Bring your daugter to the slaughter

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Honey it’s getting close to midnight
And all the myths are still in town
True love and lipstick on your linen
Bite the pillow make no sound
If there’s some living to be done (HA)
Before your life becomes your tomb
You’d better know that I’m the one
So unchain your back door invite me around

[Chorus]
Bring your daughter, bring your daughter to the slaughter
Let her go, let her go, let her go

Honey it’s getting close to daybreak
The sun is creeping in the sky
No patent remedies for heartache
Just empty words and humble pie
So get down on your knees honey
Assume an attitude
You just pray that I’ll be waiting
Cos you know I’m coming soon

[Chorus]
So pick up your foolish pride, no going back
No where, no way, no place to hide

This song by Iron Maiden kind of sums up a lot about the RCC child abuse.

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Orders should give more to redress scheme, says Healy

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IRISH TIMES reporters

The religious congregations should make further financial contributions to the Government’s redress scheme for abuse survivors, Fr Seán Healy of the Conference of Religious of Ireland (Cori)’s justice department said today.

Fr Healy signalled today that the 18 congregations mentioned in the Ryan commission report should fund up to 50 per cent of the controversial 2002 redress deal, the cost of which currently stands at €1.3 billion.

Insisting he was speaking independently of Cori, Fr Healy told the Social & Family Affairs Committee in Leinster House today: “Without doubt substantial additional resources should be made available by the congregations involved.

“We are not aware what resources the 18 congregations have. If financial resources exist, then they should be applied to addressing this reality. If financial resources do not exist, then other resources that are available should be contributed.”

Fr Healy said: “All options must be on the agenda including the possibility of making a further much larger contribution to meet the bill for redress and to assist the victims.”

Fr Healy’s call come as several religious congregations said they would join the Christian Brothers in reviewing how to make amends to victims of abuse.

Last night Taoiseach Brian Cowen called for the 18 congregations to provide further money to victims and to attend new talks on how they can pay.

Nuns from the Sisters of Mercy said they accepted Mr Cowen’s invitation to talks and also “looked forward to considering ways of addressing the very serious issues that are now before us”.

The Sisters of St Clare today also confirmed their intention to make additional resources available to former residents. The order accepted the invitation to talks and said they would work with those who have suffered and other congregations in searching for the best way of making this response.

“We again apologise unreservedly for the wrongs done by members of our congregation” said Sr Patricia Rogers Abbess today.

The Sisters of Our Lady of Charity and the Good Shepherd Sisters also issued statements today saying they welcomed the Taoiseach’s invitation.

“We recognise the vital need to find new ways of addressing the extreme hurt being felt by so many people and we will do our utmost to this end,” the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity statement read

“We are determined to respond in the most effective and meaningful way to former residents who were abused while in our care. We recognise the suffering of past residents, who were abused and we again apologise unreservedly to them for our failures,” a statement from the Good Shepherd Sisters said.

A statement issued this evening by another order, the Oblates, which ran the notorious Daingean Reformatory in Co Offaly, said it would contact the Government to discuss the allocation of financial resources towards meeting the needs of those who have suffered in their care and to promote the implementation of the recommendations in the Ryan report.

“We the Oblates of Mary Immaculate stand accused and ashamed of the abuse that happened in St Conleth’s Reformatory, Daingean. We acknowledge that the system failed the children in our care. We take responsibility and unreservedly apologise and ask forgiveness for our part in that failure.”

Yesterday, the Christian Brothers’ congregation promised to commit “substantial resources’’ to former residents of institutions managed by them.

On Monday, Cardinal Sean Brady, the Catholic Primate of All Ireland, said all 18 religious congregations involved in managing institutions investigated by the Ryan commission should revisit the 2002 redress deal agreed with the State and that all of them should contribute more.

The 2002 agreement between the congregations and the State indemnified the religious orders from all redress claims made by victims in exchange for payments and property transfers totalling €127 million. However, the total bill for the redress scheme is now likely to be about €1.3 billion.

In their statement yesterday, the Brothers said that “as a congregation, we recognise and accept our culpability along with our moral obligation to former residents, to present and future generations of children and to society as a whole”.

This morning Minister for Defence Willie O’Dea said the Government is adamant the religious orders will make a significant contribution. Mr O’Dea refused to be drawn on the size of figures involved if any but he said the Government “will make sure the religious congregations meet their obligations in this regard.”

He said how much they pay depends on the “resources available to them”.

Speaking on RTÉ radio he said: “The first step is we will be calling in the religious congregations and we’ll see where we go from there.”

Bernadette Fahy, a former resident of the Goldenbridge industrial school in Dublin, welcomed the Government’s move by saying it marked “progress“. She said any money should be handed over to an independent trust to keep it “as distant” from the religious orders as possible.

Statement from the congregations

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Statement from the congregations

A statement from the 18 congregations involved in the Government redress agreement

Last Thursday, the 18 congregations that signed the Redress Agreement with the Government in 2002 planned a meeting in Dublin to jointly discuss the Ryan Report.

The following statement was agreed at the conclusion of the meeting today.

“At our meeting in Dublin this morning, we again recognise and accept the gravity of the findings and conclusions contained in the Ryan Report. We fully accept that we seriously failed vulnerable people while in our care and that we have an on-going responsibility to try to meet their needs.

“Rather than re-opening the terms of the agreement reached with Government in 2002, we reiterate our commitment to working with those who suffered enormously while in our care. We must find the best and most appropriate ways of directly assisting them.

“We will meet again in the coming days to explore the detail of our responses.”

Statement from Cori

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Statement from Cori

The statement issued by the the Conference of the Religious in Ireland (Cori).

Cori, which represents 138 religious congregations, wishes again to place on record its recognition of the appalling reality presented in the Ryan Report published last Wednesday. As previously stated the emotional, physical and sexual abuse suffered by so many children on such a vast scale is horrendous.

Cori supports the eighteen congregations whose institutions were investigated by the Ryan Report in their efforts to find the best and most appropriate ways forward (a statement was issued on behalf of these 18 congregations earlier this evening).

All of us accept with humility that massive mistakes were made and grave injustices were inflicted on very vulnerable children. No excuse can be offered for what has happened.

The recommendations and conclusions of the Ryan Report an imperative for all those involved in the care of vulnerable people.

Greeks free nun-dressed Britons

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Greeks free nun-dressed Britons

The men being escorted to court

The men appeared in court in the clothes they were arrested in

Seventeen British men arrested for wearing nuns’ habits and accused of offensive behaviour been freed by a court on the Greek island of Crete.

The prosecutors dropped the charges against them after no one showed up to testify that they had been upset by the tourists’ conduct.

The men, who were also wearing women’s lingerie, spent a night in police cells in Crete wearing their outfits.

They appeared in court on Monday in the clothes they had on when arrested.

They were apprehended in the early hours of Sunday morning and held for “scandal and misrepresentation of a costume or uniform”.

The male tourists, aged between 18 and 65, were in the seaside holiday town of Malia, and appeared in court in Iraklio.

The British Embassy in Athens confirmed that all 17 had been released.

The BBC’s Malcolm Brabant said the men, all from the Bristol area, went out dressed in habits and saucy lingerie, lifting up their skirts to reveal bottoms and G-strings.

For the past two or three years, Malia has become synonymous with Britons behaving badly and it has been awarded the dubious “party central” crown previously held by rowdy resorts such as Faliraki in Rhodes, and Kavos in Corfu, our correspondent added.

Scientology on trial in France

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Scientology on trial in France

Paris branch of Church of Scientology

The Church says it cannot be responsible for individuals

The Church of Scientology has gone on trial in the French capital, Paris, accused of organised fraud.

The case centres on a complaint by a woman who says she was pressured into paying large sums of money after being offered a free personality test.

The church, which is fighting the charges, denies that any mental manipulation took place.

France regards Scientology as a sect, not a religion, and the organisation could be banned if it loses the case.

It will be the first time the church has appeared as a defendant in a fraud case in France. Previous court cases have involved individual Scientologists.

Books and medication

The woman at the centre of the case says she was approached by church members in Paris 10 years ago, and offered a free personality test. But, she says, she ended up spending 21,000 euros ($29,400, £18,400) on lessons, books and medicines she was told would cure her poor mental state.

Her lawyers are arguing that the church systematically seeks to make money by means of mental pressure and the use of scientifically dubious “cures”.

A lawyer for the church, Patrick Maisonneuve, said: “We will contest every charge and prove that there was no mental manipulation.”

The church’s spokeswoman in France said it was being “hounded” by the French courts.

Scientology was founded in the United States in the 1954 by science-fiction writer L Ron Hubbard. High profile supporters include the Hollywood stars John Travolta and Tom Cruise.

In Germany last year, it was declared unconstitutional.

However, a Spanish court ruled that the Church of Scientology of Spain should be re-entered into the country’s register of officially recognised religions.

Congregations rule out revisiting abuse deal

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Congregations rule out revisiting abuse deal

IRISH TIMES REPORTERS

The 18 congregations that signed the controversial deal with the Government in 2002 to compensate victims of abuse in institutions said this evening they would not renegotiate the terms of the agreement.

The move by the congregations comes despite increasing public pressure and a call this morning by the Catholic primate Cardinal Seán Brady that the deal should be revisited.

The 2002 agreement between the congregations and the State indemnified the religious orders from all redress claims made by victims in exchange for payments and property transfers totalling €127 million. The total bill for the redress scheme is likely to be about €1.3 billion.

Following a meeting in Dublin this morning the congregations said this evening they “accepted the gravity” of the abuse detailed in the Ryan report last week. However, the statement added: “Rather than re-opening the terms of the agreement reached with Government in 2002, we reiterate our commitment to working with those who suffered enormously while in our care. We must find the best and most appropriate ways of directly assisting them.”

The statement said the group would meeting in the coming days to “explore the detail of our responses”.

The Conference of the Religious in Ireland (Cori), which represents 138 religious congregations, said in a statement this evening that it supports the 18 congregations in their efforts to find “the best and most appropriate ways forward”

“All of us accept with humility that massive mistakes were made and grave injustices were inflicted on very vulnerable children. No excuse can be offered for what has happened,” the Cori statement said.

Cardinal Seán Brady said earlier the 2002 deal should be revisited and said any new deal should bear in mind the needs of victims.

“It should be revisited and taken into consideration the potential of people to pay and above all the needs of the victims – we have to keep coming back to that,” he said.

Cardinal Brady was speaking in Maynooth where bishops are meeting to discuss plans for their three-day summer meeting next month and to consider their response to the report of the Commission on Child Abuse published last week.

His comments echo those made by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, who has called on Catholic religious congregations to make a “new gesture of recognition” of the abuse carried out in institutions they ran.

In today’s Irish Times, Dr Martin described as “stunning” the fact that implementation of a redress agreement made with the State seven years ago has yet to be fully completed.

Minister for the Environment John Gormley today hinted that progress could be made on increasing the amount of money the church will contribute to the compensation scheme to victims of abuse.

Speaking this morning, Mr Gormley said “I think that if the contracting parties both agree to reopen, then we can make progress”.

He said: “In relation to legalities it’s not clear yet because the AG [Attorney General] has to brief the Cabinet and he will do so tomorrow.

“We do need to bring closure to this very difficult chapter in our history.”

Mr Gormely said he welcomed Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin’s comments in this morning’s Irish Times as “a new development and a sign of progress”.

“It sounds to me from what Diarmuid Martin and others have said there could be some movement and I would welcome that.”

Mr Gormley was critical of the 2002 deal and said it seemed the State was left “carrying the overwhelming burden of it”.

Addressing the religious congregations who ran institutions criticised in the Child Abuse Commission report, Dr Martin said: “The fact that the mechanisms of fulfilling your side of that agreement have not yet been brought to completion is stunning,” he writes.

“There may have been legal difficulties, but they are really a poor excuse after so many years.

“Whatever happens with regards to renegotiating that agreement, you cannot just leave things as they are.

“There are many ways in which substantial financial investment in supporting survivors and their families can be brought about, perhaps in creative ways which would once again redeem your own charism as educators of the poor.

“In many ways it is your last chance to render honour to charismatic founders and to so many good members of your congregations who feel tarnished,” Dr Martin writes.