A Sorry Apology

Colm O’Gorman:- On Saturday Pope Benedict XVI published his letter to the Irish Church on the issue of child abuse. What was necessary seemed clear. As Pope, acknowledge the cover up by Roman Catholic Church of the rape and abuse of children by priests, take responsibility for it, and show how you will ensure it never happens again.

But the letter failed to do any of this. There was no acceptance of responsibility for the now established cover up, no plan to ensure that across the global church those who rape and abuse will be reported to the civil authorities and children properly protected.

The letter is clearly an effort to restore the credibility of a church rocked by the publication of three state investigations into clerical crimes and church over ups in Ireland. The Pope has seen all three of these reports.

Published in May 2009, following an eleven year State investigation, the Ryan Report detailed the full extent of the horrific abuse endured by children abandoned to the ‘care’ of the church.

It reported ritualized, savage beatings, endemic rape and sexual assault and the exploitation of children forced to work to enrich the bloated religious congregations charged with their care.

Disgracefully, the Pope used his letter and this issue to attack one of his favourite targets, secularisation. We are asked to believe that the secularisation of Irish society led to abuse and cover up. In fact, it is the secularisation of society that finally led to the exposure of the crimes of the church.

The most horrific abuse was perpetrated, not in a secularised Ireland, but at a time when Irish society was dominated, socially and politically, by the Catholic Church.

That the Pope appears to have wilfully ignored this established fact is a blatant and disgraceful deceit.

Some have reported that the Pope issued a heartfelt apology to victims of abuse. In fact the word ‘sorry’ appeared just once in a letter running to almost four thousand seven hundred words.

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This Is Rape Culture

Absolutely disgusting –Men cleared as rape woman’s group sex fantasy revealed-(ht2 PennyRed) so if a woman has sexual fantasies that means she can’t be raped, which is what this seems to imply. That male prosecutor and judge think a woman having sexual fantasies destroys her credibility? Well we’re all in trouble then, but women far more than men because well- patriarchy. This is a really dangerous outcome for everyone who has sexual fantasies (erm all of us) and those who engage in anything other than the most vanilla -approved by conservative straight men in the legal profession- sex lives (and that doesn’t wash, ask a sex worker about their legal clientele). And if the argument is this the case would be impossible to win in the current legal system, well duh, there’s a big clue there about the failings and need for change in that legal system. But the quotes from the well paid legal men actually do not bear that out, they mostly boil down to –we don’t believe or respect her because she has fantasies– which is just repulsive and hateful, it seems to rest on a judgement and prescription of women that precludes them having a sexual existence of their own, not one pre-approved by men. This is a really offensive judgement and I hope the survivor has help to deal with it and help if she wishes to push for a proper trial in a court not run by misogynist scumbags.