Child Abuse

The report into historical child abuse in Irish schools run by the Catholic Church was released yesterday in Dublin. It found that abuse, both physical and sexual, was widespread, with sexual abuse “endemic” in Christian Brothers schools.

“A climate of fear, created by pervasive, excessive and arbitrary punishment, permeated most of the institutions and all those run for boys. Children lived with the daily terror of not knowing where the next beating was coming from,” it said.

Children in industrial schools and reformatories were treated more like convicts and slaves than people with human rights, it said. Rape was particularly common in boys homes and industrial schools run by the Christian Brothers.

While all this was going on, the Catholic Church knowingly protected paedophiles from prosecution, so they were clearly aware of the problem and chose to sweep it under the carpet. I think it says a lot about a religion when its senior members condone the sexual abuse of minors.

Sure, Catholics may claim that the Church never approved of this sort of thing, but if they knew it was happening, was being perpetrated by people over whom they had authority, and they chose not to punish those involved, then that’s condoning the behaviour. It’s as simple as that.

After the revelations of systematic clerical abuse, Pope Benedict was challenged to hold a Vatican inquiry into the role of Catholic religious orders in Ireland’s orphanages and industrial schools. Irish Soca said it was now up to the Vatican to investigate the scandal further.

Kelly said: “Now that the Ryan commission is finished we call upon Pope Benedict to convene a special consistory court to fully investigate the activities of Catholic religious orders in Ireland.

Yeah, good luck with that.