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Archive for August, 2011


Inquiries under way into alleged abuse at Cork school

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

THREE SEPARATE investigations are under way into the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart congregation while managing their Coláiste an Chroí Naofa school in Carraig na bhFear, near Cork city.

Last night both the Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald and Minister for Justice Alan Shatter welcomed decisions by the HSE and an Garda Síochána to investigate “concerns regarding the welfare and protection of children who attended a boarding school in Carraig na bhFear, Cork, run by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart”.

It is also understood the congregation requested that the Catholic Church’s child protection watchdog, the National Board for Safeguarding Children, conduct a review of child protection procedures at the school, which is currently under way.

State investigations there have been initiated by HSE national director Gordon Jeyes, and by Det Supt John McCann of the Garda’s Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Investigation Unit.

Last night Ms Fitzgerald said she “met Gordon Jeyes to discuss the issues involved and welcomed the priority being given by the HSE to the inquiry”.

The Ministers said she also felt that it was important to state they have been assured “that none of those against whom allegations have been made are currently engaged in any work activities which bring them into contact with children”.

In the Seanad on July 27th Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly named a priest who had taught at the school. Despite seven cases of alleged child abuse against the priest being reported to four different Garda stations between 1986 and 2008, the Director of Public Prosecutions declined to pursue a criminal prosecution against him, said Mr Daly.

Mr Daly said the Sacred Heart Missionaries had settled a civil case in relation to this priest before it was brought to court and accused them of failure to enforce restrictions placed upon the priest.

Last year, he said, the priest had been advertised as spiritual director for a pilgrimage abroad, where he could have unsupervised access to children.

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Catholic clergy ‘abused children for decades in County Donegal’

Report is expected to claim police were complicit in cover-up of sexual abuse by priests and lay members of the church

John O'Donnell

John O’Donnell, who says he was abused between the ages of nine and 15 by a man who sang in a local church choir in County Donegal. Photograph: Kim Haughton

County Donegal in Ireland is about to have its bucolic image shattered by a report into how paedophiles, both clergy and laity, abused children for decades.

An investigation into clerical sex abuse in the Catholic diocese of Raphoe in County Donegal is about to report its findings, which are expected to be damning. Meanwhile, new evidence has emerged from victims of a parallel paedophile ring operating in the same Gaelic-speaking corner of the Irish Republic.

A number of survivors of abuse have told the Guardian that lay members of the church as well as priests sexually exploited them for years in the county.

And as with the expected conclusion of the report into Raphoe, they say the national police service, the Garda, was complicit in a culture of cover-up that allowed the perpetrators to carry on abusing them.

Speaking for the first time about his abuse as a child and the subsequent cover-up, John O’Donnell revealed that he had been abused since he was nine by a lay member of a local church choir.

“He assaulted me from when I was nine until I was 15, until I was old enough to know it was wrong. This man took advantage because I was adopted and regarded as something lower than most kids in the area.

“The abuse took place at his home and in a shop he ran. It went on from 1965 to 1972.”

O’Donnell said that in 1973 he went to a local Garda station to report that he had been raped by the man, who has since died. He said the reaction to his claim was violent.

“A local guard was outraged that I was naming such a fine upstanding member of the community as a child rapist. The officer slapped me on the face and told me to get out. He said to me that I was adopted and not worth anything. From that day on I never fully trusted a member of the Garda Síochána.”

For years, O’Donnell said, he hid what had happened to him, and got married and raised a family without discussing it with his loved ones. It was only in the late 1990s when revelations of widespread child abuse rocked the Irish Catholic church that he decided to face up to what had happened to him.

“I found out that my abuser was still in the church choir and I was outraged because he was working with children. So I drove up to a parochial house in the area and tried to speak to the parish priest about this man. At the time I had finally got somewhere with the gardaí and they had questioned this man in a Donegal police station. I informed the parish priest about this but he wouldn’t even let me across his door. He kept saying: ‘No, no, no … I am not speaking to you about this.’ He didn’t want to know, and bear in mind this was only back in 2005.”

O’Donnell has claimed that other victims in this corner of Donegal are coming forward, with a picture emerging of an organised paedophile ring. Police are investigating their claims.

The Guardian has spoken to a number of other men in Donegal who have made similar allegations of an abuse ring and a cover-up spanning decades.

Throughout the decades of denial, the young men who were preyed upon by paedophiles in the county, both inside and outside the church, had one champion – a retired police detective, Martin Ridge.

Ridge moved to the county at the end of his career, and became so disturbed by official indifference that he wrote a book about the children’s experiences, Breaking the Silence.

He predicted that the Raphoe report would be “damning” and expose the same culture of “local denial and cover-up” that was found in other Catholic dioceses across Ireland.

Ridge admitted the police force he served in all his working life would not be spared withering criticism in the Raphoe report. Two years ago the Murphy report into widespread clerical abuse of children in Dublin, Ireland’s largest Catholic diocese, found that senior Garda officers colluded with four archbishops and top clerics in covering up the sex crimes of priests on a massive scale in the city.

“There were 45 victims of three different paedophiles, one of whom was a priest, another a school teacher. None of the victims wanted to be interviewed in local gardaí stations. The question has to be asked as to why they did not trust the local force when this was going on,” Ridge said.

The ex-Garda officer too has confirmed that an investigation is now under way into the alleged ring of abuse in north-west Ireland involving both priests and non-members of the clergy. It is understood to include an investigation into how a convicted child sex offender got a job in a local youth hostel after he was released from prison in 2006.

O’Donnell, meanwhile, opted to remain living in Falcarragh, County Donegal, despite the climate of cover-up and fear he has had to endure.

Surveying the natural beauty of the area, with its stunning mountains and seascapes, the 55-year-old said: “Yes, it’s a beautiful area with amazing views and scenery … it would be even more beautiful but for some of the bastards still living here.”

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Poepol van die Week en voorloper vir die Poepol van die Jaar, Angus Buchan, verwag groot dinge van got hierdie jaar. Ek wonder wat hierdie dinge is? Kan hy dalk vir ons ‘n lysie gee sodat ons kan check soos hierdie groot dinge gebeur?

Here Angus “cures” a man with the help of jesus who talked to him directly. Ker-ching!!!!!!!!!

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This a very good, watch it!

 

The conference was sponsored by:
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (ex-muslim.org.uk)
International Committee against Stoning (stopstonningnow.com)
Iran Solidarity (iransolidarity.org.uk)
Equal Rights Now (equalrightsnow-iran.com)
One Law for All (onelawforall.org.uk)

For more information, contact:
One Law for All
onelawforall@gmail.com
http://www.onelawforall.org.uk

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BOSTON August 25, 2011, 05:26 pm ET

Cardinal Sean O’Malley on Thursday released a long-awaited list of priests accused of child sex abuse in Boston in the last 60 years, but he opted not to include certain priests, including ones who died without being publicly charged.

In a letter, O’Malley said 248 of Boston’s priests and two deacons have been accused of child sex abuse since 1950. But he said he decided against releasing 91 of the names, including the deceased priests who weren’t publicly accused; those working in Boston under religious orders or other dioceses; and priests named in unsubstantiated accusations that never went public.

Each of the 159 names published Thursday has been made public previously, though not necessarily by the archdiocese. They include still-active priests who were cleared of abuse after being publicly accused.

O’Malley acknowledged that some people may have wanted him to “go further” and release more names. But he cited concerns about due process and the damage to the reputations of priests — alive and dead — when accused of decades-old crimes that are difficult to verify.

“In the present environment, a priest who is accused of sexually abusing a minor may never be able to fully restore his reputation, even if cleared after civil or canonical proceedings,” O’Malley said. “Reputational concerns also become acute in cases concerning deceased priests, who are often accused years after their death with no opportunity to address the accusations against them.”

O’Malley said the archdiocese’s effort to compile a single list of accused clerics was a step toward taking responsibility for clergy sex abuse. A national scandal broke in Boston in 2002 which revealed church leaders had shifted pedophile priests between parishes while hiding their crimes.

“I carry with me every day the pain of the church’s failures,” O’Malley said.

Stephen Clifford, who says he was abused by a priest while growing up in Wellesley, said he was pleased the archdiocese was “letting some more daylight in” but disappointed his abuser, who is dead, wasn’t listed. Clifford never went public with his accusation, which the archdiocese found credible enough to agree to pay for Clifford’s therapy, he said.

“I know that they know what this priest did to me,” Clifford said. “And the fact that he’s not on this list really makes me wonder, `Gosh, how many more are there like him that should be on the list, who aren’t?'”

Boston has been pressured to publish a list — as other dioceses have — since O’Malley said in a 2009 letter that the archdiocese was considering improving its policy on releasing information about accused clergy.

In recent months, prominent victims’ attorney Mitchell Garabedian, and the watchdog group BishopAccountability.org have independently released new names of accused priests, while expressing doubts the archdiocese ever intended to be truly forthcoming. BishopAccountability.org has estimated at least 350 religious workers in Boston have a substantive abuse accusations against them, based on the percentages from other dioceses that have disclosed their number of accused.

Advocates for abuse victims say such public lists ensure that credibly accused priests don’t remain active and also provide victims with validation, which is a crucial step toward healing. They accused O’Malley of inflicting more suffering on victims as months passed with no list.

The Rev. Richard Erikson, outgoing vicar general at the Boston Archdiocese, said the time it took to release the list reflects exhaustive efforts to ensure it was complete, fair and accurate.

David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said the list is woefully inadequate, but “every scintilla of disclosure” matters, because people will know to beware of the men listed.

“If one kid is kept away from one these priests because of this belated, begrudging and incomplete list, that’s still very significant,” he said.

In his letter, O’Malley said of the 91 names he didn’t release, 62 were deceased clergy. Twenty-two were priests — nine of them now in active ministry — who faced an abuse accusation that was never substantiated or made public. Four were priests or ex-priests under preliminary investigation. Three were defrocked or dismissed by the time they faced accusations that haven’t been made public.

O’Malley said he didn’t release names of accused religious order priests or priests from other dioceses “because the Boston Archdiocese does not determine the outcome in such cases; that is the responsibility of the priest’s order or diocese.”

But BishopAccountability has said religious orders are secretive, and called it a matter of “common decency” for O’Malley to release the names, since no one else will.

“O’Malley chose the safe course today,” the group said in a statement Thursday. “He chose to err today on the side of protecting priests, not children.”

In his letter, O’Malley also gave statistics he said showed the archdiocese’s efforts to protect children are working. He said of the 198 clergy sex abuse allegations reported to the archdiocese in the last six years, 4 percent involve incidents that allegedly happened since 1990. The percentage is consistent with prior analysis that showed the most of the abuse occurred between 1965 and 1982, he said.

O’Malley said he wasn’t trying to downplay the “heinous” abuse or the church’s mistakes, but rather “give the faithful some confidence that the policies adopted by the church to protect its children starting in the early 1990s have been effective.”

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Ek het ‘n vriendin wat deur ‘n baie moeilike tyd gaan op die oomblik. Sy het geboorte gegee aan ‘n seuntjie wat 2 maande te vroeg gebore was. Die arme kind gaan deur ‘n baie moeilike tyd en veg vir sy lewe. Hy het ‘n vreeslike infeksie opgedoen en moes ‘n lugpyp direk na sy longe toe by sy keel in gedruk kry, baie antibiotika, en 24 uur sorg in die ICU. Dit is ‘n hele span dokters en verpleegsters wat hom die heeltyd monitor en alles doen wat hulle kan vir die arme kind.

Die ding wat my nogal kry is dat sy en al haar vriende en vriendinne op Facebook die heeltyd net praat oor got se genade, liewe jesus se liefdevolle genesings krag, hoe hard hulle almal bid elke dag, hoe got hom gaan gesond maak, want hulle glo in sy liefde ens ens ens. Dis genoeg om mens se ooglede te laat reis. Maar ek het mooi gaan kyk. Uit die honderde comments wat nou al geskryf is, is daar nie ‘n enkele een wat se dat die dokters goed is nie, dat die verpleegsters hard werk nie, dat die antibiotika hom baie help nie. Niks, nie eers een nie. Nie eers van enige iemand af nie. O nee, dit is alles got en liewe jesus se genade wat die arme kind nog aan die lewe hou. Hulle het wel lekker gespot met die een dokter se naam. Die ou wat seker die meeste op vertrou moet word om hierdie kind ‘n kans te gee om te kan oorleef.

Dit wys jou net hoe hierdie gelowige mense se breine teen hierdie tyd in hulle lewens al lekker weg gevrot het. Hulle is nie slegte mense nie, maar hulle lewe word oorheers deur hulle spoke.

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Friday, Apr. 02, 1965

Religion: Faith: Healthy v. Neurotic

Theologically speaking, faith is a gift of God. But in the cold-eyed view of the trained psychiatrist, religious belief may also be a cover-up for deep inner anxiety and a cause of neurosis. Dr. Leon Salzman, professor of clinical psychiatry at Georgetown University medical school, argues that it is often difficult “to determine where religion ends and disease begins.” At the annual meeting in Washington of the Academy of Religion and Mental Health, a number of psychiatrists and clergymen tried to define the tenuous borderline between healthy and neurotic faith.

Church-Induced Guilt. Both clergymen and doctors agreed that authoritarian religion can be a major source of neurosis. Salzman noted some symptoms of unhealthy faith that often show up among new adherents to dogmatic churches: “an irrational intensity of belief” in the new doctrine, greater concern for form and theology than for ethical and moral principles, hatred of past beliefs, intolerance of deviation, and the desire for martyrdom to prove devotion. Jesuit Philosopher and Critic William F. Lynch added that neurotic religion frequently shows up among Roman Catholics as a denial of human feelings, a desire to find the will of God in every decision, and an unhealthy dependence on dogma as a means of obtaining absolute certainty.

More evidence that “legalistically structured” religion can produce neurosis came from Dr. Klaus Thomas, founder of Berlin’s Suicide Prevention Center. At the Center, he said, about 40% of 3,000 suicide-prone patients suffered from “ecclesiogenic neurosis” arising from guilt feelings—especially about sex—induced by their religious training. The church needs a “theology of eroticism,” he concluded, that would allow for what Luther called “sensuality governed by the Holy Spirit.”

Neurotic faith is not just a laymen’s problem. Dr. Leo H. Bartemeier of Baltimore’s Seton Psychiatric Institute suggested that ministers should be “as free as possible from delusions about their own omnipotence.” And the Rev. Edward S. Golden, secretary of the United Presbyterians’ Inter-Board Office of Personnel Services, argued that “there is a crisis in health with moral, physical and emotional manifestations among American clergy.” One sign of widespread disturbance among ministers, he noted, is that of the nation’s 8,500 United Presbyterian clergymen on pastoral assignment, 3,000 want to leave their churches, while 1,200 congregations are dissatisfied with their current preacher.

Humanity Breaks Through. Clergymen with emotional problems, both pastors and doctors agreed, usually come from homes with a weak father and a domineering mother. Unaccustomed to strong paternal authority, argued Golden, these ministers find their problems accentuated when they take over a parish, often to be overprotected by congregations that look up to them as Christ figures. Usually the symptoms of emotional distress are evident long before neurotic clerics are ordained, suggested Psychiatrist Robert J. McAllister, a consultant to Catholic University. Reporting on 100 hospitalized Catholic priests at the Seton Institute, he pointed out that 77 had serious emotional problems as seminarians; 32 ultimately became alcoholics. McAllister’ added that a conflict between their desire for perfection and their basic needs and desires can drive men to leave the priesthood entirely: “Suddenly their own humanity breaks through and they are gone.” One solution for the problem, suggested Dr. Bartemeier, would be for clergymen to submit to psychoanalysis. “If psychiatrists find it necessary, why not the same for the clergy?” he asked.

Perhaps the best definition of the frontier between health and neurosis in religion came from Dean Samuel Miller of the Harvard Divinity School. One measure of a healthy faith, he said, is “its ability to remain in relation to the threatening aspects of reality without succumbing to fear, shame, anxiety or hostility. An unhealthy religion runs away, becomes obsessed with a part in order to avoid the whole. The body is denied for the soul’s sake; the future becomes so fascinating that it blots out the present; all truth is limited to the Bible. A healthy religion unites existence, an unhealthy one divides it.”

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