‘How Would You Describe The Present Risk to Minors in Ireland By Clerics and Religious?’


Archbishop Eamon Martin

In the Vatican.

From February 21 to 24.

Pope Francis will meet with all the presidents of the Catholic bishops’ conferences of the world to discuss the prevention of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.

The Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin will represent the bishops of Ireland at the summit.

Ahead of this, Archbishop Martin has published and circulated a questionnaire to get confidential feedback from survivors of abuse, their families and those who assist them.

The questionnaire contains seven specific questions, namely:

How would you describe the present risk to minors in Ireland by clerics and religious?

How would you describe the level of awareness of this topic among the public?

In your opinion, what is currently the greatest risk factor for the sexual abuse of minors in Ireland?

Do you feel there is currently an adequate response by the Church in Ireland in dealing with child sexual abuse?

What currently are the most effective measures in Ireland to protect minors from harm in the church?

What more do you feel could be done by the Catholic Church in Ireland in response to child sexual abuse?

Do you feel there are any limiting factors to the church’s response to child sexual abuse? If so, what are the limiting factors?

The questionnaire also asks the following:

If there was on thing you wanted to share with Pope Francis what would it be.

Read the questionnaire in full here


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17 thoughts on “‘How Would You Describe The Present Risk to Minors in Ireland By Clerics and Religious?’

    1. Starina


      What other institution is so messed up that they have to send out a questionnaire like this, and are still permitted to exist as an entity?

  1. Ben Redmond

    There has been a great loss of trust in men who have moral, educational and sporting authority and/or leadership control of young people. Garda vetting and Codes of Safety and Prevention are nowadays on top of the legislative and bureaucratic agenda. What important results emerge from all this jittery atmosphere of child safety regulation? The traditional role of parents has been undermined – the democratic state takes over some functions best left to the extended family. State-salaried social workers have been handed powers sometimes arbitrarily practised so as to part one or more parents from access to their children. There is a climate of widespread distrust and fear concerning the physical proximity of men and children especially. Such a climate can cloud the judgement of legislators and lawyers. Spiritual and psychological monitoring of men who aspire to church ministry has become an essential aspect of their formation before ordination. The churches have their procedural reforms to implement. The State and its servants has its duty to implement social safety procedures that do not overrule natural human order.

    1. realPolithicks

      “The State and its servants has its duty to implement social safety procedures that do not overrule natural human order.”

      What do you mean by this?

      1. Gabby

        What, you don’t know what natural human order is? Do you believe in the infallible judgement and conduct of the democratic state?

      2. Ben Redmond

        @ realPolithicks: Human nature and natural human feeling and behaviour are antecedent to the state. States, democratic and otherwise, especially despotic states, have been known to enact and implement laws that intrude into the natural order of things. If a democratic state enacts and implements laws that intrude into the nuclear and extended family as known from primordial times, in the name of child safety and welfare, it is violating the natural order.

  2. Eoin

    Good question Eamon

    I would say the threat level from being sexually assaulted by a Catholic priest, monk or nun is currently yellow, with an elevated risk of imminent assault, on account of the fupped up celibacy rules which prevent the religious having a normal sexual outlet for their innate desires, on the preposterous grounds that sexual relations would dim their devotion to their heavenly father.

    And the one thing I’d like to share with Pope Francis is my suggestion for a colour-coded threat advisory scale to be hung outside every place where the religious live and work, clearly showing today’s threat level.

    1. bisted

      …celibacy rules don’t seem to have been a problem for sexual relations between priests and consenting adults – male or occasionally, female…it’s the pious paedophiles that have been given sanctuary and access to children…

    2. topsy

      What about a colour coded threat alert being hung outside every domestic residence in the state. Fact is that it’s far more likely that paedophilia is practiced within the home by relatives know to by the child.

  3. phil

    Help us explain to the Boss (The Pope) that everything is grand in Ireland now, a green jersey effort if you like ….

  4. postmanpat

    1:Can only speak for one child, but low, my child isn’t baptized, and a church run school will be aware of this when profiling children for groping and raping. 2:100% of the public are aware. 20% actively care.
    3:Sports clubs are taking the top spot. (get it together Eamon!!!)
    4:No. not in Ireland
    5:Parents being overtly anti-church will give a potential abuser pause. however, they will just move onto the next kid.
    6:Pay the 50% money they owe, instead of using sneaky legal tricks to move wealth around and pretend they are broke. Get the cash from Vatican State which is the wealthiest organization ever to exist. Let priests marry women , like they used too be able to, so it wont attract so many sexually repressed odd balls who pretend to themselves and others they chose celibacy. Scamp out the fallacy that celibacy is a virtue and stop pretending that is isn’t what is has always been : the worst perversion of human nature ever. But the priests wealth will transfer to his family upon death which will hurt the popes coffers which is why priest were stopped from marring in the first place.
    7:There are no limiting factors . the church has practically infinite money, political influences & recourses to fix the problem. But instead stick out pointless questionnaires to make it seem like it is proactive but in actuality is doing absolutely nothing.

  5. Davey Duck

    This post below was published on the Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown live chat forum in December 2011 by a John O’Reilly, about his brother Brian who committed suicide as a result of abuse by the late Head Brother Frank McGovern in CBS Dun Laoghaire in the 1970s. It noted that at least 50/60 others had been abused by McGovern.

    “This is not an easy post to write, but here goes. My brother, Captain Brian (O) Reilly, who attended primary school in CBS, 1966 to 1971 and secondary school from 1972 to 1977, committed suicide in June this year. In the note he left, he stated that he he had been sexually abused by Head Brother Frank McGovern in primary school and this had resulted in follow on problems including severe depression. Such was the shame and guilt he suffered that he never told anyone about what happened to him and we only found out about this after his death. Since then I have learned of others who were also sexually abused by the same person, so Brian wasn’t the only one who suffered. There are others, now aged between 50 to 60 approx. out there. McGovern died last year. The reason I am writing here is to advise others who suffered abuse not to suffer in silence but to take the first steps towards looking for help. I found 1 in 4 to be an excellent source of information and help, when I went to them to gain some understanding about sexual abuse and its effect on people. I went to CBS primary and secondary myself, leaving in 1983. I have only good memories of the school. I found what happened to my brother to be so unbelievable that I found it difficult to accept myself and it was only when I learned there were others that proved it conclusively for me. If a person who was abused reads this and finds the courage to seek help then I will have achieved something positive.”

    The same year, the magazine of the Edmund Rice Trust posted a eulogy to CBS and McGovern:-

    “We all know that there has been much negative
    publicity regarding the Christian Brothers in recent
    times, but we were so lucky at Eblana.” “Brothers
    McGovern and Brother Topley were absolute gents.
    These two fellas were the salt of the earth,” recalls
    Mick. The school bought a red and white
    Volkswagen beetle mini-bus to bring the team
    around to the matches. “It was funny at the time,”
    smiles Mick. “Brother Topley was only learning to
    drive and he had the L’s up on the mini-bus.
    “Brother McGovern would be in the passenger seat
    and there would be all of us crammed in the back. It
    wouldn’t happen today”

    Both are still up online:-

    Sexual abuse ruins the lives of victims and indeed children and family members of those victims. Fupp questionnaires, I have one answer only. The best thing the Church could do is pull out of all activities relating to children altogether. If people want to be part of a hypocritical, paedophiliac, creepy, covert organisation, let them join as consenting adults.

    1. Davey Duck

      Photo of McGovern with the CBS Class of 71 (Brian’s class) here:-


      Just so you can see how small and defenceless these little boys were.

      Primary school kids.

      Has there been any investigation into John O’Reilly’s allegations? Bet not, even though the alleged victims are still alive and presumably suffering. And yet the Church goes on to send out these questionnaires, in the pretence that it is an organisation that cares about children. Even if the allegations aren’t true (and John’s email has the ring of truth), why haven’t they been investigated? This is not in the dim and distant past. The little boys taught by McGovern are men in their 40s and 50s.

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