Church needs public exorcism over abuse
Stephen Dodd on an expert who links sex abuse by the clergy to celibacy and why the problem demands transparent solutionsTHERE is a chilling story in American psychotherapist Richard Sipe's published papers investigating sexual abuse by the clergy. A senior bishop in the United States hierarchy, interviewed on the difficulties the American church faced in ridding itself of paedophiles, commented: ``Undoubtedly part of the problem is that some of the bishops themselves are abusers.'' Reminded that he was talking on the record, and asked to confirm what he had just said, the bishop simply repeated the statement, word for word.
Ireland, so long in effective thrall to the church, has learned hard lessons about the international organisation which defined its morality. Here, its adherents raped children and beat disabled teenagers over learning problems. Its schools were described by former pupils, time and again, as concentration camps. The RTE documentary States of Fear has added to the growing body of evidence from survivor accounts and court prosecutions suggesting abuse and brutality became widespread throughout church institutions.
IT is no longer an exaggeration to suggest that if the church were any other organisation if it were a cult worshipping UFOs, perhaps, or even another conventional religion from abroad the revelations of the past weeks would have brought calls for it to be investigated or proscribed.