The Shame of Ireland

The Shame of Ireland

Enda Kenny's Speech Criticising the Vatican

I move the motion.

The revelations of the Cloyne report have brought the Government, Irish  Catholics and the Vatican to an unprecedented juncture.

It’s fair to say that after the Ryan and Murphy Reports Ireland is, perhaps, unshockable when it comes to the abuse of children.

But Cloyne has proved to be of a different order.

Because for the first time in Ireland, a report into child sexual-abuse exposes an attempt by the Holy See, to frustrate an Inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic…as little as three years ago, not three decades ago.

And in doing so, the Cloyne Report excavates the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism….the narcissism …….that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day.

The rape and torture of children were downplayed or ‘managed’ to uphold instead, the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and ‘reputation’.

Far from listening to evidence of humiliation and betrayal with St Benedict’s “ear of the heart”……the Vatican’s reaction was to parse and analyse it with the gimlet eye of a canon lawyer.

This calculated, withering position being the polar opposite of the radicalism, humility and compassion upon which the Roman Church was founded.

The radicalism, humility and compassion which are the very essence of its foundation and purpose.

The behaviour being a case of Roma locuta est: causa finita est.

Except in this instance, nothing could be further from the truth.

Victims
Cloyne’s revelations are heart-breaking. It describes how many victims continued to live in the small towns and parishes in which they were reared and in which they were abused… Their abuser often still in the area and still held in high regard by their families and the community. The abusers continued to officiate at family weddings and funerals… In one case, the abuser even officiated at the victim’s own wedding…

There is little I or anyone else in this House can say to comfort that victim or others, however much we want to. But we can and do recognise the bravery of all of the victims who told their stories to the Commission.

While it will take a long time for Cloyne to recover from the horrors uncovered, it could take the victims and their families a lifetime to pick up the pieces of their shattered existence.

Papal Nuncio
A day post-publication, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade met with the Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza.

The Tánaiste left the Archbishop clear on two things: The gravity of the actions and attitude of the Holy See. And Ireland’s complete rejection and abhorrence of same.

The Papal Nuncio undertook to present the Cloyne Report to the Vatican.

The Government awaits the considered response of the Holy See.

I believe that the Irish people, including the very many faithful Catholics who – like me – have been shocked and dismayed by the repeated failings of Church authorities to face up to what is required, deserve and require confirmation from the Vatican that they do accept, endorse and require compliance by all Church authorities here with, the obligations to report all cases of suspected abuse, whether current or historical, to the
State’s authorities in line with the Children First National Guidance which will have the force of law.

Clericalism
Clericalism has rendered some of Ireland’s brightest, most privileged and powerful men, either unwilling or unable to address the horrors cited in the Ryan and Murphy Reports. This Roman Clericalism must be devastating for good priests…. some of them old… others struggling to keep their humanity….even their sanity……..as they work so hard…..to be the keepers of the Church’s light and goodness within their parishes…… communities… the human
heart.

Church & State
But thankfully for them, and for us, this is not Rome. Nor is it industrial-school or Magdalene Ireland, where the swish of a soutane smothered conscience and humanity and the swing of a thurible ruled the Irish-Catholic world.
This is the ‘Republic’ of Ireland 2011.

A Republic of laws…..of rights and responsibilities….of proper civic order….. where the delinquency and arrogance of a particular version….. of a particular kind of ‘morality’….. will no longer be tolerated or ignored.

As a practising Catholic, I don’t say any of this easily. Growing up, many of us in here learned we were part of a pilgrim Church.

Today, that Church needs to be a penitent Church. A church, truly and deeply penitent for the horrors it perpetrated, hid and denied.

In the name of God. But for the good of the institution.

When I say that through our legislation….. through our Government’s action to put Children First…….those who have been abused can take some small comfort in knowing that they belong to a nation…..to a democracy where humanity, power, rights, responsibility, are enshrined and enacted …..always….always…. for their good.

Where the law – their law – as citizens of this country, will always supercede canon laws that have neither legitimacy nor place in the affairs of this country.

State/Society
This report tells us a tale of a frankly brazen disregard for protecting children. If we do not respond swiftly and appropriately as a State, we will have to prepare ourselves for more reports like this.

I agree with Archbishop Martin that the Church needs to publish any other and all other reports like this as soon as possible.

I must note the Commission is very positive about the work of the National Board for Safeguarding Children, established by the Church to oversee the operation by Dioceses and religious orders. The Commission notes that
all Church authorities were required to sign a contract with the National Board agreeing to implement the relevant standards and that those refusing to sign would be named in the Board’s Annual Report. Progress has been in no small measure to the commitment of Ian Elliott and others.

There is some small comfort to be drawn by the people of Cloyne from the fact that the Commission is complimentary of the efforts made by the Diocese since 2008, in training, in vetting personnel and in the risk
management of Priests against whom allegations have been made. Nevertheless, the behaviour of Bishop Magee and Monsignor O’Callaghan show how fragile even good standards and policies are to the weakness and willful disregard of those who fail to give the right priority to safeguarding our children.

But if the Vatican needs to get its house in order, so does this State.

The Report of the Commission is rightly critical of the entirely unsatisfactory position which the last Government allowed to persist over many years. The unseemly bickering between the Minister for Children and the HSE over the statutory powers to deal with extra-familial abuse, the failure to produce legislation to enable the exchange of soft information as promised after the Ferns Enquiry, and the long period of confusion and disjointed responsibility for child protection within the HSE, as reported by the Commission, are simply not acceptable in a society which values
children and their safety.

For too long Ireland has neglected its children.

Just last week we saw a case of the torture of children, within the family, come before the courts. Just two days ago, we were repulsed by the case of a Donegal registered sex offender…and school caretaker…

Children and young adults reduced to human wreckage. Raising questions and issues of serious import for State agencies.

We are set to embark on a course of action to ensure the State is doing all it can to safeguard our children.

Minister Shatter is bringing forward two pieces of legislation – firstly, to make it an offence to withhold information relating to crimes against children and vulnerable adults; and secondly, at long last, to allow for the exchange of ‘soft information’ on abusers.

As Taoiseach, I want to do all I can to protect the sacred space of childhood and to restore its innocence.

Especially our young teenagers, whom I believe to be children. Because regardless of our current economic crisis, the children of this country are, and always will be, our most precious possession of all.

Safeguarding their integrity and innocence must be a national priority. This is why I undertook to create a Cabinet ministry for Children and Youth Affairs.

The legislation ‘Children First’ proposes to give our children maximum protection and security without intruding on the hectic, magical business of being a child.

Conclusion
Cardinal Josef Ratzinger said “Standards of conduct appropriate to civil society or the workings of a democracy cannot be purely and simply applied to the Church.”

As the Holy See prepares its considered response to the Cloyne Report, I want to make it clear as Taoiseach that when it comes to the protection of the children of this State, the standards of conduct which the Church deems appropriate to itself, cannot and will not, be applied to the workings of democracy and civil society in this republic.

Not purely, or simply or otherwise, because children have to be and will be put first.

 

Views: 70

Comment by bernard o connell on July 24, 2011 at 15:03

ireland now should be known and advertised as

 THE LAND OF PRIESTS AND PAEDOPHILES.

not  the land of saints and scholars.

Comment by Rev. Kobutsu Malone on August 2, 2011 at 18:18
Ratzinger be damned... let us never forget the children who suffered, let us speak out LOUD and CLEAR –– Dear God, never again, never again!
Comment by Rob Northall on August 2, 2011 at 18:42

Source - Enda Kenny is speaking for all of us

July 27th, 2011


By Gerry Adams

Clerical abuse is not a strictly Irish phenomenon. In recent years many thousands of victims in countries across the globe have spoken out against abuse and in search of justice.

There are striking similarities in the way in which abuse occurred and in the response of the Catholic Church hierarchy to it.

The first case to attract significant media coverage was that involving James Porter in the early 1990s in the Boston area. He was eventually convicted in 1993 of abusing over 100 boys and girls. The approach of the church authorities in dealing with him will be instantly recognizable to anyone watching the unfolding story of clerical abuse in Ireland.

Porter was moved from one parish to another after complaints of abuse were made against him. And the church hierarchy did not report his activities to the police and covered up his abuse of children.

Eventually, in December 1992, 68 alleged Porter victims were paid $5 million by the church in the largest settlement of its kind at that time, and a year later Porter pleaded guilty to sexually abusing 28 young people and was sentenced to 18-20 years in prison.

Clerical abuse came to the fore again in the USA with more revelations of abuse in the Boston archdiocese in 2002.

Once again, church authorities tried to minimize the extent of the problem. However, as the media, principally the Boston Globe, investigated further, more and more cases came to light. Scores of priests were involved and there were hundreds of victims.

It soon became clear that there was a culture of secrecy and deception and that the most senior figures in the Church Hierarchy in Boston had been aware of the extent of the problem for decades. They did not tell the police, and they kept the problem hidden from their congregations.

Boston was not the only diocese affected by this. By the end of that year, over one thousand priests had been accused of abuse in parishes across the United States. Two years later, a report from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops stated there were approximately 10,667 reported victims of clerical abuse in the previous 50 year period, involving over 4,000 priests.

Secrecy, deception, lies and cover-up were also the approach adopted by the Catholic Church hierarchy in Ireland when it came to dealing with clerical abuse of children.

The Cloyne report, the recently published probe into child sexual abuse by Catholic priests in the County Cork diocese, is the fourth such report in the last five years. It has drawn significant international attention, strong condemnation of the behavior of the church, and brought relations between the Vatican and the Irish government to an all-time low.

The Ferns report was published in 2005. It reported into how allegations of clerical sex abuse against children had been handled by the church and State authorities in the Diocese of Ferns between 1962 and 2002.

Four years later, the Ryan report presented a damning account of life and abuse for thousands of children who were victims of abuse in industrial schools, orphanages, institutions for children with disabilities, reformatories, and ordinary day schools.

The conclusions were devastating for church and state alike. The Ryan report painted a picture of many thousands of children enduring years of sexual and physical abuse in over 200 institutions run by religious orders over decades. Hundreds of priests and nuns and brothers and lay people were involved.

The Murphy report investigated the handling of allegations of clerical sex abuse in the Dublin archdiocese and was published in November 2009.It concluded that four successive archbishops had handled the allegations with “denial, arrogance and cover-up” and that they did not report what they knew of these allegations to the police.

And now there is the Cloyne report. It investigated allegations of child sex abuse in the Cloyne diocese from 1996 to 2009. Once again, the hierarchy, including its most senior figures, come in for serious criticism. Their response to allegations of abuse is described variously as “inadequate,” “inappropriate,” and “ineffective.” It stands accused of telling lies.

The taoiseach, speaking in the Dáil in a debate on the report and speaking about the church hierarchy said: “…the Cloyne report excavates the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism….the narcissism …….that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day. The rape and torture of children were downplayed or ‘managed’ to uphold instead, the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and ‘reputation.’”

It’s not often that many of us would agree with a Fine Gael politician, but in his remarks to the Dáil, Enda Kenny was speaking for all of us in his anger and outrage and demands for change within the church hierarchy and that institution.

Of course, there is also the issue of the Irish government’s response. That will be judged by its willingness to put the necessary money into new statutory measures that are being proposed to protect children and help the victims.

I suspect that most citizens are exasperated with the endless apologies and failures by bishops and archbishops and cardinals to face up to this issue honestly. Too often they have been revealed to have been more concerned about scandal and its impact on the Catholic Church than with the needs and concerns and interests of victims. The subsequent damage to the church has been all the greater because of this.

There is a grievous lack of leadership. But more importantly the church hierarchy have completely failed to live up to the teachings of Jesus.

 

 

The following Comment is awaiting Moderation on the above article

 

Blaming Rome because that is where the Blame Lies.
The Papal Nuncio Should have been Imprisoned long ago for Non Compliance with the Commission into Child Abuse.
Irish Bishops should also been imprisoned for their roles of not Disclosing to the various Inquiries.
There is now a strained relationship between the Vatican and Eire?
With the end of Baby Trafficking and the Slavery of the Industrial Schools and Magdalene Laundries the only source of Revenue is the Collection Plate!
Is the Pope worried?
I bet he is!

Comment by bernard o connell on August 2, 2011 at 23:41
ireland the land of priests and paedophiles'' please  remember that most -again- most of the clergy men accused of child abuses are irish  born or irish ethnic origins.the roman empire's lasting curse of oppression,even though ireland was never invaded by roman legions.we are still infected by thier cruelty,debauchery,lechery and treasons.are we, ireland newa, forever to be oppressed by rome,and the vatican.the answer is simple,COMPLETE SEPERATION OF CHURCHes FROM STATE.as is the governing constitution in the usa.since 1776. children's safety must be guaranteed  by the irish government laws,with severe panalties for  criminals .not church hollow guarrantees                                                                              
Comment by Rev. Kobutsu Malone on August 2, 2011 at 23:45

I couldn't agree more Bernie... It's high time the Irish people rise up in full, open rebellion and rid the fair land from the oppressive, degrading brutality of the Church of Rome!

 

 

Comment by Catherine Roberts on August 5, 2011 at 13:26
Well said Bernard, Complete Seperation Of Churches from State children would be out of danger and this is what everyone wants.

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