We earn 8% in referral fees when you shop Amazon through our link. We make it easy! Click to learn how.
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Two thoughtful commentaries on Irish abuse crisis

Catholic World News - February 12, 2010

Two thoughtful commentators have offered their perspectives on the challenges that the Irish Catholic bishops must face in coping with the sex-abuse scandal in their country. As the Irish bishops prepare for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, John Allen writes in the Irish Times that they should learn from the painful experiences of their American counterparts.

One important lesson, Allen argues, is that bishops must accept their own responsibility for the abuse problem, rather than attempting to shift responsibility to Rome or find some explanation in Vatican policies. He explains:

Aside from being factually sloppy, the problem with the hunt for a “smoking gun” is that it makes the sex abuse crisis look like a problem of law rather than culture. The church has always had plenty of laws against sexual sin. What Catholicism also had, however, was a deeply ingrained culture of willing to look the other way even when priests engaged in heinous acts, a culture that didn’t give the same consideration to victims, and one which did, indeed, reach all the way to the top. Fixing that culture is not as simple as flipping a switch in Rome, abrogating one law and issuing another.

Writing in the Independent, meanwhile, David Quinn warns against several erroneous arguments now circulating in Ireland. "We are led to believe that the Pope has said and done practically nothing about child abuse by priests," he says, for example. "In actual fact, he has said and done quite a lot." Like Allen, Quinn tells his readers that the problem was not a question of Vatican policy: "We, and Rome, also need to be reminded of one of the key findings of the Murphy report, which is that one of the reasons abuse cases were so badly handled is that canon law had fallen into disuse in Ireland from around the 1960s."

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our March expenses ($31,169 to go):
$35,000.00 $3,831.25
89% 11%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Ways of Evangelization 7 hours ago
Evangelization and the Gift of Meaning 8 hours ago
Two links - moral relativism in elementary schools and charges of "genocide" in the Old Testament 24 hours ago
Don’t touch that Smile! Helping CatholicCulture.org by shopping on Amazon. March 2
Church Fathers: Introduction to the Greek Apologists March 1

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis to address Congress in joint session in September CWN - February 5