Dublin Archdiocese Commission Report Published

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


Dublin Diocese Clerical Sex Abuse Report Leaked


The report has been published here.


The Dublin Diocese inquiry findings will probably be published on Thursday next, 26th November, but they have already been leaked to the press.

If reports are correct, the inquiry will say that the four Archbishops who controlled the diocese before Diarmuid Martin cared little or nothing for the suffering of children raped by their priests.  The archbishops’ main concern was to protect the privilege, power and status of their church, and to achieve this, they prevented complaints being made to the police and suppressed information about violent sexual crimes carried out by priests in their employ. Even though the four bishops knew that their priests were abusing children wholsale, not one of them informed the Gardai until 1995.

These men were Desmond Connell, and before him Kevin MacNamara, preceded by Dermot Ryan and before him again, John Charles McQuaid, the man who virtually dictated the constitution of this State.

Martin, an affable but shrewd operator, attracts praise for his openness and willingness to confront the problem directly.

You might remember as recently as last year, the former archbishop, Desmond Connell,  took a high court action in an effort to prevent his successor,  Martin, from releasing diocesan files on sexual abuse claims to the church’s own commission of investigation.

The Gardai won’t come well out of the inquiry either.   A culture of deference to the church authorities existed within the force and perhaps even a culture of collusion to ensure that no priest had to face prosecution.  It seems that many Gardai believed the same thing as the clergy themselves: in Ireland the Catholic church was not only above the law, but might actually have been the law.

The inquiry report, which only covers a sample of 46 abusing priests, will expose deep-rooted corruption, callousness, selfishness and indifference to wrongdoing among the deeply Christian hierarchy of the Catholic church. A number of chapters will be omitted from the report because they refer to people against whom charges have been brought, including one individual who was only charged last week when it became common knowledge that the chapter referring to him was also extremely critical of an Garda Síochána.  A relative of one victim has suggested that this is too much of a coincidence.

As soon as the report becomes available, I hope to summarise its principal findings.


Also on Bock
Dublin Diocese Commission Abuse Report

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Cardinal Error: Brady Gets the Red Hat

Half God, Half Biscuit

They just don’t get it, do they?

Oh those feckin old bishops!

The Feast of the Blessed Condescension

Bishop Magee of Cloyne Finally Steps Down<

Cardinal SeáBrady’s Weasel Words

Cloyne Sex Abuse Case – Cardinal Brady Stands By Magee

Bishop Magee –  Where Do You Go To My Lovely?

What Is Desmond Connell Trying To Keep Secret?


Child Abuse – PR Guidance for Bishops

This briefing document was sent by the Catholic Communications Office to every Catholic diocese in advance of the publication of the report on child abuse. Pay special attention to the bullet points where bishops are advised how to react to the report. Clearly this is in case they wouldn’t have thought of these points on their own.

  • Welcome the report.
  • Children should be loved and cherished.
  • Victims deserve justice and support to bring about healing.
  • The truth must be established concerning abuse.

Have a look at the last couple of points in the document emphasising the responsibility of wider society and the inadequacy of State services. This is designed to deflect attention from the church: the real perpetrators, the rapists and torturers.

There is no changing the mind-set behind the Catholic church. They don’t get it. Today we have reports of a statement by the incoming head of the Catholic church in England, Archbishop Vincent Nichols who congratulates clerical rapists on having the courage to face up to what they did in the past. Courageous rapists, torturers and abusers. Courageous destroyers of innocence. Courageous murderers.

This entire church is rotten to its foundations.

Hypocrites. They make me sick.


Briefing Document

The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse will publish its report at 2.30 pm tomorrow, Wednesday 20 May 2009, on the Commission€s website I understand that, simultaneously, Mr Justice Ryan will chair a press conference in the Conrad Hotel, Dublin.

We can expect separate press statements to be issued tomorrow by CORI, the Mercy Sisters, the Christian Brothers and Cardinal Brady. The CCO will issue these to you as soon as possible.

There is international media interest in this story and RTÉ’s Joe Little will cover it on the news tomorrow. Prime Time is dedicating part of its programme on Thursday evening to the story. Prime Time will have a package prepared and hope to have three representatives in studio drawn from victim groups, politics and the religious orders.

The main news angle will focus on criticism of the level of contribution made by the 18 CORI members to the Government€s Redress Scheme. The background to this is:

In 2002 the Conference of Religious in Ireland facilitated 18 of its congregations in entering into an indemnity agreement with the Government on a Redress Scheme for victims of institutional abuse.

An agreement was reached in good faith, between the 18 congregations and the Government, that a contribution of €128m be made by the 18 congregations to the Redress Scheme which had been previously announced and established by Government.

You may be asked to comment on the Ryan Report by local media, especially if an industrial school or reformatory was based in your diocese. Please see some bullet points below to assist you should you consider responding to media queries:

  • Welcome the report.
  • Children should be loved and cherished.
  • Victims deserve justice and support to bring about healing.
  • The truth must be established concerning abuse.
  • Many of those who attended institutions speak about the isolation and the suffering from fear, brutality, cruelty, physical and sexual abuse, hard working and living conditions not fit for children.
  • Clearly large institutions are bad environments to care for children. The industrial school system should not have been the model used to care for children. Such institutions could never replace a family environment.
  • The report highlights Church failing to protect those children in our society who most needed help. Abuse of children, especially if perpetrated by a priest or religious, is not only a serious crime but a betrayal of a sacred trust.
  • In the past Irish society often institutionalised its problems. To that end Church, State and indeed wider society must share the blame for failing to protect the most vulnerable of children during this period.
  • The State today must adequately resource its social work services in order to protect children who are or may be abused either physically or sexually (e.g. Monageer). We owe it to those who have suffered in the past to deal comprehensively with the reality of abuse in our society today.
Previously on Bock
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Crime Religion Scandal

Clerical Sexual Abuse — Irish Times Article Defends The Indefensible

If you want to see a classic example of intellectual dishonesty by someone purporting to be a professional, you should read Dr Marie Keenan’s article in today’s Irish Times.

It was written following a conference of clergy about something the Pope wrote: Deus Caritas Est, which translates to God is Love: not an unreasonable proposition for a bunch of clerics to be discussing, but not something to be overly certain of either, considering the state of the world.

Entitled Church must also extend compassion to clergy abusers, Dr Keenan’s article argues for more compassion to be shown to abusers:

… some of these men are met, just as the victims once were, with cold disregard by some church leaders and a harshness that is often hard to endure.

Have another look at that phrase: just as victims once were.

What does that mean, exactly? Are the abusers and the victims equivalent? Do the abusers deserve the same support as their victims? Is there no difference?

In my opinion, there’s at least one major difference: the victims were innocent, whereas the abusers are vicious criminals who attacked and defiled helpless children. This seems to have escaped Dr Keenan’s attention, but of course, Dr Keenan is a sociologist and psychotherapist — professions that have given the world the concept of neutral value-free language. The same insipid, bloodless outlook that gave us the recent notorious report on the Brothers of Charity.

Just to help Dr Keenan focus a little bit, I’ll be more blunt. Child victims deserve support. Perverts deserve jail.

Now, is that better?

The article goes on to say A little compassion would go a long way also with clergy offenders, especially when they have taken responsibility for their offences, engaged in treatment and served prison sentences.

Reality check coming up, Dr Keenan.

They didn’t take responsibility for their actions. They were caught.

They didn’t freely engage in treatment. They were forced to.

They didn’t voluntarily serve prison sentences. They were jailed.

You see, what sickens me about Marie Keenan and other apologists for criminal behaviour is their attempt to create an equivalence between abuser and abused. This, in my opinion, simply multiplies the original insult, and leaves victims feeling a bit more soiled than they already were.

At the end of the article, Dr Keenan asks, can someone please explain to me why the Dublin archdiocese has now decided to employ a retired detective sergeant to police its clergy, when these men are very obviously in need of care and compassion?

I didn’t know the diocese had made such an appointment, but it’s a welcome development, and I would have thought the answer to Dr Keenan’s question is obvious: the diocese had to hire the detective because their priests raped hundreds of children. Not a difficult equation for somebody with a big “Dr” in front of their name to work out, I would have thought. Especially a therapist who works in a church-run treatment centre for abusers.

The piece ends on a plaintive note: Does this development represent a new departure in the Dublin archdiocese’s approach to showing love?

Yes, is the answer.

And about time too.


Marie Keenan’s article

Crime Favourites Religion Scandal

What Is Desmond Connell Trying To Keep Secret?

So he’s trying to stop them reading the file, is he?

The Government set up a commission of investigation in 2006 to examine how the Church dealt with allegations of sexual abuse against children, over a period of nearly thirty years. And to his credit, the affable but shrewd Archbishop Diarmuid Martin duly handed over all the files he had, without comment or question: 66,583 documents in all.

Now, however, his predecessor wants to prevent the commission from having access to some of the documents on those files, and he’s taking a High Court action to stop them, claiming that the documents are protected by lawyer-client privilege.


What is the Cardinal so afraid of? Can he not stand over every single action recorded on those files, as the rest of us have to do in our professional lives? It would appear that he doesn’t see the need to bend his princely neck before this commission of lumpenprole upstarts who dare question his authority, but of course, Des is no stranger to hubris, or to arrogance.

Now look. I have to be honest here and say that I do not like Desmond Connell one little bit. As a man, he’s cold, unfeeling and condescending. He’s remote and has no understanding of what it is to be a living human being. But apart from that, he’s probably all right.

Priests of the Dublin diocese systematically raped and abused children for decades and their bosses did nothing to stop them. Rapist-priests were moved from parish to unsuspecting parish, raping children wherever they went, and the Church authorities did absolutely nothing about it.

Complaints by victims were received with frosty condescension or empty platitudes and the rapes went on.

The abused became the ignored.

As the Church authorities asked themselves how they could best protect themselves from these impudent rape victims, the bastards continued abusing children.

Bastards like Father Ivan Payne, who served the last seven years of his ministry under Archbishop Desmond Connell. Among his other crimes Payne sexually abused the sick children in the hospital where he was chaplain.

In 1993, he paid £30,000 to one of his victims, funded by a loan from the diocese, and when RTE revealed this, Archbishop Desmond Connell threatened to sue them, denying that any loan had ever been made. Payne went on to serve a further two years as a priest under Connell.

This pervert, Payne, was also delegated by the Church to deal with couples seeking Church annulments, inquiring into the most intimate details of their married lives. Can you imagine how soiled those people must feel now?

Payne was convicted in 1998 on thirteen sample charges involving nine boys and sentenced to 4½ years in prison. Six months per raped child.

Bastards like Father Thomas Naughton, jailed in 1998 for child sexual abuse. Naughton abused the children of three separate parishes throughout the eighties, and though frequent complaints were made to the Church authorities, they did nothing about the rapist they employed.

Naughton worked in Nigeria and Grenada, where there were no controls on sexually abusing missionaries, and came back to Ireland in 1976.  He then worked in a number of Dublin parishes, abusing children everywhere he went.  In 1984, a former policeman told Bishop Donal Murray that he was a rampant sexual abuser — a worrying fact in itself.  You would have thought that a policeman, of all people, would have approached the civil authorities, but that was Ireland it seems, at that time, not so long ago.

What do you think happened?  Did the Bishop remove this pervert from contact with children and call the police?  No.  He assigned him to a new parish, where the raping pervert was put in charge of altar boys, some of whom he raped.  Of course.

His employers, the Dublin diocese, then sent him to a treatment centre of sorts, in England.  His counsellors believed he had no understanding that his actions were wrong, which of course makes him a dangerous psychopath, but that didn’t stop the Catholic Church authorities assigning him to a new parish in Dublin, where of course he raped more kids.

Bastards like Father Paul McGennis, who also abused children at the hospital, and elsewhere. When Marie Collins complained about her abuse, the diocese refused to confirm to police that McGennis had admitted carrying out the rapes. Later, Desmond Connell told Marie Collins he wouldn’t cooperate with the police investigation, even though the Catholic bishops had very clear guidelines about reporting sexual abuse to the authorities. In Connell’s view, they were only “guidelines”, and he didn’t have to follow them if, in his infinite arrogance, he didn’t feel like it. The gobshite.

Bastards like Father Noel Reynolds who was abusing children in Glendalough when parents and a fellow priest reported him to the Archbishop. He was immediately moved to the National Rehabilitation Hospital, as Catholic chaplain, but nobody told the hospital he was an active child-rapist, or even that there was a question about him. After he left the hospital chaplaincy, he admitted to abusing 100 children in eight different parishes, and I’m sorry to say the bastard is now dead, when he should be suffering every day at the hands of some psychotic pervert-hating Turkish jailer.

Do you notice anything missing from this?

Of course.

What’s absent is any sense that the Catholic Church authorities thought the police had any sort of role in child rape.  These people didn’t think child rape was all that serious a matter.  It was more a spiritual aberration than a crime in the view of these demented clerics.  These emotionally-retarded celibates who had never in their entire lives taken responsibility for child, wife, or home.  These pricks who had never held their own newborn offspring, loved it and knew they would defend it to the death, like a real man.  Appalling old fuckers who had never, for even a treasured weekend, had an intimate relationship with another human being, man or woman.  These sad old arseholes who had never once in their miserable lives been properly laid or seduced.  These angry, authoritarian, frustrated gobshites who wouldn’t understand what it is to be a real man if that understanding walked up and punched them in the face.

That’s the sort of emotionally retarded fool who thought they knew better than the fully-rounded people of this land.  Fools like the successive Archbishops of Dublin.  Sad, limited old fools like Cardinal Desmond Connell, a distinguished  Professor of Philosophy but a man with no knowledge of humanity.  How sad.

This is some of the background to Connell’s action in the High Court. He wants the files on these crimes filleted and I’d love to know what he’s afraid of. As well as being a personal tragedy for the victims, it’s a PR disaster for the Catholic church, and for the life of me, I can’t see what Connell hopes to achieve.

No matter what way the High Court decides, Connell will be the ultimate loser, but I can say this: it shows you the way some of these old boys think.

They haven’t gone away, you know.


The Brothers of Charity: Raping Your Children Since 1883 !!

Cardinal Error: Brady Gets the Red Hat

Half God, Half Biscuit

They just don’t get it, do they?

Oh those feckin old bishops!

The Feast of the Blessed Condescension