Several times already I’ve blogged about the scandal of abuse of children in the care of the Catholic Church in Ireland, which has been investigated and is considerably worse than anyone had imagined. I’ve remarked that the Church’s evasions, cover-ups and denials prior to the investigation; its attempts to derail and/or stop the investigation from finishing; and its sorry and pathetic reactions and non-apology apologies once the final reports were released, have all been nearly inexplicably asinine. Well, according to a piece that ran recently in the Irish Times, there may be an explanation for the Church’s lackluster response. It’s one you will find hard to believe. It comes from an anonymous victim of the abuse (although the person’s identity is known to the Times). You had to read it to believe it (WebCite cached article):

“Paul”, who suffered clerical sex abuse, explains why he believes the Catholic Church has failed properly to deal with the problem in its midst

I AM writing because I know why the church hid the abusers and is still evasive about blaming the perpetrators and the people who hid them. Naturally I am a victim, so I am limited by the anger I feel, but also it seems I am unique in remembering the most important aspect of it all, the aspect that explains everything. …

The reason why the church covered up the abuse and moved priests about is because they did not blame the priests, they blamed the children. With this knowledge observe the reaction of church authorities. They look as if they would like to say it, but can’t.

And that is it. They can’t because they believe society is now over-sentimental about children and they would not be understood. This was confirmed to me when I met an old priest tucked away in a nursing home despite the fact he was not unwell.

At one point he suggested Cardinal Ó Fiaich should be canonised, I rejected the idea, pointing out he was involved in the cover-up of abuse.

The old priest said: “People should forgive him, after all we are prepared to forgive the children.” I asked: “Forgive the children what?” He replied: “Their share of the blame.” Of course in that moment I realised he was himself an abuser, hidden away there.

The writer of this piece, “Paul,” offers even more insight into this, which perhaps he knows best, since he was a victim:

In my own case the priest treated the abuse as punishment for some contrived wrongdoing by me. Afterwards he would recoil, claiming that I was the cause of it and he was merely a weak sinner who had been tempted by me.

You can see; firstly, the damage this would do to the child, (the child is unlikely to report it as the child has been led to believe that he/she is to blame) and, secondly, you can also see the moral get-out clause this gives the priest and the church.

They see themselves as the victims and everything that has happened, up to and including the Murphy report, is part of the attack that these Devil-inspired, tempter children have been responsible for in their attempts to destroy the church.

Every victim who then claims against the church is simply acting in the role in which they have been cast. Having tempted the poor, weak priest into sin they then add insult to injury by trying to destroy the church by attempting to steal its money.

No wonder the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has been so vehement about not admitting the abuse, about stopping the investigation and holding it up as long as it could, and about paying only as little money as required; they think that truly apologizing, and paying for their misdeeds, would mean capitulating to Satan himself … and they cannot, and will not, do that.

I’ve seen some really twisted, depraved religious thinking in my time, but this takes the cake.

This being an anonymous account, it’s difficult to confirm. The Irish Times is not calling this “news,” they clearly label it as an “opinion” piece, so one must reserve judgement. Nevertheless, it neatly explains the Church’s obstinacy and reluctance to deal with this matter, in the face of what is overwhelming evidence of massive misdeeds on its part.

Hat tip: The Skeptic’s Dictionary.

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