Tag Archives: Pope Francis

Yesterday,

Clerical abuse survivor Marie Collins discusses on American Catholic cable channel EWTN her hopes for the Papal summit on child sexual abuse which began this morning in Vatican city.

Meanwhile

This morning.

So far at pope’s anti-abuse summit, survivors are stealing the show (CruxNow)

Pope vows ‘concrete’ measures at child sexual abuse summit (The Guardian)

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

Rollingnews

This morning.

Meanwhile

This morning.

Pope Francis tells Curia: ‘Spare no effort’ in bringing abusers to justice (Catholic News Agency)

Pope Francis (right) with Cardinal George Pell in 2015

Australian Cardinal George Pell has been convicted of sexual misconduct, becoming the highest-ranking Vatican official to be found guilty of such a crime.

After four days of deliberations, a jury on Tuesday rendered unanimous guilty verdicts on five charges related to the abuse of two choirboys in 1996.

Pell’s trial and all details involving the accusations were covered by a court-issued gag order, which forbade all media in Australia from reporting on it.

Pell’s position as the financial controller of the Vatican makes him the third most powerful person in the Vatican.

Pope Francis has removed Pell from his Council of Cardinals, however…

…the removal of Pell, 77, from the council does not necessarily affect his treasury position, which he technically still holds, and a Vatican spokesman would not comment further.

Catholic Church’s third most senior cleric Cardinal George Pell – known as the ‘Vatican’s treasurer’ – is found GUILTY of sexually abusing two choir boys inside a cathedral (MailOnline)

George Pell: Pope Francis removes Australian cardinal from inner circle (The Guardian)

Previously: I Do Not Like Thee, Dr Pell

Pic: Getty

Pope Francis is Dublin’s Pro Cathedral last weekend

The natural order around apology and forgiveness is that firstly the offender apologises for the deeds and/or words which he or she acknowledges as having been wrong, and that is much much more than merely uttering a “sorry”.

A sincere apology which is not just an attempt to gloss over matters can be followed by a request for forgiveness.

Sincerity around the apology means not repeating the deed, or at the very least making best efforts not to do so, or to put systems in place to that end.

The offended party might well accept an apology, but forgiveness depends on their own appreciation of the nature and sincerity of the apology they received.

The onus of forgiveness was placed on victims of clerical sexual abuse and of institutional abuse last weekend when criteria for apology had not yet been met, as evidenced in the semantics of the pope’s speeches.

A universal forgiveness is hard to achieve, because every victim’s harm and subsequent resulting fallout are unique and personal.

To request forgiveness without apologising is arrogant, no matter who or what one is, or whom or what one represents.

Michele Savage,

Dublin 12.

Lessons from visit of Pope Francis (Irish Times letters page)

Rollingnews

Last night.

Irish Film Institute, Temple Br, Dublin 2.

An unauthorised addition to the poster for documentary Pope Francis: A Man Of His Word (2018), currently screening at the IFI .

Yesterday: No Words

Pic: Madame K

 

From top: At the residence of the Papal Nuncio’s residence in Dublin on Saturday; Pope Francis with Paul Redmond and Clodagh Malone, of the Coalition of Mother and Baby Homes Survivors; abuse survivor Marie Collins and Clodagh with the pope; a note on Mr Redmond’s book The Adoption Machine which was given to Pope Francis; and a baby shoe which was also given to the pontiff

On Saturday.

Representatives of the Coalition of Mother and Baby homes Survivors Paul Redmond and Clodagh Malone met with Pope Francis along with six survivors of clerical sex abuse for a private meeting which lasted 90 minutes.

Paul and Clodagh write:

“The meeting was informal and Redmond and Malone went first. The Pope was presented with a copy of Redmond’s book, The Adoption Machine, as well as a blue baby shoe with black mourning ribbon on behalf of the ‘Baby Shoes Remember’ project, to symbolise the innocence of all the babies and children who have suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church both in institutions and as victims of sexual abuse by clerics.

“…Another survivor who spoke to the Pope addressed the issue of Industrial Schools and Magdalene Laundries but the Pope was unfamiliar with these institutions.

“Paul Redmond spent a few minutes giving the Pope a crash course about the role of institutions in Ireland. Ireland, uniquely, retained its large scale institutions while the rest of the world closed them down from around 1900. In Ireland they lasted well into the 1980s and 1990s.

“The Pope was informed that 150,000 women and children went through the various institutions, that at least 6,000 babies were neglected to death in the Mother and Baby homes alone, that 3,000 babies were effectively sold to rich Americans, that hundreds of  babies were used as guinea pigs for vaccine trials by big pharma and, that the nuns “donated” almost 500 bodies of dead babies to medical science to save themselves the cost of undertakers and burials.

“The Pope was clearly shocked by the revelations and lifted his hands to his head in disbelief.

“The Pope drew parallels between what occurred in Ireland and what happened in Argentina and how the “Grandmothers of the Disappeared” were still searching for their grandchildren.”

Meanwhile…

Anyone?

The Adoption Machine (Paul Redmond)

Previously: “He Condemned It As Caca, Literally Filth As One Sees In A Toilet, His Translator Clarified”

On Saturday.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone spoke with Pope Francis briefly at Áras an Uachtaráin (top).

This morning, she was interviewed by Miriam O’Callaghan on RTÉ Radio One (above) and recounted that she said to him:

“Pope Francis, I am responsible for the Tuam Mother and Baby Home. Children’s remains were found in a sewage system there. I hope the church will make reparation for its part in this shameful chapter. It is important and I will write to you in detail.”

Ms Zappone has since published on the Department of Children and Youth Affairs website what she wrote to Pope Francis.

The website states Ms Zappone wrote:

Dear Pope Francis,

As Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and an Independent Minister of the Government of Ireland I am writing to you in the hope that the church will accept its responsibilities and make reparation for its part in a very shameful chapter of Irish history.

Mother and Baby Homes came to public attention in Ireland during the summer of 2014 following a series of disturbing reports of high mortality rates and claims of possible burials of children on the grounds of a former home in Tuam Co Galway. The then Government decided to have these matters investigated and a statutory Commission of Investigation was established in February 2015.

The Commission has been examining a wide range of concerns related to the institutional care of unmarried mothers and their babies during the period 1922 to 1998. The Commission is examining 14 Mother and Baby Homes and 4 County Homes. It will in time provide a full account of what happened to vulnerable women and children in these institutions; how they came to be there; and the pathways they took as they left.

An early focus of the Commission’s work was to examine the Tuam site to address questions about the alleged internment of human remains. As part of this process, the Commission conducted a series of surveys and test excavations, commencing in October 2016. I visited the site myself and met former residents and relatives shortly before these works commenced.

The statutory Commission of Investigation confirmed the presence of human remains on the site of the former Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam. The Home was run by the Bon Secours Sisters from 1925-1961 in what was previously a workhouse dating back to famine times. In the 1970’s the former home was demolished to make way for a local authority housing estate. A small memorial garden is maintained by local residents and there is also a children’s playground on the site.

The Commission’s excavations have revealed that human remains are visible in a series of chambers that may have formed part of sewage treatment works for the Home. The Commission believes that there are a significant number of children’s remains there. It recovered some juvenile remains for detailed forensic analysis. From this analysis, it has determined that the remains are between 35 foetal weeks and 2 to 3 years of age. From carbon dating it has correlated the age of these samples with the time period during which the home was in operation – between 1925 and 1961.

This news was met with widespread disgust both in Ireland and abroad. There were suspicions about burials of this kind in Tuam for some time.. However, it is fair to say that the confirmation received from the Commission of Investigation caused many people to demand that dignity and respect be afforded to the memory of the children who lived their short lives in this Home. We also owe it to the families of these children to now do the right thing by their loved ones.

We have now put in place a series of actions to ensure that we have an appropriate and respectful response to the discovery.

Since then, I have instructed an expert team to do further work on the site to determine the options that are open to us to fulfil our duty to these children. The team has reported offering options including a complete excavation of the site and DNA analysis of the hundreds of remains contained therein.

A consultation has also been carried out with survivors and local residents about what they would like to see happen on the site in Tuam.

There was little compassion shown to children and their mothers in this home.

We cannot change what happened to them. For the little ones whose remains are in a sewage system, we owe them dignity in death. For their mothers, siblings and families we need to give them some peace.

It is my strong conviction that given the role of the Church in this shameful chapter of recent Irish history it must play a practical role in addressing the hurt and damage. I believe that the church should contribute substantially to the cost of whatever option is decided by the government. This should be done willingly, unconditionally and quickly. Nothing less will demonstrate remorse.

I look forward to receiving your response.

With every best wish, sincerely yours,

Dr Katherine Zappone, TD
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs

Meanwhile…

Journalist Conall Ó Fátharta, of the Irish Examiner, has tweeted the following…

Conall Ó Fátharta

Minister Zappone’s Remarks to Pope Francis at Áras an Uachtaráin (Department of Children and Youth Affairs)

Previously: Open The Files

Top pic: Conor Ó Mearáin

Further to last night’s criticism by journalist Vincentt Browne of RTÉ’s live coverage of the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland.

Martha writes:

Take a bow Aine Lawlor, Joe Duffy, Mary Kennedy, Caitriona Perry, Marty Morrissey, Marty Whelan, etc, etc. I strongly agree with Vincent Browne’s sentiment concerning RTÉ and its fawning running commentary on the Pope’s visit. I speak as a practising Catholic and involved in television and can only see this massively backfiring…The reverential tone throughout by professional journalists was embarrassingly child-like…and often unintentionally funny…

Last night: And How Was It For You?