After the mass at Dublin’s Phoenix Park, and after wittering on about the ‘Grave Scandal’ of sexual abuse by Catholic priests; Pope Francis will depart on his chartered jet, having dispensed, as far as can be known, the minimum of sorrowful platitudes and a self-serving apology, aimed at the media. Not, it must be affirmed, aimed in any way at those who so desperately needed to hear some form of true sorrow over the decades of criminal sexual abuse handed out on an industrial scale, by a good proportion of the Irish Catholic priests and nuns who were so trusted with the spiritual and corporeal well-being of their children. Over the years, the sordid truth emerged about the Magdalene Laundries, and the slave labour regimes held against the young women, whose only ‘crime’ was that they had borne a child outside wedlock. We also learned about the Baby farms, otherwise known as the Foundling homes, from where thousands of tiny children were routinely exported towards America for adoption. America, the land of the Almighty Dollar, where the American Catholic Church wallowed in the cash generated. But the worst was when we learned of the systematic cover-up of hundreds of cases of Catholic Priests who had sexually abused young children over literally decades, and; because of the shame and mental torture inflicted upon these youngsters, they rarely spoke or complained; sometimes for decades. Because when they did speak up, they were usually ritually humiliated with disbelief, because who could believe that a ‘Man of God’ was capable of such atrocities. The Church hierarchy, from Monsignor to Bishop to Cardinal; consistently and routinely denied all knowledge of the savage abuse, and equally routinely transferred the guilty perverted scum, masquerading behind clerical dog-collars, to a new, unsuspecting parish where they could continue their evil practices.
Ireland was indeed shaken to its very core because the whole Nation was suddenly awoken to the very real fact that there had been TWO Governments; the secular Irish government, with the elections, ministers and State departments: and also the invisible hand of the real Government, otherwise known as the Roman Catholic Church. From the largest cathedrals to parish churches, the agents of the Invisible Government, under the guise of priests, monsignors, bishops and archbishops; laid the law down, and ensured that THEIR words were taken and observed ahead of anything promulgated by the Dublin Government. Ever more cash was demanded for tithes to the church, and the beady eyes of those priests ensured that those who did not give were noted and berated. Birth control, contraception were deemed a mortal sin, children and yet more children were the only results of a ‘good marriage’, and yet when the ignorant and uneducated Irish girls and women became pregnant outside of marriage, the response was to herd those ‘outcast’ pregnant girls and women into the Magdalene Lines.
On Saturday, Francis again acknowledged a “grave scandal” and “repugnant crimes”; but we have yet to hear a single statement, from the most powerful Catholic in the world, which goes even part of the way to restore faith in the whole idea, the very process; of a Church which has so grievously sinned against the very ones which it was supposed to protect.
We read a few days back, of the abuse lasting over SEVEN DECADES, within the Pennsylvania Diocese, where literally hundreds of priests committed thousands of crimes against children, and that sexual abuse was both known about and covered up, from the very top, inclusive of Bishops and Cardinals! We learn of an Cardinal being accused of serious sexual molestation from FIFTY years ago, and the protection afforded that man which allowed his continued ascent to the very top of that religious slope.
Just a week ago, a brand-new Cardinal from Mexico has suggested that victims who accuse priests should be “ashamed” because they too have skeletons in their own closets. Those who “accuse men of the Church should [be careful] because they have long tails that are easily stepped on,” said Cardinal Sergio Obeso Rivera according to a report.. This from a man who has just been elevated to the College of Cardinals by the Pope.
The World Meeting of Families is expected to announce its estimate of the attendance later, a spokesperson said this afternoon. 500.000 were supposed to attend. Less than 130,000 turned up to watch Pope Francis celebrate Mass.