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McCann Telling It Like It Is: Holy Terrors
In the aftermath of the horrific report into institutional child abuse, let us not forget that the higher echelons of the Catholic Church was perfectly aware of the evil being perpetrated in its name – and refused to do anything.
Eamonn McCann, 09 Jul 2009
Some of us in Derry have done our bit to distance the city from the child-abusing Catholic Church.
The arrival of the Papal Legate to celebrate the centenary of the Long Tower parish was presaged by an inscription on the sacred space of Free Derry Wall: “Welcome to the Papal Legate.” By the time Cardinal Keith O’Brien (Keith?) arrived, this had been subtly altered: “No Welcome to the Papal Legate (until true contrition for child abuse).”
Despite the latest babble of bluster from the bishops, there isn’t the sliver of a sign of real sorrow. And you all know, without me having to remind you again, that without true contrition there can be no forgiveness.
The visit of the Pope’s envoy came a week after Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh and Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin had travelled to Rome to “brief” Benedict XVI on the Ryan report. The Pope, the pair announced afterwards with straight faces, had been “distressed” to “learn” the facts.
What a load of old cobblers. The Vatican has known the facts about child sex abuse for many years, in Ireland, Britain, the US, Canada, Australia, Latin America and elsewhere. Its response has been to lie through its teeth and cover up the crimes. It admitted nothing, and then admitted next to nothing, until some of the suffering had been revealed by child victims, journalists and whistle-blowers within its own ranks. The common initial reaction has been distortion, calumny and downright lies from bishops following the Vatican line.
The attitude of Benedict was made clear when he chose Cardinal Bernard Law as the first US prelate to be granted an audience following his ordination as Pope. Law had been driven out of Boston by the Catholic laity, after the extent of his collaboration with sex abusers was revealed following the dismissal of a law suit which would have kept the truth hidden.
Nowadays the Irish bishops compete with one another for the fervour of their condemnations of child abuse. Only the gullible will take them on trust.