Category Archives: Abusive Nuns

Nuns ‘forced children as young as 5 to eat own vomit in exchange for holiday’


Nuns ‘forced children as young as 5 to eat own vomit in exchange for holiday’

From the Link: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nuns-forced-children-young-5-5515989

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry also heard lamb stew was made but the meat was off and the nuns at Nazareth House, Belfast, forced them to eat it

Nuns allegedly forced children as young as five to ear their own vomit in exchange for a holiday.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry heard how youngsters at Nazareth House in South Belfast had been promised a holiday if they ate their dinner.

In a statement read to the hearing, a witness said a lamb stew had been made but the meat was off and the nuns forced them to eat it anyway, reports Belfast Live.

And with the 66-year-old ex-Nazareth House resident taking the stand on oath, she was challenged: “You have said the smell was horrendous but the nuns made you eat it otherwise no one would go on holidays.

“You were literally eating your own vomit. Each of the children as young as five were doing this.

“You said it seemed to go on for hours.

“If you didn’t eat your stew, somebody else ate it for you because you all wanted to go on your holidays.

“The congregation has said the food was the best they could provide in the circumstances but they had never made a child eat meat that had gone off and deny anyone would have had to eat their own vomit.”

The witness replied: “The congregation were not there. I dispute what they are saying. It’s not true.”

The inquiry also heard girls were forced to eat in silence and would be slapped with a cane, ruler, spoon or strap for talking.

The witness added: “I was beaten thousands of times. I remember so many punishments.

“I’d lie in bed and think it was just a nightmare and daddy was coming to take me out. But I was there for nine years.”

The congregation that formally responds to allegations made to the inquiry also refused to acknowledge the witness was made to empty a box containing soiled sanitary towels every week.

She further claimed she was beaten so fiercely by a nun she was left bruised and bloodied.

She ran away from the home and caught a train to an aunt and uncle in Lurgan, Co Armagh.

The inquiry heard how her aunt was shocked to see the 14-year-old’s back was seriously injured and bleeding.

She was taken to a police station and the nun was reported but a police officer suggested she had injured herself.

The witness said she was taken back to Nazareth House by her abuser and ordered to say a decade of the rosary by the mother superior but refused.

The Church congregation said they have no record of the incident.

The witness also stated the girls were bathed twice a week in water disinfected with Jeyes Fluid, an industrial cleaner.

And DDT, a toxic insecticide that causes nerve problems, was used on them if they had lice.

Years later she said she received a letter from a nun who told her: “My sincere apologies for any pain I have caused.”

The witness told the inquiry: “I do not accept an apology. It’s too late and it did not come until the wrongs were made public.

“And those who should be apologising are no longer here. I feel like their denials are calling us liars. We are not.

“It was unpaid labour to earn our keep. We were unpaid labourers, not children in care. It was nothing but humiliating and degrading.

“They did not love us, most of the time they did not like us. So no I don’t want an apology but redress, yes.”

The hearing continues.

Magdalene survivors urge Coalition to deliver on promises


Magdalene survivors urge Coalition to deliver on promises

Emma-Jane Hade

Published 20/01/2015 | 02:30

From the link: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/magdalene-survivors-urge-coalition-to-deliver-on-promises-30921055.html

Dubliner Martina Keogh spent almost two years in two different Magdalene laundry homes when she was a young woman.

She is supporting a coalition of groups who are calling on the Government to fully implement all the recommendations made by Mr Justice John Quirke in the restorative redress scheme, particularly in relation to healthcare.

The group, which includes Justice for Magdalenes Research (JFMR), the National Women’s Council of Ireland, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and Amnesty International, claims the Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Bill is an “unacceptable paring back of what the Government promised”.

Maeve O’Rourke, from JFMR, said the bill promises little more than the regular medical card, “which most of the women already have.”

Survivors want a card giving them access to a full range of health services, similar to the HAA cards issued to women infected with Hepatitis C through infected blood products.

Ms Keogh said: “I am hoping the Taoiseach will give us that card so we can get better treatment. I think they should stand up and deliver what they promised us.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice last night said: “The Magdalene women will receive an enhanced medical card on the same lines as the HAA card. Under this legislation, GP, prescription medicines, nursing, home help, dental, ophthalmic, aural, counselling, chiropody and physiotherapy services will be made available by the HSE free of charge.”

 

Outrage expressed at provisions of Magdalene Bill


Outrage expressed at provisions of Magdalene Bill

Advocates for women say Bill is unacceptable paring back of redress package promises

Patsy McGarry Mon, Jan 19, 2015, 19:55

From the link: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/outrage-expressed-at-provisions-of-magdalene-bill-1.2071614

The draft legislation to assist survivors of Magdalene laundries has been described as “unacceptable, unfair and full of broken promises” by advocacy groups.

Advocates for the women say the Bill published last month represents an unacceptable paring back of what the Government promised as part of the women’s redress package.

After Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s apology to the Magdalene women last year, Mr Justice John Quirke was tasked with designing a restorative justice scheme, which the Government accepted.

The Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Bill, published last month, proposes the women be entitled to GP care, prescription medicines, nursing and home-help as well as dental, ophthalmic, aural, counselling, chiropody and physiotherapy services provided by the HSE.

‘Paring back’

This was described at the press conference as “an obvious and unacceptable paring back” on what Justice Quirke recommended, as well as possibly being open to legal challenge.

It was also claimed that of approximately €60 million allocated for spending on redress for the woman, just €18 million had been spent so far.

Dr Katherine O’Donnell of Justice for Magdalene Research (JFMR) said the Bill represented “a massive claw back” on the Quirke recommendations. She felt it may be open to legal challenge as, on receiving redress, women signed a waiver agreeing not to sue the State. This was on the understanding all the Quirke recommendations would be fulfilled, she said.

“Justice Quirke could not have been clearer in recommending that each woman should receive a card entitling her to the full range of health services provided to state-infected Hepatitis-C survivors under the HAA card scheme,” said Maeve O’Rourke, of JFMR.

“Instead, the Bill promises little more than the regular medical card, which most of the women [91 per cent] already have.”

Health issues

She said 14 per cent of the women were over 80, while the average age of the approximately 500 involved was 70, 66 per cent of them with serious health issues.

The Bill also failed to provide care representatives for Magdalene women in nursing homes whose full capacity to address their affairs may be limited, or to implement fully the recommendations on the women’s pension entitlements.

Orla O’Connor, of the National Women’s Council, said the Bill was “a further denial of the rights of women survivors of the Magdalene laundries”.

Amnesty International’s Colm O’Gorman described the Bill as “outrageous” and asked “what did the Taoiseach apologise for?” He described Government assertions that the interdepartmental McAleese inquiry was “a comprehensive investigation” of the laundries as “shocking”.

‘Enhanced’ medical card

Responding to the criticism, a Department of Justice spokesman said the women would “receive an enhanced medical card on the same lines as the HAA card”.

On the women with reduced capacity, he said this was being dealt with through separate legislation expected to be enacted in the first half of this year.

He also said: “Justice Quirke’s recommendation regarding top-up pension-type payments is being fully implemented.”

Magdalene survivor: ‘They’re ignoring my basic human rights’


Magdalene survivor: ‘They’re ignoring my basic human rights’

Former residents say Government has failed to implement necessary health measures

Sorcha Pollak Mon, Jan 19, 2015, 19:49

From the link: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/magdalene-survivor-they-re-ignoring-my-basic-human-rights-1.2071627

Diane Croghan says she felt like a liar after the Department of Justice rejected her testimonial of the time she spent working at the Magdalene laundry in Summerhill, Co Wexford. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Diane Croghan says she felt like a liar after the Department of Justice rejected her testimonial of the time she spent working at the Magdalene laundry in Summerhill, Co Wexford. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Diane Croghan was 13 years old when she climbed inside a laundry van to escape the Sisters of Mercy Training School in Summerhill, Co Wexford.

After more than three years of isolation, hard work and abuse at the Magdalene laundry at Summerhill, Diane decided to run away to Dublin.

“It was dreadful, we weren’t allowed to speak with one another,” she says. “I think we worked from 7am-7pm but I’m not sure. We didn’t know the time, we had nothing to show us what time it was.”

Domestic servant

After Diane escaped she found work as a domestic servant in Ballsbridge in Dublin. She later worked as a waitress in the Shelbourne hotel.

Diane’s testimony of the three years she spent working at Summerhill has been rejected by the Department of Justice reparation scheme for former residents of Magdalene laundries.

The financial compensation she received under the restorative justice scheme was based on information provided by the Sisters of Mercy Religious order, which claimed she had only spent five months at the Wexford laundry, between April and September 1956. According to Diane, by 1956 she was already living and working in Dublin.

“I felt like I was a liar; that I was trying to claim for years I wasn’t there and that’s not true. I accepted what they said because I took a stroke and I said no money would repay my good health,” she says. “I felt I was being punished. I was bullied into accepting it, so I accepted it.”

Elizabeth Coppin from Listowel, in Co Kerry, is also unhappy with the Government’s failure to respond to Mr Justice John Quirke’s recommendations for survivors of Magdalene laundries.

Industrial school

Elizabeth spent four years between two Magdalene Laundries in Cork and one in Waterford between the ages of 15 and 19. She spent the first 15 years of her life in an industrial school in Tralee.

“You were locked in a cell, treated like you were in prison,” she says, describing the laundries. “They cut my hair and changed all our names. Nobody knew anybody by their proper name.”

“We’re talking about trafficking. They exploited us as vulnerable young children. Most of us were underage.”

In August 2014, Elizabeth wrote to Minister for Health Leo Varadkar asking whether she was entitled to a Health (Amendment) Act 1996 Card (HAA card) following the Government’s commitment to accept all recommendations in Justice Quirke’s report.

The report states HAA cards should be given to “each of the women who were admitted to and worked in a designated Magdalene laundry”.

Four months later, on December 23rd, a response arrived from Mr Varadkar’s private secretary which said: “Judge Quirke did not recommend that a medical card would issue to participants of the ex gratia scheme”.

“For me, they’re saying again that I don’t matter,” says Elizabeth. “Again they’re ignoring my basic human rights. I had to wait four months to get that hidden, sneaky answer.

‘That’s disgusting’

“I bet you all those people in Government are getting their full pension and expenses, yet the Irish women are still being deprived of their entitlements. To me that’s disgusting.”

Elizabeth believed Taoiseach Enda Kenny when he apologised in 2013 on behalf of the State to the women who endured suffering in the Magdalene laundries. However, she says he’s gone back on his word.

“I was taken up with the moment of the idea of an apology. On reflection it couldn’t be genuine because they’ve reneged on Judge Quirke’s recommendations. I really believed it … but now I just feel that it was all a drama. He has let us down very badly.”

Laundries survivor: We were slaves


Laundries survivor: We were slaves

From the link: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-21334882

A report published today is expected to detail Irish government knowledge of what went on in Magdalene Laundries.

The laundries were Catholic-run workhouses that operated in Ireland from the 1920s to the mid-1990s.

Girls considered “troubled” or what were then called “fallen women” were sent there by families or the courts.

Ellen Murphy, a survivor of the Magdalene Laundries, told the Today programme’s John Humphrys that she was put to work using large washing machines.

“You had to do that or die with starvation,” she explained.

Speaking of her restrictive ordeal at the Laundries, Ms Murphy said: “You never went out, you were locked in all the time… you never saw the world.”

“We were slaves from one end of the day to the other,” she added.

Roman Catholic Horrors: Magdalene Launderies and Asylums


Roman Catholic Horrors: Magdalene Launderies and Asylums

• Originally termed Magdalene Asylums the first in Ireland was opened in Dublin in 1765, for Protestant girls • First Catholic home was founded in Cork in 1809 • Envisaged as short-term refuges for 'fallen women' they became long-term institutions and penitents were required to work, mostly in laundries on the premises • They extended to take in unmarried mothers, women with learning difficulties and girls who had been abused • The facilities were self-supporting and the money generated by the laundries paid for them • Between 1922 and 1996 there were 10 such laundries in the Republic of Ireland • Many Irish institutions, such as the army, government departments, hotels and even Guinness had contracts with Magdalene laundries • The women toiled behind locked doors unable to leave after being admitted and while the laundries were paid, they received no wages • The last Magdalene asylum in Ireland, in Waterford, closed in 1996 • The congregations which ran them were the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy, the Religious Sisters of Charity and the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

• Originally termed Magdalene Asylums the first in Ireland was opened in Dublin in 1765, for Protestant girls
• First Catholic home was founded in Cork in 1809
• Envisaged as short-term refuges for ‘fallen women’ they became long-term institutions and penitents were required to work, mostly in laundries on the premises
• They extended to take in unmarried mothers, women with learning difficulties and girls who had been abused
• The facilities were self-supporting and the money generated by the laundries paid for them
• Between 1922 and 1996 there were 10 such laundries in the Republic of Ireland
• Many Irish institutions, such as the army, government departments, hotels and even Guinness had contracts with Magdalene laundries
• The women toiled behind locked doors unable to leave after being admitted and while the laundries were paid, they received no wages
• The last Magdalene asylum in Ireland, in Waterford, closed in 1996
• The congregations which ran them were the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy, the Religious Sisters of Charity and the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

 

N. Ireland struggles to confront Catholic Church’s enslavement of 1000s of women


N. Ireland struggles to confront Catholic Church’s enslavement of 1000s of women

3/29/2013 6:09pm by

From the link: http://americablog.com/2013/03/northern-ireland-has-yet-to-fully-confront-its-enslavement-of-women-in-magdalene-laundries.html

NOTE FROM JOHN ARAVOSIS: Below is a follow-up to a story we reported on last month about the Catholic-church-run Magdalene laundries that imprisoned up to 30,000 Irish women as slave labor over the past century. This update is authored by Paresh Dave, a journalism student at USC who recently traveled to Ireland and Northern Ireland for 10 days under a grant from the Luce Foundation.
_____________

BELFAST — A damning report concluded last month that the Irish government breached its duty of care to thousands of women who were abused over a 74-year-period in church-run asylums known as Magdelene laundries. In response, the head of the Irish government apologized to victims and laid out a compensation package.

In Northern Ireland, however, there is no forthcoming apology or redress for Magdelene survivors.

Girls and women working in Catholic Church’s Magdalene Laundry in Ireland in the early 20th century. Public domain photo in the US, via Wikipedia. (PD-US-1923-ABROAD)

Girls and women working in Catholic Church’s Magdalene Laundry in Ireland in the early 20th century. Public domain photo in the US, via Wikipedia. (PD-US-1923-ABROAD)

Northern Ireland’s investigation into institutional abuse just kicked off in January — 216 complaints have been filed through March 10. But the inquiry covers only people younger than 18 who were abused in at least 35 places, such as live-in trade schools, between 1922 and 1995. Established by the government, these institutions were generally run by religious orders.

In contrast to the Republic of Ireland, left out in the infant Northern investigation are victims of abuse at local churches and the infamous Magdalene laundries.

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland program director, said too few of the Magdalene victims came forward as the investigation was originally being organized, so there wasn’t enough political will to include them. Amnesty is pushing lawmakers to now include them.

A Northern Ireland Assembly committee heard last Wednesday that it certainly can expand the investigation, if government leaders decide to.

In an interview following the hearing, Amnesty’s Corrigan said Northern Ireland is playing catch up with its southern neighbor.

“The victims in the south have pushed the door open,” he said. “Victims in the north are now asking, ‘Why is my government not responding?’”

Corrigan called for a meeting last month with the two partisan leaders who head the Northern Irish government, but hasn’t heard back from either.

At Wednesday’s hearing, the chairman of the committee that oversees those two leaders suggested there’s potential for action by summer on whether a new inquiry should be started, or the existing one amended.

Corrigan said it would be cost-efficient to expand the existing Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry to include the potentially several thousand Magdelene victims. The goal of the investigation is to determine whether the state failed in its duty toward children in its care, and if so, what should be done about that now.

Dealing with people who were abused at local churches is more difficult. Corrigan said that, unlike with the Magdalene laundries, it’s hard to make a case that the Northern Irish government had a watchdog role inside churches. Because of the strong ties between the Irish government and the Roman Catholic Church, the situation was different in the south.

Yet with a new abuse story emerging nearly every week, many observers now see the likelihood for a more comprehensive investigation in Northern Ireland.

“We don’t know the full story about the abuse crisis in the North,” said William Crawley, a BBC presenter based in Belfast, during an interview. “But we will before the calm hits.”

A report isn’t likely to come out until January 2016.

 

Catholic Church enslaved 30,000 Irish women as forced unpaid labor in Magdalene Laundries until 1996


Catholic Church enslaved 30,000 Irish women as forced unpaid labor in Magdalene Laundries until 1996

2/6/2013 8:00am by

From the link: http://americablog.com/2013/02/magdalen-laundries-catholic-ireland-irish-apology.html

What a horrific story.  The Irish Prime Minister gave a partial apology today for the government’s role in a 74-year scandal in which, a new official government report says, over 10,000 women were forced to work without pay at commercial laundries called Magdalene Laundries, operated by the Catholic Church for “crimes” as small as not paying a train ticket.

In Northern Ireland, a parellel investigation is currently under way, although it, oddly, is so far refusing to include that country’s Magdalene Laundries in the investigation.

Wikipedia notes that the estimate of the number of women who were used as forced slave labor by the Catholic Church in Ireland alone goes as high as 30,000 over the entire time the Magdalene laundries were in operation.

The last Magdalene laundry closed in 1996.

Women were locked in, couldn’t leave Magdalene Laundries for months, sometimes years

The women were locked in and not permitted to leave.  And if they tried to get away, the cops would catch them and bring them back. They were quite literally Catholic slave labor working for the government and even Guinness, which would pay the laundries for the women’s slave labor.

Half of the girls enslaved in these Catholic Church prisons were under the age of 23.  The youngest entrant was 9 years old.

Girls and women working in Catholic Church’s Magdalene Laundry in Ireland in the early 20th century. Public domain photo in the US, via Wikipedia. (PD-US-1923-ABROAD)

Girls and women working in Catholic Church’s Magdalene Laundry in Ireland in the early 20th century. Public domain photo in the US, via Wikipedia. (PD-US-1923-ABROAD)

Singer Sinead O’Connor was perhaps the most famous Magdalene Laundry slave

Singer Sinead O’Connor was forced to work in a Magdalene Laundry in Dublin:

When I was a young girl, my mother — an abusive, less-than-perfect parent — encouraged me to shoplift. After being caught once too often, I spent 18 months in An Grianán Training Centre, an institution in Dublin for girls with behavioral problems, at the recommendation of a social worker. An Grianán was one of the now-infamous church-sponsored “Magdalene laundries,” which housed pregnant teenagers and uncooperative young women. We worked in the basement, washing priests’ clothes in sinks with cold water and bars of soap. We studied math and typing. We had limited contact with our families. We earned no wages. One of the nuns, at least, was kind to me and gave me my first guitar.

No apology from the Catholic Church

Absent from any of the media reports on the scandal that I could find was an apology from the Catholic Church which operated the Magdalene laundries and made handsome profits from contracts with government and hotels.  Oh, found one. It seems the Catholic Church blew the women off.  I know, you’re as surprised as I am:

Victims of the child sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Irish Catholic Church have received an apology and compensation, but no one has taken responsibility for what happened in the laundries. Cardinal Sean Brady, the most senior Catholic cleric in Ireland, met with Justice for Magdalenes in 2010. He said “by today’s standards much of what happened at that time is difficult to comprehend” but that it was a matter for the religious orders who ran the laundries to deal with. The religious orders have declined to meet the women.

The Irish Cardinal wasn’t interested in hearing from people who were hurt and abused — if not sexually, certainly physically and mentally, by the Catholic Church.  And it’s not the Catholic Church’s fault. Where have we heard that story before?

The laundries were run by nuns, many of whom treated the women sent to work there as slaves:

Senator McAleese’s inquiry found that half of the girls and women put to work in the laundries were under the age of 23 and 40%, more than 4,000, spent more than a year incarcerated.

Fifteen percent spent more than five years in the laundries while the average stay was calculated at seven months.

The youngest death on record was 15, and the oldest 95, the report found.

The Irish state is also implicated in the scandal because the police would take women to the asylums after arresting them for trivial offenses and would return runaways.

The story of the Magdalene laundries shows what happens when an institution — in this case the church and the government — is considered beyond criticism. It probably isn’t a coincidence that the last of the laundries closed in 1996, shortly after the first wave of the Catholic pedophile priest scandals hit Ireland.

Let me reiterate that for a moment.  The Catholic Church had slaves as late as 1996.

“It changed me as a person to authority, God forgive me I learned to hate people then”

Here are some of the testimonials of the women who served as forced Catholic slaves.  You can find them in the official report:

“The only thing was I had appendicitis and asked [named nun] could I go to bed and she wouldn’t let me”.

Some, but not all women reported that their hair had been cut on entry to the laundry. Some described this as an upsetting and degrading experience.

“T’was the ultimate humiliation for you. It changed me as a person to authority, God forgive me I learned to hate people then”.

One woman said that in the Magdalene Laundry in which she was, “You could write once a month but the nun would read the letters”.

This is one is pure torture:

Another very common grievance of the women who shared their stories with the Committee – particularly those who had previously been in Industrial or Reformatory Schools – was that there was a complete lack of information about why they were there and when they would get out. None of these women were aware of the period of supervision which followed discharge from industrial or reformatory school.

Due to this lack of information and the fact that they had been placed in an institution among many older women, a large number of the women spoke of a very real fear that they would remain in the Magdalene Laundry for the rest of their lives. Even if they left the Laundries after a very short time, some women told the Committee that they were never able to fully free themselves
of this fear and uncertainty.

Victims reject Irish PM’s apology

The victims have rejected the Prime Minster’s “apology,” which does sound somewhat lame:

“To those residents who went into the Magdalene Laundries through a variety of ways, 26pc from state intervention or state involvement, I am sorry for those people that they lived in that kind of environment,” Mr Kenny said in parliament in Dublin today.

“I want to see that those women who are still with us, anywhere between 800 and 1000 at max, that we should see that the state provides for them with the very best of facilities and supports that they need in their lives.”

Did your defense lawyer write that one up for you?

Here’s Joni Mitchell singing about the Magdalene Laundries:

Catholic child abuse analysed


Catholic child abuse analysed

Andrew Brown Blog
Saturday 21 May 2011

From the link: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2011/may/21/child-abuse-catholicism-johnjayinstitute

The John Jay Institute report on the child abuse scandals in the USA has been published. It will surprise and discomfort all sides

The big report of the independent criminologists of the John Jay institute into child abuse in the American Catholic church has now been published. There is something in it to upset everyone. For a start there are many cases of child abuse – and though the report does not go into this – there was a great deal of covering up done. But we knew that. What’s new in the report is the detailed examination of the causes and of the statistics involved.

The pattern that the investigators have to explain is a steep rise in cases of child abuse though the sixties and seventies, followed by a steady decline but a simultaneous rise in reports of earlier incidents in the late Eighties and early Nineties. That, too, has declined towards the present day.

This is an unusual pattern both of reporting and of offending. For comparison I have extracted from the government’s web site the Swedish figures for sex crimes against children under 15 and they show no decline at all since 1991. I’ll come back to those later.

The other notorious and unusual thing about the American Catholic cases is that the great majority of them involved boys – something like 83%. The secular pattern is entirely different.

There are three popular explanations for the figures, depending on your view of the Catholic church: if you are a liberal Christian you are inclined to blame celibacy; if you are a conservative, you blame it all on gays; and if you’re not a Christian at all you just assume they are all rotten, always have been, and still are.

I don’t think this last explanation stands up, for two reasons. The first is that even at its height child abuse was a pretty uncommon crime. The John Jay Institute helpfully compares the number of reported offences with the number of confirmation candidates, to get a rough figure of reported assaults per 100,000. This will tend to overestimate the frequency, because obviously a priest has access to many more children than just confirmation candidates. But it is a consistent measure by which to compare year with year.

So in 1992, when the worst was over, the rate was 15 incidents of reported abuse per 100,000 confirmations. By 2001 it had dropped to of 5 incidents of abuse per 100,000 confirmations in the Catholic Church. There was a similar drop in American society as a whole but less steep and from a consistently higher rate.

For comparison, the Swedish figures for reported sex crimes against all children under 15 was 142/100,000 children in 1992, and 169/100,000 in 2001.

These figures suggest that during the 1990s a child in Sweden, possibly the most secularised country in Europe, was between 10 and 30 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than an American Catholic was by his priest. Even making allowances for the considerable margin of error that must be built into these figures, it’s clear that what went on in US Catholic churches was terrible but rather less terrible than what went on at the same time in many other places where Catholicism was not involved. If the US Catholic church is a hotbed of child rape, Sweden is an awful lot worse. (Just to be clear here, I think the idea that Sweden is a dangerous country for children is entirely absurd.)

I picked Sweden for comparison largely because I know my way round the crime statistics there. But the US government figures quoted in the John Jay report show also that Alaska has a rate of reported child abuse that dwarfs Sweden’s – 788/100,000 in 2001, or 140 times the incidence of reported child abuse in the US Catholic church at the same period. So there is nothing uniquely rotten about the American Catholic church.

The second reason is sociological. The statistics do show a clear and steady decline in reported cases for the last 30 years, even though much of the reporting did not come in until long after the event. If you want to believe that the level of crime has stayed steady while the number of reports has dropped, you would have to come up with some reason why American Catholics (unlike Alaskans or Swedes) would become less likely to report a crime in a period when the social stigma for doing so has almost disappeared and in some cases considerable financial compensation has been on offer.

Which leaves the other two hypotheses. Was it the fault of the gays? The argument in favour is that the victims were overwhelmingly boys and the perpetrators exclusively men. But the John Jay study rejects this, on two grounds. The first, again, is based on the decline in the number of reported incidents. That coincides with what most people agree has been an increase in the number of gay men in the priesthood. So if gay priests were the problem, you would expect the figure for reported assaults to rise, as they did in Sweden and Alaska. This hasn’t happened.

Nor is it the case that men who had had sex with other men before training for the priesthood abused boys in any greater numbers than men who had had sex with women before.

“Priests with pre-ordination same-sex sexual behaviour were significantly more likely to participate in post-ordination sexual behaviour, but these priests were more likely to participate in sexual behaviour with adults than minors. Same-sex sexual behaviour prior to ordination did not significantly predict the sexual abuse of minors.”

But gay priests of this sort, if they did abuse, showed a marked preference for male victims.

So perhaps it was celibacy, after all. The trouble with this theory is the same decline in incidence of abuse as was noted before. That was not accompanied by any relaxation in the celibacy rules. It’s possible that the discipline of celibacy has simply collapsed in the USA. But the report doesn’t suggest this; nor, for that matter does anecdotal (or any other) evidence.

Which leaves the “Woodstock” hypothesis: that it was all the consequence of rapid social change. The combined impact of the sexual revolution outside the Church, and of the Vatican II reforms inside simply broke down the traditional self-discipline of the priesthood along with much of its traditional authority. This is the hypothesis that the report itself favours. But there is a subtlety with this view: if it were only the morals of the surrounding society which made a difference, then – again – the incidence of abuse would hardly have gone down. American society is not more sexually puritanical now than it was in 1975. So, the report argues, it was the impact of the sexual revolution on men who had not been trained to withstand it which was the decisive factor.

Two controversies remain. The first is the report’s definition of “paedophile” as someone who only has sex with children under 10. By this definition, less than one in twenty of abusing priests were paedophiles. But it’s clear from the figures that there were a lot of abusing priests who did not much care whether their victims were pre-pubescent or not. Nearly one in three of the multiple offenders had at least one victim who was 12 or younger as well as one who was older than 15.

The second is the response of the authorities. This has been historically feeble and sometimes much worse. But that’s a subject for another post.

To the Belligerent ONE


Thank you Brother….

I have found in my darkest moments, when I no longer want to go on, to just say the hell with it, someone pops into my life, that gives me the strength and courage to keep up the fight.

I want to thank Belligerent Belgarion…a person I just met who happened to see my last posting and talked to me for quite a while last night. Yeah I understand brother…I can’t let these scummy bastards, especially that foul mouthed, one toothed, pig faced, drunk ass Bill Donohue of the Catholic League nor that Clown Prince of Pedophiles, Cardinal Timothy Dolan win nor any of the other disgusting Pedophile Pimps, Pedophile Priests and Psycho Nuns or their supporters and yeah…I gotta keep doing it for those…who blew their brains out…be their voices too.

You did not bitch me out, you did not rag on me Bel. You listened to me and you even understood. You agreed someone has to make an incredibly loud statement to wake the people the fuck up, but torching myself in St Patricks Cathedral in front of Dolan would in fact make one hell of a loud statement…that would still be giving the pedophile loving pricks what they want.

AS PER AGREEMENT…

I hereby give Belligerent Belgarion, also known as The Belligerent ONE..to use any and all items, words, and thoughts, and to cross post to his new upcomming blog, and the right to use such terms I use as Pedophile Pimps, Pedophile Priests and Psycho Nuns and any and all other insults I have thrown at the RCC for their use also from my blog Rape Victims of the Catholic Church and will not sue them for violation of copyright use. I can’t WAIT to see that blog brother…it is gonna be a RIOT!!!!! Also your idea for a line of Patron Saints of Pedophiles Dildos and Vibrators to help keep priests, nuns and other pervs away from our kids? FUCKING OUTSTANDING.

Thanks brother…glad you reached out to me…glad you talked to me, man to man, friend to friend, and brother to brother and did not judge me for my anger, my hate and my pain and suffering. You are what a real brother is all about.

Bill "Pig Face" Donohue, degenerate leader of the Catholic League

Bill “Pig Face” Donohue, degenerate leader of the Catholic League

A FEW WORDS TO THAT NASTY, FOUL MOUTHED, DISGUSTING, OUTHOUSE DWELLING, PIG FARM ANIMAL RAPING, P.O.S. BILL PIG FACE DONOHUE OF THE CATHOLIC LEAGUE FOR THE DEFENSE AND PROTECTION OF DISGUSTING PEDOPHILE PIMPS AND PRIESTS OF THE UNHOLY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH….AND YOU PEDOPHILE PIMPS WHO MOVED THEM AROUND AND ANY OF YOU DEGENERATES OF THE UNHOLY RCC WHO THINK YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH YOUR CRAP?

I CAN’T WAIT TIL YOU MEET THE BELLIGERENT ONE WHO HAS SOME EXCELLENT, MUTUAL IDEAS ABOUT WHAT TO DO TO YOU EVIL, SOUL-LESS, DEMON-FILLED, DISGUSTING SCUMBAGS WHO THINK IT IS YOUR RELIGIOUS RIGHT TO BEAT, RAPE, ABUSE AND HARM CHILDREN AND THEN COVER IT UNDER YOUR RELIGIOUS RULES AND USING THOSE VERY LAWS DESIGNED TO PROTECT CHILDREN…AGAINST THEM…TO DEFEAT THE…IN THE COURTS.

DONOHUE…YOU ARE IN FACT….DISGUSTING, AN OUTHOUSE DWELLER, WHOSE SEWER BREATH IS THE NASTIEST AROUND…BUT WAIT TIL YOU MEET THE BELLIGERENT ONE….

Dolan also explained that he wanted to keep the statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims to one-year, because if the church gets sued, "The perpetrators don’t suffer. There’s no burden on them. What suffers are the services and the ministries of the apostolates that we’re doing now. Because where does the money come from? So the bishops of 30 years ago that allegedly may have reassigned abusers, they don’t suffer. They’re dead. So the people that suffer are those who are being served right now by the church. We feel that’s a terribly unjust burden." BUT WHAT ABOUT OUR UNJUST BURDEN, SUFFERING AND HARM DONE TO US BY PEOPLE LIKE YOU DOLAN?

Dolan also explained that he wanted to keep the statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims to one-year, because if the church gets sued, “The perpetrators don’t suffer. There’s no burden on them. What suffers are the services and the ministries of the apostolates that we’re doing now. Because where does the money come from? So the bishops of 30 years ago that allegedly may have reassigned abusers, they don’t suffer. They’re dead. So the people that suffer are those who are being served right now by the church. We feel that’s a terribly unjust burden.”
BUT WHAT ABOUT OUR UNJUST BURDEN, SUFFERING AND HARM DONE TO US BY PEOPLE LIKE YOU DOLAN?

HOLY SHIT DOES HE TAKE IT UP A WHOLE NEW LEVEL…AND HE IS GOING TO TEACH EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE INSULTED….ONLY A WHOLE DIFFERENT WAY.

CLOWN PRINCE OF PEDOPHILES, CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN? YOU WILL IN FACT FEEL SOME SUFFERING AFTER THE BELLIGERENT ONE TAKES YOU DOWN A FEW PEGS AND TRUST ME….YOU ARE NOT GOING TO LIKE HIS STYLE OF TELLING IT LIKE IT IS ABOUT YOUR SORRY ASS.

SO HANG ON LADIES AND GENTLEMEN…

Donohue…Dolan and the rest of you? I think you are about to meet your match.