Sunday 17 December 2017

Most missionaries are committed and decent

Reuben Coulter of Tearfund Ireland (Letter, May 25) writes as though child abuse was exclusively the prerogative of those in the religious life, and that, therefore, children would be better safeguarded in a family environment, whether in Ireland or a developing country.

Casual and not so casual violence, sexually predatory behaviour, economic exploitation and indifference are as much features of ordinary family life in many cases in Ireland as they are in developing countries: the family per se is no guarantee of anything.

The missionaries I knew in Africa -- and I am deeply anti-religious and anti-clerical -- were extremely committed and decent people, some of whom did work that most of us would baulk at.

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