GORTAHORK, Ireland — If any place illustrates the depth and depravity of child sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church — and why the Irish are so angry about it — it is this unlikely corner of the country, where among rolling hills of wild heather, castles and bucolic fishing villages, predatory priests terrorized children with impunity for decades. County Donegal, which overlooks the Atlantic in northwestern Ireland, has fewer thanresidents, but it may have the worst record of clerical abuse in the country. According to a watchdog group that monitors the Catholic Church in Ireland, 14 priests have been accused in recent years, four of whom were convicted.
From the late s, allegations of sexual abuse of children associated with Catholic institutions and clerics in several countries started to be the subject of sporadic, isolated reports. In Irelandbeginning in the s, a series of criminal cases and Irish government enquiries established that hundreds of priests had abused thousands of children over decades. Six reports by the former National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church established that six Irish priests had been convicted between and
Registered in Ireland: Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, an aide to both retired Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, told a book presentation that he by no means was comparing the scandal to the nearly 3, people killed in the US on September 11 Francis removed McCarrick as a cardinal in July following a credible accusation that he groped a teenage altar boy in the s.
There have been a series of reports into allegations of abuse by priests and members of religious orders. Here are some details of their findings:. Among the allegations were accusations of rape. The harrowing report, which took nine years to complete, said orphanages and industrial schools in 20th century Ireland were places of fear, neglect and endemic sexual abuse.
Francis traveled to Ireland, once a bastion of fervent Catholic belief that has been eroded by years of church scandal, and a center of some of the most egregious abuse. He met privately for an hour and a half with eight survivors, the Vatican said, without providing details. Two of the participants in the meeting later said the pontiff equated the scandal and cover-up with excrement.
Those who predict the demise of the Catholic Church in Ireland because of clerical sex abuse scandals are mistaken, a bishop has said. Bishop of Cloyne William Crean said the scale of clerical abuse scandals had shocked and disgusted people in and outside the church and left the hierarchy with a challenge in trying to regain the trust of many, particularly younger people. Bishop Crean said those in leadership roles will continue working towards healing and reconciliation.
Victims are no longer suffering in silence, or afraid to speak out against an institution that became an expert in brushing scandals under the carpet. Up topeople are expected to line the streets of Dublin this weekend to greet the Pontiff, but among them will be protesters and those who have long distanced themselves from catholicism. Revelations of sexual abuse, exploitation of women in mother and baby homes and paedophile priests have rocked the Church to its core in recent years.
These are external links and will open in a new window. From Australian country towns to schools in Ireland and cities across the US, the Catholic Church has faced an avalanche of child sexual abuse accusations in the last few decades. High-profile cases and harrowing testimony given to public inquiries have continued to keep the issue in the headlines. In the most recent of these, Cardinal George Pell was convicted of abusing two choir boys in Melbourne in
Irish victims of child sex abuse by the clergy say Pope Francis will need to come up with more than an apology this weekend if he is to restore faith in a deeply tarnished Catholic Church. Tellingly, such sweeping social change took place despite stiff opposition from the Church. Last week a grand jury in the US state of Pennsylvania published a report on the largest-ever investigation of sex abuse in the US Church, finding that priests in the state had sexually abused more than 1, minors in a cover-up lasting 70 years.
Accusations of wide-ranging abuse in Catholic institutions in Ireland, including but not limited to the sexual targeting of children by priests, date back several decades. In a sign of the scale of the abuse, 14, people applied for compensation through an Irish government scheme for those abused at juvenile facilities run by religious groups between and As Pope Francis prepares to meet some victims during a visit to Ireland this weekend, his first as pontiff, here are the most prominent cases to come to light:. Irish Catholic Church leaders are accused of having protected hundreds of predator priests suspected of sexually abusing thousands of children over decades.