The Irish Times – Tuesday, December 8, 2009

FORMER CHURCH EDITOR: A PRIEST who was removed in 1994 as editor of the Irish Bishops’ Conference-sponsored magazine Intercom after publishing an article challenging the bishops’ handling of clerical child sex abuse has described the Murphy report as “of huge significance”.

His removal from Intercom prompted President Mary McAleese (then a university professor) to remark in 1995 on “the sheer breathtaking ineptitude” of church handling of child abuse.

Fr Kevin Hegarty, who serves at Carne, Kilmore Erris, Co Mayo,said the Murphy report “showed that church leaders placed most premium on loyalty, regardless of the truth”. More than resignations were now required, which would result “only in the similar process of appointments to ‘the old boys’ club’,” he said.

“There should be a real process of consultation with the people and priests” in order to achieve real change,” he said. “We live in a dysfunctional church, which happens when deafness becomes deadly,” he said.

In 1991 Fr Hegarty was appointed editor of Intercom , published under the aegis of the Bishops’ Commission on Communications, then chaired by Bishop Brendan Comiskey. In 1993 bishops criticised an article on women priests published in the magazine and written by Mrs McAleese.

In its December 1993 issue an article titled Twenty Questions for the Bishops challenged their handling of clerical child sex abuse. “Will they eschew silence as the preferred legal and moral strategy in the face of future allegations?” it asked.

In March 1994 Bishop Eamonn Walsh, an auxiliary bishop in Dublin investigated by the Murphy commission, was appointed by the Bishops’ Conference to survey its members on their attitude to Intercom . In July 1994 Fr Hegarty was appointed full-time curate at Shanaghy in west Mayo. “In the circumstances I felt I had no choice but to let go of Intercom ,” he said.

Commenting on these events in a January 1995 letter to this newspaper, Mrs McAleese said “what is truly depressing about this episode, though, is the contrast between the energy and determination which went into sorting out a perceived problem with the editorial tone of Intercom , and the sheer breathtaking ineptitude of church handling of matters relating to child abuse by clergy”.

She continued: “It is truly ironic that Fr Kevin Hegarty raised the issue openly in Intercom long before the Fr Brendan Smyth affair, and in so doing incurred the wrath of those so anxious now to reassure us of their clean hands and bona fides in this squalid business. Well, so be it. The script is all too familiar. Another resounding triumph for fear-filled mediocrity. Whatever happened to the Good News?”


15 Responses to “End old boys’ club, says priest who highlighted abuse in 1993”

  1. Paddy says:

    I just wonder if a citizens arrest is possible? It appears that that police are not prepared to move in on those who perpetrated abuse and those who colluded in the whole rotten cover up.

  2. Ratzinger reissued his edict (Crimens Solicitatis) in 2001, a time by which the horror in so many countries were well known.

    IN 2009, he feels “outrage, betrayal and shame” as the horrors come to light, despite his supreme attempts to keep it under cover.
    He is trapped but still he will issue a propoganda directive on the matter shortly.

    We know that paedophilia is endemic within the RCC clerics. That Ratzinger would base his career on the persecution of children raises my concerns that this man may have more than church interest at heart. This is effectively the Chief Architect of the Paedophile organisation and in that respect he must be brought under suspicion as a potential abuser himself. The union is too close, the coincidence is too all prevailing that innocence and ‘defence of the church’ could account for his enthusiasm in a cover up.

    Any state in which children have been tortured has the right to arrest and detain for questioning any person who aided and abetted such crimes.

  3. barry clifford says:

    A: Anti- Catholicism rears its ugly head again -David Quinn-Irish Catholic-11/12/2009

    B: Liberal Church Wouldn’t handle Abuse Differently-David Quinn-Irish independent 11/12/2009


    Just when you thought he had gone away, he comes back twice on the same day with two stories for two audiences. David preaches to the converted in letter A, with the title of it alone being explanatory with regard to those who condemn child abuse within the Catholic Church, post Dublin diocese report of course. What he claims these critics say I agree with them broadly while he also accuses like -minded guests of the media of sound and vision of being non-orthodox, and unpracticing Catholics. He stops short of mentioning the paper driven media which I presume means some of his buddies. He then spearheads their criticism as lumping bishops and church into one and claims they want the lot to go. Is that a bad thing? Then it’s the numbers game again with David, and he has not got any better at maths in the interim since I last wrote about him.
    He now claims two million Catholic church goers to church here every Sunday and I presume his point is that there is always safety in numbers and therefore it will go on, rotten to the core or not, while outlining a doomsday scenario.
    If the church is driven out of education, he bellows.
    If Catholic schools are no more, he roars.
    If the bishops are gone so is Catholic choice of education, he cries.
    If the church is driven from ‘it’s’ hospitals, proper treatment from conception to grave is taken away, he shrieks. Is that a bad thing?
    In sweeping broad strokes David then uses his old tricks of hiding culpability by generalizing sexual abuse among the population at large even though un-connected to the diocese report. At the same time driving home his point of it all being just a witch hunt anyway along with criminalizing those same ‘two million’ churchgoers. It is also worth reminding him that there is no such thing as a celibate child abuser as against a non- celibate one. I put this part down to his inflamed and hi-pitched oratory. He then takes the presumptuous approach of the word ‘we’ by asking but really telling us ‘why should we believe that women priests would make for a safer Church’. Then there is the Polanski twist to his argument
    Taking the ‘we’ approach again as David cites the behaviour of some European politicians of the great and good of Hollywood, as representing society as a whole in their defense of this child molester, suggesting it would have been much different had he been Fr. Polanski instead. A stretch for he is Jewish.
    In the entire article he never once mentioned the word ‘victim’ or even the name of one. Then we come to letter B:
    This is no more than the Irish version of the Daily Mirror against the English one, and he also seems aware that he is addressing a more enlightened audience. It is a lesson in the economy of words.
    He writes about Bernard Law omitting that he was promoted for his cover-up of child abuse. He cites ‘Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela’ but again omits that this instruction never gave permission for corporation with civil authorities either. David calls the cover up and treatment of clerical child abusers of the Church as a therapeutic and compassionate approach to them which was a lot more than what their victims got. Then there is talk about Willie the bishop.
    Not knowing what Willie Walsh really thinks, David believes now instead if you polled all the bishops they would be in favour of women priests. Earth shattering indeed while reminding us that bishops pick bishops that were once priests, and dare I presume men and before that boys. Then in a complete about turn tells us that, ‘collectively, bishops are worse than useless.’
    In the end of this article too there is not one mention of the word ‘victim’.
    All I can write at this point is keep on going David for you need no help from me in showing us what you really are, for it is between the lines that you scrawl with a withered and crooked hand that you show us yourself.

    Barry Clifford.

  4. Charles O'Rourke says:

    And while I’m at it Herr Pope do you remember the Ryan Report in May of this year?, yes the report that made you upset about how the Irish Christian Brothers raped and devastated the lives of thousands of Irish children, well nothing came out of you being upset and concerned and disturbed and so on. Well why should we believe you now. Show me one thing you have done for the survivors since May, And please don,t pray for us, its not prayers we need but actions of the right sort and kicking a few Bishops won,t make us any happier but compensation may afford some degree of comfort to the survivors especially those who are barely hanging on to life, the little they have left after your men and women had their day with them. So now Herr Pope if you sense anger in my writings your dead right. No more empty words, we won,t take it any more. So get on the phone or use your ambassador, yes the one that snubbed the Irish Government and instruct him to get the message to these orders that they are to close shop and hand over all their ill gotten gains to the Irish government to be given to all who went through hell. I’m waiting.

  5. FXR says:

    You’re parents are dead, sinners them both
    Wasters, immoral, both lacking true faith
    They gave you nothing, not even a coat
    Stand here for Sister, don’t move while you wait

    Born out of wedlock, for all time shamed
    Unloved, convicted, by Satan possessed
    Delivered, abandoned, not even a name
    And never again by a mother caressed

    A child pawn played in a black Church game
    Free labour, a number, a slave
    Making rosaries,count beads all the same
    Lost and forgotten all that they gave

    Wire twisting small fingers the rosaries they made
    To hand wrap the pious when assembled they prayed
    With not a thought for the price that was paid
    By little ones caught in a secret Church trade

  6. Charles O'Rourke says:

    Herr Pope, You can begin by suppressing the Catholic orders who are guilty of the crimes you “feel” so upset about. You can also tell them to hand over all their assets to the people you feel so much for. After all Herr Pope their assets were the result of that abuse against Irish children which you are so upset about. You only have to lift your finger and tell them to close down and they are gone forever. Could you do that Herr pope and I will believe you when you say you are upset. Otherwise I don,t believe you are upset, just ashamed that you were all caught for what you are, criminals.

  7. Charles O'Rourke says:

    So the Pope feels “outrage, betrayal and shame”. It is WE who feel outrage, It was we who were betrayed and it was We who were forced to feel shame. So don,t go stealing something you have no right to.

  8. The United Nations in Geneva has written a document very recently on 28 Sept 2009 Titled: ‘Human Rights Situation Requiring the Councils Concern’


    The document refers to serious breaches of the Convention of the Rights of Children by the Vatican.

    Victims speaking out about the truth are paving the way for the possible arrest and detention of Ratzinger.

    Soon, it may be possible to look forward to seeing Ratzinger behind bars in the Hague awaiting trial.

    At least he will have suitable company.

  9. Gabrielle North says:

    Dear Paddy I follow with great interest what is going on in Ireland the more exposure the better but Paddy we are now dealing with the Secret Society of Ireland reminds of me of Cuba and all the Communist states around the world Catholic Church were present in all the poorest countries they control all the monies sending most of of it to the Vatican and we all know the wealth I see the Clergy as being members of the Taliban where they controlled the population. I have not even mentioned the crimes that were committed women (nuns) against women they were evil organisations who prayed on the vulnerable people some one must stand trail.
    Gabrielle North

  10. Charles O'Rourke says:

    Then we have the increasing trafic from America of “Americans” looking for their mothers in Ireland. Meeting a stonewall of silence from nuns.Allowing no access to adoption archives, refusing to answer questions. We know that Irish babies were sold (donations) to American Catholic couples. These adoption arhives do exist and are jealously guarded by nuns. As usual it was discoverd when people began to TALK.Traficking the Catholic way.

  11. Charles O'Rourke says:

    The state has then to remove them from the education system and administer the compensation of those people whose lives were turnded into a hell. One of the crimes the Nazis were most ashamed of was the experiments carried out on Jewish children. In May 1945 many of these children had to be hidden from the advancing Allies. They were hung by the hundreds in a gymnasium just days before the war ended. This great crime remainded undiscovered untill the 1980,s when some body began to speak. Just like in Ireland in the Industrial schools, the worst has yet to be told. Its all up to the surviviors now and not hold back but begin telling about the murders of children in those places, there are signs that this has already begun.

  12. Charles O'Rourke says:

    Now the moment for Ratzinger has come to really show he means buissness. My first wish is for him to supress the Irish Christian Brothers and order them to hand over all of its assets to the surviviors. These men are a huge threat to him and his church.They were denying abuse and mass rapes 5 days before the Ryan report was published. 5 DAYS. This is a dangerous sect whose members are highly warped and cunning. Me thinks that Ratzinger has to make a choice ,either disband them or by not doing so send a message to the laity that its buissness as usual. A revolt by the laity is the last thing he wants and supressing these vile people is a small cost to prevent such a revolt. One thing is sure he has to act, in one way or the other. His power means more to him than a sect, and a dangerous one at that.

  13. Charles O'Rourke says:

    It is impossible for that foreign State to admit in doing any wrong as it also claims to be incapable of doing any wrong. The word “IF” is interesting as it allows the use of “Mental Reservation” That is to say” We in the Vatican State never admit to any wrong doing as it is we who decide what is wrong” And we have monopoly of the truth as god told us so” We may allow you the word “IF” but within the closed circles of the Vatican we deny and repudiate what you in Ireland are saying. Besides the money from Ireland is good and always has been.

  14. barry clifford says:

    When Will We Ever Learn
    The Papal Nuncio here in Ireland is at last shocked and dismayed over the report about the Dublin diocese. This is after thirteen months into his job, post Ryan Report, and being exposed to lurid and shocking reports for years about similar crimes in other countries. He only now apologizes ‘IF’ the Vatican was found wanting in not cooperating with the tribunal. It is that word ‘IF’ that bothers me the most, and one that I find patronizing and abusive in it’s tone if only because it is nothing more than verbal vomiting. Who or what is this foreign power called the Vatican in as few words as possible?
    It is a state that was created by the dictator, Mussolini, and is no more than a few acres in size. Present and past revenue is collected by pretending to be a charity that also helps pay for it’s marble columns, gold reliefs, and incredible arrogance.
    The present head of this state is an ex-Nazi that swore an oath to Hitler before he swore one to God. If this is open to debate I do fervently believe that Jesus would have died on the cross eighteen years before they strapped him to one rather than have taken an oath like that. When will we ever learn?
    Barry Clifford.

  15. crispina says:


    I just received this one.
    Maybe some-one could use this as well, so passing.
    Continue to take good care of yourselves.

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