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Catholic League: Hysteria over Irish Clergy Abuse Comments

The Irish report suffers from conflating minor instances of abuse with serious ones, thus demeaning the latter. Continue Reading

11 - 20 of 33 Comments

  1. Dennis
    5 years ago

    When an adult in a position of authority "fondles" a child, it is not "a minor instance of abuse." When 12% of the instances of abuse are actual rape, this is an indictment not a defense. When the abused children are labeled as "delinquents" (even though many of them were not), another cold insult is heaped upon the sad indignities that they have suffered.

    Before the Catholic League issues more press releases, it should prayerfully reflect on the suffering of these children. A good starting point might be to consider how any of us might feel if one of our young sons or daughters were to be fondled, kissed, subjected to voyeurism, or (12% of the time) raped, by an adult in a position of power.

  2. Catherine Connelly, LCSW
    5 years ago

    Mr. Donohue's letter to the editor in today's Times should be distressing and embarrasing to all Catholics. We would hope that through all the heart aches and law suits that the Catholic Church would now know how the rest of society define child abuse and sexual abuse. If Mr. Donahue believes that Catholics in America are relieved that little Irish girls were only fondled and not raped by members of a religious order charged with their care, the future of Catholic church is bleak.

  3. anik
    5 years ago

    This is no time for knee jerk circling of the wagons and blaming the victims. This attack on the catholic church has been made by those within not by those outside. The only way forward is to honestly address this scandal in a true sense of humility and compassion. Start by dealing with the facts not your fantasies.

  4. Nick Reddim
    5 years ago

    Read the report Bill, read the report! And yes, then weep

  5. Andrew
    5 years ago


    I am a practicising Catholic living in Scotland where sectarianism lives on. There is a deeply ingrained anti-Catholicismn here that currently expresses itself in opposition towards Catholic schools. The scandal in Ireland is a gift to such people who are heaping coals on our heads over these revelations.

    While it is no doubt true that many abuses took place elsewhere during the timeline in the report, that does not let the Church off the hook.

    It is bad enough that innocent youngsters - and it has been made quite clear that most of these children where simply poor orphans NOT young criminals as you infer - where being treated as punchbags and sexual playthings by people who have shamed their vows and their faith, without the likes of you trying to brush over the extent and scale of the outrage.

    These criminals deserve to be punished severely. Hitting children with leather whips, touching them inappropriately, crushing their souls with cruel taunts and half starving them - not to mention raping and torturing them in the worst cases - cannot have any possible justification. There is no way to excuse or explain this. The church should be on its knees begging forgiveness for allowing this outrage to continue unchecked for so long. Those responsible should be facing the full weight of the law.

    The main issue is the feelings and hurt suffered by the victims. They should be handsomely compensated, though no amount of money can put this right. But I also fear for the future of the church.

    Christianity will live on, regardless of the behaviour of some of those who pay lip service to it, while behaving like demons - the faith is not the private property of the RC church, regardless of how much some members behave as if this were so - but a scandal on this scale, unchecked for over half a century will, I fear, fatally cripple the church in Ireland in future generations.

    If the church fails to act with due humility at a time like this, we will see the end of Catholicism in Ireland within a generation.

    What is required is humility and repentance, as a abre minimum, not defensive blustering that seeks to blame the victims.

  6. Graham Luks
    5 years ago

    Like Kristen Carolan, Im an atheist, and am now more determined than ever to stay one.

  7. William Fitzgerald
    5 years ago

    Donohue's sophistic, sociopathic minimizations of the huge harm done to these tens of thousands of Irish children by Catholic priests and brothers are disgusting. Let's hope the Irish authorities find enough courage to prosecute the perps.

    I had ten school years at the hands of Christian Brothers. Ugh.

  8. John Grimes
    5 years ago

    Mr. Donohue's comments are not helpful. He ignores the real source of trouble here, i.e. the willingness of bishops and other priests to cover up the abuse and protect the offenders. Their utter lack of charity is what scandalizes us all. How could men (and a few women) who said they served Christ possibly be that callous with children? Now some of us begin to understand better the famous aphorism about the path to hell being paved with the skulls of bishops.

  9. Jean
    5 years ago

    Mr. Seamus Im not saying that. I notice in our Church that the church is doing a wonderful job in acknowledging its past guilt.
    I dont think they are rationalizing anything.
    Everyone is aware it happened and Im also aware that in the Public School system its higher in abuse.
    The only reasoning is that I understand as you do why the attack on the Catholic Church.
    Its the Catholic Church thats why.
    Its no excuse probably but very understandable.
    By the way the good old days belonged to everyone outside of the Church as well.
    A lot of people used to belt their kids into submission and they werent Catholic.
    Im sure incest happens outside faiths as well as does other abuse.
    The only reason its not so well brought up is because it isnt the Catholic Church.
    I have gone away from the church but came back right in the middle of the abuse scandals and Im not leaving because I know Christ is here to. I love Him and I think He is going to help us through this everyone of us.
    The Church hasnt been blase about this issue.
    I also know that in this others are hurt that didnt do anything at all. This to is sad.
    Take a shot at the Church all we want but we arent going to bury her. Christ said so. I believe Him. The gates of hell shall never prevail.

  10. Seamus Alehaus
    5 years ago

    Mr. Donohue's comments are typical of reactionary Catholics who say that the worldwide sex abuse scandal is overblown, anti-Catholic, that it wasn't any worse than abuse anywhere, that some of it wasn't even abuse, that it's much ado about not too much. They blame what few facts they accept on gay priests, liberals and Vatican II even though it has been proved to go back decades to what they consider the Good Old Days of the Church and has no doubt been a constant problem since the beginning. Their staggering excuses and rationalizations ignore completely the responsibility of church leaders who knew of the abuse and covered it up. They are the ultimate Cafeteria Catholics, picking and choosing what facts to believe and which to explain away with callous nonsense. Good and normal Catholics should ignore them. They occupy the far right of the Cafeteria and their menu is bitter. If they are the future of the Church God help us.

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