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Irish bishop: ‘Secular hierarchy’ needs to examine sexual abuse of drunken teens

July 20, 2010

Calling alcohol abuse “a national disgrace” and citing figures stating that “25% of 15-16 years olds in this country get drunk at least three times a month,” an Irish bishop said that “many children are being physically, emotionally and sexually abused across this country on a daily basis-- and especially at weekends.”

“Many under 18s are being sexually exploited each weekend-- often in the name of harmless freedom,” said Auxiliary Bishop Donal McKeown of Down and Connor. “It would be great if the powerful who lead the new secular hierarchy in our country could accept that they too share responsibility, not just for righteously punishing offenders, but also for the addiction and crime of so many across our country-- and learn the need for shared reparation because of the dangerous world that we have created for too many young people.”

“We were terribly blind to our sins,” said Bishop McKeown, referring to the clerical abuse scandal. “Our new society is equally capable of culpable self-deceit today.”

“Abstinence [from alcohol] in an age of over-indulgence is a powerful and uncomfortable countercultural sign,” he added. “You might not be popular for it-- but never let yourself be ashamed of it.”


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  • Posted by: mvanmun1747 - Jul. 22, 2010 4:29 PM ET USA

    God bless Bishop McKeown and all those who recognize this problem and are speaking out to help those addicted to alcohol not only in Ireland but also in the US. No, it is not a popular stand to take but it is a compassionate one. May God raise up many more to help.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Jul. 21, 2010 3:51 PM ET USA

    So now there is a "secular hierarchy...?" I wonder if the Trinity knows?