Thursday, July 19, 2018

Forgiveness of Clerical Child Abusers? Response by former victim Santiago Cruz

Sister Camille D'Arienzo

[ Sister Camille D'Arienzo is a Sister of Mercy in the United States (Mid-Atlantic Community). I am quite hostile to the Sisters of Mercy in Ireland, due to their habit of apologising to those who make false accusations of child abuse and paying them large sums of money in an attempt to "heal their pain"! I have written about that HERE. However Sister Camille wrote a very interesting article in (the Jesuit) America Magazine in August 2008 entitled "Mercy Toward Our Fathers: Difficult as it may be, forgiving priests guilty of abuse could be the key to healing". It attracted an even more remarkable response from Santiago Cruz, a man who had himself been the victim such abuse. ]

The following is a comment by Santiago Cruz – once a victim of sexual assault – following an article in ‘AMERICA’ August 18-25, 2008 on the subject of Forgiveness of Clerical Child Abusers

I was a victim of sexual assault. I use the word “was” because I remained a victim until I forgave my abuser and moved on with my life, a process that concluded some years ago. Having said that, I want to comment on Mercy Toward Our Fathers” by Sister Camille D’Arienzo, and on some of what has been posted here in the aftermath of this excellent article.

As a Catholic and sexual abuse “survivor,” I watched with much concern as the priesthood scandal unfolded in 2002.1 was riveted to the story of one of the victims, a middle -aged man who angrily revealed in front of TV cameras the harm done to him some thirty years ago. I listened as this man blamed everything that had ever gone wrong in his life on the priest who took advantage of him. I listened as his lawyer held press conferences describing why his scores of clients each deserved enhanced settlements from the Church (minus a 40 percent contingency fee, of course). Six years went by, and I recently listened again as the same man addressed a meeting of Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) saying the very same things he said six years ago. The only addition – a six-figure settlement and a personal meeting with the Holy Father notwithstanding – was a claim that the Church has not done enough to ease his suffering or to respond to the crisis.

I listened as someone in these pages equated such suffering with the horrors of the Holocaust. I have listened enough. I will not hear another word from these so-called survivors and groups like VOTF that seem intent upon enabling them to never move on. I have heard enough.

It was the comparison with the Holocaust that has driven me over the edge. I have never before heard such narcissistic, self-serving, irresponsible rhetoric, and I will not hear any more of it. It offends every part of me, but it especially offends that part of me that worked so hard to recover from sexual victimization. Enough is enough. The sexual abuse of minors has been an epidemic in our society, and we have found a convenient scapegoat in the small percentage of priests who offended and in a Church that failed to act in 1975 as it would in 2005. There will not be true justice for victims until we move beyond the false notion that the Church and priesthood have been a special locus of sexual abuse, a myth that has benefited no one but personal injury lawyers and THEIR enablers in SNAP and VOTF.  [SNAP = "Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests"]

There will not be justice for victims until every institution in our culture embraces the transparency that has been embraced by the Catholic Church. Where is the public release of documents about accused clergy from other denominations? Why are public schools shielded from civil liability for abuse? Most alarming of all is the rhetoric about the so-called “cycle of abuse.” Why did Congressman Foley get to shift blame for his own misconduct on the priest he claimed abused him? The so-called cycle of victim-hood is such a convenient phenomenon. If it is true, then who is keeping an eye on the hundreds of middle-aged men who have received windfall financial settlements claiming abuse by priests in their childhoods?

As long as we allow VOTF, SNAP and others with an agenda to keep us bound up in the cycle of blame and vilification and loathing, there can be no healing for the victims, for the Church, for anyone. It is time for some of the so-called victim advocates in this picture to recognize that they are doing far more harm than good. I applaud Sister D’Arienzo for having the courage to write so openly against a seeming tidal wave of angry, unproductive rhetoric. Arguing for anything less than forgiveness and healing is to perpetrate and perpetuate abuse. It is time to turn off the TV cameras, send the lawyers packing, stop vilifying the new class of lepers we have created among the accused in our Church, and act like the Catholic Christians most of us strive to be. 
Santiago Cruz 
Santiago Cruz writes from Los Angeles

There was a follow-up Comment in  America Magazine in November 2008 by Ryan A. MacDonald

Re: Mercy toward our Fathers (Sr. Camille D'Arienzo, America 8/18) 

After reading Sr. Camille's wonderful article, I followed the comments here with some agreement, but much concern for the tone of most. How interesting that the view of Santiago Cruz seemed to be the final word. Well, I want to echo the thoughts of Mr. Cruz. He wrote what I believe many Catholics have thought and felt for some time, but have been hesitant to write for fear of being demonized by SNAP, VOTF and other "advocates."

 I agree with Mr. Cruz that real advocacy would lead victims to survive their victim-hood, not to wallow in it, profit from it, engage in smear campaigns because of it. I do not blame the victims of clergy sexual abuse for being hurt and angry, but no one should be more alarmed, insulted, and dispirited by false claims than real victims of sexual abuse. I believe that many of those who have used the current climate to demand financial settlements with no offer of proof are victims of nothing more than their own greed and lack of morally guiding principles. 

Santiago Cruz is right. Why is the victim of a priest so much more harmed than the victim of a teacher or coach, or minister? Yet teachers and school systems - which have been proven to have exponentially greater incidences of abuse - are exempt from litigation and vicarious responsibility. Why are SNAP and VOTF okay with that? The fact that they seem to have nothing to say about it is evidence that they are merely using The Scandal for some other agenda that has nothing to do with protecting children.

 I recently read that SNAP called a press conference from the office of a contingency lawyer to announce a lawsuit against the Jesuits because of the alleged behavior of a now elderly priest over 40 years ago. No one can prove or disprove such a claim, but the smear campaign and bullying into a lucrative settlement are already well underway.

 It is time for SNAP and VOTF to fold up and go away. They have done far more harm than good to real victims of abuse like Santiago Cruz. I thank him for opening my eyes to this. The only way VOTF can survive and serve our Church is to publicly denounce SNAP, its tactics, and its open promotion of contingency lawyers' goal to bankrupt Catholic institutions and then move on to some other trough. 

The abuse scandal is over. What we are seeing now is the abuse of the abuse scandal, and some rather shameless profiteering by what has become a gang of thugs masked as advocates. It's time for the Church's leaders to be shepherds again, and not sheep to be fleeced. It is time for them to stop throwing their priests to the litigious wolves. Greed ranks right up there with lust among the Seven Deadly Sins.

 Ryan A. MacDonald 

by Ryan A. MacDonald on November 22, 2008 at 10:31 PM 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Eight Falsely Accused Bishops (and Archbishops) in Ireland

Archbishop John Charles McQuaid (slandered by Dr Noel Browne and John Cooney)

Cardinal Archbishop Cahal Daly (slandered by Deputy Pat Rabbitte)


This article started as an "open letter" to several Irish historians on 7 December 2006, with a follow-up 10 days later. Both were published at the time by the "Alliance Victim Support Group" on its website I think that the Group which was founded in 1999, disbanded recently and there is just a skeletal website remaining. The first two letters refer to false allegations against six Irish Bishops - including two Archbishops (John Charles McQuaid of Dublin and Cahal Daly of Armagh - pictured above). In June 2008 I forwarded copies of the two to Brenda Power of the Sunday Times in response to an article she had written concerning the effects of false allegations of sexual assault. By this time there had been an additional allegation against a former Archbishop i.e. Thomas Morris of Cashel and I also recalled that Mary Raftery had slandered the former Bishop of Ossary, Peter Birch. Bishop Birch had been widely admired for his work among the poor by many people - including by my own mentor Brother Maurice Kirk.

All of the falsely accused Bishops were extremely high-profile - including three Archbishops. There are only four Archdioceses in Ireland and I have joked over the years that an Archbishop of Tuam - either current or deceased - is obviously next on our anti-clerics hit-list. Actually it has already occurred - but more on this later!

EIGHT Falsely Accused Bishops 

Monday, 23 June, 2008
From: "Rory Connor"
To: Brenda Power, Sunday Times

Brenda Power
The Sunday Times 
Regarding your article "It's the Innocent who Merit an Explanation"
you may like to look at the following two articles which have appeared on the website.

The letters were originally addressed to a number of Irish Historians - and cced to Colm O'Gorman of the "victims" group One in Four for obvious reasons.

A total of 8 Bishops have been falsely accused of sex offences in Ireland - including 3 Archbishops. There are only 26 full Bishops in the country including 4 Archbishops so the Archbishop of Tuam is presumably next on our liberals hit list!

The following articles dated December 2006 relate to 6 Bishops. There has been one subsequent case - the late Archbishop Thomas Morris of Cashel [1] and incredibly I had overlooked one case - that of the late Bishop Peter Birch of Ossory (Kilkenny) [2].

Finally the hysteria about sex crimes is not indiscriminate or at least it didn't begin that way. It was first directed at the Catholic Church and then spread to the rest of society. To counter it you need to start with the obscene lies directed at Churchmen.


Rory Connor

[1] See "Archbishop Thomas Morris and Oliver O'Grady" on on 17 January 2007.
Relevant Link: Archbishop Thomas Morris and Oliver O'Grady

[2] Included in the article "Vincent Browne, Mary Raftery and Sister Conception" on on 21 July 2006.
Relevant Link Bishop Birch and Mary Raftery

Originally SIX Falsely Accused Bishops

Ladies, Gentlemen and Scholars,
The following article concerns false sex allegations directed against 6 Irish Bishops between 1994 and 2006. This represents nearly a quarter of the Irish Hierarchy (shades of "One in Four"!).

Can we expect Colm O'Gorman, the founder of "One in Four" to comment? After all people who make false allegations of child abuse are trading on the misery of those who were REALLY abused. When our current Witch-hunt eventually comes to an end, children who are true victims of child abuse will find it difficult to get a hearing.

Cynicism is the legacy of Hysteria and Cynicism will be the ultimate legacy of our Irish Salem.


Rory Connor 
7 December 2006


In the 12 years since 1994, a total of six Irish bishops have been the target of false sex allegations in the media. The majority of the allegations relate to claims that the bishop was a paedophile, one to a different sex claim and one to a charge of trying to prevent the extradition of the paedophile priest Father Brendan Smyth.

There are only 26 bishops in the whole of Ireland.

My articles on the allegations are published on the website between June and November 2006. 29 September 2006

Relevant Link: The Guardian and Bishop Magee

On 2 April 1994, The Guardian, which is Britain's most distinguished "liberal" newspaper, published an allegation that a senior Irish Bishop was linked to a paedophile ring. 

The Guardian thought that, by not naming the bishop they could get away with their lies. However there are only 26 bishops on the whole of Ireland and the newspaper report contained certain remarks that reduced the number of possible targets still further. The Irish Hierarchy threatened a class libel suit and the Guardian were forced to apologise.

On 22 April 1994, the Irish Times which is the Irish equivalent of the Guardian, published a report that contains little more than the text of their sister paper's apology. However the more down-market Sunday Independent published a detailed report into the background of the libel. Independent journalist Sam Smyth pointed out that this claim had been previously investigated by a number of British TABLOIDS which rejected it as false! Yet the Guardian went ahead and published anyway!

The following summary comes from Richard Websters article "States of Fear, The Redress Board and Ireland's Folly" on the website 

(My own longer article "FALSE ALLEGATIONS: PAT RABBITTE AND CARDINAL CATHAL DALY" is on in October 2006.)
Relevant Link: Pat Rabbitte and Cardinal Cahal Daly 

"The beginnings of the story go back to 1994 when the authorities in Northern Ireland sought the extradition from the Republic of Father Brendan Smyth, a Catholic priest who was facing a number of counts of child sexual abuse to which he would eventually plead guilty. It would appear that he had previously been protected against allegations by his own Norbertine order, which had moved him from parish to parish as complaints arose, and failed to alert the police.

 Perhaps because of the age of the allegations, which went back twenty years, there was a delay of several months during which the Irish attorney general took no action in relation to the extradition request. Unfounded reports began to circulate in Dublin that the process was being deliberately delayed in response to a request made at the highest level by the Catholic Church. An Irish opposition deputy, Pat Rabbitte, then referred in parliament to the possible existence of a document that would ‘rock the foundations of this society to its very roots’. He apparently had in mind the rumoured existence of a letter written by the Primate of All Ireland, Cardinal Cathal Daly, to the attorney general in Dublin. In this letter the Cardinal had supposedly interceded on behalf of Father Brendan Smyth and requested the delay in his extradition which had in fact taken place.

No evidence has been produced that any such letter ever existed. Yet, as a direct result of the rumours which now swept the country, confidence in the ruling establishment was undermined and the Fianna Fail government of Albert Reynolds fell, amidst talk of a dark conspiracy involving politicians, members of Opus Dei, the Knights of Columbus and others. This conspiracy was allegedly seeking to cover up the activities of paedophile priests."

Relevant Link: Bishop Comiskey and Gay Byrne

The following is from a sneering article by Declan Lynch in the Sunday Independent on 8 October 1995. It is headed "Gaybo Speaks and the Catholic Faithful Tremble":

"I personally would rate myself a friend and admirer of Brendan Comiskey [said Gay Byrne on his radio programme], and indeed I was looking for him on the telephone recently, and he didn't make contact with me which would have been kind of unusual, a little bit unusual.

"So much so that I don't believe now that Brendan Comiskey has gone to America because of stress, nor do I believe he's gone because of alcohol, nor do I believe he's gone because of his alleged protection of a priest who's up on charges.

"I think there is something other. I haven't the faintest idea of what it is, but I think there is something else, and I think it is something dreadful, and I.m almost afraid of what it might be. That's my personal reaction."

A second article in the same paper commented that "although the remarks appeared to be 'off the cuff' it is known that Gay scripts his shows with extreme care and attention."

[See article "Apology to Bishop of Cloyne, John Magee by TV3"  on on 27 Sept 2006]
Relevant Link: TV3 and Bishop Magee

The following is the text of TV3's apology for libelling Bishop Magee:


It was reported on the 15th September last in the news at 5.30pm, 7.00pm and 10.45pm that the Catholic Church had settled a case with a man who claimed that inappropriate behaviour took place in the Bishop of Cloyne's residence. We wish to unreservedly retract same as it is clear that no such claim was made by the man in question. We are satisfied that there was no basis or truth whatever in the allegations and any suggestion that the Bishop of Cloyne has been compromised in any manner in the conduct of his duties is sincerely regretted and entirely without foundation. We wish to offer an unreserved apology to the Bishop and to the Diocese of Cloyne.

The sincerity of TV3's repentance can be gauged from the fact that, one month later, in October 1999, they broadcast Louis Lentin's documentary "Our Boys". This contained an allegation by Gerry Kelly that he attended the funerals of boys in Artane who had been killed by the Christian Brothers. No boy died of any cause while Gerry Kelly was in Artane!

Relevant Links: Five Articles on John Cooney and John Charles McQuaid

I have published several articles on this subject on the Alliance website from July 2006 onwards. See in particular the 5 articles entitled "JOHN COONEY AND JOHN CHARLES MCQUAID" (1) to (5). The first article contains quotations from 4 Irish historians, all of whom agree that the allegations in Cooney's biography of John Charles are rubbish. Incredibly they also agree that its a great book - provided you disregard the "silly bits" about paedophilia!! 

The most outrageous claim in John Cooney's book "John Charles McQuaid - Ruler of Catholic Ireland" is that the Archbishop was a homosexual paedophile. However in my third article I refer to Cooney's other allegation that the Archbishop used an astronomical telescope to spy on courting couples on Killiney beach and on girls in a schoolyard. I point out some problems with these claims
(A) Killiney beach is not visible from the Archbishop's observatory
(B) Homosexual paedophiles do not normally display an interest in courting couples or females of any age (Actually the same applies to non-paedophile homosexuals!).
(C) An astronomical telescope is designed to view stars millions of miles away. It is not suitable for observing human beings a hundred yards away!

Dr Noel Browne is the source of the main allegation against the late Archbishop. See articles "DOCTOR NOEL BROWNE AND HIS ENEMIES" and "DOCTOR NOEL BROWNE AND THE BISHOPS" on the Alliance Support website.
Relevant Links: Noel Browne and His Enemies and Noel Browne and the Bishops

[see article "Eamonn Casey, the Bishop Still Seeking Sanctuary from His Past" on on 19 November 2006]
Relevant Link: Bishop Casey Accused

Bishop Eamonn Casey was recently accused by a middle aged woman who claimed that he had abused her 30 years ago. Thus we are clearly talking about an allegation of pedophilia. The claim was given huge publicity by the media which emphasised that the woman is regarded as mentally disturbed and has made unfounded allegations against other people. So why all the publicity since journalists obviously did not believe her?. If she had accused a retired headmaster or senior civil servant would her lies have been given equal prominence? The difference is that Eamonn Casey is a retired Bishop. The Rape Crisis Network also thought that this was a good opportunity to demand that he apologise again to Annie Murphy. 

What we have here is a society that is spewing on itself. The saga of false allegations against Bishops began in 1994 when the UK Guardian accused an un-named Bishop of being part of a paedophile ring. Later that year Pat Rabbitte  implied that Cardinal Cahal Daly was engaged in a conspiracy with the Attorney General to prevent the extradition of Father Brendan Smyth. In that year the false allegations were being made by the highest in the land. Now a poor deranged woman is repeating them. "A fish rots from the head" says the Russian proverb about the role of intellectuals in society. Now the rot has reached both tail and heart!

Rory Connor 
7 December 2006

'One in Four' Bishops - as per Colm O'Gorman!

Ladies, Gentlemen and Scholars,

A couple of objections to my article on "False Allegations against Irish Bishops" have come to my attention. [ on 9 Dec 2006]. The main objection is that I am overstating the significance of the number of false allegations. I claim - only partly with tongue in cheek - that the allegations against six Bishops amount to "One in Four" of the Irish Hierarchy (as per Colm O'Gorman and his group of that name).

FIRST OBJECTION.  You are referring to TWO different generations of Bishops. After all Archbishop McQuaid died in 1973 and Bishop Casey retired in 1992. Therefore the proportion of falsely accused Bishops is one in eight or ten rather than "One in Four". 

MY ANSWER. Yes but all of the allegations date from 1994 to date and these 12 years fit neatly into one generation. MOREOVER the usual explanations for making claims decades after the event, do not apply in these cases. The usual excuses are:

(A) I was traumatised by my experiences and only recovered recently, 
(B) Nobody would believe my word against that of a priest/Bishop.

Since we are talking about lies and slander these explanations are irrelevant. Thus the "One in Four" proportion is OK.

SECOND OBJECTION: There are 26 Irish dioceses but 33 Bishops - the other 7 are "Auxiliary Bishops". Again this means that you have exaggerated the proportion of those who have been falsely accused.

MY REPLY.  No Auxiliary Bishop has been falsely accused (as far as I know) and I think it unlikely that one will be in the future. Just look at the list of those who have been the target of obscene lies:
  • John Charles McQuaid was the best known Irish prelate of the 20th Century. He was Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland.
  • Cathal Daly was Cardinal Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland.
  • John Magee of Cloyne is the only man in the history of the Church to have been Private Secretary to three Popes (Paul VI, John Paul 1 and John Paul 11)
  • Bishops Eamonn Casey and Brendan Comiskey are very well known prelates who had frequent dealings with the media
  • I am reasonably sure I know the identity of the un-named Bishop who was accused by the UK Guardian in 1994. He is no "Auxiliary" either!
  • Our lying intellectuals tend to concentrate on the "big shots" in the Catholic Church and disdain mere Auxiliary Bishops.  Thus I think my "One in Four" proportion is still valid.
FINALLY I believe that the behaviour of our lying anti-clerics says a great deal about the nature of the paedophile problem in this country. Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that there is a major problem with paedophile clergy in the Catholic Church. Then over the last 50 years or so, you would expect that at least one Bishop would be identified as a paedophile. You would also expect that this man would be operating in a small diocese and that few people would have heard of him before the scandal. THAT is the way things work out in real life (as opposed to Salem Style Witch-hunts). And the reason things happen that way is that a man with severe moral and emotional problems is unlikely to be a high-flier in any profession. (Compare the unfortunate Judge Brian Curtin).

However that is NOT how things actually worked out. Ludicrous and lying allegations have been made against  a Cardinal Archbishop of Armagh, a  former Archbishop of Dublin who was a hate figure for "liberals" since the 1970s etc etc. 

Clearly we are not talking about real life but a parallel universe in which our anti-clerics draw their plots from Dallas and their morals from the Nazi pornographer Julius Streicher. 

Is it possible that I am overstating my case?

Best wishes, 

Rory Connor

[19 December 2006]

False Allegation against Former Archbishop(s) of Tuam

Over the years I have joked that  Irish "liberals" who slandered three of our four Archbishops, were bound to take aim at the Archbishop of Tuam. Actually it happened  a few years ago but I didn't fully appreciate its significance at the time. In June 2014 the Jesuit magazine "America" persuaded the Associated Press to issue an apology for claiming that the Catholic Church had refused to baptise the children of unmarried mothers at the mother and baby home in Tuam run by the Bon Secour nuns. Senior Editor Kevin Clarke wrote in "The Galway Horror Part II"
“Babies born inside the institutions were denied baptism and, if they died from the illness and disease rife in such facilities, also denied a Christian burial.” It is a sentence, unattributed to any source, which repeats—either word for word or in a close approximation—in hundreds of articles concerning the now infamous deaths and burials of hundreds of children in Tuam, Galway between 1925 and 1961. This appalling sacramental indifference is referenced in major U.S. and U.K. publications and cited in leading online opinion journals like Salon as more evidence of the cruelty of the Bon Secours sisters who ran the home and the Catholic Church in Ireland in general.

The text of the apology is as follows:
DUBLIN (AP) — In stories published June 3 and June 8 [2014] about young children buried in unmarked graves after dying at a former Irish orphanage for the children of unwed mothers, The Associated Press incorrectly reported that the children had not received Roman Catholic baptisms; documents show that many children at the orphanage were baptized. The AP also incorrectly reported that Catholic teaching at the time was to deny baptism and Christian burial to the children of unwed mothers; although that may have occurred in practice at times it was not church teaching. In addition, in the June 3 story, the AP quoted a researcher who said she believed that most of the remains of children who died there were interred in a disused septic tank; the researcher has since clarified that without excavation and forensic analysis it is impossible to know how many sets of remains the tank contains, if any. The June 3 story also contained an incorrect reference to the year that the orphanage opened; it was 1925, not 1926.

The journalists who published those lies were aiming at the Bon Secour nuns in particular and at the Catholic Church in general. However it is the clergy and not nuns, who would have made that decision and the local priest would certainly have referred an issue of such rarity and importance to his Bishop - or in this case to the Archbishop of Tuam.  According all four Irish Archbishops have now been subjected to obscene lies by our "liberal" media!

If our journalists - and politicians - were targeting Protestant Archbishops or the Chief Rabbi of Ireland with such lies, no one would be in any doubt as to their motivation!