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Originally Posted by Converted Viking
Hi Alice:

I think what ought to be done is that those orders that were involved in this should be shut down and disbanded.

In Christ:
Einar

This would be a kind of collective punishment which would be unjust and un-Christian. It would be like punishing not just the criminal, but also his or her family.

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Originally Posted by Converted Viking
Hi Alice:

I think what ought to be done is that those orders that were involved in this should be shut down and disbanded.

In Christ:
Einar


I think that is a pretty harsh response to the situation. One of the reasons that this hit me so hard is that I was educated by the Sisters of Mercy. I have much love for them and know several Sisters of Mercy to this day. They did their best to educate me and shared their love of God with me during the turbulent early 70s, when so many were abandoning their vocations. I am forever grateful the the Sisters of Mercy and am so sad to hear about this. I know many who can say the same about the Christian Brothers.

Elizabeth

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Originally Posted by babochka
Originally Posted by Converted Viking
Hi Alice:

I think what ought to be done is that those orders that were involved in this should be shut down and disbanded.

In Christ:
Einar


I think that is a pretty harsh response to the situation. One of the reasons that this hit me so hard is that I was educated by the Sisters of Mercy. I have much love for them and know several Sisters of Mercy to this day. They did their best to educate me and shared their love of God with me during the turbulent early 70s, when so many were abandoning their vocations. I am forever grateful the the Sisters of Mercy and am so sad to hear about this. I know many who can say the same about the Christian Brothers.

Elizabeth


Well I am sorry for those that have been abused. It will be interesting to see how long the church takes in responding to this scandal. It is time to make an example out of them so others see that there are consequences.

In Christ:
Einar

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Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Originally Posted by Converted Viking
Hi Alice:

I think what ought to be done is that those orders that were involved in this should be shut down and disbanded.

In Christ:
Einar

This would be a kind of collective punishment which would be unjust and un-Christian. It would be like punishing not just the criminal, but also his or her family.

Here is were I disagree with you! The Christian Brothers order successfully sued in court in 2004 to keep all names of the living and dead members of that order from being publicly reported. This makes the entire order complicit in not only covering up the issue, but is also an accessory to the crimes. The order by this action is condoning what has happened and is not showing any remorse, just covering their back ends. Either allow the names to be published and prosecuted or face disbandment or banishment from operating in the territory of the republic. It is time for the Church to take a stand and say this will not be tolerated as a way to send a message to all.

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Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Let us not despair in the face of evil, even when we find evil present within the Church. Let us trust in the Lord and offer prayers for all those involved, especially the innocent victims of this terrible scandal.


Sounds absolutely Dickensian..Let's not forget that Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, and other Dicken's characters were not a figment of the imagination...they existed throughout Europe, albeit with other names...the absolute truth is that throughout history, in Europe, orphaned, bastard, fatherless, abandoned children, or those from dysfunctional or broken homes (aka: considered lower class in class conscious Europe of years past) were treated as if they were worthless. People were very mean, and the rare soul that could step out of this acceptable mindset could make a world of difference to a child and their future life and psyche.

In some ways, we may be better people here and now, thanks to the democratic values of this wonderful country of the United States, though we are accosted in the media with more horrific tales perpetrated against children-- not because of meanness, not because of class intolerance or social intolerance and/or social ostracization-- but because of demonic/sexual/psychopathic behaviour.

Foster homes are supposed to be superior to the development and security of a child than institutional orphanages...but after so many horror stories which we hear, are they really?!?! It seems that those children who do not have loving homes and the support of adults will always be vulnerable to suffering at the hands of other adults. Even respectable adults with children can sometimes be mean and cruel to the children of others they know out of jealousy, competitiveness, or just plain maliciousness. Just as the poor will always be with us, so will the cruel hearted. Scripture tells us that Christians should take care of widows and orphans...because they were so cruelly treated back then...

So I think what we need to do as Christians is to be the best Christians we can be, and to always treat all the children that we encounter with dignity and respect. Every random act of kindness we engage in can have a profound effect on another soul, another human being..either immediately or in his or her future. We are all souls interconnected and though we cannot do anything about the sin of others, we can be icons of holiness to children and others, in the hopes that we are making a difference in a way that we may never know, but that will be profound.

Alice




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Well said!

We should pray for the innocent and those who suffered- but whatever damage was done-was done!

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As long as we can look into our churches right now, and make sure these abuses aren't happening in our churches right now and in the future, then we are on the right path institutionally.


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As long as child rapists and their enablers are still unpunished and in power is the extent that the Church is (still) complicit in child rape and covering it up.

Some of the perverts involved are beyond any earthly justice, but they are still up for God's justice.

However, those who remain on this side of the veil should be punished. Not just prayed for. Punished.

This is the fourfold task of cleaning up the mess: (1) punishing the perpetrators, (2) helping the victims, (3) reforming the institutions by accountability, and checks and balances, and most especially by transparency and (4) trying, God willing, to re-establish some kind of moral credibility for the Church. If the Church works honestly and diligently at steps 1, 2, and 3, it will go a long way to accomplishing step 4.

-- John

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As shocking as the news reports may be, I invite you to read the actual report of the Commission.

After several hours of doing so, my mind is reeling. The general attitude of the religious orders involved has been one of mitigation.

Secret Squirrel already referenced the response of the Christian Brothers. The following comments, relative to the two women's religious orders whose institutions were studied by the Commission, are telling, as well:

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Sisters of Charity submitted that the sexual and physical abuse that was perpetrated on the children in these Schools was inflicted by parties other than members of the Congregation. Therefore, they stated, ‘the issue of making a public apology did not arise for the Sisters of Charity’.


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At the Phase I hearing I said very clearly that we (Sisters of Mercy) were not in a position to accept as factually correct the allegations of serious physical abuse or injury to any child. And that would cover those points. She continued that, having attended all of the private hearings, she would be of the same view


The fourth congregation which was a subject of the hearings was the Institute of Charity, a male congregation known popularly as the Rosminians. Of them, the Commission said:

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The Rosminians sought to understand abuse, in contrast to other Orders who sought to explain it. They accepted that abuse had occurred in their institutions, and that the institutions in themselves were abusive.

The biggest contrast between the Rosminians’ position and other Orders was in its acceptance of responsibility for what happened in their industrial schools. Even when factors such as inadequate resources were involved, they took responsibility for tolerating them and doing nothing about it.


I'd readily agree that the Christian Brothers, the Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of Charity should be disbanded. Those among their numbers who wish to continue in religious life should be offered the opportunity to pursue it in other venues. The three have brought such disgrace on themselves as collective bodies that they cannot hope to recover and that their leaderships have evinced the attitudes described above shows that they've learned little and gained nowhere near the necessary repentence and humility that one might have expected to be forthcoming from these disclosures.

For the Rosminians, there is hope. The Commission consistently describes even the interaction of the order's legal counsel with complaintant witnesses as sympathetic, caring, and non-adversarial, accepting of the truth of what was being offered as testimony, and generally and genuinely sorry for what had transpired.

Once again, I find myself ashamed of what persons did under color of religious authority - and, in this instance, I find it more horrifying even than the scandals before. Those generally involved individuals - here we see evidence of collective brutality toward the most vulnerable.

Like the earlier allegations surrounding the Magdalen Laundries, the horror of it is unimaginable, It involves the kinds of allegations, the kinds of mob mentality, that we ordinarily associate with dictatorial regimes in third-world countries.

I am not someone squeamish or easily shocked. In fact, time in VietNam, decades of involvement with the correctional system, and my own personal interest in topics such as genocide, ethnic cleansing, and subjugation of peoples because of race, ethnicity, religion, or other factors, has pretty much inured me to whatever horrors cross before my eyes in reading. However, that doesn't mean that I am so jaded as to not find such instances repulsive.

That there were, and are, persons in these institutions and among these religious who are good and God-fearing people, I do not deny. Nor do I deny that some of the harm that was perpetrated was an unintended consequence of persons being thrust into roles for which they were ill-trained or totally unprepared to accept. That the leadership of these bodies failed to act responsibly and carry through in reacting appropriately to the obvious issues that were present and of which they were aware (quoted text from them over the years makes this evident) is damning (and, mayhap, literally so). It shames me.

Many years,

Neil

And, to those who would suggest that the Church is being singled out - or would excuse these happenings because they also occurred in secular institutions - such as the public workhouses and asylums - the Church deserves to be singled out, because the nature of a theoretically religious environment carries with it a greater responsibility.

Another thing, don't just focus on the sexual abuse aspects of this. The physical brutality is appalling beyond belief, as is the degradation of human beings in so many other ways.

And, finally, it was not very long ago, a matter of months ago in fact, that my best friend of many decades described to me the brutality of several among the Christian Brothers whose high school he attended - here in the US - one that opened only a year before I entered high school and to which I was accepted and almost entered, had it not been for the proferring of a scholarship by the Jesuits.


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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I was not living in Ireland at the time - but I could describe one or two encounters with the "Christian Brothers of Ireland" in the USA which were less than edifying.

Fr. Serge

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Well, until we get some numbers and names of who and when these religious people did these crimes- did most of the crimes happen in the 30's or 50's ect..,we don't know if we are really dealing with the ghosts of the past. Now, if there is a bishop or clergy that is still alive and working in the church (or not) - they should be given their day in court and if found guilty given the appropriate legal punishment(I would hope life in jail-without parole)But this is something that the Church of Ireland is going to have to fix(this deal where the names of those involved not getting published will be altered at some point-my feeling)-just as the Church in the US had to deal with its own cases! I think its worth noting,.. to my understanding this report is not a legal conviction, so who ever gets accused of a crime will still have to have their day in court. In other words this is far from over.

Now for overall reform of the institution-I think you have to compare and contrast. If the abuse took place many years ago 20 plus- and there are no new cases of abuse where church officials looked the other way-the church may have already instituted the necessary changes and is today an appropriately functioning church. If there are new cases of abuse, then there should be more reform. Now we already know that there are no more of these industrial schools- so that component of the problem is gone. Then the question of violence and abuse among those members of the guilty congregations would have to be examined. We need to fix the problem where it exists.

However, I want to make this point very clear- what happened in Ireland or in the US should not in any way shape or form take away form the selfless, charitable, Godly work that many and I mean many more brothers and sisters and priests around the world have done for centuries. If we allow reporters and the media use these stories to define what we are today than I think we are dealing with politics not reform. So, lets take a breath, read the report, listen to both sides and take it from there.

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I happen to agree with Neil and some other posters here on this matter. The perpetrators of these heinous barbarities were not only individuals, but also seemingly to be the respective authorities of their orders by condoning and attempting to cover-up the matter to protect themselves. I do not believe disbandment is too strong an action to be taken. These orders are still operating probably with same tactics and possibly crimes in many other parts of the world that may include areas that are not evolved enough judicially to address these matters, i.e. the third world. Any individual that perpetrates these acts of barbarism is not only emotionally ill, but also spiritually ill. If their orders condone this and refuse to owe up to their part in the matter, they too are just as spiritually ill as the primary offenders themselves, along with being guilty for allowing such barbarisms to continue on, thus becoming an acceptable institutionalized behavior for them as an order.

It is time to realize, that by their complicity, they are destroying the souls of many countless youth that may never embrace the gospel because of such cruelty and depravity. By the Church going after orders and inflicting the punishment of disbandment on them, it sends a very clear message, this will not be tolerated.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+


Everyone baptized into Christ should pass progressively through all the stages of Christ's own life, for in baptism he receives the power so to progress, and through the commandments he can discover and learn how to accomplish such progression. - Saint Gregory of Sinai
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These orders are still operating probably with same tactics and possibly crimes in many other parts of the world that may include areas that are not evolved enough judicially to address these matters, i.e. the third world.


This is very worrying and I think also backs up the call for the disbandement of the orders concerned.

I would also hope that any members who apply to other orders after disbandonment would be scrutinised very very carefully for their suitability - frankly I can't see it being an easy matter to decide just who is suitable and who is not .

Too much damage has been done frown Too many innocent people [ children , who are now adults ] have been harmed and this has to stop NOW .

People in authority have to accept that they were to blame in the covering up of this monstrous behaviour.

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Amen to Neil and Father Anthony's comments.

It is no wonder that the Catholic Church in Ireland struggles so much with the loss and indifference of many of its faithful. How very, very tragic.

There are not simply enough millstones...


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Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
I was not living in Ireland at the time - but I could describe one or two encounters with the "Christian Brothers of Ireland" in the USA which were less than edifying.

Fr. Serge


One of my co-workers was telling mew this morning about the abuse her father (who grew up in Ireland) suffered in a Christian Brothers' orphanage.

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