Saturday, May 23, 2009

Haiku 052309

after rain
piercing the rainbow
a wedge of geese


Recently, we read the following:

The Guardian: “Thousands raped and abused in Catholic schools in Ireland” by Henry McDonald

“The shocking scale of sexual and physical abuse in educational institutions in Ireland run by the Catholic church was revealed today in a report describing how thousands of boys and girls were raped, abused and exploited by the religious brothers and nuns who were supposed to look after them.

“The 2,600-page report by Ireland's Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse found that for decades rape was "endemic" in more than 250 Irish Catholic care institutions from the 1930s to the 1990s, and that the church in Ireland protected paedophiles in its ranks from arrest….

“Children in industrial schools and reformatories were treated more like convicts and slaves than people with human rights, it said. Rape was particularly common in boys homes and industrial schools run by the Christian Brothers….

“It also criticised the failure of the Irish state, most notably the department of education, for allowing the abuse and exploitation to continue for decades. The department aided this culture ‘through infrequent, toothless inspectors’ that always deferred to the Catholic's church's authority, the report said. The inspections even failed to ensure that children were adequately fed, clothed and educated….

“The commission investigated more than 100 schools run by Catholic religious orders – the majority by the Christian Brothers and Sisters of Mercy….

“A second damning report, due to be published by the end of June, will detail the abuse of hundreds of children in the Dublin archdiocese from 1940 onwards. More than 100 priests are facing allegations and 400 people have been identified as victims.”


And we thought:

.... It will not be enough for the Christian Brothers, the Sisters of Mercy and other religious orders to apologize and “express their sorrow” over the tragedy their members visited on thousands of Irish children. For one, the names of the abusers and pedophiles among them should be made public. They should not be spared the shame and embarrassment of their deeds yet another time. It should also serve as a warning to others that they can no longer hide behind their soutanes and habits.

Finally, the Pope, as the spiritual head of these Catholic religious orders, should himself issue a public apology to the faith communities in Ireland and other parts of the world where similar abuses have occurred. He should, without reservation, apologize for all those Catholic priests, brothers, and nuns who, over the decades, had abused children ironically placed under their care for guidance and nurturing.

This “holocaust” of Catholic children -- these profoundly shameful acts inflicted by Catholic clergy on innocents -- should be publicly acknowledged and condemned. The Pope cannot duck the responsibility of setting right this spiritual and psychic slaying of thousands of vulnerable children by deviant clergy. The Vatican needs to burst this bubble of deceit and hypocrisy, finally -- for the sake of the good guys, those who have been keeping their religious vows….

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