Dr. Diarmuid Martin, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, responding to a recent report of an investigation into clerical child abuse, expressed his concerns about the Church's lack of concern for children abused by priests. Click Here
The report, Chapter 20 of the investigation by Judge Yvonne Murphy into abuses in the Dublin Archdiocese, was released for publication by the High Court on Friday, July 19, 2013, although the rest of the judge's findings had been already published in November 2009.
One chapter of the Judge's report had been censored from the initial publication pending
the trial of defrocked priest Patrick McCabe. When the previously censored chapter was finally released by the High Court, it identified a
shocking Garda (police) connivance with the church authorities when one serious complaint was stifled, there was failure to investigate another, and McCabe was allowed by his superiors to leave the country.
Dr. Martin commented:
there was concern for everybody except the child.
The former priest, Patrick McCabe, now 77, was jailed for 18 months last October for a number of abuses against schoolboys, one aged only nine. Because of connivance between Church authorities and the Garda (police), Father McCabe had been allowed to flee to the U.S. After a history of abuse, his faculties as a priest were withdrawn in 1987 and he was laicised in 1988 and left a psychiatric hospital in February, 1988.
Judge Murphy had commented:
They, in effect, set him loose on the unsuspecting population of Stockton, California.
We applaud Archbishop Martin's willingness to express outrage over the Church's tendency to protect pedophile priests, silence victims and to show a lack of concern for the children who have been violated by members of the clergy. The article states that many of the children were not even spoken to by Church officials.
For decades, the victims of Legionary founder Father Marcial Maciel and the leaders that he trained were able to avoid responsibility for harm done to children by labeling the founder's victims as liars. Former members who expressed criticism of the Legionary methodology or of the founder's immoral actions were written off as
disgruntled people who wanted to interfere with the good work the Legion was accomplishing. Father Maciel and the Legion were able to get away with this approach thanks to the support they received from Church officials, some of whom were benefiting from their friendly association with the Legion.
When a former member of a religious community speaks out, he or she may not be listened to. When an Archbishop expresses his concern about negligence by Church officials, it is more difficult for the hierarchy to ignore.
Perhaps if the Church hierarchy could acknowledge past errors, express authentic repentance and take appropriate action to reform inappropriate attitudes, some of those who are considering joining the ranks of ex-Catholics would decide to remain and the moral leaders of the Church could earn back the respect they have lost from those who have already left.
(Reminder:- When ReGAIN expresses any negative opinion about the way the hierarchy of the Catholic Church speaks or acts, the intent is to offer constructive criticism about specific individuals within the Church who do things to benefit themselves or their friends instead of putting the interests of the overall Church first. ReGAIN does not consider itself to be an
enemy of the Church?. Based on the testimony of former Legionary and Regnum Christi members we have become aware of those within the Church who supported, protected and defended the Legion founder, Father Marcial Maciel in some of his activities and who have prevented
authentic and profound reform that Pope Francis recently expressed a desire to see happen).