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Excess deference to Church, state seen a factor in Irish abuse scandal

Catholic World News - September 26, 2011

Amnesty International has issued a report saying that the mistreatment of Irish children in Church-run institutions was tantamount to torture.

In an analysis of official reports on abuse of children in Ireland, entitled In Plan Sight, Amnesty International said that the abuse occurred because of a culture that was overly deferential to authority figures in government and in the Catholic Church.

In introducing the report, the government’s minister for children, Frances Fitzgerald, agreed: “At every turn, Irish people kept their mouths shut out of deference to State, system, church and community. When they should have been unified in fury and outrage they were instead silenced, afraid to even whisper a criticism against the powerful.”

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