Saturday, 28 November 2009

Murphy Report into Clercial Sex Abuse

Niamh Connolly: “I hope it’s [Craggy Island parochial house] not some kind of hideaway for paedophile priests. That whole thing disgusted me.”

Father Ted: “Well, we’re not all like that, Niamh. Say, if there’s two hundred million priests in the world, and five per cent of them are paedophiles, that’s still only ten million.”

The above dialogue is from the Father Ted comedy series, by Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews. Years ago, when it first came out, my family would send me VHS recordings of it when I was living away. They loved it, and knew I would too – still do, in fact.

I’ve even got a book of the complete scripts, which I delve into whenever I want to escape the madness of Irish life into a world of relative sanity. Sometimes the boundaries between Ireland and Craggy Island are thin, granted - but at least Craggy Island is funny with it.

There’s no need here to go into the recent revelations of the Murphy Report on clerical sex abuse in Dublin’s Catholic archdiocese, which came into being after a Prime Time programme, Cardinal Secrets, produced by Mary Raftery in 2002. Suffice to say, the findings of the report confirm what anyone with a brain in their heads has known for some time, but at least now the State cannot deny it anymore.

That’s important. Remember this issue is not just about the Catholic Church, which has had an unhealthy influence in State affairs since it was founded, with elected politicians referring policies to the Catholic hierarchy for approval before enacting them; it also is a damning indictment of our police force, which ignored complaints and covered up the systematic rape and abuse of children in good old Catholic Ireland. The Boys and Girls in Blue Serge genuflecting before the Men of the Cloth.

The question is, however, what has changed? What has the State done to ensure something like this never happens again – or isn’t still happening?

Nothing, I think. The only difference now is the Catholic Church is a discredited organisation that can no longer claim to have any moral influence on Irish life. Those priests who abused should be held accountable for their actions - as should the police officers who collaborated and covered up, along with our political caste who are ultimately responsible.

It should not stop with the Catholic Church.

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Anonymous said...

HERE HERE MR GM what can yousay about a society that tolerated and deferred to these perverted evil parasites they make F .FAILURES GOMBEEN PARASITES look like mother teresa,it amazing the whole population doesnt choke on all this shit and corruption

The Gombeen Man said...

It seems they've very high tolerance levels for shit and corruption, Mr BH.

Anonymous said...

Since someone mentioned Mother Teresa its worth mentioning that she was far from what her PR machine made her out to be.......

Ella said...

On the subject of Mother T, I'd highly recommend
"The Missionary Position": Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice is a book by Christopher Hitchens about Mother Teresa's life and work. From the controversial title (a double entendre of a sex position and the missionary work of a celibate nun), the book criticizes Teresa as a political opportunist, who adopted the guise of a saint in order to raise money and spread an extreme religious ideology. Regarding his choice of the book's title, Hitchens has said, "it was either that or Sacred Cow, and I thought Sacred Cow would be in bad taste."

Anonymous said...

Hi GM You say "...the Catholic Church, which has had an unhealthy influence in State affairs since it was founded" Sad to say this unhealthy influence goes back much further. Did you know for example that Maynooth was built by the British Govt, part of a cosy relationship whereby the Catholic Church ran services that in Britian were under the control of democratically elected local councils, thereby negating the need for such councils in Ireland.

The Gombeen Man said...

@ 1st Anon: Thanks for the links. A nasty piece of work indeed. Showed great compassion for the rich, the powerful and dictators, though.

@ Ella: Yes, an enlightening read and great work by Hitchens. The bit about Muggeridge and the film is a classic, I think.

@ Anon 2. No, wasn't aware of that. Doesn't sit easily with the old Catholic persecution thing though, does it? Though I suppose any "majority" Church will back the established order of the its day. Except in the Republic, of course, when they were part of it.