The holocaust of child abuse continues in the Catholic Church. A publication by the National Board for Safeguarding Children strongly censured Bishop of Cloyne, John McGee, for “potentially exposing vulnerable children to further harm.”
Even the usually mild mannered and conservative Marian Fincuane (Saturday) was angry.
“I was listening to the Bishop on the six o’clock news where he said ‘we’re in learning mode’ – learning mode??
And I just think we should remind ourselves that Ivor Paine was first sent for treatment in 1981, the Brendan Smyth event happened in 1994, we had the revelation about the £30,000 which was paid to Andrew Madden and then we had Archbishop Connell coming out in May 1995.
Then we had Ferns, then, fortunately we had Archbishop Martin who said we’re going to get our act together here, we’re going to cooperate in every possible way with the State, we are going to be open and transparent.
But down in Cloyne they’re still in ‘learning mode’ and this is about the protection of children who can have their lives destroyed by these kinds of events happening. So, I think now that below in Cloyne it would be very useful if you got into a slightly faster learning mode.”
Matthew Ring, a priest who nine years ago courageously left the Diocese of Cloyne in disgust at how sex allegations were being dealt with by McGee, was even more to the point.
“If John McGee as bishop of Cloyne was resident in England he would be questioned by the police and all his documents would be removed from his house and there would be a thorough investigation into what went on. I think in terms of Ireland the bishops feel they’re above the law and above accountability and that’s the fundamental problem in Ireland. Until such time as a bishop is held before the courts of the land in Ireland there will be no transparency and no accountability.”
We at Public Inquiry would add to the list of those who are above the law in Ireland – Politicians, bureaucrats, bankers, solicitors, policemen – the list goes on.
The Catholic Church always puts its own interests before the vulnerable it claims to protect. This is unlikely to change given that it is now led by a man who fatefully served Hitler’s Nazi party until the very last days of the war.
The HSE, another agency that often operates outside the law, refused to give a date for the release of another report it possess concerning child abuse. No doubt it is waiting for the most opportune moment to slip it out quietly while the media is otherwise engaged.