vrijdag, februari 24, 2006

De keuze dat het kán

Het ziet er naar uit dat de aartsbisschop van Dublin door Benedictus XVI weliswaar niet tot een van de nieuwe kardinalen benoemd, in ieder geval voldoende integriteit, geloofswaarden of - zo je wilt - hersens heeft om het proces van schoonmaak van die kerk, begonnen met de uitkomsten van de staats-onderzoeken naar het kerkelijk misbruik in de Ierse gestichten en het Ferns rapport, heeft om die Ierse lijn dóór te zetten.

Natuurlijk heeft de man, en die Ierse kerk, alle belang met het zélf naar buiten brengen van de slechte boodschap: jongens (en meisjes!) de shit is nog heel wat erger dan te verwachten viel.....

Wil die kerk nog enige geloofwaardigheid, en dus haar macht, overhouden kan ze natuurlijk maar beter zélf het slechte nieuws brengen.

Daar kun je dus cynisch door worden.
Da's een keuze.

Er is ook de keuze om te gelóven!

Niet in volkomen achterhaalde en dus onzinnige (on)machts-relaties,
maar in de keuze -mogelijkheid van mensen, waarin je kunt geloven dat Geloof
kracht geeft om Leven te behoeden in plaats van macht over het leven van Anderen.

De keuze dat het kán!
Zelfs al betekend dat dan vandaag het nieuws dat het misbruik nog erger was
dan al verwacht werd. Dát is uiteindelijk oud- nieuws. Niks nieuws voor slachtoffers.
De keuze dat het kán is nieuw(s)!
Voor iedereen.
Omdat van kerkelijk (seksueel) misbruik iederéén slachtoffer was.

Abuse probe 'worse than expected'

John Cooney Religious Affairs Specialist Tuesday February 21st 2006

THE Government-appointed Commission of Investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse by priests in the Dublin Archdiocese will be even bigger and its contents more shocking than expected.

Several new complaints of child sexual abuse have been made against already well-known paedophile priests in Dublin since the publication of the Ferns Report last October, the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, has revealed to the Irish Independent. Dr Martin told this newspaper he was determined there would be no more cover-ups.

He had ordered an extensive trawl nearly two years ago of the Dublin archdiocese's own massive archives in Drumcondra.

This search by two independent assessors has found a number of previously missing files that contain further allegations of molestation of children. While bound by confidentiality not to name those involved, Dr Martin indicated the complaints were against a number of priests whose names were already in the public domain as serious offenders.

The high-profile names of convicted or dead paedophile priests include the notorious marriage annulment advisor, Ivan Payne, now laicised, Crumlin hospital chaplain, Fr Paul McGennis, the defrocked Fr Tony Walsh and the late Fr Noel Reynolds. The complaints are understood to relate to alleged incidents prior to 1990, mainly during the period when Cardinal Desmond Connell was Archbishop of Dublin, but also going into the reigns of his dead predecessors, Kevin McNamara, Dermot Ryan and stretching as far back as the time of Archbishop John Charles McQuaid.

The discovery of the new cases has shown that these paedophile priests had more serial pederast tendencies than was previously recorded. In total, the Garda has examined complaints against between 60 and 70 priests.

Over €5.5m has been paid by the archdiocese in compensation.

The start of the investigation of the four-member Commission under Circuit Court Judge Yvonne Murphy has been stalled for almost three months because of a Government row over the amount of money to be allocated. It is thought this relates to disagreement on the issue between the justice and finance ministers.

When the Commission's terms of reference were announced by the Government last November, it was allocated a budget of €5.7m. Meanwhile, the Commission has begun preliminary work in the probe. It was to report within 18 months and examine a representative sample of complaints against priests from January 1, 1975, to May 1, 2004.

It will also look at how Church authorities and State agencies dealt with complaints.
Cardinal Connell will be called to give evidence to the Commission, which will question him on his handling of complaints when he was archbishop from 1998 until his retirement nearly two years ago.

Archbishop Martin has pledged full co-operation.

It was under Cardinal Connell's stewardship of the country's biggest archdiocese that some of the most appalling cases of priest child-rapes became known.

Last night, in response to the Irish Independent's request for more details about the new files, the Dublin diocese press office:
"The Archdiocese of Dublin has received a number of new allegations of child protection concerns as a result of the ongoing audit of personnel files (of clergy) in the diocese, and following the publication of the Ferns Report.

"The audit, commissioned by Archbishop Martin, following his appointment to Dublin, has involved an extensive trawl of several thousand files in the diocese. That process, carried out by independent assessors, is nearing completion. It has resulted in a number of questions being raised which have required further investigation.

"When this process is completed in the near future, the diocese will, as it has on a regular basis over the past 12 months, give a statement on the information currently available.

"The Archdiocese and its Child Protection Service would again appeal to anyone who has been abused by a priest to come forward to the diocese, the statutory authorities or to any other organisation with whom they feel comfortable speaking to."
© Irish Independent

vrijdag, februari 10, 2006

Ik ben de nonnen en de mensen van Dundalk eeuwig dankbaar

“I am forever grateful to the nuns and the people of Dundalk” Wednesday February 8th 2006 By Margaret Roddy
The Argus

The former St. Joseph’s orphanage in Dundalk and below, Kathleen McShane

Kathleen McShane feels she is a lone voice speaking in the wilderness. At a time when the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse has been hearing harrowing tales of what it was like for children growing up in Industrial Schools around the country, including St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Dundalk, she cherishes her memory of her years spent in the care of the Sisters of Mercy.

Now sixty-one years of age, Kathleen was just four years old when she placed in St. Joseph’s Orphanage in November 1948 after her mother feel ill with TB which was then rampant in Ireland.
“I went in with my two younger sisters when my mother was dying with TB,” she says. The sisters remained in the orphanage after her mother died the following January, while her father cared for their brother.

“I found in my experience that the nuns did their best for us, really and truly,” she says.
“I never felt any fear, and know of no-one who did.”
“The nuns did their level best for us, their vows which they had to say every night wouldn’t have allowed them to be cruel to us.”

Kathleen (nee Casey) from Hackballscross feels that “people are looking back at the ‘40s and ‘50s and expecting things to be the same then as they are now.”
She points out that times were hard for everyone in those days.
“I sat beside girls at Realt na Mara and knew I had better times than they had,” she says, recalling one girl telling her she was leaving school at fourteen to work in a factory while she was stayed ‘til she was sixteen.

“Remember there was no free education until the ‘60s,” she says. She is grateful for the education she received, pointing out that the girls were also taught household management and cookery.
did have to do work, for it was an Industrial School, that’s where the name came from. We had to make our beds and we’d work in the kitchen, dining hall, or dormitory, cleaning and scrubbing and the jobs changed every couple of months.”
“We did have chores to do, but if I had been living at home, I’m sure it would have been the same.”

“We were never starving and I remember Dr McCabe, the Inspector, coming in and telling us that we were in one of the best orphanages in Ireland.”

Kathleen says that the girls were punished if they were bold. “We would get a slap with a stick.

The nun in charge wouldn’t stand for anyone giving cheek to the paid staff or tolerate bullying. She was very fair.” She admits that she got her fair share of punishment as she was a stroppy teenager.

“We grew up there. We went in as children and came out as young ladies, and went through the growing up period of being teenagers.”
She recalls getting into trouble for protesting about the heavy black boots which the girls had to wear in the winter time. “They’d come in boxes and were really boys boots as they’d be sent to
all the Industrial Schools.”

Kathleen ended up having to explain her objections about the boots to the Parish Priest, Fr Campbell. He obviously took her views on board, as she recalls him speaking about it at Mass, and after the girls got proper boots donated by the townspeople.

“The people of Dundalk were really good to the orphanage,” she says.
“Supt. McDonough arranged that every orphan got a ‘fairy Godparent’ who had to visit three times a year, at birthdays, Christmas and Easter,” she recalls. “Mrs. McElduff took us to the Lorne Hotel, Nellie Faul brought us to Gyles Quay, and Christy McCoey hired a bus and took us to the zoo every year.

“We went to the Gaelic League Party every year for a Christmas party and we’d get a present from Santa. And on Christmas Day, the nuns would wait on us and we’d have a grand feast.”

“As we got older, we’d go to the nuns summer house in Carlingford, two at a time, and we’d be sent out with our aprons and we’d do chores alongside the nuns. We’d get pocket money and would be able to go to the shop and get ice-cream like anyone else. This was preparing us for moving out.”
“We got to the pictures and the all the musicals, and we did our own musicals and operettas to raise money for the Sunshine home in Port.”

Kahleen says that when the time came for her to leave the orphanage she was given suitcase with proper shop-bought underwear, summer dresses, aprons and stockings.
“We were told that if things didn’t work out right, we could go back.”
She says that many of the girls would continue to go back and visit the nuns over the years.

Those working in England would stay there when they came home on holiday.

Kathleen, like many of the others, also made her way to England, and worked as a nurse, as well as in the hotel business in England. She returned to Dundalk in 1979 and lives on the Dublin Road with her husband and pet dogs.

She is, she says, saddened at the bad publicity which those who ran the orphanage have received in recent times.
“I think the nuns did their best for us. They loved us and still do to this day. We were like their children. They watched us grow up and taught us everything they knew. The nuns worked seven days a week and didn’t get a day off.”

She says that she finds the revelations which have come from the Commission of Inquiry into Child Abuse very difficult to come to terms with.
“I really feel for the nuns, who are now in their twilight years, to have to ask themselves if they did right by us,” she says.
She insists that her memories of her days in the orphanage are happy ones. “I speak as I find things,” she says.

“We got our slaps, yes. There was a lot of bullying but when you get a lot of girls together you’ll get that and it’s still going on as I get anonymous letters and phonecalls because of what I’ve said.”

She says that her views have cost her friendships.
“I was in touch with a lot of girls until the Redress Board was set up but that finished when I spoke out about the good the nuns did.”

“There was a lot of poverty in Ireland at the time we were in the orphanage and we were no better or worse than anyone else. I never had a chip on my shoulder and I knew what my circumstances were. The nuns did their best for us and I feel I have to speak about it.”

She adds that if she had felt she had been abused during her stay in the orphanage, she would have gone back there and confronted the nuns when she had reached adulthood.
“I am forever grateful to the nuns and the people of Dundalk.”