Thursday, February 10, 2011

Child abuse: The Irish Affliction


Of the various crises the Catholic Church is facing around the world, the central one — wave after wave of accounts of systemic sexual abuse of children by priests and other church figures — has affected Ireland more strikingly than anywhere else. And no place has reacted so aggressively. The Irish responded to the publication in 2009 of two lengthy, damning reports — detailing thousands of cases of rape, sexual molestation and lurid beatings, spanning Ireland’s entire history as an independent country, and the efforts of church officials to protect the abusers rather than the victims — with anger, disgust, vocal assaults on priests in public and demands that the government and society disentangle themselves from the church.

This past December a fresh bout of fury was touched off by the publication of the investigation into perhaps the worst clergy sex offender: the Rev. Tony Walsh, who raped and molested children while serving as a priest in Dublin and who was shielded by the Vatican even after Irish Church officials wanted him defrocked. Yet another large-scale report will be released shortly. And a 1997 letter — in which the papal nuncio to Ireland told Irish bishops that the Vatican had “serious reservations” about a plan for mandatory reporting of clergy sex-abuse cases to the police — came to light last month, causing further anger. [...]


  1. Why is it worse in Ireland? Because they have more power there and also have a say in what the government does.

    So what does this teach us? Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely: Keep religion and state separated.

    (i.e. make the rabbinate a private body in Israel)


    Elon to be prosecuted


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