Friday, 18 May 2012

Cardinal Sins to cover up in Catholic Church- an instrument of control and domination

The media frenzy may have settled for now over  Cardinal Sean Brady’s failure to pass on information about a notorious clerical sex abuser in his midst but we need to make sure we don’t let this extremely wealthy multi-national chiefdom called the Catholic Church off the hook.

On Tuesday 1st May, a BBC spotlight programme revealed that cardinal, and then Fr Brady was at interviews in 1975 where two children were asked to sign a vow of silence after they were abused by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.  One survivor, Brendan Bolan told This World that he had given details of other children to Fr Brady(who was the ‘note taker’ at the time) he suspected were being abused but the problem found that none of their families or the police had ever been warned.

The programme lead to a media storm coming after the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse report in November 2009 which highlighted systematic and widespread physical, emotional and sexual abuse.  It concluded that "the Dublin Archdiocese's pre-occupations in dealing with cases of child sexual abuse, at least until the mid-1990s, were the maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the Church, and the preservation of its assets. All other considerations, including the welfare of children and justice for victims, were subordinated to these priorities….State authorities facilitated that cover-up by not fulfilling their responsibilities to ensure that the law was applied equally to all and allowing the Church institutions to be beyond the reach of the normal law enforcement processes."

Despite calls to resign from across the political spectrum the attitude of the now Cardinal primate of all Ireland to avoid responsibility by claiming that ‘he had no case to answer’ is not only a further insult to survivors but exposes a culture of silence, cover-up and collusion that still continues to be at the heart of the Catholic Church.

 Indeed the response to the programme could not have been more stark between widespread condemnation of fellow Bishops such as Mr Clifford to the Vatican bending over backwards to provide excuses and defend the indefensible. Perhaps they all have something to hide once you look beyond the religious sermons from the pulpit. The sins of the Cardinal should not be paid at the expense or a deflection from where ultimate responsibility lies which is in the marble stone riches and palaces of the Vatican.

While the days of deference and obedience to the collars of the cloth are long gone, religion still continues to hold sway in our schools and hospitals and to gain true emancipation we need to liberate ourselves both the gods in heaven and the gods on earth.

In the words of Emma Goldman,  ‘Never can Christianity, under whatever mask it may appear-be it New Liberalism, Spiritualism, Christian Science, New Thought, or a thousand and one other forms of hysteria and neurasthenia-bring us relief from the terrible pressure of conditions, the weight of poverty, the horrors of our iniquitous system. Christianity is the con- spiracy of ignorance against reason, of darkness against light, of submission and slavery against independence and freedom; of the denial of strength and beauty, against the affirmation of the joy and glory of life.’