Bill Carney – Northleach
Revealed: Paedophile priest Bill Carney enjoys holiday jaunt on cruise ship alongside young families
CARNEY was branded “one of the most serious serial abusers” in the archdiocese of Dublin by an Irish government report into child abuse.
A NOTORIOUS paedophile priest has been caught enjoying a luxury cruise among families with young children.
Vile Bill Carney was joined on his Mediterranean jaunt by the wife who disowned him after the Daily Record exposed his sickening crimes.
Carney terrorised children for years in his native Ireland. An official report said he was suspected of abusing up to 32 named victims, with evidence that there were many more.
He was allowed to remain a priest for years after being convicted of indecent assault. And after he was finally defrocked in 1992, the golf-mad pervert fled to Scotland, married wife Joan and opened a “family friendly” guest house in St Andrews.
Carney shut the B&B and fled again after we unmasked him in 2009, but he remains free and unsupervised despite his horrific history of abuse.
He is not on the sex offenders’ register in the UK.
And last month, he and Joan boarded the P&O cruise ship Ventura for a luxurious voyage to Barcelona, Monaco, Elba, Rome, Naples, Alicante and Gibraltar.
A witness who recognised him on the ship told us: “It was the paedophile priest I had seen in the Record. There was no doubt about it.
“But here he was without a care in the world – and we were surrounded by families and children.
“We kept an eye on him.”
Carney normally takes great care to avoid being photographed, but he posed grinning with Joan at his side before enjoying a black tie dinner with Ventura’s captain.
Our source said: “We struck up a conversation with him but he was evasive. He gave a different name for his wife.
“He seems to spend his life looking over his shoulder. I hope the Record can help bring him to justice.”
P&O describe the Ventura as “very family friendly”, with “fantastic children’s clubs and a play area for under-twos”.
Carney, 62, became a priest in 1974 and used his position to molest dozens of children.
He attacked boys and girls from at least eight children’s homes, took children swimming and on holidays and used them as golf caddies.
An Irish government report into child abuse by priests described Carney as “one of the most serious serial abusers” in the Archdiocese of Dublin.
The report’s author, judge Yvonne Murphy, said: “Bill Carney is a serial abuser of children, male and female.
“The Commission is aware of complaints or suspicions of abuse against him in respect of 32 named individuals. There is evidence that he abused many more children.”
The report said there was evidence Carney “may have acted in concert” with other paedophile priests.
Carney’s only convictions came in 1983, for two counts of indecent assault. He got probation and the archdiocese paid compensation to six victims.
He was not kicked out of the priesthood until 1992 – when the archdiocese paid him £30,000 to go quietly.
The Murphy Report savaged the Catholic Church in Ireland for its handling of Carney. It found that Bishop James Kavanagh had a “soft spot” for the predator and did all he could to protect him and avoid scandal.
Judge Murphy said of the Church:“It was inept, self-serving and for the best part of 10 years displayed no obvious concern for the welfare of children.”
The Irish authorities knew about Carney’s St Andrews guest house but did nothing to warn their counterparts in Scotland – or his wife.
Joan, 71, knew nothing about Carney’s crimes until her sons from a previous marriage warned her after seeing the Record’s 2009 story.
She said later: “I nearly died. I said, ‘Get me out of here. I can’t stay here a minute longer.’”
Carney fled to the Canary Islands, where he spent a year before returning to the UK.
Joan cut all ties with him but they are now a couple again. They were last known to be living in a village in Gloucestershire.
Scandal Widens: Pope Remains Silent as Abuse Allegations Hit Close to Home
By SPIEGEL Staff
Ratzinger, 86, now lives in a monastery and has declined to comment further. Clarification of the matter has now been left to his younger brother: Pope Benedict XVI.
Last Friday, Benedict XVI met in the Vatican with the Chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference, Robert Zollitsch, to talk about violence and sexual abuse carried out by Catholic priests in his native Germany. Just like his older brother, the pope would like the world to believe that the Church has changed its ways. Benedict XVI and Zollitsch vowed to shed light on cases of abuse and assist the victims.
But shortly after Zollitsch left for Germany, the pope found himself haunted by his own past as the Archbishop of Munich and Freising. His former archdiocese admitted to the center-left German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung that a pedophile priest had been reinstated to a Catholic parish in Munich during Ratzinger’s tenure.
What does the pope know from personal experience about the abuse problem? And how sincere is his promise to finally clear up the allegations of abuse?
Hardly anyone in the inner circle of the Vatican is better informed on Catholic sex scandals than His Holiness the Pope. Joseph Ratzinger was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formally known as the Inquisition. Reported cases of abuse automatically landed on his desk. Since 2001, as the Church’s most powerful cardinal, and subsequently as the pope, Ratzinger has spearheaded the Vatican’s ongoing efforts to shed light on this troublesome issue.
Nevertheless, sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has continued to regularly generate headlines. First, there were the waves of scandals in the US and Ireland. Now, hardly a day goes by in Germany without a new story on further allegations of abuse.
By the end of last week, some 200 presumed victims had contacted Ursula Raue, a Berlin attorney engaged by the Jesuits to handle abuse cases — and complaints are pouring in from all areas of the Church. Some 150 people have come forward with stories of abuse at the monastery school in Ettal, and roughly 15 former choirboys have grievances relating to the Regensburger Domspatzen.
Complex Nature of the Problem
On top of this, there have been reports from other areas of society. Cases have surfaced virtually everywhere: in the Protestant Church, in secular boarding schools like Odenwaldschule and in children’s homes in the former East Germany. The numbers are still a far cry from those linked to the Catholic Church, but they do reveal the complex nature of the problem.
It is a scandal the likes of which German society has not seen for years, and it will likely be months before it fades. Nonetheless, it is being inadequately addressed — often to a shocking degree.
This is true of the Catholic Church, which continues to damage itself as it hesitates between calls to clear up cases of abuse and the urge to hush things up. But it is also true of the state, as members of the government either let things take their course or drone on about the latest toothless initiative.
Should there be roundtable talks reserved only for members of the Catholic Church, or should they be open to a wide range of social groups? This question alone kept German ministers Kristina Schröder (family affairs), Annette Schavan (education and research) and Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (justice) squabbling for days — while Chancellor Angela Merkel stayed clear of the fray. A “broad and intensive debate” is required as a preliminary step, said Merkel’s spokesman.
At the same time, the German school system has been severely shaken. Former students at the secular Odenwaldschule in Hesse describe systematic abuse that continued until at least the 1990s. Eight former teachers, one of whom taught there until 2003, are the subject of serious allegations made by nearly three dozen former students.
Laid Him on the Bed
One former student says that he was only allowed to call his parents twice a week — and to do this, he had to use the phone in Gerold Becker’s bedroom. Becker was the school principal from 1971 to 1985. When the student was sad about the end of his telephone call, he says that Becker laid him on the bed, undressed him, touched the boy’s crotch, and then masturbated.
Another former student told of his fear of being the last one in the shower room with Becker after gym class. Yet another said that he was forced to engage in oral sex. “There was no way of avoiding them,” says Gerhard Roese, 48, who now lives in the German city of Darmstadt. He says that he was repeatedly forced to stimulate his music teacher’s genitalia with his hand. Distraught over the incidents, the boy confided in the school principal, but he only “smirked, hemmed and hawed, and said something about the Greeks,” says Roese.
Becker refuses to comment on the allegations. But questions have also been aimed at Hartmut von Hentig, 84, the doyen of Germany’s progressive education movement — and Becker’s long-time companion. Von Hentig has been pursued by journalists for days, he says. SPIEGEL was only able to submit questions to him in written form — and he faxed back his answers
In his response, von Hentig warned against false allegations and underscored that so far, “statements have only been collected, they have not yet been verified.” He himself visited the boarding school on a number of occasions. Did he not find cause for suspicion?
“No,” he replied. When he stayed overnight at Odenwaldschule, he “usually” slept in the official guest room. “The only time I actually saw Gerold Becker interact with the boys and girls at the school was when we all took our meals together in the dining hall or when we walked across the school grounds, and they jumped up to him and he fended them off in a friendly manner: ‘You can see that I have a guest.'”
Part 2: Did the Pope Really Not Know?
Von Hentig doesn’t blame himself for not having noticed anything. “I of course observed constantly and very carefully: filled with envy of this man who managed to relate so well to children, to explain things to them, to divert their attention or patiently coax them in order to keep them from getting into some kind of mischief. Filled with envy of ‘his’ wonderful school.”
Why do those in positions of authority, including supervisors and witnesses, tend to have such difficulty getting to the bottom of these allegations, as is the case with von Hentig? Why are the state and the Church so helpless when it comes to the abuse of minors?
The Irish have demonstrated that it is possible to break through the wall of silence. For years, Yvonne Murphy, a judge acting at the behest of the government, headed an independent commission investigating how the Irish Roman Catholic Church handled complaints of clerical child sexual abuse.
Her report, released last November, concluded that “the vast majority (of priests) simply chose to turn a blind eye” to abuse.
‘No Concern for the Abused Child’
The commission also found that the Church failed to act internally and ignored its own rules relating to priests suspected of abusing children. “For many years offenders were neither persecuted nor made accountable within the Church,” the report says, citing an “obsessive concern with secrecy” and concluding that “there was little or no concern for the welfare of the abused child.”
In Germany, federal and state governments would still rather leave it up to the bishops to clear up the allegations, despite the fact that these patriarchs of the Church have not indicated that they are genuinely capable of tackling the issue. Many Catholic leaders see incidents of abuse as unfortunate isolated episodes — and not as a systemic problem.
Such an attitude disregards the fact that this has been a problem for the clergy right from the start — and throughout 2,000 years of church history. “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea,” it is written in the Gospel of Matthew. In his Epistles to the Corinthians, even Paul inveighed against “boy prostitutes” and “pederasts.”
Throughout the centuries, popes have threatened priests with punishment should they sexually abuse children. Such members of the clergy “shall be released from the priesthood or locked away to do penance in monasteries,” wrote Pope Alexander III (1159 to 1181). They should be “punished according to Church or state laws,” threatened Pope Leo X (1513 to 1521).
Despite these condemnations, Germany’s bishops today still tend to turn a blind eye to “pederasts” in the clergy.
A Number of Hurdles
To the German Catholic Church’s credit, however, Archbishop Zollitsch recently appointed the Bishop of Trier, Stephan Ackermann, to look into abuse cases. Ackermann promptly received a flood of phone calls, letters and e-mails from alleged victims. Still, he faces hurdles before he can begin his work. The German Bishops’ Conference first has to decide where his office will be — in Trier or Bonn? How many staff members is he allowed to have? What kind of equipment? How large will his budget be?
Fundamentalist bishops like Gerhard Ludwig Müller from Regensburg would rather adopt a more confrontational approach. Müller accuses SPIEGEL of “abusing the freedom of the press” in its reports on the Church, and he says that the magazine “is guilty of violating the human dignity of all Catholic priests and members of the order.” He compares today’s “anti-Catholic media campaigns against celibacy and Catholic sexual morals” to the “infamous speech by the master of sedition held in Berlin’s Deutschlandhalle in 1937” — a reference to Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels’ attack on the Church. For Müller, in other words, critical reporting on the issue is far worse than the beating, rape and humiliation of children.
Meanwhile, new reports of horrendous abuse continue to pour in from his diocese — primarily from the Regensburger Domspatzen.
From 1953 to 1992, Monsignor Hans Meier ruled with an iron fist over generations of choirboys who were under his tutelage in the Etterzhausen boarding school, a preparatory school for younger pupils from which the choir draws its recruits.
Religious services were held three times a day. Afterwards, in rows of two, the young boys would march from the church to the dining hall. When mail was distributed, the boys were forced to stand lined up in rank and file, and they often received severe beatings.
‘Nothing that Merited My Attention’
Christian Wilbrand began attending the school at the age of nine in 1966. He recalls:
The idea was to shatter the personalities of us children. Brutality and our own fear were pervasive. Tortures included beatings with willow branches on the fingertips or the backside, punches to the head, pulling pupils up by their hair and hitting them with books. It didn’t take long to beat the childhood right out of us; I often felt like I was on the verge of dying. Once my homeroom teacher hurled me with such force against the blackboard that I lost consciousness. Etterzhausen was a planet of horrors.
Is it conceivable that Georg Ratzinger knew nothing about this? As director of the cathedral choir, he took in the children from the fifth grade up, who then lived in his boarding school in Regensburg. He says: “When we were on concert tours, pupils would tell me about what life had been like for them at Etterzhausen. But their stories didn’t strike me as anything that merited my official attention.”
In 1971, when Ratzinger had already been the choir director for seven years, a local priest was sentenced to 11 months in prison for sexual abuse. The man in question was both the institution’s music prefect and the head of the boarding school. Georg Ratzinger had an apartment in the building that housed the Domspatzen, and his brother Joseph often visited him there. Did they never hear anything about this case?
Former choirboy Mayer, who accompanied a large number of concert tours, says that he also witnessed widespread sexual and physical violence until he left the boarding school in 1992. He says that he himself was raped by older fellow students. Mayer also claims that anal sex took place between students on a number of occasions in a prefect’s apartment, right next to the rooms used by the senior classes. “They simply passed on the pressure of a totalitarian system,” he says.
Allegedly Knew Nothing
The Regensburg Diocese has refused to comment on any of the allegations — and Georg Ratzinger is now remaining silent as well.
And what of Benedict XVI? Publicly he has not uttered a single word about the allegations against his brother.
Indeed, he has still refrained from commenting on the cases dating back to his tenure as Archbishop of Munich. The priest Peter H. first came to the attention of the diocese in Essen after he forced an 11-year-old boy to engage in oral sex. He was sent to Munich for therapy. In 1980, as a member of the Diocese Council, Joseph Ratzinger was involved in a decision to grant Peter H. accommodations in a parsonage.
Shortly thereafter, the man was again involved in pastoral duties, with no restrictions whatsoever. In 1986, a court in Ebersberg gave H. an 18-month suspended prison sentence because he had once again sexually abused a minor, this time in the Bavarian town of Grafing.
H. was nevertheless reinstated and he held holiday services with children from the Heart of Jesus Daycare Center in Garching, and had numerous contacts with minors.
Just last Friday, he was scheduled to attend the ITB Berlin tourism trade show and take part in a panel discussion on “pilgrims’ paths, village churches and monastery vacations.” H. canceled at the last minute.
“Reassigning H. to pastoral ministry was a serious mistake. I take full responsibility,” says former Munich Vicar-General Gerhard Gruber.
The pope allegedly knew nothing about the entire case.
By Matthias Bartsch, Frank Hornig, Conny Neumann, Markus Verbeet and Peter Wensierski
Translated from the German by Paul Cohen
Catholic church weighs up response to criticism from Ireland
Vatican officials claim Enda Kenny may be using report into sexual abuse by priests to divert attention from euro crisis
Next month, as every year since he was chosen to lead the world’s Roman Catholics, the scholarly Pope Benedict XVI will preside at a meeting of his Schülerkreis — a group of his former doctoral students.
This year, the issue for debate in the pontifical summer palace, overlooking a volcanic lake near Rome, is the one he was elected to tackle: how to reverse the galloping secularisation of Catholicism‘s European homeland.
The discussion could scarcely be more timely, coming in the midst of a crisis in relations between the Holy See and Ireland, a country where, until a few years ago, official defiance of Rome was unthinkable.
The reaction in the Vatican to Enda Kenny’s impassioned denunciation on 20 July has been one of astonishment. But, as the Holy See’s temporary recall of its ambassador, or nuncio, five days later showed, it is also laced with indignation.
The pope’s deputy spokesman, Father Ciro Benedettini, gave the move a positive gloss, saying the Holy See needed the nuncio back in Rome so it could frame its reply to the Cloyne report “with objectivity and determination”. But his temporary withdrawal also reflected what Benedettini tactfully called “surprise and disappointment over some excessive reactions”.
In diplomacy, the recall of an envoy for consultations is a clear signal of disapproval and L’Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference, was unable to find a precedent for it in the vast annals of Vatican diplomacy.
The pope’s aides feel they have been unfairly attacked, and some suspect a political motive. One high-ranking cleric who spoke on condition of anonymity noted Ireland was caught up in the euro crisis and speculated that Kenny might have been seeking to distract public opinion.
Others stressed the Vatican response, promised by the end of August, would seek to heal the breach. But the signs this week were that it would also include a vigorous defence of the Vatican’s position.
No one in Rome disputes that allegations of the sexual abuse of minors in the Cloyne diocese were grossly mishandled by the bishop, John Magee. But Vatican officials argue they are being pilloried for the actions of a pastor who disregarded their instructions.
Ireland’s prime minister claimed that judge Yvonne Murphy’s report contained evidence of an “attempt by the Holy See to block an enquiry … less than three years ago”.
Vatican officials say they can find no such evidence. What the report does contain, they say, is criticism of the papal bureaucracy’s actions 14 years ago. In 1997, the Congregation for the Clergy, the department responsible for the priesthood, sent a message to the Irish bishops criticising their attempts to create a framework for dealing with sex abuse cases.
In particular, it objected to a clause that went beyond the requirements of Irish law at the time and proposed that: “In all instances where it is known or suspected that a priest … has sexually abused a child, the matter should be reported to the civil authorities.” The Vatican said that could be at odds with the church’s own laws.
Murphy’s commission concluded that Rome’s objections gave individual bishops – including Magee – freedom to ignore the bishops’ guidelines. But speaking on Vatican Radio on 19 July, the pope’s spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, argued there was “no reason to interpret the letter as aimed at hiding cases of abuse. In fact, it was warning of the risk of taking measures that could then turn out to be challengeable or invalid from a canonical point of view”.
In any case, say other Vatican officials, even if the Congregation’s response was misguided, it was made before 2001. That is when, in their view, there was a sea change.
Pope John Paul II ordered all cases of alleged sex abuse to be dealt with in Rome by the department then headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as he was known then. As he read the paperwork, the future pope became increasingly appalled by what he saw, and put in place an altogether more effective policy. “Not to recognise that there has been a learning curve and that things have changed is stupid”, said a senior Vatican official.
That may not be the whole story, however. In an interview with the website Vatican Insider, the archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, said he believed Kenny was not only referring to the 1997 exchange, but also “to interactions – which I was unaware of – which took place with the Vatican while the Cloyne report was being prepared”. He did not elaborate.
• This article was amended on 2 August 2011. In the original Diarmuid Martin was described as also having the status of cardinal. This has been corrected.