Ireland: Shocking Child Abuse by the Roman Catholic Church

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Ireland: Shocking Child Abuse by the Roman Catholic Church

Thousands of children were worked like slaves without proper food or clothing. Their teachers and older children physically, emotionally and sexually abused them. The most vulnerable were subject to the most vile attacks.

This does not describe some Dickenesque poorhouse or African labor camp. This describes religious schools in Ireland in the 20th century, run by the Roman Catholic Church.

A nine-year investigation by Ireland’s Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse published its final results Wednesday. The damning five-volume report took into account evidence from 2,500 individuals who suffered abuse in reformatories, industrial schools and orphanages run by Catholic religious orders.

“Hunger was a constant companion. We were child slaves,” said Patrick Walsh, a man who went through the nightmarish system. In 1955, when he was 2 years old, he and his two older brothers and 6-month-old sister were charged with “having a parent who does not exercise proper guardianship.” His mother had left Walsh’s father, and so under Irish law, Walsh’s father could have the children sent away, unless his wife returned.

“It was a different age then,” Walsh said, “you would have to compare it to Iran. Ireland was a theocratic state.”

Walsh was sent to a Catholic-run “industrial school” called Artane.

Ireland’s commission paints a horrible picture of these schools. “Sexual abuse was endemic in boys’ institutions,” states the Executive Summary of the report. Here are some more shocking statements from the report:

  • A climate of fear, created by pervasive, excessive and arbitrary punishment, permeated most of the institutions and all those run for boys. Children lived with the daily terror of not knowing where the next beating was coming from.
  • Older boys abused younger boys and the system did not offer protection from bullying of this kind.
  • Children were frequently hungry and food was inadequate, inedible and badly prepared in many schools. Witnesses spoke of scavenging for food from waste bins and animal feed.
  • Clothing was a particular problem in boys’ schools where children often worked for long hours outdoors on farms. In addition, boys were often left in their soiled and wet work clothes throughout the day and wore them for long periods.
  • Accommodation was cold, spartan and bleak. Sanitary provision was primitive in most boys’ schools and general hygiene facilities were poor.
  • What’s worse, this abuse took place with the full knowledge and backing of the Irish government and the Vatican.

    The whole time, the Catholic Church and the religious orders knew exactly what was going on, but they covered it up.

    Walsh described the system as a marriage of convenience between church and state. He explained:

    The church received grants, which were the lifeblood of the religious orders, and the children were used as the means to fill their pockets with cash. I learnt in later years that Artane would get a check, say for £10,000, every month from the government.Artane would send £8,000 to Rome. As a consequence we were badly fed, and we worked 12-hour days in the fields and workshops. I was put to work in the shoe shop.

    This school, run by a group of monks who called themselves the “Christian Brothers,” used the children they were meant to look after to turn out a profit. The report confirms that the religious orders were running these schools for their own enrichment: “Industrial schools were intended to provide basic industrial training to young people …. In reality, the industrial training afforded by the schools was of a nature that served the needs of the institution rather than the needs of the child.”

    “Ultimately, the bishops, the government and the cardinals in the Vatican knew what was going on,” said Walsh.

    Rather than deal with the problem of sexual abuse, the church and government simply covered it up. “Cases of abuse were managed with a view to minimizing the risk of public disclosure and consequent damage to the institution and the Congregation [of the Christian Brothers]. This policy resulted in the protection of the perpetrator,” states the report.

    When the Catholic authorities discovered that a lay member had sexually abused a child, they would report him to the police. But when a member of their own order was caught abusing, if anything he was simply moved on to another school. “The damage to the children affected and the danger to others were disregarded,” the report says.

    The Catholic Church refused to deal with the problem. The report states (emphasis mine throughout):

    The management did not listen to or believe children when they complained of the activities of some of the men who had responsibility for their care. At best, the abusers were moved, but nothing was done about the harm done to the child. At worst, the child was blamed and seen as corrupted by the sexual activity, and was punished severely.

    The church rarely informed the Department of Education of any abuse, and even when it did, the department “colluded in the silence,” says the report. At times, men kicked out of the religious order for child abuse went on to get a job as a teacher within days.

    Instructions issued from the Vatican in 1962 stated that in cases of sexual abuse, “those same matters be pursued in a most secretive way, and … be restrained by a perpetual silence …” (“Instruction on the Manner of Proceeding in Cases of Solicitation,” Vatican Press). Then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict xvi, endorsed this view in a letter sent out to all bishops on May 18, 2001.

    The Vatican doesn’t care about the children. It just cares about the reputation of the Roman Catholic Church.

    This is what a “marriage of convenience” between a state and the Roman Catholic Church looks like, and this, according to Bible prophecy, is the type of union coming soon to all of Europe. This report shows exactly why you must beware of the rising Catholic Church.