Southern Religion

Roman Catholic Church’s flawed team Ireland lineup

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston’s appointment to head the apostolic visitation to deal with the Roman Catholic child abuse catastrophe in Dublin was for good reason not universally cheered:, a Waltham-based organization that tracks abuse cases, was also critical, saying, “O’Malley’s career ascent has been fueled by his ability to walk into dioceses wracked by horrible revelations of child molestation and enshroud them again in silence.”

Lisa Wangsness of the Boston Globe wrote:

The assignment marks the fourth time that O’Malley, 65, has been asked to intervene in a diocese damaged by clergy sexual abuse. In 1992, he was named bishop of Fall River, a diocese roiled by the serial pedophilia of the Rev. James R. Porter; in 2002, he was named bishop of Palm Beach, where the two previous bishops had acknowledged sexually abusing minors; and in 2003 he was named archbishop of Boston, replacing Cardinal Bernard F. Law, who stepped aside over criticism of his failure to remove sexually abusive priests from ministry.

English Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor, who has been appointed apostolic visitor to Ireland’s Armagh archdiocese, was greeted with similar criticism by abuse victims for his mishandling of sexually predatory clerics in his own countries. Specifically, the Irish Independent wrote:

nstead of informing the police of allegations against “notorious paedophile” Fr Michael] Hill, [then Bishop of Arundel Murphy-O’Connor] moved the cleric to the chaplaincy at Gatwick Airport, where he believed the priest would no longer be a danger to children.

But in 1997, Hill was convicted of sex attacks against nine children. After serving three years, he was then given another sentence of five years for assaults on three more boys.

The then-Bishop Murphy O’Connor argued that at the time little was understood of the compulsive nature of paedophilia.

Dr. Margaret Kennedy, of the London-based Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors, observed:

Many in the UK survivor movement would wonder why a bishop with a record of mishandling his own cases could independently look at another bishop’s handling of cases.

Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan, also one of the nine apostolic visitors to Ireland, has a history of resisting appeals for constructive reform in the U.S.

Their records are chacteristic of the most able reformers the Roman Catholic Church can muster to this task?

June 3, 2010 Posted by | Catholic, children | , , | Comments Off on Roman Catholic Church’s flawed team Ireland lineup

Update: ‘Irish anti-clericalism’ arson ruled out

The London Telegraph’s Will Heaven was apparently first among the bloggers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) to react to the St Mel’s Cathedral fire with lurid fantasies of “Irish anti-clericalism” gone to arson. And as lurid fantasies often do, it is coming to nothing that one has come to notning:

Longford Gardai have confirmed that they are no longer treating the fire at St Mel’s Cathedral as arson.

Chief investigation officer Inspector Joe McLoughlin told that the Garda Technical team completed the technical examination of the Cathedral today.

“We are no longer treating the fire as suspicious,” Inspector McLoughlin stated. However he added that Gardai were not in a position to confirm what caused the fire which destroyed the Cathedral on Christmas morning but the Garda Forensic Team is expected to furnish a report on the fire soon.

Yet Christmas season insinuations of arson were directed at the victims of abuse. For example, Heaven wrote:

Given the recent resignation of a second Irish bishop after a report revealed the cover-up of child sex abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese, it could be that this was a deliberate attack on the Irish Catholic Church. If so, it marks a new chapter of anti-clericalism in Ireland.

There was no supporting rich history of the victims of clerical sex abuse torching church facilities.

Thus the cry of “deliberate attack on the Irish Catholic Church” was a groundless allegation which tended to tar the victims of other crimes.

It was despicable and now that it is proven false, corrections and apologies are owed by all who made the claim.

January 19, 2010 Posted by | Catholic, Crime | , , , , | Comments Off on Update: ‘Irish anti-clericalism’ arson ruled out

Irish plan sweeping action against Catholic clergy sex abuse

Child’s shoe held aloft as a symbol of protest when more than 10,000 people took to the streets in Dublin in May to protest the Catholic Church child sex abuse scandal.

The four bishops named in the Murphy report have been given an ultimatum by Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, says Irish Central: Resign or be fired by the Vatican in the New Year. The four are Bishop Raymond Field, Bishop Eamon Walsh, Bishop Martin Drennan and Bishop Jim Moriarty. Bishop Donal Murray of Limerick has already been forced out.

In response to public anger over the revelations of massive, systematically concealed Catholic clerical sexual abuse, the Government plans to order a nationwide investigation [earlier post] into child sex abuse in the Irish Catholic Church, The Irish Independent reports:

A massive investigation into clerical child abuse in all 26 Catholic dioceses is to begin shortly after every bishop in the State last week received an ultimatum to provide the Health Service Executive (HSE) with a complete list of hundreds of new complaints.

December 22, 2009 Posted by | Catholic | , , , | 1 Comment

Investigate every Roman Catholic diocese in Ireland

Photo taken by me on 12 August 2009, of the memorial cross at Harold's Cross Park, Dublin, Ireland.Hohenloh + 19:55, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Harold’s Cross in Dublin

Victims of priestly pedophilia have responded to revelations of a decades-long cover-up in the Dublin Archdiocese with a call for expansion of the investigation to every diocese in Ireland.

Tragically predictable, the Irish Catholic Church pooh pooed the victims. Auxiliary Bishop Eamon Walsh of Dublin huffed to Ireland On-Line that further investigation would be a bootless distraction from “consolidating our services.”

It sounds like a habitual reaction — even one that is intended to mislead. Over a span of three decades, four successive archbishops of Dublin responded to clerical child sexual abuse in their diocese with “denial, arrogance and cover-up.” Similarly, the Vatican refused to cooperate with the Murphy Commission investigation of a sample of 46 Dublin Archdiocese priests out of 102 against whom complaints has been made between 1975 and 2004.

Against that background, it is reasonable to ask if Walsh’s argument is fraught with the “mental reservation” the report revealed was abused by the Dublin Archdiocese clergy to frustrate inquiry and to mislead. For example, the report said:

Both Marie Collins and Andrew Madden independently furnished the Commission with examples of how [mental reservation] was deployed by the Archdiocese in dealing with their complaints. In 2003, Mr Madden was invited to meet Cardinal Connell. In the course of an informal chat Cardinal Connell did apologise for the whole handling of the Fr Ivan Payne case. He was however at pains to point out to Mr Madden that he did not lie about the use of diocesan funds in meeting Fr Payne‟s settlement with Mr Madden. He explained that when he was asked by journalists about the use of diocesan funds for the compensation of complainants of child sexual abuse, he had responded that diocesan funds are not used for such a purpose; that he had not said that diocesan funds were not used for such a purpose. By using the present tense, he had not excluded the possibility that diocesan funds had been used for such purpose in the past. According to Mr Madden, Cardinal Connell considered that there was an enormous difference between the two.

Thus by cunning use of verb tense and omission, Connell used the most literal meaning of the words to create the false impression that diocesan funds had never been used. Yet with his interior knowledge of the meaning of the words he spoke, he was telling a truth his audience did not hear.

According to BBC, Bishop Walsh “told Bloomberg he was disappointed and surprised by the Vatican’s attitude” in failing to cooperate with the investigation of the Dublin Archdiocese. Whatever he actually meant by that.

We are not surprised, but we are nonetheless disappointed, by Walsh’s attitude. Without further investigation, Irish officials cannot hope to understand what they must do to fully awaken from a national nightmare awash in Catholic Church and state corruption. It is clear from the decades of history of similar scandals around the world that to delay full investigation is to further conceal. Walsh’s appeal to getting on with other business is an attempt rationalize an end to investigation, inevitably to serve some unstated church interest in suppressing scandal. Thus Walsh, like his predecessors, seeks concealment.

Irish Times Timeline

How The Story Of Abuse In Catholic Church Institutions Emerged

BBC developed a Timeline: U.S. Catholic Church sex scandal

Yes, there are other denominations which engage in brazen cover-ups.

November 27, 2009 Posted by | Catholic, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion | , , , , , | 1 Comment