Dublin Archdiocese Commission Report Published

No corner of Irish society escapes

The report of the Commission inquiring into the Dublin Archdiocese was published today, with some details omitted but before I go on, let me just say something.

You probably know that the report has torn the Irish bishops to shreds, called them a bunch of lying hypocrites and exposed them for the miserable, pathetic, cynical, self-serving inadequates they are.

Well, let me just draw your attention to one aspect of the report, which is the bit that deals with their claim that they didn’t really know much about child abuse.  Their famous “learning curve”.

This is what the  Commission’s report says:

Officials of the Archdiocese of Dublin and other Church authorities have repeatedly claimed to have been, prior to the late 1990s, on a learning curve in relation to the matter. Having completed its investigation, the Commission does not accept the truth of such claims and assertions.

Do you remember kindly old Cardinal Cathal Daly who, after Fr Brendan Smyth was exposed as a serial rapist, explained that he didn’t understand such matters, and that was why he didn’t try to stop the rapist from  raping children?  It struck me as deeply dishonest of old Cathal at the time, because he seemed to know a great deal about sexual relationships between consenting adults. Enough, in fact, to pronounce from on high about things that were none of his business and even attempt to influence the law of the land.   Just as his fellow bishops did.

Never forget that these guys who are the subject of a report exposing them as collaborators and accomplices in child abuse are the same people who saw fit to interfere in the legislative process and sought to influence the outcome of referendums on matters in which they had no competence. Of course, we now see that they have no competence in anything, and the question has to be asked.  What are they there for?

The Commission concludes that the Catholic hierarchy lied when they claimed not to understand the seriousness of child sexual abuse.  In fact, far from not understanding it, the diocese cynically took out insurance in 1987 to protect itself against claims, while at the same time denying every claim and accusing victims of inventing false stories.

The report says that the bishops systematically covered up sexual abuse and were more concerned about protecting their organisation’s good name and looking after the criminals who abused the children than they were about the welfare of the victims.  According to the report, the welfare of children, which should have been the first priority, was not even a factor to be considered in the early stages.

The Commission finds that every Archbishop of Dublin since World War II has either covered up the crimes of abusers or obstructed investigations by the civil authorities.  It finds that senior police including a Garda Commissioner and two chief superintendents,  colluded with the bishops to conceal crime and protect the criminals.

The connivance by the Gardaí in effectively stifling one complaint and failing to investigate another, and in allowing Fr [name deleted] to leave the country is shocking. It is noteworthy that the Commission would not have been aware of the Garda activity in question were it not for the information contained in the Church files.

The commission  finds that many victims who went to the church authorities with complaints were dismissed, intimidated and lied to

.…  the focus was on the avoidance of scandal and the preservation of the good name, status and assets of the institution and of what the institution regarded as its most important members – the priests.

The report shows that some individuals, including the much-revered Archbishop McQuaid, and Donal Murray, the current bishop of Limerick, were an absolute disgrace in the way they treated complaints of abuse.

Bishops did their best to avoid applying the law of the State.  They failed to act on complaints, even appointing abusive priests as chaplains in children’s hospitals and concealing details of abusive behaviour, resulting in more children being abused by the same people.  They dismissed and trivialised the suffering of victims. They lied. They cheated. They perverted justice. They sheltered known criminals. They misled police.  They withheld information.

The report finds that in many cases, clerics believed that their own private rules, Canon Law, were superior to the law of the land, and that certain public officials seemed to believe the same thing.  The State authorities facilitated the cover up by not fulfilling their responsibilities, the report says,  to ensure that the law was applied equally to all and allowing the Church institutions to be beyond the reach of the normal law enforcement processes.

It indicates that the primary loyalty of the clergy is to Rome and not to this State, or to put it another way, these clerics have relinquished their Irish citizenship through their vows, and now regard themselves as a colonising power.

I think what strikes me most strongly is the complete failure on the part of the entire Irish clergy to comprehend the harm that they have inflicted and continue to inflict, and we have no reason to believe that anything has changed since the investigation started.

To all intents, this Mafia remains intact, disloyal to the Irish State and without respect for domestic Irish law.  Even today, what some people refer to as the HSE audit is nothing more than a questionnaire circulated to the bishops, to be falsified at their discretion, just as they have falsified everything else they submitted to the authorities.  These are the same people who have consistently refused to cooperate with the police, save for the honourable exception of Diarmuid Martin.

The chapter on Discovery is interesting.

In 2006, the Commission wrote to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the  Faith (formerly known as the Inquisition) headed by one Josef Ratzinger. They asked for  information on the promulgation of the document Crimen Sollicitationis, (a document advising bishops on how to deal with sexual abuse,)  as well as information on reports of clerical child sexual abuse which had been conveyed to the Congregation by the Archdiocese of Dublin in the period covered by the Commission.  The CDF did not reply.

The report goes on:  However, it [Ratzinger’s CDF] did contact the Department of Foreign Affairs stating that the Commission had not gone through appropriate diplomatic channels. The Commission is a body independent of government and does not consider it appropriate for it to use diplomatic channels.

According to the report, The Commission wrote to the Papal Nuncio in February 2007 requesting that he forward to the Commission all documents in his possession relevant to the Commission’s terms of reference, “which documents have not already been produced or will not be produced by Archbishop Martin”. The letter further requested the Papal Nuncio, if he had no such documentation, to confirm this. No reply was received. The Commission does not have the power to compel the production of documents by the Papal Nuncio or the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Commission again wrote to the Papal Nuncio in 2009 enclosing extracts from the draft report which referred to him and his office as it was required to do. Again, no reply was received.

So much for the Vatican’s concern with clerical child abuse in Ireland.

Now is the time for this country to regain its self respect by investigating the activities of these bishops, each one of them, and bringing them before a court to answer for themselves. These people have no understanding of morality and the  time has come to remove all power from them.  Amazingly, those  who claimed to have the inside track, the direct line to head office, were clearly the ones who simply did not know the difference between right and wrong.

So why exactly would anyone listen to them now?   How could any Catholic parent in this town feel comfortable next year when their young child goes to confirmation and that ceremony is presided over by a man like Donal Murray, who also remains patron of many primary schools?

Why would a man like this be entitled to control any institution in which children are taught?

Forget about leaving the United Kingdom.  This is the true test of Irish independence.  If we fail this, the experiment is finished.


As ever, Nell McCafferty expresses the anger better than most.

Reports HERE

Previously on Bock

What Is Desmond Connell Trying To Keep Secret?


All Bock posts on the Murphy Report

25 thoughts on “Dublin Archdiocese Commission Report Published

  1. Disgusting and stupid. How can you take marriage guidance from Priests ? How can they lead a community without life experience or in this case honesty? I’ve never raped anyone but I know its wrong, what it involves and should be stopped, oh unless you don’t care about weemen or children which seems to be the way. Souls and bums on seats not people.

    Yer right the Brits did ‘foreign service’ in Ireland in the 18th and 19th century and when they left the south you were/are still under oppression. Do what you want Cardinals and corrupt politicians saying what the normal people should do I guess the Irish must like getting the sharp end of the stick.

  2. It may be scant solace if this report finally manages to destroy the Catholic Church in Ireland–but, I’ll take it anyway.


  3. Knudsen – There’s no point asking me. I don’t have any respect for these people. But maybe your question is meant in a more general way. Somehow, I don’t see any of our regular readers taking a priest seriously.
    Oh, and you’ll be welcome any time you like to visit Limerick, you black bigot. I’ll even put you up.

    Darwin – True, but somehow grim at the same time.

  4. The Loyalists were right all along. Home Rule IS Rome Rule, and it’s not until you remove yourself from the Church that you see this.

    I’ve been living in China for the last eight years. Married a Chinese lass and we have two kids (One boy one girl, 4 & 2 respectively). My wife is not religious (regards it all as supersition), and I’ve long since turned my back on catholicism. Funnily enough, it’s this that is proving to be the greatest obstacle to our moving back to Ireland – not the financial crisis or the dire unemployment levels (though they certainly contribute). We were back this summer for a visit, and ran into trouble with the Mother because we hadn’t had the kids baptised – nor would we. It got quite heated at moments (my children were referred to as ‘little heathens’ at one stage), and it was made clear to us that if we didn’t let the druid dribble water over the kids foreheads we’d have problems getting them into schools, etc. But for some reason I couldn’t quite bring myself to tell my wife “Honey, you know that crowd of paedophiles we were reading about in the Ryan report? Well, we’re going to sign our kids over to them, so that they can be taught a load of superstitious gibberish. I’m sure it’ll work out well.”

    Fuck me, it was like the mafia. A protection racket. If you don’t do this, we can’t promise that and you may not be able to do the other. And when they come, they come with the smiles and implorings of your nearest and dearest. If my kids want to get baptised they can do so then they are 18 and old enough to make the decision for themselves, but it was an unpleasant experience making this known at home, and finally brought home to me just how deep and insidious the influence of the Catholic Church is in Ireland.

    Sorry for the rant….

  5. Once again we have politicians (Dermot Ahern for example) on our TV screens claiming to be shocked at the revelations in the report. It really pisses me off the way they absolve themselves of all knowledge and responsibility. They’re all aghast and sympathetic for the cameras but they refuse to adequately fund and resource voluntary organisation such as Rape Crisis Centres who have been picking up the pieces for over thirty years.

  6. Whats in the report is no surprise. The hand wringing predictable and if the Minister for Justice is sincere his comments are to be welcomed. However, what sickens me is the sanitisation of the language in the report. Why can they not call child rape what it is. Furthermore why are the Gardai, doctors, Judges etc who were involved in collusion with the child rapists and their spiritual advisors still receiving their State pensions?

  7. It’s bad when people are writing in from China condemning us. Under the beloved Chairman Mao – and their still fond of him out there – an estimated 80 million people were killed, tweny times the population of Ireland. But then again the Godless ones were always more serious about human rights abuse, long time -minus the consolation of eternal salvation.

    It has to be stressed that Canon law has no place in a secular society. The abusers must be brought to justice and jailed if found guilty. Civil litigation against the abusers in the Catholic Church is another way forward.The only way to make Rome listen is to hit them in the pocket. Let the purge begin.

  8. I had the misfortune to hear some of Donal Murray’s press conference on newstalk this evening. Fuck me what a load of self serving shite . . . . . . . . . funny that he came out and said it on today of all days. You know, if you were the suspicious type, you’d nearly think he had something he was ashamed of. Can’t for the life of me think what it could be though!

  9. Anybody think anything will change after this?.I will believe things have changed if in the next week I see mass arrests of the paedophiles and the bishops and gardai who colluded with them and enabled them to continue raping.But of course thats not going to happen.Just the bishops Ahern and Murphy parroting what their PR people told them to say today.They might as well have come out and farted in front of the media for all it means.Nothing will happen they will just wait for the dust to settle and then back to business as usual.This place will never change,its just not capable of it.

  10. You’re quite right, Bock – this is the true test of whether Ireland is a sovereign nation. Do we have the courage and the integrity to cast off this catholic imperialism and run the country as a modern democracy? Or do we tip the forelock and move on, burying the inconvenient truths and avoiding the real issue.

    The real issue, by the way, is that there is no god and that religions are man-made, political enterprises. Religions seek power over the people by peddling scare stories about what will happen if you don’t obey the rules. This allows the leaders of the religion to get away with raping children for a long time, because people are afraid to challenge them. The entire edifice has to be dismantled.

  11. Fair dues to the people who wrote this, they acted without fear or favour. However, is there anything we didnt know about church behaviour in it? I wasn’t “shocked” as Diarmuid Martin breathlessly told us we all would be, because there is nothing new here. We’ve all known for over 10 years now that the church protected priests who raped children, and moved them around where they could continue to do it, and went to great lengths generally to hush things up, and didnt give a f**k about the raped children. The spin and hyperbole around this report makes me queasy – oh its all behind us now (Bishop Walsh), oh I felt angry and sickened reading this (Dermot Ahern) – get off the stage you pricks. This will be all behind us when allegations of crimes against clergy are dealt with in the same way as allegations against anyone else, i.e. the cops come along and investigate, not “any chance you’d draw up some internal guidelines for yourselves to tell you when you should and shouldnt report allegations of crimes to the civil authorities?”, and “Any chance we could have a look at them?”. And when we have a choice of a secular education for our kids. For starters.

  12. I’m with u ‘Ricepaddy’…. (great name, btw! )..had me folks out here for me little bloke’s’ naming day’ as opposed to the ritualistic shite they try to practice back there…damn near blew their minds!!!! a good thing, btw.! (the only baptism he’s been given is been thrown into the pool, by me, with a loud’ hoorah’!!!)…..quick-lime grave for dem roman fools!….’Ke- Powww’ !

    Good luck.

  13. Despair, once again. The political will to change anything in this country is absent. By and large, it was the children of the poor who were set upon by these monsters. The voiceless and the subjugated minority. The priests generally came from the more influential small farmer, small shopkeeper, publican or so called “respectable” class. These voiceless people didn’t matter in the independent Ireland as they were mere fodder for emigration to England and elsewhere. What mattered was respectabilty and preservation of social difference in a mean spirited, petty little so-called republic. The church was intrinsic to that facade and schooling was its principal instrument in instilling deference to those so -called values. Irish Independence: What a moral, social and political waste of opportunity!

  14. The soul destroying thing about all this is that nothing will change, absolutely nothing. There will be media outrage over the coming days, various talking heads and politicians on the TV and radio, tut tutting and wringing their hands. This story will run “hot” until December 5th, and then the nations attention will be turned towards the budget. And a huge proportion of the people doing the tut-tutting will still go to mass on the Sunday, sit there like sheeple and put the money in the plate when it’s passed around. The doublethink on display is truly amazing.

    The only thing that will move people in this country is if you fuck with their beloved pints, or you remove Sky Sports from them, or you handle a round piece of leather and prevent us from qualifying for the world cup. That’s the only thing that will get us going. The vitally important stuff, like this, NAMA, corruption, fucked up goverance, it just seems to pass us by. It’s days like this when you just want to stick your fingers up at everybody around you, leave, and never come back to fucked up, backward insignificant shitkip again. Apologies for the rant.

  15. Bock, Yet another sad day for Ireland and rage is a mild word to decribe what I feel, and real sorrow. Maybe the experiment is drawing to a close and just as well. No goverment minister is howling at these papal lords, no police raids, no confiscation of their assets. In short is Ireland an independent country that governs for the best of its children?. These are seious issiues and may very well define wheter Ireland can continiue as a soverign country. Republics have collapsed before and failed states are nothing new. There is something in the air just now that never was there before. Could this be the last stand of the Irish before it quietly goes into the night. Could this be the start of a sea change ?. Its up to the young people, the old hang their heads in shame because they were part of it.

  16. Still cant believe child murders are not being hidden / covered up.
    Do we still let these people play an influential role in education, healthcare, social care…..?
    Pitiful bastards arent we.

  17. Bock as usual you save my sanity by showing this wonderfull woman Nell Mc Cafferty. Ireland is in deed in desperate need of people like this. There is no way backward but if there is no way forward then where does Ireland go?. People like this woman are in deed Irelands hope. And if you ever need to change juristdiction Bock I not only have spare skis but a guest room with a fire place. Now Ireland arise!.

  18. Priests and Christian brothers still have huge power and influence in other countries such as the Phillipines, South American countries and African countries.
    I knew an ex priest from the Phillipines who told me about abuse of young boys and girls who enetered the vocations. they were molested immediately by the older clerics. This was not too many years ago.
    It woudn’t surprise me if what is happening there is the same as what was happening here some decades ago. These are poor uneducated people who would look up to people in authority and trust them with their kids.

  19. Ricepaddy; So the “baptism ” harangueing goes on ! I recall those arguements and rantings from way back, My eldest is 37 and I would estimate she was probably baptised 12 times in kitchen sinks by various relatives such was the outrage at our refusal to abide by the cermonies of the crushing cult, We had more children and the subject was never brought up again, Let me assure you they had no difficulty getting into schools or were ever asked for baptisimal certs, They never attended religion classes in school, no communion, no confirmation, They encountered the odd bit of ignorant slagging on occasion but nothing of consequence, They are all very glad now that they had freedom of choice.
    I don’t know if it’s possible or relevant even, but even though I have had zero contact with any religious concept since I was 17, I was baptised and I’m thinking I should make some formal declaration of my disgust so that I will never appear in any records as having been associated with the church, Does anyone know how to go about that, How to have one’s record of baptism expunged ? I think it should be done en masse to formally show united revulsion.

  20. Norma and PsychoBill, that’s good to know, and thanks for sharing the benefit of your experience.

    Norma, for your interest, there is a site called http://www.countmeout.ie which tells all you need to know about officially leaving the church. It’s been mentioned elsewhere on this site, I believe.

    Bock, don’t get me started on Mao. Visited his hometown here a few years back (as I may have mentioned here before) and visited the official museum. Included on the grounds are a wee shrine to the man himself, where you can kneel before a bust of him, light some incense sticks and say a little prayer to him. I was invited to do the same by the attendent but politely declined (politely, as I thought saying “I will in my arse” might offend). I then took a photo of someone doing just that and the security guards pounced forward. I mustered up what little Chinese I know and said “bu hao yisi” (“I’m sorry/I didn’t mean it” more-or-less) and they broke in to big smiles. “Ah, your Chinese is so good!” You can add that to your skills international espionage bag of tricks….

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