic priest needs to perform an Exorcism. I mean some physical violence may occur. and the Devil may blame the priest for abusing him or her. Especially if the demon possess a child. The devil doesn’t just possess adults. Would an atheistic or other religious affiliated law enforcement officer, be able to identify the demon. Or would they just arrest the priest or help the devil throw the priest out the window. This could really happen. Even in Ireland.

  • Dowlers

    Robert I suspect the church cannot ever error in your judgement but here goes:
    Seize Church property. Who would you then sell it to(?). Sell it on the open market, use the profits to compensate the thousands and thousands of rape and abuse victims, it will make a nice change from the Irish tax payer having to do it.

    Interpol should arrest Pope Benedict XVI. Who then would be the next Pope? Who ever the cardinals elect. And when it turns out that pope is guilty of protecting rapists and pedophiles arrest him as well. As for the previous popes, no country I know of pursues criminal proceedings once somebody is deceased.

    The wholesale rape of children occurred under the restrictive and reactionary church of the first half of the last century. It only came to light decades after the the churches modernization. I have no doubt that you long for a return to these dark days but for the sake of the 100s of thousands of children whose lives were destroyed by the church we cannot allow this to happen.

  • http://profiles.google.com/neptune1235 Robert Kovacs

    Dowlers

    Robert I suspect the church cannot ever error in your judgement but here goes:

     (Never said that did I)

    Seize
    Church property. Who would you then sell it to(?). Sell it on the open
    market, use the profits to compensate the thousands and thousands of
    rape and abuse victims, it will make a nice change from the Irish tax
    payer having to do it.

    (So where would faithful Catholics and non abusing priests worship, you never answered that.)

    Interpol should arrest Pope Benedict XVI.
    Who then would be the next Pope? Who ever the cardinals elect. And when
    it turns out that pope is guilty of protecting rapists and pedophiles
    arrest him as well. As for the previous popes, no country I know of
    pursues criminal proceedings once somebody is deceased.

    (And so the Pope himself, would be held accountable for an abuse that he may have never known of. There are over 1 billion Catholics worldwide. Plus as Pope he has many more things to look after. That is why certain departments are given the task. the Pope also has the spread of Islam etcc to worry about as well. Should we hold him accountable for the loss of faith in many countries. I’m sure governments and the secular media are also responsible for that as well. Ireland for example.)  

    The
    wholesale rape of children occurred under the restrictive and
    reactionary church of the first half of the last century. It only came
    to light decades after the the churches modernization. I have no doubt
    that you long for a return to these dark days but for the sake of the
    100s of thousands of children whose lives were destroyed by the church
    we cannot allow this to happen.

    (From what I have read here in the States, allot of the priests, who were accused, were ordained after Vatican 2. Not only before Vatican 2. And many abuses occurred during the seventies, and eighties)

    My final words are these. Bringing an entire Church to it’s knees is not wise. Helping a Church cope and rebuild is wise. Helping the abuse victims is a priority, but money isn’t going to solve the spiritual damage done. Also read up on the horror stories in Somalia, with Sharia Law and Radical Islam. And be thankful Ireland doesn’t suffer the same.  A once beautiful and faithful country turned into a spiritual and physical Hell on Earth. And yes that is also another country the Pope has to be concerned about as well.   

     

  • Anonymous

    Cases of abuse by Catholic priests are made worse by the institutional cover-ups, the positions held by priests in society, the ease with which the victims are dismissed as at fault, and even when the truth comes to light, the attempts by the RCC to obstruct justice. I think that the focus on victims of abuse by priests is justified – it does not imply lack of concern for other victims. If you are aware of parallel cases concerning other organisations, perhaps you would like to highlight those and initiate help for those victims.

  • Anonymous

    What is the ‘devil’, what are ‘demons’, and what evidence do you have that they exist?

  • Anonymous

    Then I would be curious to know by what authority you intend to charge them. If we are moving towards phase two of the reformation then I am quite happy for the Catholic Church to drag it’s feet all that it likes; phase one of the reformation did enough damage. If you plan to arrest the papal hierarchy then I would be equally interested to know two things about your plans. Firstly who do you propose will lead the true Christian Church in the absence of the Pope (given how feeble Protestant Churches have become in spreading the word) and secondly precisely on what authority lawful to God you intend to charge them? Certainly what they did was unlawful but in God’s name I must say that no Protestant Church can possibly criticize the Catholic Church without the unmissable sign of hypocrisy ebbing around it that they have all utterly failed to stand up for themselves. All manner of things unlawful to God’s word are done in Protestant Churches from condoning homosexuality, abortion and divorce to denying such fundamental doctrines as original sin (which does not require the story in Genesis to be absolutely literally true.)

    In short I’ll sum all of this up in the words of Christ: “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

  • http://profiles.google.com/neptune1235 Robert Kovacs

    And what evidence do you have that they don’t exist?.

  • http://profiles.google.com/neptune1235 Robert Kovacs

    Read up on Mogadishu and the Al Shabab.

  • Honeybadger

    In. Your. Dreams.

  • Honeybadger

    Here, here, Robert!

    People like Aging (anti) Papist are in cloud cuckoo land with their hare-brained ‘logic’…

  • Anonymous

    That depends on how you define them (hence the first part of my question). I did not say that they did not exist, though if your definitions were self-contradictory then I would do. If the definitions were something like “the causes of evil”, then they would exist, but would not fit with your usage, such as your talk of possession. If you define them as sorts of supernatural entities, then they are irrelevant to the real world (because any manifestation would impact the natural world). I cannot think of definitions that would make you post make sense.

  • Anonymous

    Atheism is not the belief that child abuse is wrong.

    I do not dispute the evil of Islam. Its victims are often beyond the kind of support that was being discussed, but that does not excuse bad behaviour outside the influence of Islam.

  • Parasum

    The Devil is not a legal person, so the answer would be “No”. He is not domiciled in any British possession, nor is he a British subject, nor the relative of any British subjects. Neither, despite assertions to the contrary, is God an Englishman. So neither of these can be held liable in law for any action or process or other transaction befalling a subject of the Crown. So there is no redress in law against transactions alleged to emanate from either of the entities above-mentioned – or against their followers, whether celestial or infernal.    

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    JUDY TALKS LIKE A N ARROGANT TEENAGER, SEEING THINGS ONLY IN BLACK AND WHITE!

    Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    IT IS GOOD THAT WE MAKE CONCESSIONS TO AgingPapist.

    Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    PEOPLE OF GOD SHOULD INTERVENE AND PLAY THEIR RIGHTFUL ROLE AND HELP THE POPE.
    THEY SHOULD MEET IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY THOSE PEOPLE WHOM THE POPE HAS ENTRUSTED WITH THE DUTY OF CARRYING OUT HIS INSTRUCTIONS AND GUIDELINES REGARDING CHILD ABUSE.

    LEAVING THINGS ONLY TO OFFICIALS SOME OF WHOM ARE THEMSELVES IMMORAL AND HYPOCRITICAL, IS WAITING FOR THE MOON TO TURN THE SUN.

  • Nat_ons

    Now this step is right and proper. Clearly the Vatican Offices’ handling of sexual abuse/ corporal punishment by the clergy was (and at times still is) woeful, even negligent, and contrary to that states’ own laws. Seeking a response on the lack of official support, openness and vigour in dealing with crimes, and worse sins, is the way to go; for one state may not invade another’s territory, detain its officers or usurp its jurisdiction without just cause – merely seeming to be obstructive is not a just cause.

    The idiocy of so many of the responses to this state-to-state contact speaks for itself; truth is not the object of that diatribe – a blind, furious, pointless war on Rome is that sole objective .. not realising in its insanity that the very rules which protect the Vatican, Rome’s Catholics, and the whole church also protect those who desire merely to protest against these (without unwarranted or aggressive state intrusion).

    SNAP is not of this ilk, or rather was not; indeed I have long supported its work, being a bit of a pioneer (in a small way from my work with state borstals and asylums in the 1970s) in challenging the local ordinaries and Vatican Offices to implement the rules already set out .. and, better still, to act on canon law. Now, sadly, SNAP – like so many such self-justifying groups – seems to have drifted away from its abundantly forthright advocacy and just accounting, merely to make itself the media court of inquisition on church crimes (without the legitimacy of the Hague or the Inquisition, of course). This is not to say SNAP – like say, Pro Pontifice et Ecclesia – is unjust in its mission or ministry, only that it is in grave danger of allowing its own vehicle for seeking justice to turn into a juggernaut with its attendant idolatry of ‘action’ over purpose.

    God bless, Nat.

    Saint Thomas Moore, Pray for us all!

  • Nat_ons

    Now this step is right and proper. Clearly the Vatican Offices’ handling of sexual abuse/ corporal punishment by the clergy was (and at times still is) woeful, even negligent, and contrary to that states’ own laws. Seeking a response on the lack of official support, openness and vigour in dealing with crimes, and worse sins, is the way to go; for one state may not invade another’s territory, detain its officers or usurp its jurisdiction without just cause – merely seeming to be obstructive is not a just cause.

    The idiocy of so many of the responses to this state-to-state contact speaks for itself; truth is not the object of that diatribe – a blind, furious, pointless war on Rome is that sole objective .. not realising in its insanity that the very rules which protect the Vatican, Rome’s Catholics, and the whole church also protect those who desire merely to protest against these (without unwarranted or aggressive state intrusion).

    SNAP is not of this ilk, or rather was not; indeed I have long supported its work, being a bit of a pioneer (in a small way from my work with state borstals and asylums in the 1970s) in challenging the local ordinaries and Vatican Offices to implement the rules already set out .. and, better still, to act on canon law. Now, sadly, SNAP – like so many such self-justifying groups – seems to have drifted away from its abundantly forthright advocacy and just accounting, merely to make itself the media court of inquisition on church crimes (without the legitimacy of the Hague or the Inquisition, of course). This is not to say SNAP – like say, Pro Pontifice et Ecclesia – is unjust in its mission or ministry, only that it is in grave danger of allowing its own vehicle for seeking justice to turn into a juggernaut with its attendant idolatry of ‘action’ over purpose.

    God bless, Nat.

    Saint Thomas Moore, Pray for us all!

  • Atwomey

    On its knees would be very good place for the Church to be. I for one am sick to death of these episcopal throwbacks who refuse to take this crisis seriously.

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    THE BEST THING FOR OUR POPE TO ACCOMPLISH THIS TASK
    OF PURIFYING THE CHURCH IS  ( LET THE
    CATHOLICS OF THE WHOLE WORLD PRAY AND REQUEST HIM FOR IT IN WRITING) TO COME
    DOWN TO IRELAND
    IN PERSON, TAKING TIME OFF FROM OTHER ACTIVITIES, TO MAKE AN EXAMPLE OF THOSE 
    CHILD ABUSERS OUT THERE : FEW PRIESTS AND RELIGIOUS.

     

    ALL THE WORLD WILL BE REJOICING AND EXULTANT; GOOD CATHOLICS WILL BE  ALL ON THEIR TIP-TOE TO SEE AND HEAR WHAT OUR GREAT
    POPE IS DOING TO GET RID OF THE WOLVES AND THUS  TO PURIFY OUR CHURCH OF THOSE WOLVES WHO EAT UP
    INNOCENT LAMBS.  DID NOT OUR LORD PURIFY
    THE TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM USING GODLY VIOLENCE? IS IT NOT,
    THEN,  IN THE FITNESS OF THINGS THAT HIS
    ‘PRADHINIDHI’ IN THIS WORLD DOES THE SAME!

    AND OTHER WORLDLY INSTITUTIONS AND INDIVIDUALS ESPECIALLY THE POWERFUL AND THE
    WEALTHY: POLITICIANS, BUREAUCRATS, INDISTURALISTS, AETHEISTS  AND
    FOLLOWERS OF ALL  RELIGIONS WITH SPECIAL EMPHASIS ON CHRISTIANS OF ALL
    DENOMINATIONS ABUSING CHILDREN AND WOMEN AS COMMODITIES SHOULD BE SET AS
    THE  NEXT TARGET BY WAY OF APPEAL, INSPIRATION  AND PRAYER. THIS IS
    SO BECAUSE THE POPE HAS NO DIRECT AUTHORITY ON THEM EXCEPTING THE  CATHOLIC
    CHRISTIANS.

    OUR POPE COULD TAKE HELP FOR THIS WORK FROM REV.FR.MATHEW NAIKOMPARAMBIL OF THE
    DIVINE RETREAT CENTRE, INDIA,  AND ALL THE YOUNG PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD. THE
    FORMER COULD ACCOMANY THE POPE IN PERSON BECAUSE HE  IS AN INDIVIDUAL LEAD BY THE SPIRIT OF
    JESUS  AND THE LATTER COULD ACCOMPANY HIM
    WITH PRAYER AND GOOD WISHES.

     

    SPECIAL HELP  AND COOPERATION IS TO
    BE SAUGHT FROM TRUTHFUL, HONEST  AND HARDWORKING MEDIA-MEN, THOSE WORKING
    WITH RADIO, TELIVISION, INTERNET AND PRINT-MEDIA.

    THE NEXT MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR THE POPE TO DEAL WITH IN THIS LINE IS  :
    THOSE ABUSING WOMEN ON THE SLY – THE WIFED AND THE CHILDED PRIESTS AND
    RELIGIOUS.THE CHURCH WILL BECOME TRULY CREDIBLE.

     

    FROM HEAVEN JESUS AND HIS TWELVE WILL BE SMILING ON OUR GREAT POPE BENEDICT
    AND WHAT JESUS  HIMSELF SAID ABOUT THE DISAPPEARANCE OF FAITH FROM EARTH,
    FOR HE HAD SAID, “WILL THERE BE FAITH LEFT ON EARTH WHEN THE SON OF MAN
    COMES BACK!” WILL BE MODIFIED BY JESUS HIMSELF, FOR OUR GOD, JESUS CHRIST
    IS GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE, IF ONLY WE BELIEVE IN HIM WHOLEHEARTEDLY BASING
    OURSELVES ON HIS WORD, PROMISE AND EXAMPLE.
     

    IS IT NOT JESUS HIMSELF WHO TOLD US REPEATEDLY, “NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE TO
    GOD.”, IF ONLY WE BELIEVE?

     

    Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

  • ms catholic state

    Always remember the most evil case of Mark Dutreaux in Belgium.  4 young girls under 14, kidnapped abused and starved to death in a dungeon…..while the Police ignored their cries for help as they ‘searched’ the peadophile ring leader’s house. 

    Evil beyond belief……when all morality breaks down in the godless West.  So much for the moral authority of the secular establishment.  They have none…..when it doesn’t suit them to.  Political and ideological motivation…..that’s all.  Lest we forget what happened to the innocents in ‘Progressive’ Belgium.

  • Anonymous

    True justice in this matter will never be done as long as MONEY FOR TESTIMONY is available. In respect to the many decades-old cases we hear of, there will always be serious doubt as to how many allegations  are genuine and how many are motivated by financial gain. As long as compensation is on the table, particularly in cases where alleged perpetrators are now deceased, I would be extremely skeptical.

  • Anonymous

    What has police incompetence in the Marc Dutroux case got to do with moral authority in secular establishments? Your assertion that secularists do not have morals cannot be founded on such cases. Furthermore, you are lying when you write that police ignored the cries for help – where are your morals?

  • ms catholic state

    It wasn’t police incompetence.  It was deliberate….unless you are suggesting that media reports were lying.  Secularism has no objective code of morals……they are subjective changing pseudo-morals shaped by and serving secular whims, motives and agendas. 

  • RJ

    It is possible that the guidelines are capable of improvement. They are not beyond criticism.
    You assume bad will on the part of Rome and the bishops but I don’t believe that is a fair assumption.

  • Anonymous

    This is obsession with child abuse by the Irish poltical classes has absolutely nothing to do with the state of their economy?

  • Anonymous

    I would like very much for you to name the reports that cite evidence that “The wholesale rape of children occurred under the restrictive and reactionary church of the first part of the last century.”

    You made the statement, now back it up with referenced evidence. Otherwise, don’t lie to score points!

  • Dowlers

    Two reports from the 1930s,
    The Carrigan Committee Report (1931)The Cussen Report (1936) I can’t find links to them online. Both deal with the appalling conditions in industrial schools in Ireland that were run by religious orders. These schools mostly opened in the 1870s and most were closed in the 1960s and 1970s.
    More recently the child abuse commission report of 2009.
    http://www.childabusecommission.com/rpt/ExecSummary.php

    Conclusion no 24:
    “In the exceptional circumstances where opportunities for
    disclosing abuse arose, the number of sexual abusers identified
    increased significantly.
    For a brief period in the 1940s, boys felt able to speak about sexual
    abuse in confidence at a sodality that met in one school. Brothers were
    identified by the boys as sexual abusers and were removed as a result.
    The sodality was discontinued. In another school, one Brother embarked
    on a campaign to uncover sexual activity in the school and identified a
    number of religious who were sexual abusers. This indicated that the
    level of sexual abuse in boys’ institutions was much higher than was
    revealed by the records or could be discovered by this investigation.
    Authoritarian management systems prevented disclosures by staff and
    served to perpetuate abuse.”

    Below is just a single except dealing with my home town so it is particularly resonance for me but represents what I am talking about. This particular school was actually one of the best run ones and still look what happened.

    “Chapter 14 deals with St
    Joseph’s Kilkenny which was founded in 1872 and catered for 130
    children. The Sisters of Charity were unique in that they sought out
    training and guidance in childcare and introduced innovations into their
    two schools in Kilkenny that were unusual at the time. In particular,
    they recognised the value of the group system which they introduced to
    St Joseph’s in the late 1940s.
    In general this was a well run institution
    but it was dogged at two separate periods in its history by serious
    instances of sexual abuse and the Congregation did not deal with these
    appropriately or with the children’s best interests in mind. In 1954, a
    handyman who had been employed in the school for the previous 30 years
    was discovered to have been grossly sexually abusing girls from as young
    as eight years old. An investigation which was conducted by the
    Department of Education, confirmed the abuse but the children concerned
    were offered no comfort and the perpetrator, although dismissed from the
    school, was not reported to the Gardai.”

  • Dowlers

    You can’t prove a negative. If something doesn’t exist there will be no evidence of it by definition.

    The burden of proof is on you since you make the claim they exist.

  • Dowlers

    (So where would faithful Catholics and non abusing priests worship, you never answered that.)
    Not societies problem. Whorship in your back garden for all I care. But compensation should be paid to victims and if it cost the church its property so be be.

    (And so the Pope himself, would be held accountable for an abuse that he may have never known of…)
    He is guilty of the coverup so yes he is personally responsible. Before he was pope he personally came up with the churches policy of covering up abuse when he was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

    (From what I have read here in the States, allot of the priests, who
    were accused, were ordained after Vatican 2. Not only before Vatican 2.
    And many abuses occurred during the seventies, and eighties)
    So you are admitting abuse took place regardless of changes made by Vatican 2. Because ultra conservative direhards like to blame everything, esp. the abuse, on Vatican 2. See my post below for proof this is a fallacy

    (My final words are these. Bringing an entire Church to it’s knees is not wise. Helping a Church cope and rebuild is wise.)
    I agree but the first step in changing is admitting there is a problem. I havn’t seen any evidence so far that Rome can admit this. If they continue to try to sweep this under the table, to fight openness and blame the victims then they don’t deserve to be rebuilt.

    Finally Islam has nothing to do with this argument so why keep bringing it up. Is your defense of Rome really “well at least we’re not as bad as those guys”

  • Anonymous

    It is a fact, despite what you write, that the vast majority of sexual abuse cases reported took place between 1960 and the mid 1980s. What you quote above are a few references to unproven abuse that is said to have taken place from the late 19th century through to the mid 1940s. These are allegations made without a single shred of evidence to back them. It’s very easy to report stories where no burden of proof is demanded. I can only accept what is proven beyond doubt, as would any court of law. I cannot respond to rumour and scandal mongering.

    As for conditions in the places you mention, I think we have to consider the period in question. Very few institutions were high on conditions in those days. You’ll probably find that state run facilities in Britain and elsewhere were worse than those run by religious orders in Ireland. Perhaps you could read up on Britain’s work houses!

    Below is a link to the Carrigan Report you cited as in some way highlighting the abuse of children by Catholic clergy and religious in Ireland. What you will find, in fact, is that the Catholic Church participated in the creation of said Report, which addressed a very serious moral decline in the public arena in the Irish Republic compared with Britain and Northern Ireland. Nowhere in this Report is the Catholic Church cited as being involved in any illegal behaviour. The Report is about public prostitution, illegitimate birth rises and the abuse of young girls and boys in secular society. Had you read it before accusing the Church?

    http://the-knitter.blogspot.com/2005/06/full-carrigan-report_24.html

  • Anonymous

    I agree only partially…

    I am not quite sure what is meant by “You can’t prove a negative”. I can prove that two and two do NOT equal five.

    Sometimes one can prove non-existence by analysis of the definition of the thing in question (and if the thing cannot be defined, then any claim of its existence is meaningless). For example, a god who is all-powerful yet simultaneously cedes some power to mankind is an impossibility.

    A common theological trick is to assume different definitions of the same word (such as when it is claimed that it is known exactly what a god whose mind we cannot know is thinking). Definitions might give the game away.

    It intrigues me how those who claim to hear the voice of God know that it is not the voice of the Devil.

  • Anonymous

    In this year’s Tour de France, a rider called Juan Antonio Flecha was knocked down by a TV owned car. In falling off his bike, the Spanish rider brought down a Dutch rider called Johnny Hoogerland. This latter spectacularly (and iconically) fell into a barbed wire fence incurring flesh wounds to his legs. Within hours of the incident, witnessed by millions of people live onTV, it was being commented and reported that the TV car had struck Hoogerland. Indeed Flecha has all but been forgotten in the episode – yet the car went nowhere near Hoogerland but hit Flecha.

    Moral of the story:

    Do not believe anything you are told in the press, TV or from “government reports”. Do not trust yourself with any information imparted to you by these institutions. Or, as Richard Ingrams said of Lord Rees-Mogg, read him and conclude that the complete opposite of what Mogg is saying to be probably true. For that reason I am 100% confident that there is no pedophile crisis in Irish Catholic church. Nor has there been any “phone hacking” scandal – most people simply fail to change their default settings on their voice mail.

  • Anonymous

    What you are saying is that the police heard girls crying for help, decided that these were genuine cries from girls within the building being searched, and deliberately ignored these cries because the police were evil beyond belief! You go on to assert that such behaviour is a result of secularism without demonstrating how this follows! Then you suggest that secularists have no morals!

    The Cloyne report confirms what has already been demonstrated – that a particular Catholic so-called state is fundamentally flawed. I suggest that you re-read the Cloyne report until the truth sinks in, rather than continuing to lash out at secularism.

    The tragedy is that the whole scenario should be no surprise. There is no logical basis for supposing that that an organisation like the RCC, founded on lies, bigotry, arrogance, the rejection of reality, etc., could be moral. Of course it is not all bad. The Church is its people, and people are not all bad, though good can be indoctrinated out of them (to the point where they can sincerely believe that a mother must die in order to give her unborn child a few more minutes of life, or that atheists are all evil).

    The subjectiveness of moral principles is a problem, ESPECIALLY for Catholics and Moslems. Morals derived from the Bible or Qur’an are not only not magically protected from the subjectiveness of the writers, but protected from revision and refinement by the stubborness of religious belief.

    Questions of right and wrong should be decided according to the relevant factors. I agree that whims and selfish aims are not relevant factors, but neither are the supposed thoughts of an imagined deity.

  • ms catholic state

    Secular states are fundamentally flawed…..as they have no objective moral code.  They are driven by their own glory and power…..the end justifies the means.  They believe in no external authority greater than themselves to which they must eventually answer.  This has been the story over and over again of corrupt and vile secular states in the 20th century…and 21st it seems.  Funnily enough….these secular states always self-destruct and fail.  It seems only religious states endure.

    When people in the Church err…..it is always in contradiction of Church teaching.  In the sad and terrible cases in Ireland…..it was erring against chastity, charity and truth….eternal pillars of Catholic doctrine. 

  • Declan

    The abuse scandal demonstrates clearly that when sin is committed it has a detrimental affect on the victim, abuser, church and society in general. I pray that we as a people will do all we can do eradicate sin and embrace God who is Love.

  • Prayer Crusader

    Yes well said – and what about survivors of the abused by Anglicans, in Britain there are just as many abused by protestants as Catholics it is just not reported by the biased BBC. In Britain we have 60 reported cases of child abuse a day in society in general, there is in fact an epidemic, and Catholics are hardly every involved in this. Catholics make up very very small minority of abusers but the media ignore this. Probably because so many in the media have ‘issues’ with the Catholic faith re-our teaching on abortion, euthanasia, contraception, homosexuality etc. So before we blame the Church for everything take a look at the wider picture. And you will see that the media itself has a lot to answer for. Check out CUT (Catholics Unplug your Televisions).
    With prayers from the Prayer Crusader under the patronage of St Philomena and Bl Dominic Barberi.

  • Anonymous

    The burden of proof is on anybody who claims to know anything. Our good Robert Kovacs claims that demons exist and you claim that they do not. If neither of you have any evidence then the conclusion is simply that we must withold judgement. Just because something alledgedly has no evidence to support it you cannot draw the conclusion that the thing is false; you require evidence as much as we do and if you try to worm your way out of that then you are left assuming everything.

  • Anonymous

    How is an omnipotent God who cedes power to man an impossibility? If anything it is guaranteed by the fact of omnipotence (given that a God must be able to cede power otherwise he is, by definition, not omnipotent.) The fact that we have free will is not in competition with God’s omnipotence; the notion is not self-contradictory or self-refuting ergo it is intrinsically possible.

    As for the second point that claim is, far from being a self-contradiction, manifestly obvious if you pay attention to it. The claim of knowing God’s mind simply comes from the claim of revalation and this is hardly a self-contradiction. It is true that it is impossible to know what anybody is thinking (even if you brain-scan them) unless they tell you – you did not know what I thought on this topic until I told you by posting this comment.

  • Anonymous

    Truth? The Church teaches that God exists. Since the concept is man-made, and there is no hard evidence that God exists, and the basis for the claim is a book that contradicts itself and conflicts with science, then the likelyhood that God exists is somewhere between zero and infinitesimal. So truth is not a pillar of Catholic doctrine.

    Charity? Catholic doctrine is at the root of the contempt that has been shown towards victims of priestly abuse, so charity is not a pillar of Catholic doctrine.

    Chastity, it might be argued, could have prevented some of the worst child abuse (though it has nothing to do with the facilitation and cover-up of that abuse). But chastity is rather a religious precept given the religious significance of marriage. Champions of charity and truth do exist outside of religious circles.

    Secularism does not intrinsically inhibit charity; rather, it might be regarded as a charitable philosophy since it affords equality to those of all religions and none (something that many religions do not). When a Christian friend of mine discovered that Bob Geldolf is an atheist, her attitude towards him seemed to change, as if that fact confirmed that he was only trying to relieve famine for the glory. I guess that is the unfounded assumption that you would make too. I might just as well falsely argue that religites only do good to get to heaven. (Some might, but how would I know?)

    I cannot speak so highly of secularism regarding the truth because I think that it is too accomodating of delusion, but in not actively promoting delusions, it scores over religion.

  • Anonymous

    If man has power, then God cannot have all the power (even if He had it before He gave some to man). If man’s power is not to be used in competition with God, then no real power has been ceded.

    If God says that He wants to be worshipped, how do you know He means it (without making presumptions about the mind of God)?

  • Anonymous

    Dowlers did not claim that demons do not exist. I imagine that Dowlers is withholding judgement, as with all other claims that lack evidence, until there is something to base a judgement on. Meanwhile, it would be foolish to let such claims affect day-to-day behaviour.

  • ms catholic state

    You bet….the Catholic Church teaches the truth.  Secularists just make it up as they go along…..to suit their political and personal agendas.

    And those who don’t believe in God….are either illogical….or too proud to admit to someone greater than themselves.  Hardly inspiriting of confidence eh?!  Evidence for God is Creation itself.

  • Anonymous

    Your ‘argument’ seems to be “God created everything, therefore God exists (or at least existed at the time of creation)”. If you cannot see the the flaw in that argument, then I doubt that I can make much progress.

    I would recommend that you read more about critical thinking and fallacies – knowledge that is suspiciously absent from national curricula.