May 20, 2009

Irish Catholic abuse

May 20, 2009

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New York Times' story.

Once again, the Catholic Church in Ireland has been caught up in a horrible sex scandal. Tens of thousands of Irish children were sexually and physically abused by priests and nuns in various institutions according to a just-released report.

No names of the abusers were released thanks to a lawsuit filed by the Christian brothers.

From the New York Times article today.

Some leaders of the religious orders have dismissed the report as a collection of lies and exaggerations. But victims’ advocates say it finally places the blame squarely where it belongs.

“While horrific, widespread reports of abuse and coverup are sadly quite common, the significance here is that a government panel is conclusively saying that the finger-pointing and blame-shifting and excuse-making of the church hierarchy is bogus,” said David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a group based in St. Louis, MO.
The last of these institutions closed in the 1990s. Many of the victims are now between the ages of 50 and 80. It will be interesting to see if the Irish government has the chops to prosecute and imprison members of the clergy and possibly give the victims a little satisfaction. But I doubt that will happen. The Irish government is just as guilty as the church. They should have known what was going on, but it was easier and cheaper to let the church handle these kids and look the other way.

Here is link to a very powerful testimony by a man who was repeatedly raped and beaten.

The Magdalen Asylums, notorious institutions for Irish girls, were previously mentioned in September in our history section. Here is a link to a movie, "The Magdalene Sisters" (2002), about one of the institutions.

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