Compassion in action

The Irish government again notes that the Catholic church failed to prevent child abuse by its own employees, failed to follow its own rules, failed to call the cops, failed to protect children, failed to act like decent human beings, failed failed failed. It succeeded at protecting itself and its own people, and that’s it.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has highlighted the failure of the Catholic Church to bring child abuse allegations to the attention of gardaí, following the publication of previously redacted portions of the Cloyne report.

“The publication of the redacted portions of the Cloyne report yet again details the failure of the church to comply with its own child abuse guidelines and its failure to ensure that allegations of abuse when first received were brought to the notice of An Garda Síochána,” Mr Shatter said.

So children were screwed, literally as well as figuratively, and priests were protected. The safe and prosperous were shielded, and the weak went to the wall.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald…said it was clear that the priority of the church authorities in Cloyne was the protection of the institution of the church and not the protection of children in the diocese or the protection of other children.

Themselves and their friends and their institutions, in short, at the expense of other people, and those other people very vulnerable both physically and intellectually. An arrant abuse of power and privilege, and a hardened display of selfishness. And these people claim to be better than non-theists!

“I want to make it very clear – it is absolutely unacceptable that child abuse allegations were not reported to the Gardaí and the HSE in a timely way by the church authorities. The handling of child abuse allegations is not discretionary; there is no choice, no exception.

“All allegations must be reported so that the allegation itself is investigated and any potential risk to other children is assessed.” Ms Fitzgerald said the most shocking aspect of the report, in her view, was the fact that the incidents it dealt with took place so recently.

“It is not dealing with terrible wrongs committed in the distant past but how the Diocese of Cloyne dealt with complaints made from 1996, the year in which the Catholic Church put in place detailed procedures for dealing with child sexual abuse.”

They’re just like anyone else, and worse than most.


  1. daveau says

    More like “Compassion Inaction”.

    I sometimes wonder where you find all these horrifying abuse stories, but then I realize you don’t have to look very hard to find them.

  2. sailor1031 says

    The real scandal is that of the millions upon millions of catholic laity who by their tacit acceptance of these crimes, choose to make themselves accessories after the fact. It is wilful blindness that is truly astonishing – and despicable.

  3. Bill Yeager says

    As has been said before, any other institution found guilty of the sorts of despicable and heinous offences as those committed by the RC Church would be immediately struck off and dismantled. Its component parts sold to compensate its multitude of victims and its governors/directors being charged with numerous crimes.

    But, cos its all to do with, you know, their invisible man in the sky and all that, it makes them special. So we let them carry on policing themselves as if they really and truly didn’t mean to rape those children, or beat them senseless, or terrify them into believing that, by going against the twisted will of The Church, they would be cast into an eternal damnation. It’s only about the bad apples, right? Bad apples, how fucking ironic.

  4. Art says

    All in all, as much as I dislike what kiddie-diddlers do, I think I prefer my child molesters to remain unalloyed by hypocrisy and ability to molest under color of divine right. As bad as their behavior is straight up it is many times worse dressed in a cassock and protected by a large and wealthy international organization of enablers, apologists, and unindicted co-conspirators who think they are doing “God’s will on earth”.

  5. glenmorangie10 says

    This is a government that in 2009 chose to clarify and strengthen, rather than abolish, its blasphemy laws. It’s all right to criticize individual acts of abuse, even a systematic attempt to hide those acts. However, if you suggest that part of the problem might lie in a doctrine that clergy are Christ’s representatives on earth and therefore are above question or reproach, or that any God who would choose these monsters as his representative must be so contemptible that if he existed he would be unworthy of praise or worship, you might “cause outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion”. A 25K fine will teach you not to abuse the vulnerable with your wicked wicked words.

  6. GordonWillis says

    “Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald…said it was clear that the priority of the church authorities in Cloyne was the protection of the institution of the church and not the protection of children in the diocese or the protection of other children.”

    As Stephen Fry asks, “What are they for?”

  7. submoron says

    “What are they for?”

    Well I thought about that, to my limited capacity, and concluded that they’d say they there to save souls and that admitting their corruption would damage their influence. So they have to lie. “Hypocrites for the holy spirit”.

  8. GordonWillis says

    Ah, but whose souls? Mentally damaged children’s? Abused young women’s? Raped nuns? Of cancer patients given no pain relief? Paedophile priests’?

  9. submoron says

    I think, Gordon, that while they’d agree that damage had been caused to the victims and that they should be helped, the disclosure of this evil would drive others away. “collateral Damage” might be how they’d see it.
    So long as they hold themselves accountable only to their imaginary friend they won’t accept accountability to others or judgement by other moral criteria.

  10. GordonWillis says

    You may be right, submoron, but the Church claims to be a stickler for upholding the rights of collateral damage, and insists on how it upholds the dignity of the human person and on how, if everyone followed its teachings, God’s kingdom would come on earth and, apparently, all would be well. The God who notices even the fall of a sparrow must surely notice collateral damage. But we know that whatever the Church permits on earth will be permitted in heaven, so no doubt the old teaching has been superseded.

  11. submoron says

    Quite right Gordon. My point is that the “primary good”, as I think they call it, is ‘saving souls’ as a form of serving their god and everything else is secondary so that’s why they think they must cover up. I hope that we may live to see their spurious ‘diplomatic immunity’ thrown in the rubbish bin of history once and for ever.

    I’m tardy in replying, by the way, because though I ticked for follow-ups I never seem to get notifications.

  12. GordonWillis says

    I know what you are saying, submoron, but my own point is that, far from doing anything to achieve their primary good, they are in fact doing everything possible to drive people to despair, and despair — so they tell us — is mortal sin. Rather a risky way to save someone from perdition, surely? To accept “collateral damage” is contrary to the aim of saving souls. Someone once said something about “whited sepulchres”, nice to look at, but “full of dead men’s bones”. And so so many dead men, not to mention women and children. Even one is, by their own proclaimed standards, an infinite wrong. Once they accept expediency in such a fundamental matter, they condemn themselves, and for such knowing and cynical hypocrisy there can be no forgiveness.

    I’m tardy in replying, by the way, because…

    Not important. As and when. In any case, we can’t be glued to our computers.

  13. submoron says

    Sorry, I’m not making myself clear: They think that covering up is important because disclosure will drive people away but their boss,supposedly, said something about”Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.” So they should be aware that it won’t work.

    But we are agreed; they are a bunch of hypocrites who need exposing and debunking.

  14. GordonWillis says

    Yes, you are clear, honestly. I do understand what you are saying; I just have a different view of the implications.

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