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Some Irish history

Cloyne, Kenny,
Leanza - 2011

Irish Catholic Church in scandal, Summer 2002

The Catholic Church is in deep sh*t.

I'm living in Ireland, whose population is predominantly Catholic, at least in name. Twenty or so years ago, no —you went to mass, and were Catholic. The Catholicism of Ireland is connected hand-in-glove with Ireland's historical national identity.

There has been not so much a string as a rash of charges lately, and allegations and emerging stories, of child rape in the priesthood, over the years. And, there have been profound revelations about culpability further up the heirarchy. A bishop authorized a large payment to a past victim of a priest, in order to keep her quiet.

Eamon Casey, Bishop of Galway

His 1992 resignation was the beginning of the decline of theocracy in Ireland....

Most of the rapes — the serial rapings — were of boys. The environment was a prime field for any gay pedophile.

At school, the order was martial. This was true for girls as well as boys. A leather strap for lashing the hands or ass might or might not have been sewn-in with pound coin. Wood-backed felt blackboard erasers might fly at an inattentive student. A kid would not go home and tell their parents that they'd been beaten at school. If they did so, it was normal to get a beating at home as well.

It is apparent now that a lot of the cruelty was accompanied by patterns of sexual molestation. The Church is, now, undergoing the kind of scrutiny that it did not receive earlier. It's not faring well.

But it's not just in Ireland that the church is doing poorly, and for problems of the same kind.

The American Catholic church has lately been confronting the incidence of child sexual abuse on a truly grand and sickening scale. Nor, there, has the church been so much as forthcoming in the investigations. They have not exactly come out in favor of child rape, but have not confronted it as the horror that it must be—dominated by "Men of God" and molested for years.

In Rome, even the Pope himself, in his antiquity, is having to confront world leaders about the child sexual abuse that appears to have long been epidemic within the organization.

Epidemic, from one point of view. Endemic, maybe.

— June 2002