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BBC2 Programme at 9pm tonight: This World - The Shame of the Catholic Church

(29 Posts)
whenim64 Wed 02-May-12 19:05:15

Darragh MacIntyre reveals evidence of a scandal that goes to the top of the Irish church. Gives a warning about strong language and upsetting scenes.

I haven't come across Darragh McIntyre before - will watch with interest.

Ariadne Wed 02-May-12 19:15:17

Well, I saw the evening news earlier, and there are yet more accusations of cover ups of child abuse. Horrific!

Greatnan Wed 02-May-12 22:08:02

A brilliant programme. Cardinal Sean Brady was shown up for the snivelling liar that he is. I am at a loss to understand how anyone can continue to support and defend this rotten institution. The people of Ireland have shown their feelings - attendance at mass is down by 50%. They continue to believe in god but no longer trust the church.
The excuse given for their failure to protect children when abuse was known about was that there were no guidelines in place in 1975 - FFS, all that was needed was common decency.
Anyone who failed to report a crime to the police should be prosecuted, no matter how long ago it happened.

Mishap Wed 02-May-12 22:09:13

Just finished watching it.
The most astounding thing to my mind is that there are priests in Ireland (including the top dog) about whom there is documentary evidence that they knew about crimes against children but did not report them to the police - and they are not convicted for failing to do so; and are still in their posts.

For me that is the most incredible thing - that they failed to report to the police. They had internal investigations; but then did not report it - and they get away with it still!

The fact of the abuse does not surprise me in an organisation that tries to subdue normal sexual activity amongst its staff and that has such power over its adherents.

But....they have broken the law in not reporting what they knew - and they go unpunished even now. How can this be?

whenim64 Wed 02-May-12 22:26:41

This continued institutional conspiracy to avoid the law should be treated in the same way corporate manslaughter is prosecuted. The whole organisation has to face the criminal justice system. When the heck is someone going to do something, in the face of such overwhelming evidence?

glammanana Wed 02-May-12 23:26:11

They will never do anything about it when it goes to far up the chain,and they are all covering up for each other.

Ariadne Thu 03-May-12 03:33:05

This institution needs to be taught that it is not above the law. How can they even begin to try to justify their behaviour to their god?

Mishap Thu 03-May-12 09:38:34

Let us hope that the police were watching the programme, which gave clear evidence of non-reporting of a known crime, and that they will take action. The RC church is not above the law and they need to hear that loud and clear.

greenmossgiel Thu 03-May-12 09:59:59

I know of one elderly and apparently well-respected priest, who was 'moved' over to Ireland. A couple of years after this move, it was reported that he'd been sexually abusing children here.
I once asked a friend of mine who is a vicar, why there seem to be so many priests and nuns who abuse children. He replied that it's because they CAN. They have these tendencies and join the church, knowing that they can abuse vulnerable children in secret. angrysad

whenim64 Thu 03-May-12 10:16:45

Many priests enter the church because they believe they have to remove themselves from the problem they have, only to find it doesn't solve the problem and their calling gives them more authority and an identity that people have thought they could trust. I worked with several priests in sex offender treatment programmes, and their belief that their god would forgive them their sins prevented them making much progress at all.

The main church organisations all have child protection/safeguarding policies now, and know only too well that they have a duty to act where there is any risk to children. Priests who practise their religion will insist on their right to worship, and trying to persuade their superiors that they should only worship in a safe setting, not in the presence of children who are fodder for their masturbatory fantasies, is well nigh impossible. The church superiors often believe that prayer will banish deviant sexual thoughts and feelings. It doesn't!

Mishap Thu 03-May-12 10:26:03

The secrecy is the biggest problem - any other organsiation confronted with aberrant and abusive sexual behaviour within its ranks would, one hope, report this. This is the first step to prevention. It is so important that the church does not see itself as being above the law.

The desire for forgiveness implies some move towards reform - the idea that church people have carte blanche to continue doing as they please because god will forgive them is unspeakable.

The sort of "magical thinking" that results in people believing they can cure sexual deviance with prayer is what is so dangerous about religion.

JessM Thu 03-May-12 10:28:22

This scandal goes all the way to the top. And I mean top, in terms of hiding inconvenient truth.

Greatnan Thu 03-May-12 13:12:59

We would have more confidence in their 'remorse' if they started compensating the victims without forcing them into court, and handed over all the information they have on offenders.

soop Thu 03-May-12 13:38:06

angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry

whenim64 Thu 03-May-12 15:41:19

soop your anger is shared by so many people. There is something very different about trying to effect change with sex offending priests - they are well defended and will protect each other, as though they are trying to avoid one weak link in the chain being broken, as this would expose them all. Their corruption is complete - indoctrination from an early age - abused by other paedophile priests themselves - corrupted, and willing to corrupt others. Insidious and so difficult to counter in such a powerful organisation.

Thank goodness for those children and adults who have disclosed what happened to them. So many were irreparably harmed, so many lives ruined, and so many brave survivors who have made sure their own children are protected and do not get isolated by abusers who pretend they are trustworthy.

goldengirl Thu 03-May-12 16:35:42

There seems to have been a couple of Radio 4 afternoon plays on this topic. I haven't heard them all the way through because of collecting GC. Has anyone else heard them this week? Tuesday and Wednesday.

Greatnan Thu 03-May-12 18:08:09

I could get them on iplayer but I think I would find them too upsetting.

whenim64 Thu 03-May-12 18:15:34

BBC news showing developments a few minutes ago - police are inspecting the material on the documentary, and political leaders are calling for the head of the catholic church in Ireland to resign.

whenim64 Thu 03-May-12 18:17:22

I heard part of one of the plays goldengirl. They sounded really interesting and I hadn't made the connection with the documentary at the time.

johanna Thu 03-May-12 18:27:15

One of those plays on Radio 4 was on a while back.

It was very raw.

Mishap Thu 03-May-12 19:23:04

Just heard on the news that there are MPs who are calling for Brady's resignation in the light of his failure to report the crimes to the police. I would have thought that this is the least that should happen - has he not committed an offense? Should not he himself be reported to the police?

Ariadne Thu 03-May-12 19:55:25

What about the Church of England in Chichester? Just watched SE news and was reminded that there was another cover up. "Suffer little children to come unto me.." Huh!

Ariadne Thu 03-May-12 19:57:17

AND the new Bishop being interviewed there refuses to ordain women!

Oldgreymare Thu 03-May-12 22:08:20

So sad. Such injustice. Hard to believe that this awful crime continues with the collusion of those who should know better. Amazing how paedophiles can justify their actions too. Typing with tears in my eyes for the many victims.

Greatnan Fri 04-May-12 00:34:44

When this scandal first became general knowledge, one bishop said 'We didn't realise how damaging it was in those days'. Didn't realise that anally raping a little boy was damaging? Or taking away the virginity they were always going on about? You don't need a degree in psychology to understand the harm, just a shred of normal human compassion. Words cannot do justice to the disgust I feel.
I suppose I was lucky - the worst that happened to me was prurient questioning in confession. There are certainly many men (and some women) who deliberately join institutions where they will have access to vulnerable children. My dad was wary - he would not let my brother go to camp with the scouts. I have known several men who attended boarding schools and they all said that they had masters who were widely known to be sexual predators.