So a Catholic bishop twenty years ago didn’t know sex abuse was wrong? So says John Kirby, Bishop of Clonfert, when explaining why he transferred two sex abusers instead of informing the police. He had no idea what pedophilia was, says Kirby. “I saw it as a friendship that crossed a boundary line,” he said. “I have learnt sadly since that it was a very different experience.”
Ponder that now. He saw it as a friendship that crossed a boundary line.
You know what? I don’t believe him, any more than I believed the late Cardinal Cahal Daly who tried to minimise his failures in the Brendan Smyth case by claiming exactly the same defence. He didn’t understand how serious a thing child abuse was.
Nearly twenty years earlier, the current Cardinal, Seán Brady, swore a raped child to secrecy. Brady clearly knew exactly what was wromg with child abuse and so did his bosses.
Remember, these are the guys who, for two hundred years, have claimed to be the sole authority on sexual morality.
They poked their unclean fingers into every bedroom in the land. They forced new mothers to endure the humiliating experience of churching, to cleanse them of the sin of childbirth. They opposed contraception not only in their churches, but in the political arena. They resisted the legalisation of homosexual acts. They opposed civil unions between same-sex couples, and they opposed civil divorce among heterosexuals. They inflicted their grubby, dirty vision of sexuality on ten generations, creating a national neurosis we haven’t yet quite got over.
And yet, as recently as twenty years ago, they didn’t know that raping a child was wrong?
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