Ireland braces for another Catholic clergy sex abuse report

November 24, 2009

irish-reportA damning report on sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests in Dublin is due out later this week, only six months after another report on abuse in industrial and reformatory schools across the country accused priests and nuns of flogging, starving and, in some cases, raping children in their care.

“It will not be easy reading,” Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said of this new report back in May when the uproar over the first report prompted so many calls to counseling services for abuse victims that the advice centre had to close temporarily because it couldn’t handle all the inquiries.

(Photo: Copy of the first report on clergy child abuse, 20 May 2009/Cathal McNaughton)

The Sunday Independent newspaper, which broke the news, said the report will accuse the four archbishops who preceded Martin of covering up the abuse “to preserve the power and aura of the Church and to avoid giving scandal to their congregations.”

Today, the daily Irish Independent said the diocese’s compensation bill for victims of child abuse is set to double to more than 20 million euros after publication of the report, now expected on Thursday. It is due to be presented to the Irish cabinet today.

“Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has prepared both clergy and public for what we are going to hear.  This is a major  break with the old tradition of secrecy, which played a major part in getting us into this mess,” wrote the Jesuit blogger Fergus O’Donoghue, editor of Studies: an Irish Quarterly Review“Our bishops, however, seem to have an air of  “business as usual”.  This makes them look exactly like our bankers!  They must realise that everything has changed and that diocesan and national synods in Ireland are decades overdue.  We must be assured that secrecy, particularly in the appointment of bishops, has been abandoned and that Irish Catholicism is moving into a new  era of openness and collaboration, even if it is about thirty years too late.”

Here’s a selection of the headlines from the Irish papers:

Archbishops’ cover-up of child sex abuse revealed

Report on clerical child abuse claims in archdiocese to be published this week

Archbishops put church honour before children

Medb Ruane: The devil is in the detail of this depraved vision of hell

Paedophile priests can’t be named and shamed

Audits to reveal how dioceses dealt with child-abuse claims

Church’s bill to hit €20m after latest sex claims

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A whole lot more than public hand wringing and apologies from bishops are necessary here.The former bishops who are largely responsible for this debacle should be named whether they are living or dead and they should be publicly sanctioned by the Holy See.The toll in lives, the violations of every United Nations human rights convention, especially the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, will never be completely known.The government of Ireland made a deal with the devil in agreeing not to prosecute or name any of the individuals, living or dead, who were party to such widespread abuse of children and the two nuns who brokered the deal to limit financial responsibility should be ashamed to have participated in what has amounted to a worldwide problem, notwithstanding the fact that some cardinals officially stated it was a Boston, Massachusetts problem, an American problem and blamed it on the permissive society that exists in the United States.Really?The Holy See itself along with the leaders and superiors of every religious order implicated in this tragedy like the Christian Brothers, the Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of Charity. Every one of the religious groups should be named along with every individual predator, living or dead and every enabling church official.The Holy See is a signatory to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child even though it has never submitted one of the required compliance reports and I suspect Ireland is as well.Every single God given right has been denied these children and they are deserving of some justice. They should get it from the world court and the sooner the better.These are crimes against humanity and they cry out to heaven for justice!The Holy Spirit is telling us that if we believe that the Church is the People of God, then we, the People of God have to clease and change the Church!Sister Maureen Paul TurlishVictims’ AdvocateNew Castle, Delaware, United

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