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Suffer Little Children
Why the Catholic Church went out of its way to protect, rather then punish, the countless clerics who were raping and abusing innocent children.
Eamonn McCann, 05 Mar 2010
In November 1993, I wrote in Hot Press that: “The Catholic hierarchy won’t get away much longer with its lack of response to the rush of revelations about physical, sexual and psychological abuse done to children placed in its care.”
I was wrong. They have continued to get away with it up to and all through the decade just closing. They are getting away with it still.
In August 1997, I called for “a cross-border inquiry into the role of the Catholic Church in child sex abuse... If that seems too fanciful, let’s have two separate State inquiries... The argument [for an inquiry] is strengthened by the fact that children were abused while in the custody of the State.”
In February 1998, the column concluded by observing that, “The argument for a Tribunal does not rest on one case, but on a pattern of the Church at the highest administrative level covering up instances of abuse and helping abusers to avoid justice.”
In September 1999, the column remarked that, “The effrontery has been bare-faced and breathtaking. The notion that the bishops had been ignorant until revelations in recent years is the opposite of the truth. No group of people in the land knew more. And no group did less with the knowledge they had... [If any other organisation] in this situation were to sit tight and sing dumb and change the locks on the filing cupboards, wouldn’t we stir up a political storm? But [Church] leaders seem confident they have brazened it out.”
In April 2002, I wrote, “A Tribunal of Inquiry [should] have been established years ago, witnesses subpoenaed and all relevant documents compelled... [Instead], we have representatives of the Catholic Church interviewed respectfully about all manner of sensitive subjects.... Newspapers po-facedly report the opinions of Desmond Connell on abortion, as if he or anyone else running a haven for child abusers were in any position to pronounce to the rest of us on matters of personal morality.”
In May 2002, I observed that a Vatican “summit” on child abuse in the US “has in fact demonstrated that the Church at the highest level has no intention whatever of facing up to the issue and may be constitutionally quite incapable of so doing. In the US, as in Ireland, it is the State which must call the Church to account.”