Pharyngula

Father Ted, they weren’t

Grim tales are emerging from an investigation of the Irish Catholic Church. For years, they’ve been running reform schools which sound more like hellish work camps, where sadistic priests were given free rein. I found it ironic that some of these workhouses were used to make religious paraphernalia, like rosaries, that were sold to the faithful. I wonder how many hail marys have been said on beads assembled by child-slaves who were raped or beaten as a reward? It does add a rather sinister gloss to Catholic prayers.

A quick summary of the findings:

  • a history of official cover-ups of pedophiles within the church since the 1930s.

  • a pattern of beatings, abuse, and molestation in church-run workhouses.

  • molestation and rape were “endemic” at the boys’ workhouses.

  • ritualized beatings and personal abuse and denigration.

  • kids were falsely told that their parents or siblings were dead.

  • a continuing insistence on protecting the child molesters in their ranks.

  • whistleblowers were accused of being “money-seeking liars”.

  • the Irish government cut a deal with the Catholic church to cap their losses to lawsuits at $175 million…which is only a tiny part of the full cost.

Many of the perpetrators of abuse are now elderly and in retirement…no doubt in homes that are run with more care and concern than they gave. The institutions are dying out as the priests age, and a good thing, too.

Can we stop equating religion and morality now? They never seem to have much to do with one another.