New York Times Magazine says Irish turning their back on church
Abuse scandals have resulted in massive crisis, article claims
He told the “Times,” “At times it didn’t feel like there was a line between sexual abuse and corporal punishment. Every Friday one of the brothers would take a boy in front of the class, and whichever way he hit you he’d always put his hand on your testicles. We would laugh, but in fact you were in a permanent state of fear.
“I would vomit in the morning before going out to school. They would hit you across the face if you got a sum wrong. I suppose they did teach me to read and write and for that I should be grateful, but I’m not.”
Clerical sex-abuse scandals have been uncovered in the United States, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Britain, Italy and many other countries, but in Ireland the “stakes for the Vatican are tangible.”
Ninety percent of schools in Ireland are under church patronage. Also, all public hospitals are run by the church which means procedures such as abortions and vasectomies are either illegal or problematic.
The Vatican is now trying to implement damage control in Ireland by sending the Apostolic Visitation, a group of top clergymen from outside of Ireland, to investigate the abuse scandal, the training of priests and the running of parishes.
Fr. Sean McDonagh, a leader of the Association of Irish Priests, has suggested that the Vatican “should begin by scrutinizing Rome’s own handling of sex-abuse allegations.”
Rev. Donald Cozzens, an American priest and respected moderate voice on Catholic issues told the “Times,” “I’m not aware of any major diocese in the world that has not had a sexual abuse scandal, and I believe part of the problem lies with the very structures of the church. I don’t want to say change would require a different pope or even a different culture, but it will require radical openness.
“We have to take an honest look at all the things that are in play. Is mandatory celibacy wise or even theologically sound?”
The two reports on abuse published in Ireland run to over 2,500 pages. The Ryan report examined the abuse which took place in institutions, while the Murphy report focused on the abuse that took place in the Diocese of Dublin. The details are graphic, violent and gruesome. T
The Times article describes that parts of the reports “read like a cross between Charles Dickens and Dan Brown: ‘I was beaten and hospitalized by the head brother and not allowed to go to my father’s funeral in case my bruises were seen’ and ‘I was tied to a cross and raped while others masturbated at the side.””
Pope Benedict’s plan for rebuilding the Catholic Church in Ireland as well as the visitation from outside Ireland includes prayer, fasting and engaging in “Eucharistic adoration.” The “Times” article asks, “Do the church authorities get it?”
They illustrate this point through Marie Collins’ case. Collins was abused, during the 1960s, when she was 13-years-old while in hospital.
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