Child abuse monster Father Brendan Smyth ruined my life
“I refused their hush money,” said McGonigle.
The Diocese of Providence has paid for therapy and medical expenses McGonigle has incurred as a result of the abuse by Smyth.
McGonigle, who still has a case pending against the Diocese of Providence, realizes that it’s too late for Smyth to be brought to justice, but she longs for the Catholic Church to recognize the abuse he inflicted on the children of her parish while he served his time there.
“I would like bystanders and victims alike to come forward with information -- not just about Brendan Smyth -- in any case where they suspect child sexual abuse or child abuse is occurring,” she said.
“I also would like to see living pedophiles and those who have been complicit in their crimes prosecuted, and that includes clerics. It's mind boggling that just because a pedophile wears a roman collar he escapes criminal prosecution.
“The double standard has to stop and people must report to civil authorities, the police and child protection, not the church. The Catholic Church will only cover it up.”
McGonigle encounters clergy abuse even through her work. She is currently litigating a case of sexual abuse in the clergy for a deceased client, allowing her insight into the working of the church.
“I am having a first hand glimpse of the strategies and tactics used by the Catholic Church,” said McGonigle.
McGonigle does not attend Mass anymore. “I cannot attend church, and in my situation it would be against doctor's orders. Due to the stress brought about by the sexual abuse inflicted by Father Brendan Smyth, I had a grand mal seizure at age eight at Palm Sunday mass at Our Lady of Mercy,” remembers McGonigle.
“Once this all surfaced for me, and I had not had a grand mal seizure since I was eight, after some 39 years, I had another grand mal. The altar, white robes and smell of paraffin from the candles is all too triggering for me. Even the letters on the crucifix over Jesus -- "INRI" to me as a child registered as In Rhode Island -- that is a place of suffering,” she said.
McGonigle has her own personal relationship with God.
Smyth was convicted on 91 counts of child molestation – 17 in Northern Ireland and 74 in the summer
McGonigle isn’t included in this number. And undoubtedly, there are more just like her.
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