Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How do we reconcile this?

How do we who are Catholic reconcile this monstrous. institutionally accepted behavior by the Church? Is it forgiveable? Do we ignore it and just go about our business? I sit in Church and listen to the priests talk about the evil of gay marriage and how it will undermine the sanctity of Catholic marriage. And about abortion - over and over and over. Surely no one wants to see abortions happen. But then how do you preach against birth control?

DUBLIN – A commission report into the abuse of thousands of Irish children in Roman Catholic institutions is published Wednesday after a nine-year investigation repeatedly delayed by church lawsuits, missing documentation and alleged government obstruction.

The Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse will release a 2,575-page report in an attempt at a comprehensive portrait of sexual, physical and emotional damage inflicted on children consigned to the country's defunct network of reformatories, workhouses, orphanages and other church-run institutions from the 1930s to 1990s.

Most of the children were ordered into church care because of school truancy, petty crimes or because they were the offspring of unwed mothers. Many faced regimes of terror involving ritual beatings and intimidation. But until the investigation came along, thousands of survivors said they had nowhere safe to tell their stories — because swathes of Irish Catholic society sought to label them liars.

Some of those victims say they feel hopeful now that vindication might be at hand.

Christine Buckley, who was one of the first to break silence in the early 1990s on the church's institutional abuse of children, said the report's verdict on church and government failings should demonstrate "whether the journey for justice, undertaken by so many and for so long, has at last been successful."

She, like many campaigners, said it was critical that the truth of their brutal childhoods be placed indisputably on the public record after decades of dispute from the religious orders — principally the Christian Brothers and Sisters of Mercy nuns — that ran Ireland's 19th century-era industrial schools and other state-funded refuges for Ireland's most vulnerable children. Most closed in the 1970s.

Typically, children at such facilities stopped receiving any formal education by age 12. But they kept generating income for the religious orders through their teens with their mandatory, unpaid labor on farms, in laundries and as domestic cleaners.

In Buckley's case, she was consigned to a Dublin orphanage in the late 1950s because she was the child of a single Irish mother and Nigerian father; children born out of wedlock typically were placed for adoption or into state care.

All the girls at her former Sisters of Mercy-run home, Goldenbridge, were expected to manufacture 60 rosary necklaces a day or suffer humiliation or beatings.

Officials of the Sisters of Mercy, Christian Brothers and more than a dozen other orders implicated in sexual, physical and emotional abuse of children all testified to the commission. None was willing to comment this week in advance of the report's unveiling.

During the commission's investigations, oral evidence was collected from more than 1,000 people chiefly in their 50s to 70s — several hundred of whom traveled back to Ireland from as far away as the United States and Australia — who described childhoods of terror and intimidation.

The Christian Brothers delayed the investigation for more than a year with a lawsuit that successfully defended their members' right to anonymity in all references in the report — even in cases where individual Christian Brothers have already been convicted of sexual and physical attacks on children.

Read the rest (if you can stand it)


Michelle O'Neil said...

No way to reconcile it for me.

God yes, religion, not so much.


Kim Stagliano said...

I know, Michelle. I agree. And yet now I know some priests as human beings and they are the antithesis of this CRAP/HORROR we read about and I'm all muddled. Sort of. I just carry my little tray through Church, "Peas yes, that crap? no." A la cafeteria....

word ver? culess
close enough

K Fuller said...

There can be no reconciliation, only judgement. Thankfully it isnt up to us to pass that judgement. Oh, they should be prosecuted for sure and put away from the rest of us forever. It is only up to us to shout about it and make it stop. I hate that the world has become so used to hearing these stories that there is not the outrage there needs to be.

Amanda said...

The most appalling thing is that not one priest or nun will be arrested or charged. the whole mess is being swept under the carpet. Quite how this can happen beggers belief. Catholics? Gay marriage is the least of their worries.