Tag Archives: Clerical Child Sexual Abuse

John Waters

‘For more than a hundred days I have been ill with a condition called Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, a rare and unpleasant viral thing—dormant chicken pox that reactivates in a hapless few, years after being forgotten.’

This opens an article [in full at link below] on the First Things website by John Waters about recently falling ill with a life-threatening neurological  condition.

Awaiting the results of a CAT scan, he writes:

[my] symptoms seemed to be a physiological dimension of the condition itself. My body was rebelling against my being, and I was cast between the two, unable to stand, speak, hear, or see properly. The dizziness was a kind of disintegration of my self, and the result seemed to be that no previously existing principle, conviction, theory, value, or belief had stability within me.

I could not help feeling that these reactions bespoke a diminution of faith, which had seemed strong when I was strong, but now was dissolving with my strength. The substance of my beliefs remained but, with my reason shot to pieces, could no longer find traction. In this new and unfamiliar place,

I felt spiritually alone; marooned, without an external source of support. I had lost my spiritual equilibrium. My illness made it clear that something had shifted in me, without my knowing, to render my steps on the spiritual path less sure-footed. Sometimes, doubt and unease can remain as undetected as a latent virus.

For a long time (to take an example in a different category), I had held that Catholics who claimed to have lost their faith because of clerical sex abuse were hiding behind an alibi with little basis in reason. Why should the sinfulness of others weaken one’s faith in God?

But more recently, I have felt sympathy with such people, realizing that such a fundamental breach of trust by someone who has spent years studying the vital questions of faith is not an incidental matter, but affects the core of belief.

By the same token—and this may have been a factor in my own case—when we see the elders of Christ’s Church engaging in behavior that denigrates the Church’s most fundamental teachings, can we be surprised if we find ourselves doubting first of all their faith and, perhaps, the reliability of our own?

This had not occurred to me before my Ramsay Hunt nightmare, but I have since come to believe there may be something in it. {more below]

The Terror Of Goodbye (John Waters, First Things)

(click to enlarge)

Courtesy of The Irish World.

A report by Colin Gannon on last weekend’s vigil in London in memory of Irishman Peter Tyrell attended by a contingent from the Tuam Home Survivors’ Network.

Peter, a survivor of abuse Letterfrack, died in 1967 by setting himself on fire in an ‘act of defiance, the ultimate sacrifice’ .  Peter’s memoir Founded On Fear was published in 2006.

The Irish World

Peter Tyrrell

Cardinal George Pell (right), Archbishop of Sydney at a conference in Cork in 2011

“I am not going to talk about the Church in Ireland but I am going to talk about what I am trying to do in Australia, as an archbishop, and you can draw your own conclusions on what might, or what might not, be adaptable to here in Ireland.

Despite my English Protestant name (and I am proud of my English heritage) I have plenty of Irish blood, most of it Catholic, and so I think that entitles me to make the first point, and that is that we Irish Australians, and I suspect the Irish, enjoy bad news. It’s like the Englishman whose face will light up when he says, ‘Isn’t the weather terrible?’

This, then, is my question: has all the good Irish blood gone overseas into the colonies? The Irish that I grew up with were fighters: they were people who had convictions and went and battled for them.”

Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney on ‘Authentic Catholicism vs Cafeteria Catholicism’ at the Catholic Voice Annual Dinner in Cork in July, 2011.

Meanwhile

Cardinal George Pell has been found guilty of sexual offences in Australia, making him the highest-ranking Catholic figure to receive such a conviction.

Pell abused two choir boys in the rooms of a Melbourne cathedral in 1996, a jury found. He had pleaded not guilty.

His trial was heard twice last year because a first jury failed to reach a verdict. The verdict was handed down in December, but it could not be reported until now for legal reasons.

A second jury unanimously convicted him of one charge of sexually penetrating a child under 16, and four counts of committing an indecent act on a child under 16.

Cardinal Pell on ‘Authentic Catholicism vs Cafeteria Catholicism’

Cardinal Pell guilty: Vatican treasurer convicted on child sexual abuse charges – live (The Guardian)

Previously: I Do Not Like Thee Dr Pell

Thanks Mark Geary

From top: Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former Apostolic Nuncio to United States; Pope Francis greets Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington DC, who resigned last month over claims he sexually abused seminary students and an altar boy.

A former Vatican ambassador to Washington said Sunday that he told Pope Francis in 2013 about allegations of sexual abuse against a prominent priest – and that Francis took no action.

Now, the former official, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, is calling for Francis to step down:

“In this extremely dramatic moment for the universal Church, he must acknowledge his mistakes and, in keeping with the proclaimed principle of zero tolerance, Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example to Cardinals and Bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them.”

Vigano, who retired in 2016 at age 75, described an exchange with Francis on June 23, 2013, shortly after he became pope, about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington D.C., who resigned last month over claims he sexually abused seminary students and an altar boy.

Vigano writes that he told Francis about the allegations:

“Holy Father, I don’t know if you know Cardinal McCarrick, but if you ask the Congregation for Bishops there is a dossier this thick about him. He corrupted generations of seminarians and priests and Pope Benedict ordered him to withdraw to a life of prayer and penance.”

But Francis, who replaced Benedict in March 2013, lifted the restrictions and brought McCarrick back into favour, Archbishop Viganò said.

The pope made him a “trusted counsellor” advising him on key appointments…

Former Vatican official claims Pope Francis knew of abusive priest and calls for his resignation (CBS)

Pics; Getty/AFP

Last night: “He Condemned It As ‘Caca’, Literally Filth As One Sees In A Toilet, His Translator Clarified”

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

This evening.

Pope Francis met survivors of clerical child abuse at a private meeting in Dublin .

Paul Redmond and Clodagh Malone, of the Coalition of Mother and Baby Homes Survivors [CMABS}, were among  six survivors present at the 90-minute meeting.

CMABS write

“The meeting was cordial and polite…

Clodagh Malone who was born in Saint Patrick’s Mother and Baby home in Dublin and adopted at 10 weeks old, asked the Pope to clearly and publicly state that the natural mothers who lost their babies to adoption had done nothing wrong and call for reconciliation and reunion for these families broken by the Catholic Church both in Ireland and around the world in countries such as Spain where approximately 300,000 single mothers lost their children to adoption.

The Pope agreed to include the message in his mass tomorrow.

Paul Redmond who was born in Castlepollard Mother and Baby Home and adopted at 17 days, asked the Pope to publicly call upon the orders of nuns who ran the Mother and Baby homes to immediately accept their responsibilities for the horror that went on for generations in the Homes. And issue an unqualified and sincere apology and, pay the full costs of Inquiries and Redress in Ireland as a matter of urgency.

The Pope did apologise to all of us for what happened in the Homes.

Pope Francis condemned corruption and cover up within the church as “caca”. Literally filth as one sees in a toilet his translator clarified.

Pope Francis was presented with a copy of Paul’s book, The Adoption Machine, which contains details of the thousands of deaths and horrors of the Homes.

Paul said: “We feel hopefull there will be more movement from the church on the issue of Mother and Baby homes. The Pope was genuinely shocked to hear about the 6000 babies who died and the 3000 Banished Babies and the vacinne trials and lifted his hands to his head in shock.”

Clodagh said: “[It was a] Very powerful meeting. He listened with a genuine interest. And he asked many questions about Mother and Baby homes. “

Coalition of Mother and Baby Home Survivors (Facebook)

Pope spends one hour with clerical abuse survivors (RTE)

Rollingnews

From top: clerical child abuse survivors Christine Buckley, Colm O’Gorman, Marie Collins and Andrew Madden; the late journalist Mary Raftery

Last night.

GPO, Dublin’s Catholic Pro Cathedral, the Department of Education and Skills and the former Department of Justice, Dublin city centre.

Niall Cowley, of Stand4Truth, writes:

These Illuminations are a celebration of the many pioneering activists who were the first to speak out about abuse and shame, at a time when it was not safe to do so, and who brought to light, for the first time, the horrors inflicted by the Catholic Church on so many people in Ireland.

The illuminations also celebrate journalists who work to expose abuse. These everyday heroes, seeing what was happening exposed the truth of the harm done to people in their communities.

The illuminations are intimately connected with the main Stand for Truth event , tomorrow, Sunday  at 2:30pm at the Garden of Remembrance, Dublin {details at link below]

Stand For Truth

Meanwhile…

This morning.

Catholic sex abuse

A document obtained by The Associated Press on Friday shows Pope Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests over just two years for sexually molesting children.

The statistics for 2011 and 2012 show a dramatic increase over the 171 priests removed in 2008 and 2009, when the Vatican first provided details on the number of priests who have been defrocked.

Prior to that, it had only publicly revealed the number of alleged cases of sexual abuse it had received and the number of trials it had authorised.

While it’s not clear why the numbers spiked in 2011, it could be because 2010 saw a new explosion in the number of cases reported in the media in Europe and beyond.

Pope Defrocked 400 Priests In Two Years (AP)

(AFP)