I have always been told by my elders and betters that the worst sin one can commit is the corruption of the innocent. Once one has destroyed the innocence of a child or innocent older person, there is no way of going back, because that person is no longer the person they once were.
It is therefore particularly chilling to read the 2,600 page document produced by the Commission of Ireland into Child Abuse. This abuse was systematically carried on by Roman Catholic religious orders over a period spanning nearly 50 years, and affected at least 30,000 children who had been placed into the 'care' of religious schools. Sexual abuse by monks and priests of male children and mainly physical and emotional abuse of girls by nuns. These children were made to feel worthless, dirty and less than human. If they complained and they were lucky the abusers were moved elsewhere, normally they were just punished even more and branded as liars.
The report produced a list of recommendations but no criminal prosecutions will take place, mainy because the Christian Brothers (the order most commonly involved in the sexual abuse of boys in its care) have managed to get a court order in 2004 that prohibits the report from naming names of either the perpetrators of the abuse (dead or alive) or the victims. God knows how they managed to get that sort of judgement in their favour, there must be something seriously wrong with a judicial system that grants immunity to perpetrators of child abuse.
A further worrrying trend is that it seems the Irish tax payer will be the one paying the bill for the compensation of some of the victims (as though monetary compensation will in any way alleviate the suffering of these people). The Irish tax payer has already paid the compensation claims of approximately 12,000 abuse victims, who only qualify for compensation if they sign a declaration stating that they will not subsequently sue the State or the Church. Luckily, thousands of abused Irish adults (then children) have not signed the declaration and are not accepting those conditions, and are determined to take the Church to Court.
I wish them luck. The Catholic Church is the single richest institution in the world. They are led by a man whose knowledge of science is extremely limited (see earlier post on Pope and Health Education) and who pontificates about things about which he knows nothing. They appear to have the Irish Court System in their pocket (easy when you have so much money I guess) and they preach about celibacy as being a holy thing whilst their monks, nuns and priests abuse children. And when it comes to time to pay the bill for their vile behaviour they hide behind a court order that more or less gives them immunity. Pass me a sick bag someone.