Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ireland! The place where pedophiles are prevalent in the Catholic Church to the tune of 65,000 documents saying so. So, march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade and wear your green even though The Archbishop of Dublin is fed up with his own dwindling priests in his country. In fact, no priest is allowed in a room with a child anywhere unless supervised by another, that is if you can even find a priest. Some parishes don’t even have a priest in residence. Each week a different visiting priest shows up. So, what is there to celebrate anymore?
Since the fifth century when Saint Patrick was named a Bishop in Ireland and started converting the Irish people to Catholicism, it has been more than a religion. It has evolved into a culture and a way of life in Ireland. Here descendants from Ireland celebrate their heritage on March 17th each year with a parade that usually involves a stop at the largest catholic church in the area. In New York there is the regal and large Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.
In recent years the faith of the poor Irish has been tested more than Catholics anywhere else in the world. Not their faith in God necessarily, but the faith in their church. There have been way too many revelations of sex abuse by priests on the Irish children to ever ignore. For decades the outrage was covered up and the priests were protected by other priests higher up in the ranks of religious leaders. Some even accuse the Pope of ignoring the issue.
Finally, there is a high ranking priest who dared to admit and confront the immense problem. He is The Archbishop of Dublin. The crisis in the church is due to these numerous scandals of child abuse. There is overwhelming evidence that the hierarchy there was not only aware of the abuses but did little about it. The Dublin Archdiocese knew who the predator priests were, wrote reports about them but then locked up the files.
Investigators on a state panel, The Murphy Commission asked for the files, and the Church refused until Reverend Martin became Archbishop. He gave the commission over 65,000 documents. The material was there in his archives. The documents revealed that there was one priest that abused over one hundred children. Another said he abused children twice a month for 25 years. The Archbishop believes that thousands of children suffered similar fates.
Abuse isn’t just the actual sexual act, that is horrendous. Sexual abuse of a child is a total abuse of power. It is actually saying to a child that they control them and thus saying to a child that they are worthless. The parishes are now required to follow strict rules designed to protect children. Priests are never allowed to be alone with a child. An adult supervisor has to be there at all times.
Parish Counsel members are monitoring the situations now. The priests now never take the children out on their own, they never speak to the children on their own; there is always someone with them. Under the new regulations drawn up by Ireland’s new Bishops, any allegations of abuse must be reported to civil authorities and any Priest accused of abuse has to step down while the charges are being investigated. The Parish Counsel members even with these precautions don’t believe they have seen it all yet.
Most people of Ireland are shocked that so much was hidden or covered up. They believe that there was so much of a cover up because the priests had to maintain there image of being perfect. What is worse is that Archbishop Martin is THE ONLY ONE of the senior figures in the catholic church of Ireland who has achieved the necessary credibility where this issue is concerned.
Cardinal Sean Brady who is higher up in the ranks of the Archbishop is directly tied to the cover up who simply says that it was an error in judgment. It has gotten so bad that just this past summer the Vatican has called its Ambassador to go to Ireland. The first time that has happened in 1,600 years of Roman Catholicism. St. Patrick must be turning over in his grave.

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