Maybe I have a somewhat insular outlook, but the recent publishing of the Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse in (the catholic church) Ireland has even a very faithful populous shocked.
It is simply the greatest and most shameful abuse ever perpetrated by the Irish people.
The only reason as to how it happened that I can see is the pedestal that the catholic church was placed on until recently, prevented the faithful from monitoring the church's activities.
Those charged with overseeing these institutions were, it seems to me in thrall to the church and believed they could do no wrong.
It has been said that the abuse stemmed from a few individual members that "went wrong", and that the religious life where close and unsupervised contact with children was the norm attracted those with a paedophylic tendency. The sheer extent of the abuse gives this explanation, on its own, the lie.
It is an undisputed fact that the Irish courts were implicit in the sending of Irish children to these church-run institutions.
A child could be sent there for any number of reasons including being born out of wedlock, their parents being poor, the death of even one parent, poor school attendance etc.
A bounty was paid by the state to the religious organisations for "taking" these children.
The institutions put these children to work making a profit in their activities.
They half starved the kids and beat them regularly and viciously for either minor or non-existent infractions of institutional or religious rules (kids were often beaten and punished for, say, bed wetting.
In 2002 a government minister Michael Woods (a member of today's governing party Fianna Fail), the day before his government were booted out of office and without parliamentary/Congressional oversight approved an agreement that indemnified religious congregations "from all redress claims made by victims of abuse
in exchange for payments and property transfers totalling €127 million.
The total bill for the redress scheme is likely to be about €1.3 billion
. The deal was reached between religious orders and former minister for education Michael Woods on the day before he stepped down from office" (foregoing quote from Irish Times Newspaper).
The present government, again Fianna Fail, state that the agreement cannot be revisited, even though many say thet when making the agreement, many in the catholic church withheld the true extent of the abuse -a material issue that would void much of such a contract. Ok, maybe the courts will state that the church are not required legally to pay any more compensation or be punished ant further, but personally, I'd like to see them try to justify their stance.
Much of the church is extremely wealthy and even in the last few years (before the publication of the report) have called some of the survivors liars.
In view of this unrepentant (its very easy to say sorry on behalf of someone else) reaction by the church, they have once again demonstrated the ludicrous nature of their foundation and the evilness that now seems to be an inherent part of it.
Should you want further details, a good starting place is www.irish-times.com