Rosita Sweetman: Please Stay At Home


From top: Pope Francis visits Ireland later this month; Rosita Sweetman

In an open letter this morning to Pope Francis in CounterPunch, writer and veteran journalist Rosita Sweetman writes:

‘Here in Ireland where your visit is to cost us €20 million, the damage done to victims of clerical abuse is still being counted; as Emer O Toole wrote in her article for the Guardian recently, “the government’s redress scheme for the victims of the church cost €1.5bn; a further €176m was spent supporting survivors with health, housing, education and counselling services.

While the government hoped that the costs of redress could be shared 50:50 between the Catholic church and the Irish taxpayer, the church has contributed just €192m to help those it tortured and abused”.

As well as those millions we (i.e., Irish taxpayers) have also spent millions on reports attempting to uncover that torture and abuse; €82 million alone on the Ryan Report, followed by the Murphy Report, the Cloynes report, the Ferns Report, the Limerick report – all costing millions, all detailing horrific and systemic abuse of Irish children, boys, girls, women and babies.

All systematically covered up.

Another curious thing for people who claim to be God’s reps on earth, as the Reports began to spill the abuse beans the orders of nuns and brothers involved in these abuses began to divest themselves of sensationally valuable property portfolios, some even coming with their own mass burial pits – no extra charge.

In one, builders were horrified to find bodies of unfortunate women dumped with their plaster casts still on, on arms, wrists, ankles, their identities disappeared under given names such as Magdalene of Therese, Magdalene of Lourdes, so families would not be able to trace them.

Actually the nuns, having pocketed the millions, dug the bodies up and had them incinerated, making damn sure families would not be able to trace them.


Yes your spin doctor has done a brilliant job convincing people you’re a new broom about to sweep the Church clean, while everything appalling about the Church – widespread sexual abuse, a philosophy and practice that is anti women, anti gay, anti contraception, anti abortion, anti same sex marriage, anti the ordination of women in the Church – remains intact.

Your attitude on child abuse?

“The Catholic Church is perhaps the only public institution to have acted with transparency and responsibility. No one else has done more. Yet the Church is the only one to have been attacked.”

Your attitude to political struggles for same sex marriage?

 “the envy of the Devil, by which sin entered into the world, which cunningly seeks to destroy the image of God.”

On the ordination of women in the Church?

“That door is closed.”

On abortion?

“Defend the unborn against abortion even if they persecute you, calumniate you, set traps for you, take you to court or kill you.”

On transgender rights?

“a nuclear arms race.”

Here in Ireland we’re doing our absolute best to liberate ourselves from over 150 years of oppression, intimidation and abuse by the Catholic Church.

Over the past fifty years, particularly since the founding of the Irish Women’s Liberation Movement which challenged your power head on, we’ve legalised contraception, divorce, same sex marriage, even, ever so recently, abortion.

We’re coming out from under the regime that made us abandon our daughters to Magdalene laundries, that insisted our little boys go to Industrial Schools, that forced guilt and shame on us all.

It’s been a long hard road, and we’re not at the end of it yet.  We still have to regain control of our hospitals and our schools.

And we still have to din into the dumb heads of our politicians that we’re done with you; our leaders who believe that protesting your visit is “petty, intolerant, and certainly the opposite of progressive”; or  “wrong, petty, and mean-spirited.” And  “not legitimate protest”.

Ha! ha! ha!

Not legitimate to protest the visit of the head of an organisation that has raped hundreds of thousands, let thousands of babies die, worked young women to their deaths and then thrown them into mass graves, preached so much shame and guilt that we as a nation became so divorced from our sexuality and our humanity that we stood by and let all this perversity happen? Please.

we’re not so easily fooled anymore.

If you came visiting every day for a year I don’t think you’d stop the journey we’re on.

Too many of us have seen you guys for what you are: hypocrites who terrorise others into believing they’re ‘bad’ while their own badness is carried on in plain sight, with full impunity.

Shame on you. Shame on the Church you are head of. Please stay at home.’

Dear Jorge: On the Pope’s Visit to Ireland (Rosita Sweetman, Counterpunch)

Earlier: Over 1,000 Children Targeted By ‘Predator Priests’

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34 thoughts on “Rosita Sweetman: Please Stay At Home

      1. postmanpat

        The clever Sweet /Bitter observation doesn’t really hold up seeing as there’s nothing bitter in the article , just ugly facts.

  1. Jésus María Josépha

    Rosita Sweetman has credibility (some great books written), but now writing in Counterpunch – an operation still on Facebook?

    The article could do with links to some of the claims made. Not saying they are untrue, but they’re new to me.

    I am not a follower of the RC religion, but I do think he should come and the people who want to see him and worship in their faith be allowed to do so. Many of them are equally disgusted at the local RC operations in Ireland. Sure there are supporters and deniers.

    I doubt the Pope is a reader of Counterpunch or knows what bottles of Cidona are….

  2. RuilleBuille

    Wow! Remember buying Sweetmans book in the early 70s – On Our Knees. The abuse she got was staggering.

    Glad to see she has lost none of her vim.

  3. Wellness

    Is it simplistic to suggest that all Religions are inherently intransigent .At the heart of any Religion is the celebration of all that is sacred & traditional and that it is the moral and legal imperative of a modern society ( yes you, your Mummy and Daddy, your Granny and Granddaddy ) to tackle the sacred with reason, tradition with modernity .Irish society was more than happy to replace British rule with Catholic rule , to abdicate its healthcare & education to the Church. Respectfully, I believe posts which drown in such hyperbolism only succeed in losing the reader.

    1. Ian-O

      Wow and there was me thinking it was a reward system whereby you accumulate ‘eternity points’ and redeem them upon death?

      But just to put you straight, at the heart of EVERY SINGLE RELIGION are humans and humans can be a-holes so no matter how nice the religion is (I find Buddhism, on the surface, is a lovely idea, but ask the non Buddhists in places like Myanmar and Sri Lanka how lovely they can be.)

      So therefore, at the heart of every religion is the desire to accumulate influence and power and wealth. That is all.

      If the Catholic Church’s representatives who covered up and enabled the abuse actually believed in an after life they would have behaved much differently – who doesn’t remember the old adage ”The road to hell is paved with good intentions”? Well I am sure the bishops and cardinals who gave a roaming pass to child rapists intended to safeguard the long term security of the Church by acting as they did, so they are both hypocrites and liars and these are two of the minor accusations one could level at them.

      I’d also be of the opinion they have about as much belief in Holy God and eternity as I do, that being none at all.

      1. Wellness

        Wow wee Ian-O . The road to enlightenment is always paved by idiots. Keep flickering.My eternal flame.

          1. Wellness

            A fool realises his foolishness in my presence. I can do apt as well as “poorly crafted” . I’m tired , babe and all about the #wellness. soz sweetie . xx

      1. newsjustin

        “while everything appalling about the Church – widespread sexual abuse, a philosophy and practice that is anti women, anti gay, anti contraception, anti abortion, anti same sex marriage, anti the ordination of women in the Church – remains intact.”

        1. Brother Barnabas

          my “!” was in response to that being the only thing in the piece you have a comment on

        2. Cian

          Fine. I’ll bite.

          People’s reactions to abortion (or indeed any issue) aren’t binary: pro- and anti-. There is a continuum on opinions and feelings. But at minimum there is a third option: neutral.

          Most people, over most issues, are neutral.

          Last month – if you surveyed random Irish people about hockey – and most people would (probably) have been neutral. They were neither pro-hockey; nor anti-hockey. If someone else wanted to play hockey – let them at it.

          but you know this…

          1. newsjustin

            Hockey isn’t the same as aborting human pregnancies. Not many people (I’d like to think none) are pro….or even neutral about aborting humans.

  4. Elron

    Although I do love this sentence…

    “Too many of us have seen you guys for what you are: hypocrites who terrorise others into believing they’re ‘bad’ while their own badness is carried on in plain sight, with full impunity.”

    Would be familiar to the caring BS massive.

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