Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Catholic church in Ireland: Same old story

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The Associated Press in the NY Times:

Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in Dublin covered up decades of child abuse by priests to protect the church’s reputation, an expert commission reported Thursday after a three-year investigation.

Abuse victims welcomed the report on the Dublin Archdiocese’s mishandling of abuse complaints against its parish priests from 1975 to 2004. It followed a parallel report published in May into five decades of rape, beatings and other cruelty committed by Catholic orders of nuns and brothers nationwide in church-run schools, children’s workhouses and orphanages from the 1930s to mid-1990s.

The government said the Dublin investigation ”shows clearly that a systemic, calculated perversion of power and trust was visited on helpless and innocent children in the archdiocese.”

”The perpetrators must continue to be brought to justice, and the people of Ireland must know that this can never happen again,” the government said, also apologizing for the state’s failure to hold church authorities accountable to the law.

The 720-page report — delivered to the government in July but released Thursday after extensive legal vetting — analyzes the cases of 46 priests against whom 320 complaints were filed. The 46 were selected from more than 150 Dublin priests implicated in molesting or raping boys and girls since 1940.

Eleven priests convicted of child abuse are named in the report, but 33 are referred to by aliases and two have their names blacked out because their criminal cases are about to begin in Dublin courts.

The report rejected past bishops’ key claim that they were ignorant of both the scale and criminality of priests’ abuse of children. It documented how the Dublin Archdiocese negotiated a 1987 insurance policy for future legal costs of defending lawsuits and compensation claims.

At the time, bishops knew of at least 17 priests linked to abuse cases, the report said, and ”the taking out of insurance was an act proving knowledge of child sexual abuse as a potential major cost to the archdiocese.”

Victims appealed to the government not to let bishops retain the right to decide whether to refer abuse complaints to police.

”Never again should the Catholic Church in Ireland blame others for its own decision to reassign priests (to other parishes) who were clearly a danger to children,” said one abuse victim, Marie Collins. She was raped by a Dublin priest as a 13-year-old hospital patient in 1960, but police and church officials declined to pursue her complaint…

Continue reading. I’m amazed that the Catholic Church retains any moral authority whatsoever.

Written by Leisureguy

26 November 2009 at 11:35 am

Posted in Daily life, Law, Religion

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