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Is the Catholic Church evading justice? Dioceses faced with abuse allegations are declaring bankruptcy

Priest sexual abuse victim Lee Bashforth. (Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times/Getty)

Priest sexual abuse victim Lee Bashforth. (Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times/Getty)


July 10, 2023   7 mins

When Joey Piscitelli was 14, he was sent to Silesian High School in Richmond, California. A self-described “runt”, he weighed 70 pounds and looked about 10. “I think that’s why I was picked,” he told me. He was befriended by the school’s vice principal, Father Stephen Wheelan, before being subjected to years of abuse. It began with priests masturbating in front of him and ended in violent rape. He is aware of at least four other victims of the paedophile ring at his school who have since committed suicide.

Piscitelli is now an advocate for other victims, having won $600,000 in compensation from a 2006 jury trial against the Diocese of Oakland — which last month declared bankruptcy, after receiving more than 330 legal claims of sexual abuse. It’s part of a growing trend in the Catholic Church of the United States, which Piscitelli and other campaigners believe is an attempt by the church to skirt its responsibilities — but the reality is not as clear-cut as it may seem.

Since ground-breaking reporting by The Boston Globe in 2002 exposed widespread sexual abuse in America’s Catholic Church — including the practice of moving known paedophile priests between parishes — countless victims have sought justice. Two years after the exposé was published, the United States Church commissioned a report, which found that, between 1950 and 2002, over 4,000 Catholic priests were the object of sexual abuse allegations. The cases involved some 11,000 children, the overwhelming majority of whom were young boys. The allegations go all the way to the top, with Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was defrocked by the Pope in 2019, the subject of an ongoing criminal case. A seismic reckoning, but one that is still far from complete.

In California, a 2019 law opened a three-year window in which cases would be exempt from statutory limitation, resulting in more than 3,000 lawsuits. The influx of claims has seen at least four of the 12 Roman Catholic dioceses in California file for bankruptcy, or contemplate doing so, to deal with the crisis. In New York, five of the state’s eight dioceses have also recently sought bankruptcy protection.

In a letter to parishioners last month, Oakland Bishop Michael C. Barber said that the Diocese made the filing because it believed that the bankruptcy process is “the best way to support a compassionate and equitable outcome for survivors of abuse”, while ensuring that the church continues to support the community. He warned that the Diocese would be forced to close some of its worship sites, and “re-imagine” how to use others. This was part of the “dual challenge of declining engagement by Catholics”, he explained, citing a 25% decline in priests since 1985 and Mass attendance that has almost halved since 2010.

According to research firm Gallup, between 2000 and 2020 the percentage of self-described Catholics in the United States who were members of a church declined by 18 points (from 76% to 58%) — double the number of Protestants no longer going to church. While the decline in church attendance cannot be solely put down to child sexual abuse scandals — it is occurring to an extent across most Christian denominations, and has been accelerated by pandemic lockdowns — they may explain why it has been particularly precipitous for Catholics.

For those seeking financial redress for these horrific crimes, understanding the true wealth of the Catholic Church is a frustrating pursuit. One estimate suggests its total United States assets are worth $65 billion, but there is no way to prove this figure. Only through individual bankruptcy cases can churches’ true wealth be known. The Oakland Dioceses’ recent petition says that its assets are valued between $100 million and $500 million — and that liabilities from the claims against it are estimated to be in a similar dollar range.

When an organisation files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States, it automatically halts any pending civil lawsuits, while allowing the organisation, in this case the churches, to continue operating. Marie Reilly, a law professor at Penn State Law and practising Catholic, has compiled Chapter 11 bankruptcy data for The Catholic Project, which aims to provide transparency regarding the process. She noticed that filing for bankruptcy was becoming commonplace after the Diocese of Portland first sought the legal protection in 2004: 32 of the country’s 195 dioceses have sought it since. But Reilly believes that media coverage of the practice is often misleading.

“Lawyers for the plaintiffs, who are great at what they do, manage the media extremely well,” she told me. The Church, Reilly added, tends to be unwilling to “publicly push back on some of some of the inflammatory and colourful statements that are made by advocates for survivors of sexual abuse”. She believes that bankruptcy “is a very powerfully charged word” and public perception of it, along with legal complexities, makes the bankruptcy process “seem sinister in a way that in fact, it is not”.

A number of bankruptcy scholars, and lawyers who have no affiliation to the Church, have also come out in support of the bankruptcy strategy as the best way to handle mass sexual abuse claims. (The Boy Scouts of America, facing a similar crisis, is using the same mechanism). The reasoning goes that United States tort law could permit the first few claimants to take the lion’s share of compensation, meaning that subsequent victims could be left fighting for scraps. Reilly says that “the untold story about bankruptcy” is that it provides “an alternative to the winner-take-all race approach to litigation”. If all the claims against the church are resolved “in a single forum”, she says, all the victims “will be treated similarly”.

Victims, however, say that filing for bankruptcy shields the Catholic Church from true justice. Mike McDonnell, a child sexual abuse victim of the Church in Philadelphia and spokesperson for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), says that bankruptcy proceedings stop the operations of the Church hierarchy coming to light. Many victims, he explained, are seeking to “unveil how some of these well-known predators within the diocese were allowed to continue their career by being transferred to parish after parish”. He believes that it is not only financial claims that are halted when a bankruptcy petition is filed, but also any deeper inquiries into the systemic cover-up of abuse. “The victim is then prevented from seeing documents that we know the diocese is holding on to,” he says. “We know that the Catholic Church is extremely good at keeping records and taking notes.”

There is only so much the national, and international, Church is willing to do. The Vatican wrote to the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2020, reminding them that dioceses filing for bankruptcy may require consent from the Holy See — when the “alienation of temporal goods” exceeds $7.5 million for dioceses with more than 500,000 members, and $3.5 million for those with smaller numbers. The overarching US Church body, meanwhile, has established a protocol for managing cases — each diocese is supposed to have its own designated Victim Assistance Coordinator, for instance — but it has eschewed responsibility for the financial management of claims. Chieko Noguchi, executive director of public affairs for the US Bishops’ Conference, told UnHerd in a statement that the “financial, legal, structural, and operational matters” of each United States diocese operates separately under the governance of its respective bishop. (She also said that the Church has “made much progress, but we also know that the painful experience of survivors calls us to continual improvement”.)

Marie Reilly agrees that victims deserve restitution, but says that their cause has been hijacked by class action lawyers who advertise on television and “generate a large number of claims” though communicating an “anti-church sentiment”. She suspects that some victims’ groups are funded by “well-organised, extremely sophisticated” donors looking for profit rather than justice.

On that front, she has a case. In 2017, former SNAP fundraiser Gretchen Rachel Hammond filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the Network, alleging that she was fired for confronting the organisation about “colluding with survivors’ attorneys”. Hammond accused SNAP of exploiting victims, stating in her lawsuit that the organisation “routinely accepts financial kickbacks from attorneys in the form of ‘donations’”, and it then “refers survivors as potential clients to attorneys, who then file lawsuits on behalf of the survivors against the Catholic Church.” Mike McDonnell told UnHerd that SNAP will not comment on “that resolved issue”.

Church bankruptcy is the real issue, he says, that needs to be addressed. “It’s not fair, because it still allows the dioceses to steer the proceedings and have a better outcome,” he says. Victims need significant compensation. But the days of “large six figure settlements” for survivors are becoming increasingly rare. “If you really tally up the cost of trauma over the course of an individual’s lifetime, it’s a heck of a lot more than $175,000”, which he says is now roughly the average payout. McDonnell believes that, by refusing to take financial responsibility for that trauma, the Catholic Church is kicking the can down the road, and “revictimising those who have been terribly hard done by”.

Many have pointed to the vast property holdings of the Church as another sign that filing for bankruptcy is a shady tactic. But some dioceses have actually started selling property to contribute to settlements. In 2021, Long Island in New York sold its headquarters for $5.2 million. Last year, the Archdiocese of New Orleans sought court approval to sell off properties as part of its bankruptcy case. So far, it has only sold one former school for $1.9 million — a drop in the ocean of the $243 million in assets, and $139 million in liabilities, that it listed in its bankruptcy petition. (Marie Reilly notes that the Diocese has “layers of financial problems” beyond sexual abuse cases).

And while the Catholic institution’s unpopularity balloons, it appears that an equally despised, albeit secular villain is entering the arena. Reilly says that insurance companies have become increasingly involved in this scandal, on behalf of the Church, and that they are resisting victims’ claims in court. Historical lawsuits without witnesses are notoriously difficult to prosecute, and insurers are beginning to mount more robust legal defences. “Insurers are saying, ‘the dioceses won’t push back, so we’re going to push back — we’re not just going to write the checks anymore’”, she says. This is another way in which bankrupt churches might serve victims better: under bankruptcy law, claims are “batch processed”, with few going to jury trial — a process that is not only traumatic for victims, but also has a less predictable outcome.

Pope Francis has asked victims of clerical sexual abuse for forgiveness, but SNAP says it is up to individuals, and not something that can be granted to the institution. These cases are about redressing failure, and everyone — even insurance companies — recognises that nothing in this world can ever truly compensate for the moral, psychological and spiritual injuries inflicted on untold numbers of young children by an institution that was supposed to love them.

For survivors like Joey Piscitelli, the Church’s request for grace is a step too far. And nothing will persuade him that the legal manoeuvring is not a false pretence to keep perpetrators’ names, and details of their crimes, out of the media. “A bankruptcy court shouldn’t have jurisdiction over the information of what priests did to kids,” he says. “By filing for bankruptcy because they’re being pursued for tens of millions of dollars, Catholic Churches are claiming that they are the victims.”


Elle Hardy is a freelance journalist who’s reported from North Korea and the former Soviet Union. She is the author of Beyond Belief: How Pentecostal Christianity Is Taking Over the World.

ellehardy

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Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
10 months ago

This essay is more neutral than most, but still misses the elephant in the room. Certain men lust for sex with boys in their early teens. This has been going on since time began. These men seek to put themselves in positions of opportunity. So, teachers, boys scout leaders, coaches, clergy, etc. An associate of mine once told me that if he sees a man coaching youth hockey, and the man does not have a son on the team, he knows, or at least suspects, what’s really going on. By some accounts, the concentration of these predators among teachers is much higher than among Catholic clergy, but the teachers get less public attention and are more rarely sued. Why?

One possible answer is that the Catholic churches tend to have more money. They also are hated by some in a way school teachers are not.

In history, the Catholic churches were advised by professionals (1) not to make matters worse by panicking, (2) remove the offender from the parish, and (3) get the offender into treatment, where the chances of a fix were high. That is, the churches followed the then accepted standard of care.

One fact rarely mentioned is that, for the Catholic church, but maybe not for other organizations, most of the abuse events occurred in narrow window starting in the mid-1960s and ending in the early 1980s. Why?

In one case, several years ago now, an elderly man sued a Diocese in the State of Vermont, for an alleged abuse event occurring decades earlier. The priest he accused was no longer alive and had never been accused by anyone else of sexual abuse. The Bishop too was no longer alive and also had never been accused. There was no record in the parish archives that the accuser had ever been a member of the parish. The accuser was also mentally ill. The jury awarded him over $6,000,000.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago

The observations you make in your first paragraph are correct. Seeking positions of authority (and opportunity) over those they wish to fulfil their sexual desires with is entirely consistent with the patterns of behaviour which have been exposed in recent decades. However, this behaviour will have been ongoing since such positions and opportunities became possible.
Within the Catholic Church that can be measured in centuries, whereas in education and sports contexts, much less so.
Another factor is the so-called “vow of celibacy”. Except for a very few individuals, the desire for sex becomes overwhelming and in the case of Catholic clergy must remain covert, therefore liaison with another adult is too risky; with children, less so.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Nah. Pedphiles seek out the Catholic church because they don’t have to get married so they can hide. And since the church is rife with pedaphiles, including the upper eschalones, it’s the perfect set-up. They’re all at it, always have been and always will be.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Nah. Pedphiles seek out the Catholic church because they don’t have to get married so they can hide. And since the church is rife with pedaphiles, including the upper eschalones, it’s the perfect set-up. They’re all at it, always have been and always will be.

Paul Hendricks
Paul Hendricks
10 months ago

Yes–it appears likely that sexual abuse is actually more common among other schools and religious denominations than in Catholic churches and schools.

However, by and large, it appears church leaders have decided not to emphasize this point, probably for good reason.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Hendricks

It’s highly unlikely it’s more common in other schools and religions. It’s highly likely it’s just as common.

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Hendricks

I think it’s difficult to do a proper comparison. The Catholic Church is a serious global player but far from being the uniform organisation many Protestants and Orthodox (and non-Christians) imagine it to be, it differs considerably from time to time and from place to place. The 1970s saw the Church particularly characterised by anarchy and paedophilia went through the roof. But it’s a perennial problem. However, the point I think is not necessarily the discipline of celibacy or a good hiding place. Paedophiles go to where they have easy access to children. When the Church doesn’t provide this avenue, they will find somewhere else that does.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

Not that many years ago a woman was denied a life saving abortion in Galway Regional Hospital, despite the fact that at the time abortions were ‘legal’ in Republic..

Astonishingly the reason given for the refusal was quoted at the time as:-“No, we are a Catholic country”!

Have things improved since then or does the evil spirit of Archbishop John, Charles, McQuaid still haunt the Republic?

Last edited 10 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
10 months ago

Again, the Galway case is exaggerated and the principal problem there wasn’t the current (as of 2013) abortion legislation in the Republic of Ireland, but the appalling state of the Republic of Ireland health service. Savita was suffering from septicemia, which wasn’t detected until it was too late to do anything about it. She was legally entitled to medical intervention which would have saved her life at the expense of the child (who was doomed in either event), but the pressure the hospital (the biggest in the Republic of Ireland) did nothing for her. The inane remark about Ireland being a Catholic country came from an ignorant nurse trying to calm the woman. In point of fact the legislation is the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act and the Catholic Bishops had no role in putting the 8th Amendment into the Irish Constitution (which modified the 1861 Act by recognising the equal right to life of mother and child, which is pertinent to the Savita case, though obviously not applied).
In regard to the late John Charles McQuaid, his role is seriously exaggerated as he is the only twentieth century bishop most people can name and he needs a serious biographical examination (the available biography by John Cooney is not serious). Would it surprise you if I told you that the first case where a bangarda (female officer in the Civic Guard – policewoman to everyone else) became pregnant out of wedlock and was about to be sacked, it was the intervention of the same Archbishop McQuaid that saved her job and allowed her have her child. Nor was this the only intervention of its kind by McQuaid. On another intervention he overrode a decision by the President of the teacher training college in Carysfort (a Mercy sister) to expel a student who became pregnant out of wedlock. He directed the nuns to allow the woman continue studies and make provision for the care of the child. I understand that his attitude was formed by the fact that his natural mother died when he was an infant and he never knew her.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

Thank you, a most interesting reply, particularly on the late, enigmatic, John Charles McQuaid.

However I disagree that the Savita case was exaggerated. The facts, even as you described them, could NOT have been worse. After all this was 2012 not 1952.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

Thank you, a most interesting reply, particularly on the late, enigmatic, John Charles McQuaid.

However I disagree that the Savita case was exaggerated. The facts, even as you described them, could NOT have been worse. After all this was 2012 not 1952.

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
10 months ago

Again, the Galway case is exaggerated and the principal problem there wasn’t the current (as of 2013) abortion legislation in the Republic of Ireland, but the appalling state of the Republic of Ireland health service. Savita was suffering from septicemia, which wasn’t detected until it was too late to do anything about it. She was legally entitled to medical intervention which would have saved her life at the expense of the child (who was doomed in either event), but the pressure the hospital (the biggest in the Republic of Ireland) did nothing for her. The inane remark about Ireland being a Catholic country came from an ignorant nurse trying to calm the woman. In point of fact the legislation is the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act and the Catholic Bishops had no role in putting the 8th Amendment into the Irish Constitution (which modified the 1861 Act by recognising the equal right to life of mother and child, which is pertinent to the Savita case, though obviously not applied).
In regard to the late John Charles McQuaid, his role is seriously exaggerated as he is the only twentieth century bishop most people can name and he needs a serious biographical examination (the available biography by John Cooney is not serious). Would it surprise you if I told you that the first case where a bangarda (female officer in the Civic Guard – policewoman to everyone else) became pregnant out of wedlock and was about to be sacked, it was the intervention of the same Archbishop McQuaid that saved her job and allowed her have her child. Nor was this the only intervention of its kind by McQuaid. On another intervention he overrode a decision by the President of the teacher training college in Carysfort (a Mercy sister) to expel a student who became pregnant out of wedlock. He directed the nuns to allow the woman continue studies and make provision for the care of the child. I understand that his attitude was formed by the fact that his natural mother died when he was an infant and he never knew her.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
10 months ago

To be clear, the phenomena is not paedophilia. Paedophilia is sexual interest in infants or very young children. It is very rare. The phenomena is the much more common paedaristy (PH). Male sexual interest in teen boys.

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
10 months ago

Same point applies though, sexual predators go where they can get easy access to their victims. If that this the Church, they’ll go there. If that isn’t they’ll go elsewhere.

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
10 months ago

Same point applies though, sexual predators go where they can get easy access to their victims. If that this the Church, they’ll go there. If that isn’t they’ll go elsewhere.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

Not that many years ago a woman was denied a life saving abortion in Galway Regional Hospital, despite the fact that at the time abortions were ‘legal’ in Republic..

Astonishingly the reason given for the refusal was quoted at the time as:-“No, we are a Catholic country”!

Have things improved since then or does the evil spirit of Archbishop John, Charles, McQuaid still haunt the Republic?

Last edited 10 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
10 months ago

To be clear, the phenomena is not paedophilia. Paedophilia is sexual interest in infants or very young children. It is very rare. The phenomena is the much more common paedaristy (PH). Male sexual interest in teen boys.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Hendricks

It’s highly unlikely it’s more common in other schools and religions. It’s highly likely it’s just as common.

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Hendricks

I think it’s difficult to do a proper comparison. The Catholic Church is a serious global player but far from being the uniform organisation many Protestants and Orthodox (and non-Christians) imagine it to be, it differs considerably from time to time and from place to place. The 1970s saw the Church particularly characterised by anarchy and paedophilia went through the roof. But it’s a perennial problem. However, the point I think is not necessarily the discipline of celibacy or a good hiding place. Paedophiles go to where they have easy access to children. When the Church doesn’t provide this avenue, they will find somewhere else that does.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago

“Most of the abuse events occured in a narrow window starting in the mid-sixties and ending in the 1980s” Really?! You start out by saying”this has been going on since time began” which is more like the truth, and since pedaphelia is an incurable compulsion, we can assume it’s still going on. Wherever the Catholic church went to make converts is where it occured, and that means all over the world for centuries. What a sickening thought.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

I would imagine ‘Adam’ has quite a lot to answer for!

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

The spike in priest abuse cases in the time frame I mentioned is well known and widely reported. I am, by the way, speaking only of the US. The Bishop’s conference in the US instituted reforms in the 1982 timeframe that greatly reduced abuse events by priests. This does not alter the fact that some men have “since time began” lusted after teen boys.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

I would imagine ‘Adam’ has quite a lot to answer for!

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

The spike in priest abuse cases in the time frame I mentioned is well known and widely reported. I am, by the way, speaking only of the US. The Bishop’s conference in the US instituted reforms in the 1982 timeframe that greatly reduced abuse events by priests. This does not alter the fact that some men have “since time began” lusted after teen boys.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago

The observations you make in your first paragraph are correct. Seeking positions of authority (and opportunity) over those they wish to fulfil their sexual desires with is entirely consistent with the patterns of behaviour which have been exposed in recent decades. However, this behaviour will have been ongoing since such positions and opportunities became possible.
Within the Catholic Church that can be measured in centuries, whereas in education and sports contexts, much less so.
Another factor is the so-called “vow of celibacy”. Except for a very few individuals, the desire for sex becomes overwhelming and in the case of Catholic clergy must remain covert, therefore liaison with another adult is too risky; with children, less so.

Paul Hendricks
Paul Hendricks
10 months ago

Yes–it appears likely that sexual abuse is actually more common among other schools and religious denominations than in Catholic churches and schools.

However, by and large, it appears church leaders have decided not to emphasize this point, probably for good reason.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago

“Most of the abuse events occured in a narrow window starting in the mid-sixties and ending in the 1980s” Really?! You start out by saying”this has been going on since time began” which is more like the truth, and since pedaphelia is an incurable compulsion, we can assume it’s still going on. Wherever the Catholic church went to make converts is where it occured, and that means all over the world for centuries. What a sickening thought.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
10 months ago

This essay is more neutral than most, but still misses the elephant in the room. Certain men lust for sex with boys in their early teens. This has been going on since time began. These men seek to put themselves in positions of opportunity. So, teachers, boys scout leaders, coaches, clergy, etc. An associate of mine once told me that if he sees a man coaching youth hockey, and the man does not have a son on the team, he knows, or at least suspects, what’s really going on. By some accounts, the concentration of these predators among teachers is much higher than among Catholic clergy, but the teachers get less public attention and are more rarely sued. Why?

One possible answer is that the Catholic churches tend to have more money. They also are hated by some in a way school teachers are not.

In history, the Catholic churches were advised by professionals (1) not to make matters worse by panicking, (2) remove the offender from the parish, and (3) get the offender into treatment, where the chances of a fix were high. That is, the churches followed the then accepted standard of care.

One fact rarely mentioned is that, for the Catholic church, but maybe not for other organizations, most of the abuse events occurred in narrow window starting in the mid-1960s and ending in the early 1980s. Why?

In one case, several years ago now, an elderly man sued a Diocese in the State of Vermont, for an alleged abuse event occurring decades earlier. The priest he accused was no longer alive and had never been accused by anyone else of sexual abuse. The Bishop too was no longer alive and also had never been accused. There was no record in the parish archives that the accuser had ever been a member of the parish. The accuser was also mentally ill. The jury awarded him over $6,000,000.

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
10 months ago

There is no excuse for pedophilia. If the Church had immediately come clean on the criminality of thousands of its priests, rather than hushing up their depravity, there would be far more families in pews.
And, it must be said, millions more in church coffers for hospitals, universities, missions, and parishes.
As it is, the Church has bankrupted itself, both financially and morally. And has given the many people who still harbor wildly bigoted anti-Catholic prejudices (Catholicism is often an ethnicity, as well as a religion) and easy reason to spread prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination.

Last edited 10 months ago by Andrew Vanbarner
Paul Hendricks
Paul Hendricks
10 months ago

How do you reconcile your view that the Church is morally bankrupt with the fact of its ongoing efforts to expose wrongdoing and prevent its reoccurrence?

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
10 months ago

The same men who cover up monstrous crimes like to close churches. They don’t want “more families in pews”. If you’re not a Catholic you might be surprised at the indifference and even hostility the hierarchy displays towards active, faithful Catholics. Anti-Catholic sentiment in the West is the preserve of people who use ‘medieval’ as a slur. It should be the least of a Catholic’s worries.

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
10 months ago

There is a very special reward for the wolves running the sheep pen.

Paul Hendricks
Paul Hendricks
10 months ago

How do you reconcile your view that the Church is morally bankrupt with the fact of its ongoing efforts to expose wrongdoing and prevent its reoccurrence?

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
10 months ago

The same men who cover up monstrous crimes like to close churches. They don’t want “more families in pews”. If you’re not a Catholic you might be surprised at the indifference and even hostility the hierarchy displays towards active, faithful Catholics. Anti-Catholic sentiment in the West is the preserve of people who use ‘medieval’ as a slur. It should be the least of a Catholic’s worries.

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
10 months ago

There is a very special reward for the wolves running the sheep pen.

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
10 months ago

There is no excuse for pedophilia. If the Church had immediately come clean on the criminality of thousands of its priests, rather than hushing up their depravity, there would be far more families in pews.
And, it must be said, millions more in church coffers for hospitals, universities, missions, and parishes.
As it is, the Church has bankrupted itself, both financially and morally. And has given the many people who still harbor wildly bigoted anti-Catholic prejudices (Catholicism is often an ethnicity, as well as a religion) and easy reason to spread prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination.

Last edited 10 months ago by Andrew Vanbarner
D Walsh
D Walsh
10 months ago

Rule by homosexuals will be as successful for us (the Western World) as it has been for the Catholic Church

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Homosexuals and pedaphiles are not the same.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Homosexuals and pedaphiles are not the same.

D Walsh
D Walsh
10 months ago

Rule by homosexuals will be as successful for us (the Western World) as it has been for the Catholic Church

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
10 months ago

All sounds incredibly shady from the church, though you’d expect nothing less from an organisation that routinely shielded paedophiles from prosecution

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
10 months ago

All sounds incredibly shady from the church, though you’d expect nothing less from an organisation that routinely shielded paedophiles from prosecution

Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor
10 months ago

The Catholic Church restructuring its affairs in Australia so that responsibility for the crimes of its deviate priests fell to individual parishes seems to lack a certain Christian spirit.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
10 months ago
Reply to  Tony Taylor

Why?

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
10 months ago
Reply to  Tony Taylor

Why?

Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor
10 months ago

The Catholic Church restructuring its affairs in Australia so that responsibility for the crimes of its deviate priests fell to individual parishes seems to lack a certain Christian spirit.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
10 months ago

It will be interesting one day in the future when Catholic Schools will be forced to have cross-dressing males as teachers, otherwise they lose their tax exempt status. And when pedophilia becomes just another stripe in the pride flag, will these priests then have statues built for them because of their “courage” to act out their prideful behavior?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

That’s a silly comment.

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
10 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

A tad colourful, but maybe a more serious point to make? The new religion has all the failings of the old, without any of its redeeming features. There is no need even for hyprocisy when vice and virtue are subjective values or aspects of oppression.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

That’s a silly comment.

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
10 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

A tad colourful, but maybe a more serious point to make? The new religion has all the failings of the old, without any of its redeeming features. There is no need even for hyprocisy when vice and virtue are subjective values or aspects of oppression.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
10 months ago

It will be interesting one day in the future when Catholic Schools will be forced to have cross-dressing males as teachers, otherwise they lose their tax exempt status. And when pedophilia becomes just another stripe in the pride flag, will these priests then have statues built for them because of their “courage” to act out their prideful behavior?

Marissa M
Marissa M
10 months ago

Difficult topic. And a common one.
The Catholic Church committed a nearly unforgivable act of shielding the horrific behavior of priests. Absolutely.
But yet. They are more villified than other institutions that have done the same. A friend of mine, vociferously anti-Catholic from the cradle, smugly said, “well, we expect more, don’t we?”
Do we? As an actual Catholic I can say, “Nah. Not so much.” Priests are men. Catholics who believed otherwise or somehow placed them on a pedestal were always viewed somewhat contemptuously by those in my family. They in charge of mass, listened to confession…blah. You always knew something wasn’t quite right with a man who chose to never marry. To never have a family. To never…have sex supposedly.
When I talked about the situation with a friend who attended all-boys Catholic schools, he said, “We all knew the weirdo priests. We knew which one to stay away from. I don’t get the kids who hung out with them.”
That doesn’t mean you blame the victim. But if the boys all knew who the suspect priests were…why didn’t parents? Why were these kids all allowed unlimited access with pedophiles? Why did some boys possibly unknowingly seek the attention out, unaware of the horror that awaited them?
Why do they still? Why do coaches, ministers, teachers, boy troop leaders of all types, choir directors, and yes, even creepy “Uncle Kevin”, to THIS DAY have so much access to minors?
Condemn the church all you want. I always thought the whole celibacy thing by choice was kind of odd, although now we are learning, BEING TOLD, by the LGBTQ community that asexual individuals are a perfectly normal. I guess I thought many priests fell into that.

Last edited 10 months ago by Marissa M
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
10 months ago
Reply to  Marissa M

Pre Reformation and the Catholic backlash parish, priests had affairs and the village turned a blind eye. Many of the Roman nobility are decended from Papal and Cardinal bastards. Did they have a better and more sensible attitude in the Middle Ages to clerical celibacy; they ignored it.

Paul Hendricks
Paul Hendricks
10 months ago
Reply to  Marissa M

Don’t you find the topic is most persistent in media and with those who don’t regularly attend Mass? Though indeed I have had the temerity to raise the topic with seminarians, priests, nuns, canon lawyers, who of course have perspectives you won’t find in media.

Meanwhile, do young Catholics even care about this issue? We seem to take it for granted that the media and secular friends and relatives, for example, can’t be relied on for commentary. When I contemplate the Church’s patience and understanding in response to a hostile campaign, I conclude that, in Her wisdom, She is setting an example for the young Catholics, who will still be here when the opportunistic lawyers, journalists and politicians have extracted all they can out of this scandal. Surely the lawyers, media and elected officials coordinating this campaign will come out worse in the end, having done nothing but enriched themselves and inflated their own virtue. Meanwhile we Catholics have more important things to do and our own sins to worry about, don’t we?

The great sacrifice of marriage and a worldly career is what sets apart priests. The media is chock full of silly ideas about male celibacy. Again, you will hear a different side if you actually talk to priests about it.

As a Catholic yourself, haven’t you noticed that priests nowadays actually do not “have access” to young people? You have probably seen the finding that priests report their number one concern by far is being falsely accused of sexual wrongdoing; you have probably noticed that priests and male employees of the Church go out of their way to avoid one-on-one private meetings with young members of the parish.

I certainly agree with your realistic view of priests, most of whom have no desire to be put on a pedestal in the first place.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Hendricks

Some priests love being on a pedestal some don’t. It’s part of the job description and one of the perks.Pedaphalia is an incurable compulsion so what are the pedaphile priests doing now to get relief? Just being more careful not to get caught, perhaps?

Last edited 10 months ago by Clare Knight
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Hendricks

Some priests love being on a pedestal some don’t. It’s part of the job description and one of the perks.Pedaphalia is an incurable compulsion so what are the pedaphile priests doing now to get relief? Just being more careful not to get caught, perhaps?

Last edited 10 months ago by Clare Knight
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
10 months ago
Reply to  Marissa M

I’m sorry, but this is just blaming the kids for the sordid behaviour of the clergy. It’s not the Priests fault he’s a nonce, it’s the kids fault for being too trusting of adults in positions of authority. It’s also the parents fault for not realising there was something shady about somebody working in the school, even though they probably never personally came into contact with that particular individual.

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
10 months ago
Reply to  Marissa M

The irony is that however bad and corrupt the Catholic Church was/is, the non-Catholic Church of whatever it is we put in its place is no better worse, probably worse, if the safety, sanity and bodily integrity of children is a concern.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Martin Terrell

Why does there have to be anything similar put in it’s place?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Martin Terrell

Why does there have to be anything similar put in it’s place?

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
10 months ago
Reply to  Marissa M

You are so right. The priesthood is no easy life. It’s amazing how few violate their vows.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago

They don’t have to do it. It’s a choice. It doesn’t seem that difficult.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago

They don’t have to do it. It’s a choice. It doesn’t seem that difficult.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Marissa M

Whatever anyone tells you you have a mind of your own, don’t you? And as far as parents letting their kids hang out with priests, it’s called denial. Denial is very powerful.

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
10 months ago
Reply to  Marissa M

The comments here are more interesting and more constructive than the article, which makes a valid point but offers no solutions. The abuse scandal is mostly historic reckoning from a time and place. The RC Church was living off past glories, over-indulged and paranoid, while hollowing out from within, not knowing what it believed. Good priests left in droves and the weird and devious allowed to run the roost. Not sure what happens next. The hollowed out structure is still there, run by bureaucrats who are scared of their own shadow and pandering to every passing trend to appear relevant. The faithful cling on and keep going, realising that the world outside is not much better.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
10 months ago
Reply to  Marissa M

Pre Reformation and the Catholic backlash parish, priests had affairs and the village turned a blind eye. Many of the Roman nobility are decended from Papal and Cardinal bastards. Did they have a better and more sensible attitude in the Middle Ages to clerical celibacy; they ignored it.

Paul Hendricks
Paul Hendricks
10 months ago
Reply to  Marissa M

Don’t you find the topic is most persistent in media and with those who don’t regularly attend Mass? Though indeed I have had the temerity to raise the topic with seminarians, priests, nuns, canon lawyers, who of course have perspectives you won’t find in media.

Meanwhile, do young Catholics even care about this issue? We seem to take it for granted that the media and secular friends and relatives, for example, can’t be relied on for commentary. When I contemplate the Church’s patience and understanding in response to a hostile campaign, I conclude that, in Her wisdom, She is setting an example for the young Catholics, who will still be here when the opportunistic lawyers, journalists and politicians have extracted all they can out of this scandal. Surely the lawyers, media and elected officials coordinating this campaign will come out worse in the end, having done nothing but enriched themselves and inflated their own virtue. Meanwhile we Catholics have more important things to do and our own sins to worry about, don’t we?

The great sacrifice of marriage and a worldly career is what sets apart priests. The media is chock full of silly ideas about male celibacy. Again, you will hear a different side if you actually talk to priests about it.

As a Catholic yourself, haven’t you noticed that priests nowadays actually do not “have access” to young people? You have probably seen the finding that priests report their number one concern by far is being falsely accused of sexual wrongdoing; you have probably noticed that priests and male employees of the Church go out of their way to avoid one-on-one private meetings with young members of the parish.

I certainly agree with your realistic view of priests, most of whom have no desire to be put on a pedestal in the first place.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
10 months ago
Reply to  Marissa M

I’m sorry, but this is just blaming the kids for the sordid behaviour of the clergy. It’s not the Priests fault he’s a nonce, it’s the kids fault for being too trusting of adults in positions of authority. It’s also the parents fault for not realising there was something shady about somebody working in the school, even though they probably never personally came into contact with that particular individual.

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
10 months ago
Reply to  Marissa M

The irony is that however bad and corrupt the Catholic Church was/is, the non-Catholic Church of whatever it is we put in its place is no better worse, probably worse, if the safety, sanity and bodily integrity of children is a concern.

Michael McElwee
Michael McElwee
10 months ago
Reply to  Marissa M

You are so right. The priesthood is no easy life. It’s amazing how few violate their vows.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Marissa M

Whatever anyone tells you you have a mind of your own, don’t you? And as far as parents letting their kids hang out with priests, it’s called denial. Denial is very powerful.

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
10 months ago
Reply to  Marissa M

The comments here are more interesting and more constructive than the article, which makes a valid point but offers no solutions. The abuse scandal is mostly historic reckoning from a time and place. The RC Church was living off past glories, over-indulged and paranoid, while hollowing out from within, not knowing what it believed. Good priests left in droves and the weird and devious allowed to run the roost. Not sure what happens next. The hollowed out structure is still there, run by bureaucrats who are scared of their own shadow and pandering to every passing trend to appear relevant. The faithful cling on and keep going, realising that the world outside is not much better.

Marissa M
Marissa M
10 months ago

Difficult topic. And a common one.
The Catholic Church committed a nearly unforgivable act of shielding the horrific behavior of priests. Absolutely.
But yet. They are more villified than other institutions that have done the same. A friend of mine, vociferously anti-Catholic from the cradle, smugly said, “well, we expect more, don’t we?”
Do we? As an actual Catholic I can say, “Nah. Not so much.” Priests are men. Catholics who believed otherwise or somehow placed them on a pedestal were always viewed somewhat contemptuously by those in my family. They in charge of mass, listened to confession…blah. You always knew something wasn’t quite right with a man who chose to never marry. To never have a family. To never…have sex supposedly.
When I talked about the situation with a friend who attended all-boys Catholic schools, he said, “We all knew the weirdo priests. We knew which one to stay away from. I don’t get the kids who hung out with them.”
That doesn’t mean you blame the victim. But if the boys all knew who the suspect priests were…why didn’t parents? Why were these kids all allowed unlimited access with pedophiles? Why did some boys possibly unknowingly seek the attention out, unaware of the horror that awaited them?
Why do they still? Why do coaches, ministers, teachers, boy troop leaders of all types, choir directors, and yes, even creepy “Uncle Kevin”, to THIS DAY have so much access to minors?
Condemn the church all you want. I always thought the whole celibacy thing by choice was kind of odd, although now we are learning, BEING TOLD, by the LGBTQ community that asexual individuals are a perfectly normal. I guess I thought many priests fell into that.

Last edited 10 months ago by Marissa M
Oliver McCarthy
Oliver McCarthy
10 months ago

Absolute nonsense! The answer, of course, is “No, it isn’t.”
More to the point though, why should Catholics have to pay out for the imaginary sins of priests?

Paul Hendricks
Paul Hendricks
10 months ago

Correct. What a cheap headline.

Unfortunately it’s apparently too much to ask journalists to actually read the attorneys’ general reports.

Then the public would know how vague some of these claims are, how unsubstantiated; when not obviously cases of consensual homosexual activity.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Hendricks

You can’t have consensual sexual activity with a child, especially ones that aren’t even teenagers. It’s amazing how some who (rightly) mock Muslims because Mohammed had a child bride seem happy to accept the same behaviour from their church

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

How did ageing liberals come to sound like teenagers whose worldview was shaped by Youtubers called RationalAtheist2005? You have never encountered any Catholic who accepts or is “happy” with evil priests.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

How did ageing liberals come to sound like teenagers whose worldview was shaped by Youtubers called RationalAtheist2005? You have never encountered any Catholic who accepts or is “happy” with evil priests.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Hendricks

OMG!! There’s a lot of denial going on here. But it shouldn’t be surprising. That’s what you’d have to do to believe in the supernatural in the first place.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Hendricks

You can’t have consensual sexual activity with a child, especially ones that aren’t even teenagers. It’s amazing how some who (rightly) mock Muslims because Mohammed had a child bride seem happy to accept the same behaviour from their church

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Hendricks

OMG!! There’s a lot of denial going on here. But it shouldn’t be surprising. That’s what you’d have to do to believe in the supernatural in the first place.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

A different story of course with the Bon Secours Nuns of Tuam, Co Galway, disposing of unwanted babies* in a cesspit.

(*children of sin.)

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago

I can’t even begin to address that one. It was all very tragic. Those girls went through unspeakable suffering,It sounds like you’re unable to empathize, Charles, but I’m not really sure what you’re trying to say. Perhaps you can clarify.

Last edited 10 months ago by Clare Knight
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

I am saying that the iniquity of the Catholic Church knows NO bounds. Never has done and never will do.

Tuam off course, is only “ the tip of the iceberg “.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago

Got it. I’m releived to know we’re on the same page {I think!).

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago

Got it. I’m releived to know we’re on the same page {I think!).

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

I am saying that the iniquity of the Catholic Church knows NO bounds. Never has done and never will do.

Tuam off course, is only “ the tip of the iceberg “.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

The behaviour of the late Cardinal and virulent Anglophobe, Cormac Murphy O’Connor says it all.

Last edited 10 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
10 months ago

This case is not as clear cut as present in the media. For one the Nuns were under-resourced and they unwittingly provided an excuse for the local authority to wash their hands of the issue. Secondly, the judicial enquiry into the affair found no evidence that the burial chamber was a septic tank. I don’t for a moment believe that Bon Secours sisters were uniformly angels of mercy, but there is a lot more to the horrible history of unfortunate girls falling into the hands of sadistic nuns.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

So this is completely spurious then? Or is/was Enda Kenny some form of deranged nutter?

“At the time, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Enda Kenny described the discovery as a “chamber of horrors”, adding the babies had been treated like “some kind of sub-species”.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago

As were the mothers.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Not to mention the ones that ended up in the Magdalen Laundries and ‘similar’ institutions.

Thanks to modern media, I doubt very much if Ireland’s shame can EVER be erased.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Perhaps you could do the same with ‘The Foggy Dew’?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Not to mention the ones that ended up in the Magdalen Laundries and ‘similar’ institutions.

Thanks to modern media, I doubt very much if Ireland’s shame can EVER be erased.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Perhaps you could do the same with ‘The Foggy Dew’?

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
10 months ago

I don’t think there is much connection between Enda Kenny and reality – he usually just spewed out what his spin doctors put in; I doubt the man has a single original thought in his head and his parliamentary record prior to 2011 (post-2011 too, if the truth be told) is dismal, to say the least.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

Yet some of you chaps still object to some us calling it the Kerrygold Republic!

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
10 months ago

I don’t. Though I wonder would you seriously recommend the pre-independence arrangement to us. What Enda and his successors do is the sort of thinkg
Kerrygold, btw, is probably an even more successful Irish brand than Guinness – it’s ubitiquous on the continent.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

No I would not recommend the pre-independence arrangement, but somehow De Valera & Co rather seem to have wrecked the new Republic.

You of course remember McQuaid & Co, exercising power on an extraordinary scale without any democratic mandate whatsoever!

Then you had some farcical events such as the Minister for Lands, one Erskine Hamilton Childers* having to intervene over a dispute about Fairies in 1958.

Next up that paragon of virtue Mr Charlie Haughey, of which no more said, and so on to the Anglo-Irish Banking fiasco and the Quinn brothers was it?

I did not realise Kerrygold had been so successful, so perhaps an apposite cognomen in view of the fabled Celtic Tiger?

(* Son off course of “that bloody Englishman”.)

Last edited 10 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
10 months ago

Will you please upload a recording of yourself singing Lillibullero?

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
10 months ago

In regard to Kerrygold, it has gone far and wide outside Kerry (which prides itself on being a kingdom rather than a county). Not to department from the subject in hand, Kerrygold, and invariably any successful food problem in Ireland, is a cross-border phenomenon and I could bet that the milk used to produce the butter contains a quantity from Northern Irish cows proportionate to the bovine population on the island. This is one of the reasons behind the infamous protocol.

Rebecca Levings
Rebecca Levings
9 months ago

I am a devoted consumer of KerryGold, living across the pond. My Irish ancestors approve. It’s great stuff.

Rebecca Levings
Rebecca Levings
9 months ago

I am a devoted consumer of KerryGold, living across the pond. My Irish ancestors approve. It’s great stuff.

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
10 months ago

The treatment of Robert Erskine Childers by the Irish Free State government was a war crime and his own reaction to it was unbelievably noble (just remember that the then Justice Minister, Kevin O’Higgins, ordered the execution of Rory O’Connor in reprisal for a murder which happened while O’Connor was in custody, and O’Connor had been best man at O’Higgins’ wedding. Childers on the other hand made his son promise to shake hands with all the men who signed his death warrant).
However, I have nothing against fairies. A lot of the archaeological heritage one sees in the Republic of Ireland is there precisely because generations feared the fairies’ revenge.
With regard to Mr Haughey. Someone posted a copy of the famous poster of Richard Nixon sometime in the 1980s “Would you buy a used car from this man?” and Charlie Haughey’s face superimposed. The position of the Irish voter was the answer to the question: “No, but Garrett FitzGerald would”

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
10 months ago

Will you please upload a recording of yourself singing Lillibullero?

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
10 months ago

In regard to Kerrygold, it has gone far and wide outside Kerry (which prides itself on being a kingdom rather than a county). Not to department from the subject in hand, Kerrygold, and invariably any successful food problem in Ireland, is a cross-border phenomenon and I could bet that the milk used to produce the butter contains a quantity from Northern Irish cows proportionate to the bovine population on the island. This is one of the reasons behind the infamous protocol.

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
10 months ago

The treatment of Robert Erskine Childers by the Irish Free State government was a war crime and his own reaction to it was unbelievably noble (just remember that the then Justice Minister, Kevin O’Higgins, ordered the execution of Rory O’Connor in reprisal for a murder which happened while O’Connor was in custody, and O’Connor had been best man at O’Higgins’ wedding. Childers on the other hand made his son promise to shake hands with all the men who signed his death warrant).
However, I have nothing against fairies. A lot of the archaeological heritage one sees in the Republic of Ireland is there precisely because generations feared the fairies’ revenge.
With regard to Mr Haughey. Someone posted a copy of the famous poster of Richard Nixon sometime in the 1980s “Would you buy a used car from this man?” and Charlie Haughey’s face superimposed. The position of the Irish voter was the answer to the question: “No, but Garrett FitzGerald would”

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

No I would not recommend the pre-independence arrangement, but somehow De Valera & Co rather seem to have wrecked the new Republic.

You of course remember McQuaid & Co, exercising power on an extraordinary scale without any democratic mandate whatsoever!

Then you had some farcical events such as the Minister for Lands, one Erskine Hamilton Childers* having to intervene over a dispute about Fairies in 1958.

Next up that paragon of virtue Mr Charlie Haughey, of which no more said, and so on to the Anglo-Irish Banking fiasco and the Quinn brothers was it?

I did not realise Kerrygold had been so successful, so perhaps an apposite cognomen in view of the fabled Celtic Tiger?

(* Son off course of “that bloody Englishman”.)

Last edited 10 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
10 months ago

I don’t. Though I wonder would you seriously recommend the pre-independence arrangement to us. What Enda and his successors do is the sort of thinkg
Kerrygold, btw, is probably an even more successful Irish brand than Guinness – it’s ubitiquous on the continent.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

Not that those vacuous cretins in Westminster are anything to crow about.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

Yet some of you chaps still object to some us calling it the Kerrygold Republic!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

Not that those vacuous cretins in Westminster are anything to crow about.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago

As were the mothers.

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
10 months ago

I don’t think there is much connection between Enda Kenny and reality – he usually just spewed out what his spin doctors put in; I doubt the man has a single original thought in his head and his parliamentary record prior to 2011 (post-2011 too, if the truth be told) is dismal, to say the least.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

Or the late (Sir) Cyril Smith to name but one.
Too huge for buggery his forte was spanking or so I gather.

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
10 months ago

This was and is the dilemma for Irish residents: would we prefer to be ruled by our own scoundrels and idiots, or some else’s collection of scoundrels and idiots? Anarchism can be a really tempting idea at times.

Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
10 months ago

This was and is the dilemma for Irish residents: would we prefer to be ruled by our own scoundrels and idiots, or some else’s collection of scoundrels and idiots? Anarchism can be a really tempting idea at times.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

So this is completely spurious then? Or is/was Enda Kenny some form of deranged nutter?

“At the time, then Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Enda Kenny described the discovery as a “chamber of horrors”, adding the babies had been treated like “some kind of sub-species”.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

Or the late (Sir) Cyril Smith to name but one.
Too huge for buggery his forte was spanking or so I gather.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago

I can’t even begin to address that one. It was all very tragic. Those girls went through unspeakable suffering,It sounds like you’re unable to empathize, Charles, but I’m not really sure what you’re trying to say. Perhaps you can clarify.

Last edited 10 months ago by Clare Knight
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

The behaviour of the late Cardinal and virulent Anglophobe, Cormac Murphy O’Connor says it all.

Last edited 10 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Peadar Laighléis
Peadar Laighléis
10 months ago

This case is not as clear cut as present in the media. For one the Nuns were under-resourced and they unwittingly provided an excuse for the local authority to wash their hands of the issue. Secondly, the judicial enquiry into the affair found no evidence that the burial chamber was a septic tank. I don’t for a moment believe that Bon Secours sisters were uniformly angels of mercy, but there is a lot more to the horrible history of unfortunate girls falling into the hands of sadistic nuns.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
10 months ago

I’m not sure the sins are imaginary. If you don’t believe that touching up children is a sin then I’d argue your moral compass, along with that if your religion is sorely lacking

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You can be sure the sins are not imaginary, Billy Bob.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You can be sure the sins are not imaginary, Billy Bob.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago

What?!!!!” “Imaginary sins” !!!!!! Are you joking or just in major denial?

Paul Hendricks
Paul Hendricks
10 months ago

Correct. What a cheap headline.

Unfortunately it’s apparently too much to ask journalists to actually read the attorneys’ general reports.

Then the public would know how vague some of these claims are, how unsubstantiated; when not obviously cases of consensual homosexual activity.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

A different story of course with the Bon Secours Nuns of Tuam, Co Galway, disposing of unwanted babies* in a cesspit.

(*children of sin.)

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
10 months ago

I’m not sure the sins are imaginary. If you don’t believe that touching up children is a sin then I’d argue your moral compass, along with that if your religion is sorely lacking

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago

What?!!!!” “Imaginary sins” !!!!!! Are you joking or just in major denial?

Oliver McCarthy
Oliver McCarthy
10 months ago

Absolute nonsense! The answer, of course, is “No, it isn’t.”
More to the point though, why should Catholics have to pay out for the imaginary sins of priests?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago

I find myself feeling very disappointed when I learn that someone, for whom I had respect, is still a Catholic. It’s beyond me that any one with intellect and intelligence can knowingly enable leaders of a cult that abuses women and children.

Last edited 10 months ago by Clare Knight
Marissa M
Marissa M
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Yes.
I feel that way about supporters of Islam as well.

Marissa M
Marissa M
10 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Yes.
I feel that way about supporters of Islam as well.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
10 months ago

I find myself feeling very disappointed when I learn that someone, for whom I had respect, is still a Catholic. It’s beyond me that any one with intellect and intelligence can knowingly enable leaders of a cult that abuses women and children.

Last edited 10 months ago by Clare Knight