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Thursday, 21 May 2009

My Irish grandfather, (pictured left) was orphaned at the age of four. While his sisters were packed off to varying relatives, he and his elder brother were sent to the Christian Brothers. Granda left the Christian Brothers abruptly when he was in his late teens. Nobody could understand why; he was all set for a career as a teacher and everybody knew a boy was very lucky to get such a rounded education with the Christian Brothers. The ungrateful little heathen! And of course granda never spoke of why he left. Who would he talk to? So we never knew whether he witnessed abuse or suffered it himself.

Well it’s all come out now – the whole rotten story. Decades of systematic abuse carried out by nuns and priests, collusion by the State who stood by and let it happen and right at the top of the festering pile of rank hypocrisy, a Pope who lectures us on morality, while his own past demonstrates his own knowledge and deliberate collusion in this ongoing crime.

Back in 1962 - 47 years before this report was dragged kicking and screaming into the light, the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was writing a document called Crimen Solicitationis written in Latin (deliberately so fewer people could understand it). It was an explicit policy to cover up cases of abuse and gave advice how to control the problem. The rape of children was seen as a sin against chastity. Not a gross abuse of power, nor a crime. A sin against chastity. Most importantly, this document stated that anybody who spoke out about abuse was to be threatened with excommunication. Silence and secrecy - the perfect climate in which to hide abusers. Incidentally, for all his care in protecting abusive clery, Ratzinger had no suggestions on how to help the victims. There was nothing about that. Nothing. Even in 2001 when the abuse enquiry was underway, Ratzinger carried on obstructing progress quite deliberately - sending letters to Bishops ordering them to keep allegations secret.

This is the man who is now Pope and supposedly Christ’s representative on Earth.

I honestly don’t know how anyone can continue to be Catholic. And don’t give me the ‘few rotten apples’ malarkey. This was systematic, deliberate abuse carried out by many many ordinary priests and nuns. I blame the officials who for decades ignored the broken bones and malnourished children, the holy catholic mothers who sent their pregnant daughters to these hellholes, the relatives who hustled away the girls who complained of being molested by the parish priest, the nuns who took the babies of these girls and sent them abroad to good catholic families, the boys who were taken from their homes because they were being brought up by a single mother and were therefore in moral danger, and the little girls who worked as slaves in the Magdalene Laundries. And the apologists on all the catholic forums I’ve been visiting who bleat about how probably a lot of the victims made it up. You're all to blame. Shame on you. And shame on the Pope most of all. He is a wicked wicked man.


Gary Wilson said...

Excellent post. Heart breakingly sad and beyond belief.

Religion is power, pain and money.

Three reasons why I don't subscribe.

Helen P said...

We may not all admire Dan Brown's prose but he's done us all a favour by questioning this terrible institution. The truth is much more sordid and horrific than anything Hollywood could come up with. I'm with you: How can anyone in this day age call themselves a Catholic?

Jane said...

Helen - I (foolishly) checked some Catholic blogs and forums on this and there are still some apologists for this abuse. Either it's been 'exaggerated' or 'anti-Catholic propaganda' - ie the same arrogance and obstructionism that prevented this enquiry for so many decades.

Liz said...

Hear, hear.

Liz said...

Hear, hear.

Antonia said...

Sickening hypocrites, these pervs, hiding behind a religious cloak.

Kit Courteney said...

Nicely written. Totally agree.

I don't know how anyone could not.

Jane said...

You'd be amazed Kit at the arrogance and denial that STILL floats around some of the catholic blogs I (foolishly) visited. Sums it up really.