Re: The Report of the The Commission To Inquire Into Child Abuse

What the Irish People and State could do now to enable healing and restitution

Introduction

I was born in 1955 and was brought up in a psychologically and emotionally abusive environment – my father was a bullying, dominating, angry and uncaring alcoholic who had the ‘benefit’ of a Christian Brothers education. Luckily we were not poor and my father was not physically violent, but, nevertheless four of my five other siblings have had, and still have, serious lifelong psychological problems (four have spent various periods in Psychiatric hospitals). I was lucky to attend a ‘better class’ of single-sex Catholic school but, nevertheless, have spent the first 50 years of my life trying to cope with the damaging effects of childhood fear, uncertainty, guilt, self-doubt and loathing and feelings of being unlovable. Having grappled with the very deceptive, but soothing, effects on the tortured psyche of that all-pervasive drug in our society – alcohol , I can only now, with healing, leave it behind and begin to relax and trust life again (having found a really loving partnership).

So, like many in our tortured land, I am very distressed and angry to think that while many of us kids were suffering our own various hells in Catholic day schools and abusive home environments, many other, less fortunate, kids were suffering a nightmarish hell of tortures, incarcerated in religious-run gulags. Now I am feeling guilty at a lifetime of ‘whinging’ about my upbringing when other kids suffered far worse fates.

Catholic Church control of the State’s education system

Worse still is the dread realisation that the organisation which laid the foundation for the ethical and moral ‘standards’ which pervaded Irish society for at least the last century (and much further back than that) is still in control of the ethical and moral formation of 95% of the nation’s children. How can we allow this to continue?

To this day a huge proportion of Irish children, of very young and tender age, are being taught that they carry ‘original sin’ and are forced to go to confession to celibate priests who have had, all their lives, to suppress their natural, God-given, sexual desires. It is my firm belief that we do a grave injustice to the Nation’s children if we allow men, who are suppressing their own sex drives, to teach (or cause other young teachers to teach) these same children precepts that are almost certainly not true (original sin, purgatory, hell, heaven etc..) and that will most certainly cause them guilt, fear and confusion about sin, sex, and their own bodies.

Only truth should be taught in our schools – is this not a basic, moral standard on which we should insist in our education system? I would concede that some (patently invented) myths – Santa Claus, Sinbad the Sailor, The Fairies, etc are harmless and should continue to be taught, but the stories inculcated in children by the major religions are mainly about worship, judgementalism, fear and differentiation from others. Children are taught that these stories are very, very serious and are vastly more important than anything else they will learn from their teachers, their parents or their families. How can Irish parents allow this to happen to their children? The answer is: because, in most cases, they have no choice but to allow this to be done to their children. The only alternative is to have their children ostracised and singled out at school as ‘different’, if they don’t undergo the same strange and unsettling process as their peers.

It angers me to hear people say that we should be thankful to the Catholic Church for ‘giving’ us an education. The suggestion is that we would have had no education system if the Church hadn’t set it all up and controlled it. Of course, this is nonsense! Every country in the world has an education system and all in Europe (many being much poorer than Ireland) have had very comprehensive systems – many to a far superior standard to ours. The Catholic Church wrested control of the education system from the British government in the 19th century and has jealously guarded it ever since. The system was paid for in toto by the Irish people, either through their taxes, subsequently handed over to the Church, or directly, by contributions to Church coffers. The Vatican, where the ultimate responsibility for all this lies, did not contribute, but was a net beneficiary of donations to the Church.

The only way for us, as a society, to heal these wounds to our individual and collective psyche, and to show respect to the memory of generations of child victims, is to sweep away all the secrecy, open all the Vatican and Church archives, stop the teaching of religion in all State schools and cut all ties between Church and State – no more religious control of any hospital, school or care institution which is wholly or partially funded by the taxpayer. Of course, religious people will continue to work in all these institutions but they should not control them or form their ethical and moral ethos.

The moral position is, surely, that the bishops, priests, nuns and brothers do not own all these institutions; they hold them in trust for the Irish people who paid for them. The State must now wrest ownership and control of all Schools from the Catholic Church. If this requires a constitutional amendment, then so be it. No-one would suggest that the religious should be left homeless or destitute – they should be furnished with decent living accommodation, chapels, halls etc, sufficient to their reasonable needs. In fact some orders of religious (mostly nuns) have voluntarily taken these steps by divesting themselves of their large holdings of land and buildings, and giving them to worthy causes and communities.

True contrition and remorse would see changes in Church rules
The Bishops and priests of the Catholic Church have expressed remorse for past horrors but, so far, have not changed their own internal rules which brought about this perversion on the part of many celibate priests, nuns and brothers. The Catholic Church in Ireland must change all rules which require celibacy and a male-only priesthood. This is the only valid way in which they can express true remorse and contrition and ensure that it doesn’t happen again. If this requires a split with the Vatican, then that is what must be done. A moral organisation (or an organisation containing moral people) cannot endanger or abrogate the rights of children in order to preserve the requirements of bureaucracy. There is little doubt that the Vatican will change these rules anyway, and soon too, so why not start the revolution in Ireland? All that is required is a few brave souls to say “No!” and to rebel, and the system will be forced to change (if many bishops and priests rebel together, the Vatican cannot sack them all!)

If this rebellion does not happen we must assume that the Bishops and priests acquiesce in the continuation of this anti-natural and perverse system of rules (and thus we cannot take their expressions of remorse and willingness to make reparations as genuine)

History as taught in our schools must be revised
Our teaching of history requires quite a lot of revision. In the first 60 years of the state’s existence we were taught that the survival and ‘victory’ of the Catholic Church was a superb, beneficial and wonderful outcome for Ireland. Somehow, Protestantism was cruel and flawed and unpatriotic. Now, that view of history is shown to be deeply flawed.

The Anglican churches have not been implicated in all this child abuse, except for a small number of individual cases often handled in a serious and ethical manner. The Anglican church is far less discriminatory (it has women priests, married priests and openly gay priests and uses open, democratic systems to elect leaders and formulate its rules) than the Catholic church and far more likely to espouse modern standards of human rights and environmental responsibility.

The Catholic Church has always supported monarchy, autocracy, dictatorship and fascism (until a late conversion to support for democracy and some human rights in the latter half of the 20th Century). The struggle against fascism in Europe from 1936 (Spain) to 1945 was carried out mostly by states coming from the Protestant religious tradition (Britain, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, United States) or secularism (Soviet Union), whereas those who lined up with the Nazis (Austria, Italy, Hungary, Croatia), or were fascist supporters (Spain and Portugal), were mostly Catholic countries (although Germany is half Protestant, the Nazis birthplace and breeding ground was Bavaria and Austria – almost exclusively Catholic). Poland is the only exception to this Catholic/Protestant divide – but, one could say, they hadn’t much choice in the matter.

Our embracing of Catholicism has been an unmitigated disaster for us. Only when the grip of the Catholic Church on our ethical and moral formation loosened did Ireland begin to enshrine in law the human rights of women, gay people, disabled people, children, minorities and the less well off, and to sweep away the curse of emigration and our inward-looking, mean and judgemental society.

These struggles for women’s rights, gay rights, children’s rights and the rights of disabled people and other minorities were fought and won firstly in Protestant countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Holland, Denmark, the US, Britain, New Zealand, Canada). In no case has a Catholic majority country led the human struggle for the rights of worldwide oppressed minorities – we are always the late followers. In 1992 the Pope got together a coalition of Catholic and Muslim countries (led by President Carlos Menem of Argentina) to sabotage the Cairo UN conference on the Rights of Women and managed to set back plans and funding for women’s rights in developing countries by decades.

Our history books must be rewritten to reflect the truth of the effect on Irish society of our wholehearted embracing of the Catholic Church.

Freedom/rehabilitation for Priests, Nuns and Brothers

Many of the priests, nuns and brothers in these religious communities are trapped in a system from which they fear to escape (and into which many were led by false promises and/or family poverty). The state should set up organisations for helping religious professionals who may wish to experiment with a life in lay society outside their orders or diocesan framework. This must include financial support, retraining, therapy, educational opportunities and accommodation support. These religious professionals are also victims of the Catholic Church system of child education and lifelong control.

International Children-In-Care Rights Organisation

The best memorial we could set up in honour of the victims of this system is an (Ireland-based) international inspection and educational organisation to examine residential child-care institutions worldwide. We could become a centre of excellence and expertise on the subject of prevention of child abuse in institutional settings. We already have a UN peacekeeping school, Norway has many peacekeeping institutes, as has Switzerland – why can we not set up an International Children-in-Care Rights Organisation whose aim would be to investigate and report on conditions in child-care institutions worldwide. It is unlikely, in the climate now pertaining in Ireland that such wide-scale abuse would ever take place again in this country, but it does happen in many other countries worldwide – we can help to save these children from suffering as ours did. Some of the monies going to the forthcoming Victims Trust Fund could be used to set up and run this organisation (with matching funding from the State). The victims organisations should be consulted in this matter.

Memorial Museum and Monument

Many nations/states which have committed crimes or atrocities suffered a period of national shame (Germany, France, Japan, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Italy, United States, Australia, Belgium, Britain, Portugal, Spain, Rwanda, South Africa, and many others) which often manifested itself in a period of silence and/or denial followed by a cathartic and healing period of investigation, admission of wrongdoing, self-criticism, remorse and, ultimately, an apology to the victims and an undertaking to learn lessons, rewrite the history books and not to forget. We, the Irish Nation, must now undertake the latter steps to expunge (but not to forget) our shame.

A permanent Memorial Museum must be set up which would archive the information collected on the whole web of religious-run child ‘care’ institutions, to include the names of all those responsible for abuse and neglect and those who oversaw the system and ‘stood idly by’. It should include the photographs and names of all the Popes, Cardinals, Bishops, Papal Nuncios, Taoisigh, Ministers for Education, Ministers for Justice and departmental inspectors who presided over the system from 1922 to 1994. This museum should incorporate a remembrance courtyard or garden containing a suitable sculpture which should be a mandatory visiting/pilgrimage/wreath-laying site for all visiting Popes, Apostolic Nuncios, Cardinals and Bishops, and advised visiting for foreign Heads of State (like the Holocaust Memorial in Israel).

Poets of Ireland, come to our aid!

I would suggest that we need a word to encapsulate the suffering and horror which has taken place – Holocaust is not a suitable word as it has its own special meaning for the Jewish people. We should ask a group of Poets to join together and come up with a suitable meaningful word for us to use in our remembrance of these acts of shame for the Nation. Maybe Poetry Ireland or Aosdana would organise this?


In Conclusion

So, let us begin this work of Truth Telling so that future generations of Irish children may say that we did them proud and learned from the horrendous errors of our past ways.
To Summarise again:

1. The leaders and members of the Catholic Church in Ireland must ensure that the rules on celibacy and all-male priesthood are changed if their expressions of remorse are to be believed. If this requires a break with the Vatican then this will show their true contrition and remorse. Any lesser action must be construed as a lack of contrition and an unwillingness to ensure no repeat of this shame.

2. The Irish people have paid for all the lands and buildings now under the control of the Catholic Church and must regain possession of all schools, hospitals and care institutions into State ownership and control – even if this requires a constitutional amendment. However, Churches and reasonable living and administrative accommodation must remain in religious hands (but no more bishops palaces!).

3. All who abused their positions of trust and power over children for the last 60 years must be named and, if possible, tried before the courts for crimes committed.

4. Any monies remaining after victims have been compensated should be used to set up an International Children-In-Care Rights Organisation whose remit would be to inspect childcare institutions and their regulation, audit and inspection regimes worldwide, and to report on these annually. This organisation could also be a font of expertise and study for best practice in running, regulating and inspecting childcare homes worldwide.

5. A Memorial Museum must be set up containing details of all the abuses detailed in the Ryan report and the names and photographs of all the victims. It must give details of all the religious orders, the names and photographs of the leaders of these organisations, all the Popes, Archbishops, Cardinals and Papal Nuncios who presided over this torture regime, and the names of all Taoisigh and Ministers for Education, and Justice, and departmental inspectors who also presided over these institutions. This museum should be the place visiting Heads of State and ambassadors and visiting religious leaders visit and lay wreaths on official/state visits to Ireland (like Yad Vashem in Israel).

6. Our poets should be tasked with choosing a single word to represent the horror of what happened and the national shame associated with it.

7. The State must set up an organisation for the rehabilitation of priests, nuns and brothers who may wish to leave their religious institutions and live the remainder of their lives in freedom, and, possibly, service to humanity.

8. History curricula in schools must be revised to reflect the true effect of the dominant position of the Catholic Church on human rights and human development in Ireland.

Yours sincerely

Vincent Bourke

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13 Comments.

  1. Ireland is the old sow that eats her farrow. -James Joyce.

  2. Well written and well done. I hear you! And many times I still hear Joe NOT being on your side. At least, you’re clear: you’ll never forgive them, you’ll never forgive them. Never. Good for you!

  3. In response to the Irish Child Abuse Report

    Where is our Poet Laureate

    Seamus are you there?
    We need you now!

    Words mixed and jumbled up.

    Phones ringing
    Emails flying
    People crying

    Paul Muldoon
    Where are you?

    Joe Duffy
    On crutches
    Clutches the phones
    For Liveline listeners.
    Beads of sweat.
    “We will take a break”
    I can’t take this.
    Another break.
    It’s too painful.

    Marian
    Pat
    Vincent
    Morning Ireland
    Taking telephone calls.
    Lets go over to
    Drive time-
    Olivia O’Leary
    Miriam O Callaghan
    Questions and Answers
    Michael O’Brien
    Boston Globe
    Kevin Cullen
    Irish Times
    Mary Raferty
    Nell Mc Cafferty

    Don’t mention any names.
    This is a pseudonym.
    We know who you are.

    What about the Cavan fire?

    Brendan Kennelly where are you?
    We need you now!

    Words mixed and jumbled up.

    Joe may I come in?

    The Christian brothers,
    Nuns with no clothes-
    That’s a bad habit

    Where is Bono?
    Christy Moore?
    Ronnie Drew?
    The Dubliners
    Would know what to do.

    If I should fall from
    Grace with God.

    Paddy Doyle
    The God Squad.

    Lizzie Ann
    River Liffey
    Alice Igeo
    Who are you?

    Talk to Joe.

    “I’m very nervous
    I’m furious”, Joe…
    It’s about my friend
    Maggie Bullen.”

    Broadcasting Complaints
    Committee-
    They will uphold
    Apologize to the Nation
    Mass graves
    Around Ireland.
    This never happened.

    Children then;
    Wounded adults
    Now
    Telling their stories.

    Hail Mary’s, Our fathers
    Forgive me father
    I have sinned
    Through no fault of my own.

    They believe them now
    It’s in the papers,
    On the airwaves.
    It took them years
    and many tears.

    Paul Duncan where are you?

    Talk to Joe

    Helen is on the line

    “Swish of that stick”

    Brutalized!

    Cattle in for the winter.

    Children left outside.

    Chilblains on feet.
    Chilblains on fingers.
    Chilblains Chilblains
    “It was so cold, Joe,
    My wee little fingers
    Covered in blisters.”

    “The swish of that stick”.

    “Never forgive them
    I’ll never forgive them”.

    Innocent little children-

    Suffer,
    Suffer,
    Suffer,

    Little children.

    “I’ll never forgive them
    I’ll never forgive them”.

    Nuala Ni Dhomhnail are you there?

    “The Mercy nuns
    The Mercy Less”.

    Christian brothers
    And leather sticks.

    “Scum of the earth-
    Your Mother a tramp
    Born out of wedlock”.
    Good for nothing
    That’s what they called us

    “Put in through the courts
    Father denied me”.
    I’ll never forgive them

    Judge with the gavel
    In Dublin Castle.

    How many do we have today?

    Christain brothers:
    “We will take them”
    Sisters of Mercy:
    “Have mercy on us
    We need them”

    Down with the gavel,
    “Take them”

    Joe may I come in?

    “My childhood interrupted”.

    Eileen Ni Chulainain are you there?

    “I want to tell you about the
    cat-o-nine-tails?
    Have you the time?
    My little sister
    When she was nine

    Working, working
    Little fingers
    Making rosary beads
    And doing Novenas.

    Talk to Joe.

    What is your story?

    “Beaten before I went to school”
    By the young nun
    My hands
    My face
    My legs
    My whole body

    “The swish of that stick”

    I’ll never forget it

    When I went to school
    The nuns said
    “Did she beat you again?”

    Eavan Boland are you there?

    “Smell of the food”.

    “Shoved out in the cold”.

    “Get out”
    You’re from the side of the road.

    “Ask me again in twenty years
    And I will tell you the same story”.

    I’ll never forgive them.
    I’ll never forgive them.
    Never.

    These are some of their words
    All mixed and jumbled up.

    Derek Mahon
    Are you there?

    (c) All rights reserved

  4. Vincent Bourke

    Dear Martha, thanks for your kind comments. My father did not appear as a badly damaged person when my parents met and fell in love. However, years later when the anger and alcohol took over my fater’s mind and soul my mother had no way to escape in 1960s Ireland – no money, no place to go, no divorce (because of the Catholic Church). Now that I think of it, we might have ended up in the child gulags if our mother had made a bid for freedom.
    The ‘revolution’ I speak of is a peaceful one of simple disobedience by the Irish Heirarchy to the Pope and Vatican bureaucracy – they just have to say ‘no’ to the man-made rules about celibacy and women priests. No army will come from Rome to punish them, no police will knock on their doors during the night – All the Irish people will cheer them on!
    Love and peace to you Martha,
    Vincent

    Dear Raymond – thanks for your post. I will follow up your references. Thanks, Vincent

  5. I welcome your great letter and your action plan, and I do NOT believe the Catholic Church (and its Orders, Institutions and Organisations), or the State (its agents, parties and politicians) are able to change. Just as Healing and Progress is so slow and painful for the Victims; what has been and is STILL completely missing from the picture, right from the day the Ryan Report came out, is the idea, the notion and the words : UNCONDITIONAL CONDEMNATION. Mary McAlese gives a slight sense of it, but as she is powerless to effect change – and everybody knows this – her words carry little weight, even if she is undoubtedly genuine.
    I am glad to see the word “Revolution”. I firmly believe that the issues arising from the Ryan Report are THE MOST IMPORTANT facing the country; that Bruce Arnold’s “Irish Gulag” is the most important book EVER written; and that Michael O’Brien’s clip from Questions and Answers must be viewed a thousand times.
    I believe that the causes and reasons of this unspeakable state of affairs, are to be found in the work of Alice Miller, who has exposed these dynamics through her concept of Poisonous Pedagogy for the last 30 years. She has written many books, but everything can be found on her website. See http://www.alice-miller.com especially her Readers Mail. I hope you go and check it out.
    Thank you.
    Raymond

  6. Dear Martha,
    How true, how clear you see the connection. Very few can. Every believe system is control and ends in oppression. Psycho history is clear on how domination begins and end.
    Maybe you are interested in reading: http://cigognenews.blogspot.com/2009/06/more-on-beliefs-part-13.html
    Sieglinde

  7. Dear Vincent,

    I was so moved by your post that I copied and pasted it to my desktop, so that I could respond to it as I carefully read it.

    The following are my comments (in italics – hope that works on Paddy’s site?) on each of your paragraphs, as I read them.

    “I was born in 1955 and was brought up in a psychologically and emotionally abusive environment – my father was a bullying, dominating, angry and uncaring alcoholic who had the ‘benefit’ of a Christian Brothers education. Luckily we were not poor and my father was not physically violent, but, nevertheless four of my five other siblings have had, and still have, serious lifelong psychological problems (four have spent various periods in Psychiatric hospitals). I was lucky to attend a ‘better class’ of single-sex Catholic school but, nevertheless, have spent the first 50 years of my life trying to cope with the damaging effects of childhood fear, uncertainty, guilt, self-doubt and loathing and feelings of being unlovable. Having grappled with the very deceptive, but soothing, effects on the tortured psyche of that all-pervasive drug in our society – alcohol , I can only now, with healing, leave it behind and begin to relax and trust life again (having found a really loving partnership).”

    The first thing that struck me about this first paragraph/statement of yours, Vincent, was: where was your Mother in all of this? Why did she marry (fall in love with) and have children by a bully – whether or not he was an alcoholic? One doesn’t have to be a drunk to be a tyrant: how many of those barbarian christian brothers and nuns were alcoholics, I wonder? I don’t remember smelling alcohol from any of the those nuns or priest who savaged me as a child. No doubt, some alcoholics are extremely violent when they get drunk – but then there are those who never touch a drop of alcohol who are sadistic in the extreme. alcohol or drugs has little to do with one’s learned violent tendencies.
    I’ve met quite a few such inherently violent people in my travels (around the globe) most of whom were raised by die-hard Irish Catholics – some of my own relatives are like that. Note, I parted company with them a long time ago.

    “So, like many in our tortured land, I am very distressed and angry to think that while many of us kids were suffering our own various hells in Catholic day schools and abusive home environments, many other, less fortunate, kids were suffering a nightmarish hell of tortures, incarcerated in religious-run gulags. Now I am feeling guilty at a lifetime of ‘whinging’ about my upbringing when other kids suffered far worse fates.”

    With respect Vincent, the guilt you are feeling is neurotic, to say the least. As a child, you had NO control, whatsoever, over what happened to you. So why do you feel guilty for what the adults around you – not least your own parents – did to you as a child? You are an adult now. It is irrelevant if you were born into and raised in a castle, with sumptuous material wealth – all that matters to a child is whether he or she is loved! Your so-called “privileged” childhood was anything but a happy one. The fact is, you suffered just as much psychological abuse as your contemporaries in the Industrial Schools. MOST Irish children did, who were born and raised in Holy Catholic Ireland, regardless of whether they had material comforts or not. This is something that the vast majority of Irish people still need to come to terms with. NB. We have a very long way to go yet, before we become a truly civilised society again!

    “Catholic Church control of the State’s education system… Worse still is the dread realisation that the organisation which laid the foundation for the ethical and moral ‘standards’ which pervaded Irish society for at least the last century (and much further back than that) is still in control of the ethical and moral formation of 95% of the nation’s children. How can we allow this to continue?
    To this day a huge proportion of Irish children, of very young and tender age, are being taught that they carry ‘original sin’ and are forced to go to confession to celibate priests who have had, all their lives, to suppress their natural, God-given, sexual desires. It is my firm belief that we do a grave injustice to the Nation’s children if we allow men, who are suppressing their own sex drives, to teach (or cause other young teachers to teach) these same children precepts that are almost certainly not true (original sin, purgatory, hell, heaven etc..) and that will most certainly cause them guilt, fear and confusion about sin, sex, and their own bodies.”

    Its true that the Vatican (RC dogma) still controls Ireland’s social networks, such as our schools and hospitals (Health and Education systems) – but, let’s be honest here, they (the RC Mafia-Mob) couldn’t do that without the acquiescence (tacit agreement) of the Irish people themselves. In other words, the Catholic Church cannot control the psychological /emotional development of children, unless their OWN parents allow them to – OR – the children themselves are literally bereft of their own parents, for whatever reason. Note, some Irish children’s mothers died when they were young, but the fact is, many had mothers, and fathers, who just didn’t care about them – and so they were “thrown to the RC wolves” as it were, i.e., into the “care” of the “saintly” nuns and christian brothers. Not too many Irish people have the guts to face up to this fact of Irish history.

    Like I said, its going to take a LONG time for Irish society to face up to its collective history.

    “Only truth should be taught in our schools –is this not a basic, moral standard on which we should insist in our education system? I would concede that some (patently invented) myths – Santa Claus, Sinbad the Sailor, The Fairies, etc are harmless and should continue to be taught, but the stories inculcated in children by the major religions are mainly about worship, judgementalism, fear and differentiation from others. Children are taught that these stories are very, very serious and are vastly more important than anything else they will learn from their teachers, their parents or their families. How can Irish parents allow this to happen to their children? The answer is: because, in most cases, they have no choice but to allow this to be done to their children. The only alternative is to have their children ostracised and singled out at school as ‘different’, if they don’t undergo the same strange and unsettling process as their peers.”

    I raised my two kids in a thoroughly “catholicised” (so-called middle-class) RC environment, but I was always conscious of the fact that I was their mother and therefore had the ultimate responsibility for their psychological development, i.e., their emotional well-being. I had no illusions whatsoever that their schooling was going to provide them with the morality that I knew was innate in them, i.e., I knew their RC teachers were note their substitute mother – which is the mistake most Irish parents make, in my opinion. I guess my globe-trotting experiences before I became a mother helped? The Spectator sees more than the Player, eh?

    “It angers me to hear people say that we should be thankful to the Catholic Church for ‘giving’ us an education. The suggestion is that we would have had no education system if the Church hadn’t set it all up and controlled it. Of course, this is nonsense! Every country in the world has an education system and all in Europe (many being much poorer than Ireland) have had very comprehensive systems – many to a far superior standard to ours. The Catholic Church wrested control of the education system from the British government in the 19th century and has jealously guarded it ever since. The system was paid for in toto by the Irish people, either through their taxes, subsequently handed over to the Church, or directly, by contributions to Church coffers. The Vatican, where the ultimate responsibility for all this lies, did not contribute, but was a net beneficiary of donations to the Church.”

    Ireland doesn’t have an education system, proper. We are a ‘schooled’ people – trained in the art of being ‘Christian’, i.e., masochists to the RC sadists who stil control our country. You will be hard-pressed to find a truly normal Irish adult, i.e., one who isn’t still a Slave to The System… old habits die hard! How many Irish people do you know who have ‘fled the nest’, i.e., left home and felt truly confident in the world? Rarely have I met such people.

    “The only way for us, as a society, to heal these wounds to our individual and collective psyche, and to show respect to the memory of generations of child victims, is to sweep away all the secrecy, open all the Vatican and Church archives, stop the teaching of religion in all State schools and cut all ties between Church and State – no more religious control of any hospital, school or care institution which is wholly or partially funded by the taxpayer. Of course, religious people will continue to work in all these institutions but they should not control them or form their ethical and moral ethos.”

    And don’t forget, your own parents played an active role in maintaining this very institution! Before we start to criticise Society at Large, we need to take a goodclose look at where We, as individuals, are coming from. The less of an individual we are, i.e., the less Sense of Self we have as individuals, the more we are part of the collective morass we are. And we get our Sense of Self from those who raised us, i.e., from those who are our Primary Caregivers – regardless of what frocks or uniforms they are wearing. Its irrelevant what they say – its what they DO that matters at the end of the day.

    “The moral position is, surely, that the bishops, priests, nuns and brothers do not own all these institutions; they hold them in trust for the Irish people who paid for them. The State must now wrest ownership and control of all Schools from the Catholic Church. If this requires a constitutional amendment, then so be it. No-one would suggest that the religious should be left homeless or destitute – they should be furnished with decent living accommodation, chapels, halls etc, sufficient to their reasonable needs. In fact some orders of religious (mostly nuns) have voluntarily taken these steps by divesting themselves of their large holdings of land and buildings, and giving them to worthy causes and communities.”

    But they do LEGALLY own those ‘palaces’. And let them (nuns and priests – psychotic clerics) have them! What need do NORMAL people have with that shit? None!

    “True contrition and remorse would see changes in Church rules
    The Bishops and priests of the Catholic Church have expressed remorse for past horrors but, so far, have not changed their own internal rules which brought about this perversion on the part of many celibate priests, nuns and brothers. The Catholic Church in Ireland must change all rules which require celibacy and a male-only priesthood. This is the only valid way in which they can express true remorse and contrition and ensure that it doesn’t happen again. If this requires a split with the Vatican, then that is what must be done. A moral organisation (or an organisation containing moral people) cannot endanger or abrogate the rights of children in order to preserve the requirements of bureaucracy. There is little doubt that the Vatican will change these rules anyway, and soon too, so why not start the revolution in Ireland? All that is required is a few brave souls to say “No!” and to rebel, and the system will be forced to change (if many bishops and priests rebel together, the Vatican cannot sack them all!)”

    I am one of those few Irish ‘brave souls’ who has said “No!”. But – I have long since realised I am a lone soul fighting against the normalised rot of Irish society. Time was when it made me feel very angry, now I couldn’t give a shit about the collective destiny of the Irish people. They can all drown in the Liffey as far as I’m concerned! The only people I care about are my kids, and my their children!

    “If this rebellion does not happen we must assume that the Bishops and priests acquiesce in the continuation of this anti-natural and perverse system of rules (and thus we cannot take their expressions of remorse and willingness to make reparations as genuine)”

    What sort of ‘rebellion’ are you expecting? Another 1916 Rising? That RC-inspired fracas didn’t get us too far, did it?

    “History as taught in our schools must be revised. Our teaching of history requires quite a lot of revision. In the first 60 years of the state’s existence we were taught that the survival and ‘victory’ of the Catholic Church was a superb, beneficial and wonderful outcome for Ireland. Somehow, Protestantism was cruel and flawed and unpatriotic. Now, that view of history is shown to be deeply flawed.
    The Anglican churches have not been implicated in all this child abuse, except for a small number of individual cases often handled in a serious and ethical manner. The Anglican church is far less discriminatory (it has women priests, married priests and openly gay priests and uses open, democratic systems to elect leaders and formulate its rules) than the Catholic church and far more likely to espouse modern standards of human rights and environmental responsibility.”

    This is like comparing Apples with Oranges.

    “The Catholic Church has always supported monarchy, autocracy, dictatorship and fascism (until a late conversion to support for democracy and some human rights in the latter half of the 20th Century). The struggle against fascism in Europe from 1936 (Spain) to 1945 was carried out mostly by states coming from the Protestant religious tradition (Britain, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, United States) or secularism (Soviet Union), whereas those who lined up with the Nazis (Austria, Italy, Hungary, Croatia), or were fascist supporters (Spain and Portugal), were mostly Catholic countries (although Germany is half Protestant, the Nazis birthplace and breeding ground was Bavaria and Austria – almost exclusively Catholic). Poland is the only exception to this Catholic/Protestant divide – but, one could say, they hadn’t much choice in the matter.”

    I’m no historian, but I can say that anyone whose psychology has been formed by Roman Catholic dogma is one VERY fucked-up individual! And there is no shortage of such “lab rats” in Ireland, or in the ‘prosperous ‘ Irish-American ghettoes!
    I’m tired now of replying to your post, Vincent, so I’ll just post my reply to you, thus far now. I hope you will reflect of what I’ve said.

    Best wishes,
    Martha

  8. Of course……….everything is welcome. Feel free to submit poetry.

  9. I agree completely Andrew.

  10. I can relate to every word written here.

    I am 54 and only in 2005 did I finally learn how to do inner healing on all the abuse suffered as a child in Ireland.

    Perhaps the main problem is finding someone professional that we can trust, but there are so few who understand, and those that do, do not work for this church state system.

    Those do gooders who work for this patriarchal system are not interested in anything but money and power and having control over the weak and abused and vulnerable.

    The one word that keeps popping up in my mind is- DISPOSABLE CHILDREN.

    Even today 2009- I see the HSE attitude to these disposable children. I see their eugenics programming shining through as they abuse the rights of children daily.

    I deal with the parents and grandparents of these disposable children when HSE try to cut off all family ties and use parental alienation techniques to destroy the loving natural bonds between children and their only real families.

    I have been a witness to HSE agents try to break and destroy the souls of strong children.

    From this article I have learned so much- it is all of us who NNED healing-all who were brainwashed and conditioned through generations by the Patriarchal system.

    Thank you Paddy.

    Thank you Vincent.

  11. Brilliant.

    Guilt is the gift that keeps on giving and the Catholic Cult religion has used it for thousands of years to keep us enslaved.

  12. Powerful piece of writing

  13. I’m a poet. Would you like a Poem?

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