Only “Some” Priests Guilty?
Eight chapters of the Ryan Report were devoted to institutions run by the “Christian Brothers” order, whose schools cared for more boys than all the other Roman Catholic-run institutions put together. A spokesman for the order, known to Papists as “Brother” Edmund Garvey, said: “We apologise openly and unreservedly to all those who have been hurt – either directly or indirectly – as a result of the deplorable actions of some brothers or by the inaction or inappropriate action of the congregation as a whole. We are deeply sorry for the hurt caused. We are ashamed and saddened that many who complained of abuse were not listened to. We acknowledge and regret that our responses to physical and sexual abuse failed to consider the long-term psychological effects on children.”
Note the attempt, even while issuing the “apology”, to give the impression that only “some brothers” were guilty of this abuse. Some? The report showed that the abuse was committed by hundreds and hundreds of priests and monks! Yet over and over again, these wicked institutions tried to make the public believe that there were just a few “rotten apples” in the basket. What a lie.
And this man admitted that many who complained of abuse were not listened to. This then shows that there was a deliberate conspiracy to keep the truth hidden, and that it must have been known by many more men in these orders than even the many who actually committed the abuse!
The “apology”, then, was meaningless, as all such “apologies” are.
The editor of The Southern Cross, despite voicing his disgust at the priestly child abusers, still wrote that “the dignity of the priesthood has been diminished by the crimes of a small number of priests, and by bishops who covered up for them.” A small number? The number of those who have been exposed runs into tens of thousands – is this a small number? About a decade before this report was released, Roman Catholic priest Andrew Greeley estimated that priests in the United States had abused at least 120 000 minors. This was a conservative estimate – the true number was far, far higher. And by the time the report was released another decade had passed, so the true number was higher still.
The Roman pope, Benedict XVI, made the same claim – that although “some” priests had done great harm, the majority were exemplary. After praising priests who work under the threat of persecution and endure much suffering, Benedict added, “there are also, sad to say, situations which can never be sufficiently deplored where the Church herself suffers as a consequence of infidelity on the part of some of her ministers.” There was that word, “some”, again. It is only some priests who do these things – this is the continual message we hear. But it’s a lie.
This is Rome’s subtle way of covering up the full truth of the matter. As they say, tell a lie, tell it often enough, and the people will believe it. For example, a Brazilian cardinal, Cláudio Hummes, said that people must recognise that the vast majority of the world’s priests have never been involved in any kind of abuse. But how could he be so sure? How could he possibly know? As many tens of thousands of priests worldwide have thus far been exposed as child abusers, who can say how many more will be exposed in the future? The system itself is wicked, and makes it easy for such abusers to find a home within the priesthood. Rome’s priesthood has always been stuffed full of such men, and there is absolutely nothing to indicate it is suddenly going to change.
And Then There Were the Papists who Dismissed the Findings and Defended Rome…
Although some priests and bishops issued “apologies” and expressed shock and dismay at the revelations of the Ryan Report, others dismissed it and rallied to the defence of Rome; and the real attitude of Rome to such reports and revelations was revealed by these priests, not by those who sanctimoniously issued “apologies” and wrung their hands. When William Donohue of the Catholic League called the reaction to the Ryan Report “hysteria”, ex-priest Richard Sipe came out with guns blazing and wrote, “Donohue is a Bozo. I don’t know any other appellation that can adequately describe the uninformed, unintelligent, and frankly stupid reaction of a man who responds thus to the facts of abuse by supposedly responsible and trusted religious”. He went on: “As one reviews the list of clerics who support Donohue and the League – Egan, Mahony, Chaput, O’Brien, O’Malley and others – with encomiums for ‘the protection of the faith, the defense of victims, courage to speak up candidly, teaching the hard truths of the Gospel’ – one is struck by the oppositional, obstructionistic, and arrogant way all of the clerical Donohue supporters still operate…. Those like Donohue who minimize and distort the real picture of clergy abuse of sex and power continue to do a huge disservice to the Catholic Church. Every U.S. Grand Jury investigation into clergy sexual abuse of minors came to exactly the same conclusion: the church has colluded to cover up facts, protect offenders and preferred institutional image and the avoidance of scandal above the safety of children. Hundreds of thousands of Catholics know the truth even if many are too intimidated or tired to say so aloud. There is nothing hysterical – over emotional or attention seeking – in the Irish Report or in reactions to it. Only a Bozo would think so. Facts, even painful facts, are still facts – the truth remains solid even after attacks or dismissals from powerful coalitions. Truth silently prevails, Bozos don’t.”
Just how “sorry” the priests and monks really were was shown by the reaction of many to the anger displayed by Diarmuid Martin, the Romish archbishop of Dublin, when the details of the Ryan Report became known. Martin claimed that he was so angry over the documents in his archives that he threw them to the ground. Perhaps he did, perhaps not. But the Irish religious orders accused him of “throwing us to the wolves” (their phrase) after the revelations came out – and they were furious with him. A Redemptorist priest named Tony Flannery revealed that many members of religious orders felt “terrified”, “ashamed”, “hurt” and “betrayed” by the actions and public statements of Martin and other members of the hierarchy who led the public criticism of members of the religious orders of Ireland. He said “there is enormous anger among religious [members of religious orders]. They feel that they have been scapegoated, particularly by one member of the hierarchy, the Archbishop of Dublin.”
This just shows that many of the men in these orders were more concerned with their own reputations than with the abuse that had been committed against thousands of children. At the same time, of course, one can understand their anger over the fact that high-ranking ecclesiastical leaders put on pious faces and expressed shock and horror, when there is simply no way they did not know that these things were going on right under their noses, and no doubt many of them were guilty of abuse as well. They were indeed making scapegoats of those under them, when they were just as guilty and utterly hypocritical to express sorrow and dismay over the report. As journalist Damiean Thompson correctly observed: “underneath all his [Martin’s] public soul-searching and the sound of documents hitting the archiepiscopal floor, I think we can hear the sound of nifty footwork.”
Is There Any Future for Roman Catholicism in Ireland?
As a result of the priestly sex scandals in Ireland and the devastating Ryan Report, the crisis for Rome in that once-so-Romanist country was truly immense, and many wondered then, as they wonder now, if there is any future for the Roman Catholic institution in Ireland. Romish archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, publicly conceded at the time that the scandals had seriously damaged the image and credibility of the Roman Catholic institution in Ireland. And writing in The Irish Times, historian and journalist Brendan Ó Cathaoir described the Irish Republic as a state of “unbridled clerical power”, where the Romish “Church” possessed “unrivalled authority”, but stated that the Ryan Report had consigned the triumphalist Roman Catholic “Church” in Ireland to the dustbin of history. The latest vote in Ireland, in which the majority voted overwhelmingly in favour of abortion, would indicate that he may have been right.