Posts Tagged ‘child abuse


We should all be “examing our position”

I’ve been following the publication of the Dublin Archdiocese report from Asia. This may sound insensitive, but I find it somewhat refreshing the Irish media is discussing actual news (Christ, I was glad to be out of the country for the Thierry Henry affair).

As for the report itself, it’s of course horrifying. Much has been said about it by men and women more learned than I, so I’m not going to pretend I have some insight to the affair. However, I would like to express my alarm at my own reaction. The most shocking aspect for me is how unshocked I remain. It’s not that I don’t find the details revealed by the report disgusting, because I do, but I find that I’m as disgusted this week as I was last week, or last year, or the first time I heard the phrase “a few bad apples”.

I wasn’t even shocked when I read this on Twenty’s blog, and after thinking about it for a while I realised my indifference is informed by the same idiocy that lead 98FM to use that picture. Whereas the church’s omnipotence was once a constant presence in the back of the minds of Irish people, it has now simply been replaced by the abuses perpetrated by that church. We know it without acknowledging it. We tut to ourselves while reading our papers, thinking how awful the whole thing was. We moan that bishops should resign, but that’s not going to atone for our own complicities.

There’s a silver lining to 98FM’s horrifying insensitivity, in that highlights a general absence of the one response to the report that’s needed the most, a recognition that real people were affected and remain affected by this abuse. This is not an attack against anyone. As I say, I’m as guilty of this as anyone. The horror we think we feel today is largely just a self-serving excuse we dreamt up to tell ourselves it can never happen again, but is this really true? Have we really learned anything? As much as I hate hypothetical comparisons, I think this one is apt. Imagine if a private company with access to children were guilty of the cover-ups that the church is charged with. Would we be satisfied with weedy calls for CEOs to resign? The fuck we would. These people, these guardians of moral authority, are directly complicit in possibly the most heinous crime that can be visited on children. I normally wouldn’t support Twenty’s tabloid proclamations, but he’s right on this one. These people should be prosecuted. Resignation isn’t good enough.

Then again, prosecution isn’t good enough either. That’s not going to sooth our own conscience.


My cover letter to Cardinal Seán Brady

Dear Cardinal Brady,

I’m writing to you to apply for the position of Bishop of Cloyne, as advertised by most reasonably intelligent people over the last couple of months.

I have been listening carefully to the qualities you regard as suitable for the role, and I’ve come to realise I just might be the best man for the job. I am a dependable team player, I have an amicable personality that will charm the socks off parishioners, and I know how to keep a secret or two.

Now I am a lay-person, and as such you might think my opinion doesn’t matter, but bear with me and you just might learn something. As you will note from my attached CV, I have spent many years in a Catholic institution (Carriglea NS). While in this institution I learned that the Church’s word is gospel. Therefore, should any priest feel the need to tell me anything saucy, I know that his position goes above that of the law, the gardaí, or the “victim”.

As for my credentials, I note that “to keep safeguarding [children] at the top of the list of priorities” is a quality you deem necessary for the role. If a bishop who knew in 1995 that particular priest may be a serial rapist and didn’t inform the authorities until a decade later can be credited with keeping the safeguarding of children at the top of the list of priorities, and also be credited with publishing a report into the affair after spending six month threatening legal action to prevent its publication, then I can be credited with being a proper member of the clergy, being a committed celibate, and giving a flying fuck about the Catholic Church.

Now I’m fully aware that you feel the position isn’t vacant and that Bishop Magee is best suited to the role. It seems you consider his mistakes to speak in his favour. “I think he has learned a very painful lesson and I think that he will do everything in his power to make sure that this terrible thing does not happen again in his diocese,” you said. It seems to me that his most painful “lesson” was getting caught. Still, how can I – or any right-minded person – hope to have had so many lessons.

But I ask you to remember how hysterical the public get over little matters like priests being knowingly allowed to rape children. Remember the damage this has done to the Catholic Church in this country over the last decade (or at least the damage it would have done if the Government didn’t know what side its bread is buttered on). Now try to imagine the damage that will be done if this position doesn’t become vacant soon. Do you really think there’s any coming back from that?

I have attached references that vouch for me as dependable, and when I say dependable I mean it in as far as those who brought complaints against priests to Bishop Magee found him to be “dependable”.

Yours faithfully (you know what faithful means, right?)

The Unemployed Blog.