Tuesday, August 2, 2016

IRISH TIMES: ROMAN CURIA NOT COOPERATING WITH CHILD ABUSE COMMISSION

Posted by Chuck White

This article in the Irish Times leads me to believe that we have good reason to believe that many churchmen in Rome are not at all interested in investigating the breadth of the clerical sex abuse problem here on Guam.  Read on.

From the Irish Times, February 15, 2016:
Patsy McGarry

Marie Collins is tired, not surprisingly. Dealing with the grinding, mechanical mindset she has encountered again and again at senior levels in the Catholic Church would have long since killed off the determination of a lesser person.

In her seventh decade, she has spent the last three of those focused on one thing – making the Catholic Church a safer place for children. In her own young life she knew it to be otherwise.  

She later discovered the lengths to which it would go to protect itself, even if that meant further violation of the innocent.
She was aged 13 in 1960 when she was sexually abused by the then chaplain at Dublin’s Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin. He has since been convicted of the crime and of the abuse of other children.

In the 1980s, while receiving counselling for her abuse, she was advised to report it to church authorities. The priest she approached refused to take details and implied the abuse was her fault. “Shattered”, she returned to silence for 10 more years.

Prompted by the furor following the jailing of Fr Brendan Smyth in Belfast, after a 40-year career of abusing children, and fearful that her own abuser might still be active, she went to Dublin church authorities in 1995.

Her abuser admitted his guilt to the church authorities but they refused to confirm this to investigating gardaí or hand over his files to them.
Reports

As reports of her abuse appeared in newspapers, the parish priest in her Dublin suburb told Massgoers they were not to believe her. Read Catholic papers instead, he said.

In 1996 then Archbishop of Dublin Desmond Connell told her that the church’s new, much touted child protection guidelines were “only guidelines” and had no authority in civil or canon law. When she went public about this she was chastised by a church official who said she had been told in “a private conversation”.

As a private person herself, who has “never enjoyed the public side”, she felt she “had to speak out, as others had done. The fact that criminal child abusers were being protected by their superiors needed to be known if it was to be stopped”.

Reflecting on her own journey, on the publication of the 2009 Murphy report into the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations in Dublin, she said it had been “a very, very rough road”.

That was after dealing with church authorities in Dublin. Since 2014 she has been dealing with the daddy of them all, probably the oldest and most skilled bureaucracy in the world, the Roman Curia.

A member of the Vatican’s Commission for the Protection of Minors for the past two years, she has found out that even the Pope himself can have decisions rendered as nought by splendid inaction on the part of the Curia.

For example, there is the Vatican tribunal set up last year to hold bishops to account on the handling of abuse cases. “We as a commission put forward the proposal. It went to the Council of Cardinals, they approved it. It went forward to the Pope. He approved it. It was announced in the press, then it went to be implemented and that’s where the brick wall is,” she said.

Implementation

Nothing has happened since. “The implementation is the problem,” she said.

“As far as the commission is concerned the work has been done and the Pope has approved it.”

The same happened with commission proposals for the training of new bishops. At the commission’s very first meeting in 2014 she proposed “that we should develop a training module on child protection and on abuse” so “every new bishop coming through would have some training in the issue and how to handle it and some understanding. That way every new bishop in the world who is appointed from now on would have a good understanding, and that we would work on this training and develop it.”

Later in 2014 this was “approved by the Holy Father and he actually suggested it be expanded to [include] the Curia as well as the new bishops.” But within the Curia, the administrative apparatus of the Holy See, “there was great resistance to it”, she said.

It “has become apparent that there are those in the Curia who feel that the commission becoming involved is almost an interference with the work as it has always been done,” she said.

Last week it emerged that current Vatican training guidelines for new bishops stated it was not necessarily the duty of a bishop to immediately report child clerical abuse suspects to authorities, the police or state prosecutors.

Collins says she was “horrified, absolutely horrified” to hear this. “It couldn’t be further from best practice if you tried to. It’s the moral duty of any church leader to report.”

‘Frustrated’

She feels “very frustrated at the difficulties with the Curia and I wouldn’t be surprised if other members (of the Commission) felt the same, but I cannot speak for them,” she said.

“I’m personally frustrated with the lack of co-operation from the Curia and the fact it can be so detrimental to the work of the commission and the protection of children in the future. That’s where the focus should be,” she said.

She said she had “made my concerns known to the Pope, very recently. I am waiting to see what comes of it”.


7 comments:

  1. What a nightmare

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  2. Is this why we haven't heard anything about an investigation being done on Apuron in Rome?

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    1. What investigation? You can bet that there hasn't been an investigation even begun. Apuron in all likelihood is hiding out somewhere unknown waiting it out until it's clear for him to return to GUAM or quietly and unobtrusively go into retirement. As long as he stays away, he avoids being forced to face his accusers in court. Right now, he has the libel and slander suit looming over him just waiting for him to make his presence known. Once Bill 326-33 is passed and signed into law of which there is little doubt that it will be given the overwhelming support it received, then Apuron's victims will be free to file their civil suits. If Apuron is truly innocent as he claims and asserts that his accusers are all liers, then he should welcome the opportunity to defend himself through his own legal representation. He also has the option and opportunity to file suit against his accusers for defamation of his character which he previously said that he would do.

      If Rome is doing an investigation on Apuron for the child sex abuse allegations that have been made against him, it is the best kept secret. Just how long will it take for the so called investigation to be completed and a decision rendered? Should JW start a count down clock?

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  3. Is this why we haven't heard anything about an investigation being done on Apuron in Rome?

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  4. Is this why we haven't heard anything about an investigation being done on Apuron in Rome?

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  5. my takeaway from this is: don't wait for rome to right the wrongs. rome itself is diseased.

    they say the church changes slowly and God grants justice in His own time. so be it. but human justice need not wait. pass the bill! bring on the lawsuits!

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  6. I sad for Marie Collins and the long time (unbeliveble!) for this late.
    The Church will pay (and very much) her marriage with the power.
    Unfortunally when the time to pay arrives we will be all included, honest and not wo are in the Church.

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