An Argument To Disprove.

As I said in The Slippery Church blog of 3 February 2010, the bog standard priest in the Archdiocese of Dublin is revolting. There is more fall-out after the O’Mahoney/Drennan schism at Maynooth a fortnight ago.  The ordinary priests of the diocese or at least 25 middle-aged and therefore senior priests are, according to Alison Healy in yesterday’s Irish Times, unhappy at the way Archbishop Martin has not shown any compassion towards the auxillary bishops of Dublin.

It seems that there was a meeting of these 25 mature Dublin priests at Manresa retreat house on 18 January 2010, the minutes of which appear in yesterday’s Irish Catholic newspaper.  This meeting of time-served priests was called to discuss the Murphy Report.  They said of the auxillary bishops that “a grave injustice had been done to men who had loyally served this diocese with selfless commitment and Christlike compassion”.  They also said that Archbishop Martin had tarnished the name of O’Mahoney and that the Church had not engaged in a “cover up”.  They also claimed that Archbishop Martin had a dictatorial manner.  No wonder I accused Archbishop Martin, in my blog Once A Catholic on 7 December 2009, of shilly shallying and talking mumbo jumbo.  With these type of men at your back you would need to watch every word.

Let us get this right.  It is a fact that there was wholesale sexual abuse of children by priests in the Archdiocese of Dublin. The bishops knew about it, certainly the senior priests knew about it and the Murphy Report considers the majority of normal priests knew about it in one form or another but no hand was raised only the hand of the terror stricken abused who were kept quiet for years.  The Murphy Report has made all this public knowledge, the Government agree with it, the Gardai agree with it and Archbishop Martin to his credit has wholeheartedly embraced its findings.

It does show you however, the bishops and senior priests who have been basted with this scandal, this crime, are so remote from their people that unless they go, and go quickly, the Church will fall.  How can these priests say there was no “cover up”, when faced with the facts and the length of time this abuse was allowed to continue unhindered.

Undoubtedly there were good priests doing great acts of Christian work, but while they carried out these acts , they knew.  The numbers are to high to disregard and consider minimal, manageable and acceptable.  In the Dublin Archdiocese at the moment, according to their official website, there are about 650 practising priests.  The Murphy Report states that they received information about 180 abusing priests ( let us say that the falsely accused equalled the number who were not caught at it).  Therefore you can say 28% of priests in Dublin were abusers or to mollify this % a little; let us say that 20 years ago there was 100 more priests in the Archdiocese,say 750, that would suggest 24%.  Let us therefore say for ease of reckoning that the abusers were 25% of the roll.

There is an argument that says that the number of abusing priests is no more than in the lay world and therefore not unusual and should be acceptable.  I cannot accept that because I argue that the Church should have realized the position of a priest was one of responsibility and intimacy and an absolute goldmine for those with abuser tendencies.  There should have been some psychological filtration system in place to counteract this obvious attraction and therefore the % of abusers should have been nil or approaching same and certainly not 25% of the total.  What kind of religion preaches one thing and practices another.  And if the above figures are to be believed, 25% of mature lay men are abusers also and therefore 1 in 4 children are abused.  Someone, somewhere, shoot down my choplogic.  I cannot believe it.  I am totally dismayed.

Working on the principle that the above is wrong but that the facts are right, the answer is that the position of a priest is an absolute must for the determined abuser.  He has no need to hide behind a marriage or be coated with the dirty old man syndrome, he in fact can live out his dreams and desires to his hearts content, providing he is careful and grooms the right children.

The Church should have known and historically probably did and that is why there has been this systemic and atroposic failure and why Archbishop Martin or the Pope has to quickly organize a Night of the Long Knives.

One thought on “An Argument To Disprove.

  1. I know you want an argument here, but I can do nothing but sadly agree with you. What a sorry state of affairs. Maybe I’m missing something, but there’s very little of this I’ve seen reported in the UK.

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