If lay Catholics thought that the terrible cases of sadistic and sexual abuse that have been uncovered since the 90s have finally been acknowledged and procedures put in place to prevent them ever happening again, two stories stand out that are deeply depressing and are a betrayal not only of the abused, but of good priests and lay Catholics.
The first is what happened at two Rosminian prep schools and the subsequent failure in 2011 to properly aknowledge what harm had been done by the order – which will result in a court case. (See BBC documentary) The second is the statement by the Irish PM about what has happened in the diocese of Cloyne and the cover up that has followed. The Irish Times summarises the report saying
* The Vatican was “entirely unhelpful” to any bishop who wanted to implement procedures for dealing with allegations of child sexual abuse in the Irish church.
* The response of the Diocese of Cloyne was “inadequate and inappropriate”.
* Primary responsibility for the failure to implement agreed child sexual abuse procedures lies with then-bishop of Cloyne John Magee.
* Bishop Magee “took little or no active interest” in the management of clerical child sexual abuse cases until 2008, 12 years after the framework document on child sexual abuse was agreed by the Irish Bishops’ Conference.
* That some child sexual abuse allegations were not reported to gardaí was the diocese’s “greatest failure”.
* There were 15 cases between 1996 and 2005 which “very clearly” should have been reported by the diocese, of which nine were not.
* Given the diocese’s knowledge of clerical sexual abuse and its effects on complainants it was wrong of the diocese not to put in place a proper support system for complainants.
Go to Google to get the details of these stories. Then read Abortion. Murder by Another Name? and ask yourself if these terrible events are simply the result of human wickedness and weakness or a consequence of deeply flawed thinking in the Church as regards sexuality, celibacy, contraception and abortion. I address this directly at the end of that article.