May 20, 2009

Ireland's Sex Abuse Scandal Will Make Boston Look Like a Day at the Beach


From the fine folks at Associated Press and a h/t to Deacon Greg

DUBLIN (AP) — A commission report into the abuse of thousands of Irish children in Roman Catholic institutions is published Wednesday after a nine-year investigation repeatedly delayed by church lawsuits, missing documentation and alleged government obstruction.
The Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse will release a 2,575-page report in an attempt at a comprehensive portrait of sexual, physical and emotional damage inflicted on children consigned to the country's defunct network of reformatories, workhouses, orphanages and other church-run institutions from the 1930s to 1990s.
Most of the children were ordered into church care because of school truancy, petty crimes or because they were the offspring of unwed mothers. Many faced regimes of terror involving ritual beatings and intimidation. But until the investigation came along, thousands of survivors said they had nowhere safe to tell their stories — because swathes of Irish Catholic society sought to label them liars.
Some of those victims say they feel hopeful now that vindication might be at hand.


Read more here, but this indeed is shameful. One of the things that seems to be at work here is the laity's complicit behavior with clergy in creating a culture of demonization of these children who were placed into the system and then essentially told that they were "less than." Talk about a denial of Catholic principles.

As a son of Ireland, I'm pretty ashamed to be Irish today. I hope that we can at least look upon this report as an opportunity to own our mistakes and learn from the hate-filled practices aimed at those who have made children objects for sexual pleasure and to break down their self worth to make that possibility easier.

Shameful, Shameful, Shameful.

2 comments:

religionofrationality said...

I'd like to see more coverage of the state of Irish society (and state) during those times.

As a son of England, I'm also ashamed of how we oppressed and exploited the Irish as a whole and turned the Irish Catholic Church inwards (and downward) by implication.

St Edwards Blog said...

I have really cried and prayed over this and all cases of abuse.

God have mercy on us all; at some level we are all complicit.

As a church we must acknowledge and bear this before real healing can begin.

I always think that this is one reason why so many turn their back on the church... Not just the abuse itself, which is horrific on its own. The problem is that how can there be all this discussion of morality, mostly sexual and so much admonishing, finger-wagging on all matters sexual and then this?

No wonder people see the church as hypocritical.

It is much more complex than that, but for those of us involved, we know that. For those who turn away - well, I can understand.

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