Bishops ‘should do time’ for sex abuse cover-ups

By Marese McDonagh

Monday August 23 2010

‘The abuse of children by clerics has left a permanent scar upon the soul of Ireland’

BISHOPS who failed to report priests accused of sexually abusing children should be prosecuted in the courts, according to a former monk and canon lawyer.

US attorney Patrick J Wall said nothing would change within the Catholic Church “until a bishop does jail time”.

The former Roman Catholic priest and Benedictine monk told the Humbert Summer School in Castlebar, Co Mayo, that the protection of children was the most profound civil rights issue in the 21st Century.

“Children are not chattels,” he added.

He called for an end to clerical immunity and said bishops should be prosecuted under “misprision of felony”, a legal term for concealing a crime.

“I would seek to have thrown out all church procedures of child investigation, and have them replaced with just three words: call the gardai,” he said.

Those seeking justice should chase all the relevant documentation produced in these cases as the church was diligent about keeping records, he pointed out.

“The past is prologue. If we are to learn from the crimes against children, public access to all church records on predator priests is necessary for us to learn from the past.”

Mr Wall said those seeking information should also “follow the money” by investigating accounts set up by the church.

He said he would be seeking reparation for victims of clerical abuse from the Holy See. “The sexual abuse of children by clerics and religious have left a permanent scar upon the soul of Ireland. The Vatican ought to help foot the cost of making the survivors whole,” he added.

Mr Wall said after working as a “fixer” in the church, dealing with the aftermath of sexually abusive priests in parishes and schools, he left the priesthood. He felt the only way that abuse survivors would get the help they needed was outside of the church hierarchy.

He has been consulted on more than 200 cases of clerical child abuse in the United States and is co-author of ‘Sex, Priests and Secret Codes’, about the history of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Meanwhile, the Humbert School yesterday heard a junior minister urge fundamental reform of the local government system, saying that, at the moment, power rests with “non-elected officials”.

Minister of State for Labour Affairs Dara Calleary said this had to be reversed so that councillors were the ones driving local government.

Ireland has to decide a role for its politicians — whether as legislators who run the country, elected representatives who look after roads and schools, or “the mish mash we now have”, he told the school.


The Mayo Fianna Fail TD conceded that there were difficult challenges facing his party in the wake of recent opinion polls. But he added that those already celebrating in advance of the next election should not pop the champagne just yet.

The role of leadership was also examined by the Bishop of Tuam, Killala and Achonry, who said that, in the wake of the Bloody Sunday report, leadership that transcends tribes and parties was needed.

Bishop Richard Henderson said what was important was a shared vista and leadership that was willing “to take the risk of extending beyond its historical norms and boundaries”.

Giving the Bishop Stock Peace Address at the school, Bishop Henderson said it was important to acknowledge the “horrible legacy” from a terrible past and the relief following the report. “Yet as has been said, there are other victims, too, for whom the same release has not been found,” he said.

He added “almost no one can rely any more on an inherited sense of assumed decency within authority and power”.

– Marese McDonagh

Irish Independent

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    For those of you that live in and around Dublin

    There is a Planned Picket of the

    Papal Nuncios House
    Navan Rd

    On SATURDAY 28th AUGUST!!!!!!

    Form 2pm till 4pm

    For further information and to confirm attendance contact

    Kevin @

    I apologise that I have only found out about the detail Today!!!

  2. After the Petition on the Statutory Trust Fund the next pone should be on removing the Diplomatic imunity these Monsters hide behind and bringing them back infront of the Comissions.

    It is ensrined in The Irish Constitution!

    *Prohibition of establishment: The state may not endow any religion (Article 44.2.2).
    *Religious discrimination: The state may not discriminate on religious grounds (Article 44.2.3).

    Discrimination can ve positive as well as negative!!!

    I hope we all agree???????

  3. Sorted Pauline! your vote turned up; on

    Hope you can encourage and help other to VOTE!

    Your Friend Rob

  4. Just checked the Petition Pasuline and your vote has not appeared yet?

    Check your junk / Spam email folder

    have a look on

    If you have an alternate email address you can try again?

    Don’t forget to click on the confirmation link or your vote wont count!


    There is a new page on Facebook you are welcome there too!

    I have been driving traffic here from this page so we can all support each other in positive action!

    Keep your chin up!

  5. you know there is the greatest lie about the religious they promote themselves as so the government above the people.

    people need to start realizing that both are servants of the people they are are supposed to be a service nothing else to the people of ireland.
    we are supposed to live in a democracy not a f….n dictatorship.

    with both of these so called elected powers they abused children and destroy lives they needed to be outed now so voters vote and put a stop to the propaganda in this country.

    the church leaders should all be stopped and removed to be forced to see what it is like to do the jobs they are supposed to be doing like feeding the poor clothing the naked nursing the wounded housing the homeless because at the moment they are all living on self ego their own interest their own lives because they do not want to be homeless hungary sick broke neglected abused even so dead.
    they have savaged their way to surviving over the heads of the innocent when i see religion i see and feel totally disgusted that a government allows such paracites rule over its people because as long as they allow so they neglect their people and allow the innocent to be abused.
    end religion now it should be a family thing anyway as in personal.

  6. hello rob i keep making mistakes or thats the feeling i have but with all my heart i aggree that thay should not be protected by religion.i hope that my vote got through to you

  7. Pauline, Have you signed the petition at

    We need to get the WORLD to sign this: It will give everyone a mandate to be heard! If we can get a strong enough petition; they will have to revisit things they thought were over; Like the Illegal Indemnity deal.

    A bancrupt C.O.R.I. would be a start – Compensation and Justice in one fell swoop!!

    When you vote at you will be sent a confirmation email to the email account you supplied; your vote will not count until you click this link. Make sure you check your Junk email Folder?

    Revisit the site and check your name is there?
    Regards Rob

  8. hello everybody ‘ i suppose that many of you are like me afraid to come forward. its differcult to forget years of unbilief.and feeling like an imposter does make it even harder but you see nothing will happen to you. or i mean no one wants to hurt you now . so we can be .dont let the story of irelands industriel schools be buried under all the rest of the abuse as this is what its about .these places were supported by the government it was not beeing in the wrong place at the wrong time. everyone knew what thay were doing juges police and the church.a money spinner thats what we were to them all

  9. Another petition that is out there on the same topic?


    I signed this in June and still there are only 193 votes??

    It proves how hard it is to spur people into action??

  10. We can start with calling for resignations!

    I believe that we need to use the petition at

    as a mandate to demand the Irish Government follow the US Supreme Court and REMOVE the Diplomatic immunity of the “UnHoly See” and the monsters who work for it and get them back infront of The Ryan and Murphy Commissions!

    We need to take the petition on the Statutory Trust Fund World Wide

  11. Of course thay should be in prison .it was complicity to rape as in civil life . i saw one of them say he had no time to answer questions about this as he had to say mass . how could he possably be in a state of grace . flogging starving and raping or helping others to rape should have made him unfit to be a biship or anything else
    if god talked what would he say or SHE

  12. Kathleen O'Malley. "Childhood Interrupted"

    Hear Hear’ of course they should be prosecuted they are Criminals. Sexual Abusers or in our cases “Child Abusers” should be in prison. This goes for the those who inflicted pain upon us by “BEATINGS” or to coin a better phrase “FLOGGINGS”. “The Holy Sisters” Hopefully one day we will see JUSTICE so lets work together to promote this. Remember “United we stand Divided we Fall”.
    Speaking to an American Federal Judge last week, he was shocked to learn that the Monster who Raped me as a Child of eight received only eighteen months in Mount Joy Prison in Dublin. He said had this happened in the U.S.A. and the case appeared in his Court the punishment would have been 25 years. It would appear Ireland has never served proper Justice on Criminals, however the Judicial System was happy to dole out Criminal Convictions on Innocent Children. Are we surprised that the Paedophile Priests are still free to walk the streets and enjoy a life of luxury. It is time our convictions were “EXPUNGED” for one and all.
    Kathleen O’Malley.

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