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February 15, 2010
Irish victims of abuse call for Church leaders to resign

On our broadcast this evening, we bring you a story that is all too familiar to many Americans.

In Ireland, survivors of abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy have called upon several Irish church leaders to resign, but many have refused to do so.

Today, 24 Irish bishops are in Rome meeting with the Pope, trying to figure out how to respond to the victims’ demands.

Alan Fisher of Al Jazeera English speaks to some of Ireland’s abuse survivors:

What steps should the Catholic Church take to stop the abuse of children by clergy?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please be respectful and on-point. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted, and repeat offenders will be banned.






Looks like all members of the Church should be assigned someone to keep an eye on them to prevent molestation and abuse. They can not be trusted to look after each other. Each country should pass a law requiring all Church leaders to be investigated yearly, and if they have committed sexual of physical crimes against children they should be prosecuted for
hate crimes against children. Only by giving these criminals a special status will the legal system be able to enforce chemical castration, monitoring devices, and best of all long prison terms in prisions where it is announced that they are child abusers.


I think that “ANY” member of the clergy no matter what religious affiliation “SHOULD BE, IMMEDIATELY REMOVED” we have enough of these problems in the regular world.


I think that “ANY” member of the clergy no matter what religious affiliation “SHOULD BE, IMMEDIATELY REMOVED” we have enough of these kind of people (and and I use the word “human” loosely) in the regular world as it is. These are people we are supposed to trust, they wonder why we do not go on the Sabbath for weekly services.


Just allow this corrupt organization to fade away, don’t ask — what will the pope or the bishops do to correct centuries of abuse?
The solution resides in the people, it’s up to them to open their eyes and do not permit themselves to conclude that there is not somewhere else to go because they think that “this is the church that christ funded” Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?


Married persons commit sexual & physical abuse, & have been serial killers. Marriage does not cure.
The married Orthodox Jewish comunity is having major sex abuse problems (Queens, NY), which has been hidden until recently. This community is frightened of the ugly publicity which may further antisemitism.
The Christian Science Monitor at the time of the Catholic Boston Clergy Abuse Bombshell stated the Protestants Churches, especially through their volunteers have much higher percentages of abuse.
To me, the Irish, as products of 800 years of civil imperialism & church authority, were afraid of authority & yielded personal integrity & judgment to their civil & church authority. Many Church people have been wonderful, but….. the evil & destruction of the abusers has been well documented. Parents are responsible to protect their children from wolves in sheeps clothing, whether the wolves are in the family (Jerry Adams, Belfast expose), public & private school(multiple exposes), psychiatrist, psychologist, dentists(today’s internet,a Florida psycholgist charging medical provider since 1995 for sexual trist with patient),nursing homes etc. Parents should go to the Police, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT. Forget the administrators in organizations, unless they act immediately. The administrators, like the clerical hierarchy, school authorities, medical administrators, are often more interested in protecting their backs, especially if there has been prior complaints. The administrators are now complicit in that fresh allegations have been made, after the administrators were forewarned. Parents, family, neighbors, especially those who are living in the bubble of the good life, must listen to their children, & follow-up when the children make a complaint. Listen to your gut, it’s hard. Go to attorneys, police, document with cell phones, & whatever is available. Protect the vulnerable, it is a tough job. The wolves in sheeps’ clothing are often very smooth, cunning, well positioned. Fight for your vulnerable. It’s not an easy fight.


The idea that priest getting married would solve the problem is ludicrous. These priest should be sent to jail. The last pope as well as this one knew about the problem and they just transfer them to a different parish. I was born a Catholic but I will not set foot into a church that condones this criminal behavior.


Boycott the collection baskets!


The perpatrotors should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. More importantly, so should those that knew of this criminal activity and covered it up. In the US none of the Church’s heirachy has been prosecuted yet they were complicite in shielding the activities of these priests……imagine if this had occured at an Islamic, Buhdist, Hindu etc institution the howls of the mob would be deafening.
The only way to ensure that this never occurs again is to make sure all those involved pay a heavy price for their actions.


Perhaps the Christ teachings have become too small in relation to the additional paraphernalia in all departments. The abusing priests should be thinking of themselves as representatives of Christ, not “The Church”. All this points to a need for radical reform, and I’d say radical punishment of sex offenders within the ranks is a good first step.


I think they should retire all the old Archbishops and Bishops who were complicit in these crimes. They should also stop sending their so called “Princes of the Church” who have covered up crimes to luxurious palaces like they did with Bernard Law, the infamous Cardinal here in Boston.
They should also so moralizing on issues like same-sex marriage, abortion, family planning and their disdain for the use of condoms to prevent AIDS. The Church in Rome is rotten at the core; however, the faith of most Catholics remains intact. We just don’t donate so much money to the fatcats.


Close the Vatican and allow this ‘interpretation’ of religion die.Too much damage has been done…


The Church must recognize that adult human beings have adult needs which will be fulfilled one way or the other. The Sanctioning of adult relationships by the church will not end the problem of child molestation and abuse; but, the magnitude of the problem will decrease so that the Child molesters and abusers can be weeded out, into jail, without having to gut the whole Catholic Church. Perhaps the Catholic Church itself will have to be taken to trial before they relent on this failed policy.


All Priests, Bishops, Cardinals and everyone engaged in such a horrible, evil crimes and cover-ups should be prosecuted immediately.

The Catholic Church continues to be in denial and it is not taking full responsibility for these crimes committed against innocent children all around the world. I am a believer but I have been away from the Church because I cannot get over of their cover-ups and lack of actions against these criminals. It is unacceptable that our Church has not taking responsibility and action yet. There should be zero tolerance with these criminals that abuse their power.

As a Catholic, I am embarrassed, angry and deeply sadden by these behaviors and known crimes. I am so sorry for all of those children that were abused and for their families. To me this is the worst crime anyone can commit. My heart goes out to them.

I hope that some day these evil people get the punishment they deserved.


I believe that every priest/nun should be removed from priesthood and be prosecuted and punished by civilian law. People who think that if allowing them to marry will stop this problem is kidding themselves. They should be in jail for the things they are doing and have done to these innocent children. People who put there faith and children in their hands need justice brought to them. The church protest against abortion a woman’s right to chose but they will put up with abusing children sexually isn’t there something wrong with that. Saying that this is a recent issue is denial and needs to be resolved. I do believe in forgiveness but they can ask for theirs from jail where they belong. This way any child that goes to church won’t have to worry if they are going to be next.


The horror continues..First of all homosexuality does not equal a pedophile and it’s ignorant to assume so. Rape is an issue of power. What is it within the church that creates powerless priests? If marriage was all it took then why not take all the pedophiles in public life and just find them a wife?? Illogical. The only way that the RC church will clean itself up – the only way is to stop the flow of money. For every Catholic who is horrified that their church, not the bishop’s church, not the pope’s church but their church, has continued to resist true repentance is to stop walking through the door. The RC Church is not only a place of deep spirituality for many people but it is also an organization that requires your money to keep it’s doors open. Many have left in disgust, but most stay and choose to believe that it’s getting better. The RC church is broken. This is not a simple matter of someone stealing a fee dollars from the offering plate, this is widespread child abuse. The question Catholics have to ask themselves is why would you attend any organization that covers up this abuse. And matter of fact, all those Godly and devoted Priests who have caused no harm should be leading the charge to walk out the door and say NO MORE – we will not support a church that continues to avoid disclosure. Whithout confession there can be no repentance. Atleast that was I was taught as a Catholic. Never again will I support this organization.




The Catholic Church should have dealt with this systemic issue when it was revealed in the USA. This is not a USA problem, or an Ireland problem…it is a Catholic problem. The Church at Rome is RESISTING cleaning itself up. They should clean up this problem globally. They are forcing secular justice systems to interven and itgiving up their moral authority! How foolish! If women were giving their rightful place in the Catholic Clergy, wisdom and justice could prevail. Marriage rights for priests is not the answer, female leadership is the answer.


Admit the truth regarding abuses, remove suspected cleargy from further contact with children, don’t protect offending cleargy from criminal courts, pay restitution to those whowere abused – nothing can make undone what has been done, but stating the truth, justice, and money can help people start to heal.


What the Church needs is a few good whore houses where the sexuality of
the clergy can be explored. Let them have sex with women not with children.


I believe that if a Bishop, minister, whoever in the church abuses/takes advantage of children, ought to be kicked out of their positions. Child abuse is evil and not of God.


The Catholic Church has a long history of repositioning priests who are know child abusers. There is no remedy for the throngs of Child loving pedophiles priests except to be expelled for the Catholic Church. Yet, the Church provides them full support and grants them forgiveness. It is time for the Church to live up to its own standards by removing all known
abusers from the ranks of the Church. Unless the real truth is that the whole church is actually a club of pedophiles who offer each other support and protection. Perhaps that is why the church has not cleaned
up its act.


Allow the clergy to marry, and it will eliminate all these problems!




I believe that every artifact that is under ownership by the Catholic church should be auctioned off. Additionaly, all properities should be sold globally. Proceeds should be distributed equally among all victims. Then all fo the priests, bishops, cardinals, and even the Pope should be tried as sex criminals or as accomplises to the heinous crimes. They should all recieve the maximum sentence allowed by law. Then the Catholic religion should be disbanded globally, and demonized as one of the worst organizations every perpetrated on mankind. They are a completely evil organization. They have an incredible criminal record throughout history.
If there enough odf the bastards convicted, they should be banished to the most deserted island this world has.


There isn’t a silver bullet solution to this problem, but I do have two radical solutions to this problem. The solutions are 1) allow priests to marry and 2) allow homosexuals or closet homosexual priests to come out of the closet. If the Catholic Church claims to be the Universal Church maybe the Catholic Church should start setting an example by 1) stop fighting human nature and 2) start being a human, accepting or tolerant institution than the artificial power hungry institution it has been for hundreds of years. Clearly the Catholic Church should be reformed, maybe we should go back to basics and bring the Church back to when priests were allowed to marry.


Every single person – from the highest to the lowest – who knew of abuse should be removed from the priesthood, or as a nun, and excised from the church, for starters. Every single one! Then the folks who are left, who have clean hands, should figure out how to make proper penance and apologies.


1st of all, to insure the Catholic Church feels the full impact, I believe a minimum of One Million dollars be paid to each of these poor victims who were further abused by utter disregard or justice all their lives, or to their surviving family members. I lived at a Catholic Orphanage at age 11 in Torrington Wyoming (St. Joseph’s orphanage) back in the 60’s. I still remember the sexual abuse upon the boy’s my age & younger, at the hands of Father Etchingham, and one of the very abusive Nun’s there. My brother was older than me and fought back. I know the torture that comes from years of silent suffering. I’ve never fought back for myself, but seeing the pain in these dear peoples eyes brings the pain back again. I truly doubt this self imposed monitoring system will work. Pedifiles will always find a way to get what they want, even if it is by instilling even greater fear & terror in the minds of their small victims, than ever before, to make even more certain the children dare not speak. So, please take responsibility, pay until it hurts to the core of the Catholic Foundation, to the point you “MAKE CERTAIN” you can “LITERALLY NOT AFFORD” to allow even one more abuse case. Please! I beg of you, in the Name of Jesus. My big brother grew up to be a drug addict and alcoholic with 2 failed marriages, full of anger. As much as I wanted to get married and have children, I have never been able to get married. Something died in me all those years ago. I seek nothing for myself, but I do for all of these dear souls. Thank you so much for listening. Terry


The distinction between a victim’s gender and a perpetrator’s sexual orientation is important because many child molesters don’t really have an adult sexual orientation. They have never developed the capacity for mature sexual relationships with other adults, either men or women. Instead, their sexual attractions focus on children – boys, girls, or children of both sexes.


Celibacy is not the problem. To think one can’t control one’s libido brings us down to the level of rutting animals. I’m celibate…not a priest…just an average man…and have been for many years. Once I marry, I’ll enjoy a sex life with my wife.

I’m also tired of ALL priests having to take a hit for the small number that are vile abusers. In the U.S.A., there are more female teachers who have had sex with their students than priests involved in the scandal and easily just as many Protestant ministers involved in sex scandals. Reports about them are found deep in the paper rather than on the front page. People just love to rip the Catholic Church, so their scandals are displayed more prominently. I think ALL of these scandals need to be front page news. Expose all abusers, including teachers and Protestants and Jews. What’s that saying about light being an effective disinfectant?


celibacy does not a pedophile make,therefore marriage is not a solution,unless the children of that marriage are to be abused.Those men in the priesthood had that tendency prior to becoming priests that is why some sought the priesthood in the first place.Remember there is no cure,the solution has to be found in safeguards in other ways,and certainly not to permit for those criminals to remain in the church.Excomunicate!


The proper terminology needs to be used. Those who were are abused are victims, not survivors. Survivors are those who come out of a life-threatening situation (natural disaster, serious wound, physical beating, and so on). I in no way am attempting to minimize the abuse. It is horrible. Homosexuals should never have been allowed into the clergy. They need to be flushed out now, and “lavender seminaries” need to be cleaned out or closed. Fortunately, these old unholy men are dying out and retiring. I am very pleased with the new generation of seminarians, sick of what’s taken place over decades and aspiring to holy life and orthodoxy.


Now let me understand this. Just allow priest to marry and child molestation will be gone. What a novel thought. Why hasn’t civilization realized before that in order to stop anyone from molesting children, all you have to do is make sure that they can marry. What rubbish!! The papal authority (ie the money) has to be brought to it’s knees. The church has always known what it’s agents were doing. And it has condoned it. Its not just Ireland or the USA or Mexico or etc etc, its everywhere. The church has prospered at the expense of its captive and has turned a blind eye to the suffering of children everywhere.


A crime was against a child committed. As such, they need to be punished to the ullest extent of the law and be required to be monitored and therapy for the rest of their lives


Thank you for your broadcast of the Catholic Church problem in Ireland. We have seen the same problem throughout the US and suspect it is a problem in other countries also, but not yet made public. I suggest the problem has it’s basis in the church requirement that priests be celibate, an unnatural condition. Most priests are able to stifle or otherwise manage their sexual urges. For some the urge is too great and they turn for sexual outlet to children because they, more than an adult partner, can be controlled and persuaded to keep secret their sexual activity.
The solution to the problem is simple; The Church should make celibacy optional.


Educate married and single mature persons to be clergy, have congregations vote in who their pastor is to be – and not least – have families teach their children that clergy (of any religion)are ordinary human beings with no more character or wisdom than anyone else. Someone put on a pedestal and revered can easily abuse that position (that’s not just true of clergy of course). Since ancient times,shamans, priests, mullahs, buddhas,rabbis, or whatever else they were called, have had a large role in daily human lives and used that position for the common good -or not.


Christianity is dying out in Western Europe. It may persist a few centuries more in North America, and then it will go the way of witchcraft overcome by sex and gender issues as well as science. No priests died during the Irish potato faminine – wonder why? Must have been part of the ruling class as it is in Boston today.


1. The criminals must be rooted out and punished, both priests, nuns, and hierarcy that allowed it to continue.
2. Reparations must be made to the victims.
3. Abolish celibacy and allow priests and nuns to be normal.


When Rome and the international media treated the American abuse scandals and disclosures as a problem supposedly respecting national borders, it struck me as utterly absurd…if the problem existed here in such large numbers, despite an growing emphasis during the last 40 yrs on protecting children from sexual predators, then it stood to reason it existed wherever the church was, and likely in even larger numbers. I found it impossible to justify the lack of action by the leaders of my faith, to my children questioning the legitimacy of the church, based on the revelations. To address the international problem piecemeal just prolongs the credibility issues, and damages the church more deeply.


John & wife a Catholic say: Why is sexual abuse & especially paedophilia so prevalent in the Roman Catholic Church & NOT in it’s sister Eastern Orthodox and Protestant denominations? Jesus himself appointed married men (Peter & Andrew among others). Up to approx 1000a.d it was o.k, then the Church changed it because of money issues. Let’s make celibacy optional & also allow woman to be priests. Civilian authorities MUST be notified & also investigate.


The Catholic Church has an obligation to it’s lay members to protect ALL members of the Catholic Church, especially male and female children and young adults from sexual and any other abuse from priest, bishops or any other higher ups. How arrogant and devoid of ethics, negating the teachings of Jesus to refuse to resign, to have even fathomed the thought of doing what they did. But resigning is not enough, the Catholic Church, worldwide, needs to release the names, countries, locations of each and every abuser. It does little good to unleash these pedophiles out into the community. How sinful is the Church Officials to have protected and continue to protect these abusing/pedophile clergy for so long and even now. As a Catholic I am ashamed of the Catholic Church and its human leaders. What would Jesus do? He drove moneychangers out of the temple, what would he do with these priests and other clergy who protect them?


Since the Bible has been left out of this discussion, it’s interesting to learn what it has to say on this topic. Here are two verses from 1 Timothy 3:2 and 4:1-3 “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;” “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” I think that says it all.


Of course the clergy must be allowed to marry. In my own experience RC priests and teaching Brothers are uninformed and undeveloped in their sexuality. But even more important, in the short term, would be to overturn the deal the Church made last November with the Irish gov. and release the identities of all the perpetrators. This would open them up individually AND collectively to lawsuits . i think this would have an effect of perhaps making sure the memories of the hierarchy concerning their horrors remained sharp.


Educate people who are involved to know how to report sexual abuse. Remove the people responsible.


This practice of child abuse is systemic in the catholic priesthood. Higher ups in the church like the bishops, cardinals and popes have been guilty of this repulsive behavior but as they move up in the church they have less and less contact with the average church goers. This account for the unwillingness to investigate, prosecute and discontinue the practise. These dirty men hiding behind “guided by God and Holy spirit” assisted by the shame of parishoners to come forward has been the tragedy of this ungodly behavior. As long as people see these men as doing the work of Jesus in the name of God this will never cease.


The church needs to force out all the priests and any other members of the church who have abused and sexually abused children and put them in jail. Its time for the church to stop protecting these predators. They should also pay each victim $10,000,000 minimum. That should help defray the medical bills of all the PTSD and other psychological or physical abuse the victims were forced into.


The Catholic Church must allow priests to marry and allow women to be priests.


Let them get married and/or be openly gay if they wish


Those who abuse children must face charges; however, sentencing abusers to x-number of years in prison will not heal the predator nor the victims. Also, the Church itself must realize that it encourages abuse by mandatory celibacy (which arises out of its historical fear — even hatred — of women); by its own sense of power that God has given the hierarchy power over the “rest of us,” especially women and children (a sense of power comes from hubris; there’s nothing holy or sacred about it); it teaches that sex itself is sinful (and women are to blame for men being attracted to it), making sex the irresistible forbidden pleasure. Thomas Aquinas taught that masturbation was a worse sin than rape because rape was “natural” and masturbation “unnatural.” So what’s a hormone-ridden priest to do?


Ban men from the priesthood.


If there really was a god, wouldn’t this be the perfect opportunity for him to punish these vile offenders himself?


Yes, Michael you are right! Priest should be allowed to marry. Marriage does not always prevents abuse, but it is the natural and right. Men and women who serve GOD need the support that a family can give.


First, any clergy who abused or knew of the abuse must resign or be forced out. Only then, can we begin to heal as a church. As a former church-attending Catholic, I will not go to church or support the church until we begin to acknowledge the horrible crimes and cover-ups. We must be vigilant and systematic in our punishment of the guilty. Second, we must establish clear guidelines for all reporting and not be afraid of exposing the truth. Our church must model what it preaches to its followers.


Allow the clergy to marry.


I must make a retraction, it wasnt 300 papers , it was 100 papers. but if you want more incidents , I would very much oblige you!


Here we go again?? First thing out of bishops mouth on abuse of children? “NO RESIGNATIONS”Just like America,NO PUNISHMENT, just promotions!The Pope must Remove evil
from Roman Catholicism


Zero tolerance is not enough! I would like an apology from abusive nuns! I would like an apology from the Sisters of St. Joseph for the way I and other students were treated.. 300 papers I had to write in the first grade for talking in church during stations of the cross..300 papers for an 8 year old boy, not to mention 3 hard blows just below the rear end and just above the knees.. Ithink shes still alive and I would love to confront her!


These and many other abuses have gone on for years and will continue until Catholics take charge of their own church. The church does not belong to the clergy; it belongs to the faithful.


Priests are not GOD, however, they should wear a veil of Christ-like behaviour. Abusing children is NOT Christ-like. All sexual predators should be judged in a court and, hopefully, sent to jail for the rest of their lives. God has a special place waiting for them after that.


Priests are not GOD, however, they should wear a veil of Christ-like behaviour. Abusing children is NOT Christ-like. All sexual preditors should be judged in a court and, hopefully, sent to jail for the rest of their lives. God has a special place waiting for them after that.


Allow priests to marry which would put an end to celibacy. I believe that this would be one of many steps to stop the abuse. Allowing marriage would also open the job up to more people and increase interest in the job, let alone bring more family oriented leaders into the church as role models.


I firmly believe, that when these atrocoties are discovered, that the Perpetrators should not be given the choice of whether or not to resign, they should be made to, and then dealt with as a child molester by the Law.


I was a practicing Catholic for 50 years. I sent all my children to Catholic school. Because of this tragic abuse and the way the church has reacted, I am no longer a practicing Catholic. It is high time for married and women priests. This would be a step in the right direction.


These people should be tried, arrested and jailed under the law, like any civilian child abuser and/or rapist accused of such crimes. Why is this even under question? Why should the so-called church have ANY say in this matter? (and god help them once they’re locked up…)


I’m Catholic. Only way to stop sexual abusesin the Catholic church is to allow Priests/leaders to marry, as they did in Christ’s time


I am a practicing Catholic. Today i cry for the children. All priests and BISHOPS and CARDINALS responsible for this horrible abuse should be arrested and jailed before they can touch another innocent child.


for all those who abuse children
make them EUNUCHS to teach others
not to do it


Let the chips fall where they may….fire, try and if convicted, jail all priests and BISHOPS and CARDINALS responsible for this horrible abuse. End this historic violence and abrogation of church responsibility to the helpless.


I was abused by both Irish Catholic priests, and by so-called Irish “Christian Brothers” (an institution neither Christian nor fraternal).

Don’t give me mealy-mouthed, self serving crap about “forgiveness”, “reconciliation” or other get out of jail free sentiments. Give me justice – let each and every one of those abusing scum die, in agony, in prison.

This is no less than they deserve.


I have heard from many churches’ sermons and teachings that God the Holy Spirit is a gift to those who accept God the Son Jesus as Savior and become the children of God for the Spirit to guide God’s children to do the right things. Therefore, the clergy love, NOT abuse children. Please do NOT believe in rumors and hearsays about the clergy who are in fact rightly guided by God the Holy Spirit. Amen!

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