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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Shocking Report: Irish Catholic Priests Sexually Abused Vulnerable Children and both Church and State failed to Protect Victims

BBC News reports on the scandal of decades of child sexual abuse by Irish Catholic priests: abuse that was covered up by church leaders who cared more about the reputation of the church than the welfare of the children, abuse covered up also by state authorities who allowed the church to operate outside the law.

The "Report of the Commission of Investigation into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin" covered a period from 1975 to 2004. "Instead of reporting the allegations to civic authorities, those accused of horrific crimes were systematically shuffled from parish to parish where they could prey on new, unsuspecting victims." The police regarded priests as outside their remit, showing deference to the church, rather than protecting children.

This is more than paedolphilia in individual priests. It is collusion in criminality by officials of the church and of the state authorities. Apologies have been made. Much more is needed.

The church has forfeited any right to deference any longer. I hope those guilty in any way will be pursued with the full rigour of the law.