‘The Devil works through children abused by priests’, former President Mary McAleese was told by senior Vatican officials.
In a new RTÉ documentary, Rome v Republic, which aired last night, former President McAleese says the then Vatican secretary of state Angelo Sodano, attempted in 2003 to secure an agreement with Ireland that it would not access church documents.
“I asked him why,” says Ms McAleese, “and it was very clear it was because he wanted to protect Vatican and diocesan archives. I have to say that I immediately said the conversation had to stop.”
Ms McAleese says the encounter with Cardinal Sodano left her ‘really quite shattered, that this was the number two (in the Vatican, after Pope John Paul II) in the church I belonged to’.
“There was nothing about him that was holy. There was nothing about him that was godly. There was nothing about him that was admirable. Everything about him I found horrifying.”
Rome v Republic is presented by Michael McDowell, and it traces the history of the Catholic Church in Ireland from the 18th century to the present day. McDowell was attorney general when Michael Woods, then minister for education, agreed the 2002 indemnity deal with 18 religious congregations which had run orphanages, reformatories and industrial schools. The deal saw the congregations pay €128 million in return for a State indemnity against all future legal actions by people who had been in institutions run by the Orders.
“The simple fact of the matter is that the result was that the State effectively signed a blank cheque which cost us €1.4 billion in the end, in exchange for a promise of a contribution of €128 million from the religious orders,” McDowell says.
17 years on, the 18 religious organisations have still not fulfilled the terms of the deal, and the terms of later offers made to the State. Of the €128 million the Orders agreed to pay, €4.21 million is still outstanding. Negotiations over the handover of remaining properties continue.
In the wake of the publication of the 2009 Ryan report, the18 congregations were called in by the then government and asked to increase their contributions to redress costs, the total cost of which came to €1.5 billion. Mr Justice Ryan had recommended the congregations pay half the cost of redress, with the taxpayer footing the rest.
The orders offered a further €352.61 million, and have so far paid (in cash and property) €103.17 million, or 29%.
Colm O’Gorman is founder and former director of the charity One In Four. He survived the most appalling clerical abuse, and he’s currently the executive director of Amnesty International Ireland.
“The original amount settled for was only 8.5% of the total costs of compensation process,” O’Gorman says. “And they haven’t even honoured it. It was agreed in 2002. 17 years later, €4.21m has yet to be paid.”
The redress scheme has cost Irish taxpayers €1.5 billion, with 15,579 people receiving an average of €62,250 each.
“Think about that for a moment,” says O’Gorman. “In our litigious, high award culture, victims of some of the most depraved acts of abuse, of torture and exploitation, received an average award of €62,250 each. What does that say about the attitude of both Church and State?”
Diarmuid Martin is the Catholic archbishop of Dublin, and he was singled out last year by Ian Elliott, former chief executive of the Irish Catholic Church’s National Board for Safeguarding Children. Elliott’s job had been to create child protection structures for the Catholic Church here, and he told The Irish Times he had experienced such resistance from bishops that he would not do the job over again.
Elliott said that of all of the Irish bishops, only one stood out as being genuinely committed to protecting children.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, that would be Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, because he had the courage of his convictions … I always felt he had the best interests of children and young people at heart and that he could not, in his conscience, come to terms with the fact that any member of the clergy could abuse a young person … he was outstanding.”
Diarmuid Martin is despised by the Irish Catholic conservatives, who perceive him as ‘liberal’. Martin features in McDowell’s documentary, and he says he knows of priests who abused so many children they could not be sure who they had, and had not, attacked.
“Still, cases come forward,” Martin says. “And my people will ask, for example, a priest if a new case comes up – one of these historical cases – does this name mean anything to you? Sometimes they say, ‘Yes, I abused that person’. Sometimes, and this is more worrying, ‘The name means nothing, but I can’t say. It could have happened.’ They don’t even know how many people they abused.
“Any organisation has to ask how it is, at a particular time, there was a large number of serial paedophiles. When I’m talking about serious paedophiles, we’re talking about hundreds.”
The claim by former President McAleese’s unnamed Vatican officials that ‘the Devil works through children abused by priests’, chimes with conversations I’ve had with defenders of the faith before, although those I’ve spoken with didn’t bother to outsource the blame to Satan, preferring instead to place the blame squarely and solely upon the victims. That speaks to me of a brand awareness on the part of Vatican officials, one perhaps not shared by their foot soldiers.
The current Pope is a big fan of the Devil – or at least he’s a big fan of talking about the Devil like he’s real. I wrote here before about Pope Francis’ spectacular rant in February about those who criticise the Catholic Church being ‘friends of the Devil’.
In that article, I mentioned that the Church has been harbouring child abusers since at least the 11th Century. In 1051, the Benedictine monk Saint Peter Damian, wrote Liber Gomorrihanus. In it, he railed against priests having sexual relationships with adolescent boys.
I mentioned too that Martin Luther in 1531 alleged Pope Leo X had vetoed a measure to limit the number of boys Cardinals could keep in servitude for the purpose of sexual abuse. Not that the Cardinals should not abuse those children, just that they should keep the numbers of children they abuse down to a modest few.
Colm O’Gorman says paedophilia has far deeper roots in Christianity than even the 11th century.
In an article in the Irish Independent, O’Gorman points out that the first laws to deal with sexual crimes perpetrated by priests were introduced in the fourth century, by the Council of Elvira.
If clerical child abuse dates back at least 1,700 years, then child abuse is the serpent coiled around the very roots of Christianity, and it’s not the suffering little children who are doing the work of the Devil.
Imagine the second in command saying that abused children were the Devil’s weapon against the church, clergy and bishops!
We know that abuse and its cover up is the complete fault of the clergy.
What kind of twisted organisation wants to turn innocent victims into devils?
The Irish religious orders should have been forced to pay ALL the costs of claims and compensations.
And if they dont pay their buildings and assets should be confiscated by the criminal assets bureau.
I do not understand how anyone with even a hint of a conscience can enter a Catholic church or support its evil in anyway.
Those who support the RC church are personally guilty of co-abuse!
77 replies on “THE DEVIL ATTACKS THE CHURCH THROUGH ABUSED CHILDREN!!!”
The hierarchy have covered up for molesters time and time again, shamelessly.
But McAleese has form. I think she has been called out on her account before, with photographs telling a different tale to her version!
She used to be very pro-Church, until she got the shock of her son. Then she turned very, very bitter.
Maybe she should have given her family some attention when they were small rather than swanning around thinking she was Queen Elizabeth and dragging the children’s father away from them and ’round the place with her – it mightn’t have come as such a shock then.
Can’t stand the know-all. Attention seeker. Think she’s a bit like Liam Neeson – not unaccustomed to a tall tale.
11 48: I agree with you. McAleese cultivated the Catholic vote like a professional and enjoyed every Catholic party and event that was offered to her. She had opportunity aplenty to criticise the church, to challenge it while President: she didn’t. Also, others who were present at that meeting with Sodano have different accounts. That information, if correct, should have been brought to the government of the day. Why didn’t she do that? Now she’s like a mongrel dog, insulting and bitung all before her, traipsing to every feminist forum sge can find, mouthing about issues that are if little concern to most people. I’ve long since lost my respect for her.
11:48 &9:39 ;
Don’t confuse the personal, professional and public re Mrs McAleese. How do you know who was at the meeting with Sodano and who said what?
Don’t understand your unclear comment. As regards the meeting with Sodano, this, or similar, has been stated by her before and contradicted by photographs and others present. I have read about this in articles numerous times but I didn’t make notes! Google it and you may find some info.
In general, I form an opinion on someone’s reliability by observing them over a period of time. My opinion on McAleese is not favourable. It’s mine, you can make one for yourself.
I am not a fan of McAleese. But why would she lie on this? I’m sure there were civil servants in the room?
Anon @11:48 & 9:39: While not deriding your views, just a few thoughts come to mind.
It has been said that many low down a hierarchy never know its full malaise until they get “to the top.” And then sometimes when at the top are restricted in creating change by a host of factors: personal timidity; comfortable enjoyment of position; or perhaps by the protocols and precedents of the position: a bit like Queen Elizabeth in England who is obliged to remain politically neutral.
I can’t comment on McAleese’s career or actions, so make no defence. But could her current views be seen as her own journey of understanding and the more welcome for that?
If McAleese has ‘form’ (whatever that means), then so do you: it’s your transparent antipathy towards the woman. Your opposition to her is driven by nothing more noble than personal dislike.
No true. I have personal info about her that informs my not been keen on her.
Yeah, right. I just woke up one morning and said to myself, ” Who will I take a personal dislike to today? I know, Mary McAleese! And I’ve just kept it up.”
I’m puzzled. The “demon working through kids” remark is NOT attributed to Sodano. Please reread the article. McAleese does attribute such remarks to senior churchmen but not to Sodano.
Well, SOMEthing on a particular day (perhaps even that morning you mention😆) drove you to antipathy of the woman.
And yes, you have kept it up, haven’t you?😆
You are right about Sodano. There is no mention in the article of his telling her that.
I think two separate stories are running here.
5:07 MC, did you watch the documentary? Both stories are mentioned by McAlesse in the doc.
You’re a good example of Samuel Johnson’s aphorism: ‘The Irish are a fair people. They never speak well of one another.’
I thought the point of this blog was that we were over undue deference. You appear to want it to continue as we all play “naice.”
This displays a twisted and deluded mindframe that the top of the church.
As for the property not being handed over – why not use compulsory order to seize property and offset the cost against the outstanding bill? Start by taking the best of property and see what they then offer.
Sadly nothing new here, denial, denial, denial, cover up, cover up, cover up do anything except face up to the problem and cut out the rot, defrock the offenders, cut off all financial support and report them to the authorities. Magna is right people are sheep and put up with it for years, ruled by their clerical masters.
Mischievous. Don’t believe everything you read from google!
What’s former Pope Benedicts reliability rating with you?
It’s not “from” Google – you just use it to find the original articles.
As regards Pope Benedict: my assessment is that he did more against child abusers as pope himself than he did as a secondary under JPII’s headship, and was MUCH stronger against offenders than Francis – who revoked/reduced penalties Benedict had imposed. HE was the one who commissioned the enquiry and dossier, which Francis stuck in the back of a cupboard somewhere.
If Pope Benedict had failings it doesn’t mean McAleese DOESN’T have failings. You appear peeved at any criticism of McAleese. Why?
Benedict thinks he is still pope, and the Bishop of Rome.
He’s sideling Francis in his attempt to govern from the wings.
Cardinal Sodano, Cardinal Ratzinger and Pope John Paul 2, knew more than most anyone else in the church or world, the extent of abuse and covering up. Financially, it’s costing the church billions. It is in the church’s interests to keep the archives under wraps. It goes with the territory of covering up. Why would McAlesse lie?
12:27; Yea…And don’t believe everything you read! 😜
Cardinal Ratzinger had to have known the extent of abuse and covering up, while head of the CDF.
I’m not a fan of McAlesse, but why would she lie? You seem peeved she let the catholic church down.
Cardinal Sodano referred to the abuse claims as “petty gossip”
12:27 Pope Benedict was MUCH stronger against ‘offenders’ than Francis.
To my mind it would be more appropriate for Popes’ to inform legal authorities in jurisdictions before they deal with the ‘offenders’ under canon law.
The rot started with VAT 2.
Why were priests abusing children then in the 40s and 50s?
I believe the Ryan Report covered a period of over sixty years, Bp Pat.
Ex student of deaf schools named in the Ryan reports, there were some Christian brothers abusing kids in late 1930 or later (1940’s) up to the early 80’s. There was one particular CB who joined on his first day right after the Eucharistic congress in 1932 if memory serves me correct. That CB went on to abusing nearly every deaf kid bed that he could find right (when he was fit) until to where he couldn’t do it all in 1970’s. So by then, was aging and getting older as he picked deaf kids at random that he liked. He was well over his seventies when i arrived. I found him drunk on some mornings in the school yard as his mouth reeked with smell of whisky. Didnt understand why until i saw him coming to our dorm when he liked to at nights and abusing deaf kids there in bed. I was shocked and naive at 12 & hadn’t a foggiest idea re sex. Then one deaf boy explained it to me re that CB and what does he do to boys in bed etc. That was the start of it and then some other CB started coming to our dorm as well. Even top superior knew all about him as he couldn’t dump him. That superior in question tried to dump in 1950s to Artane as it didn’t work out cos Artane boys did complain. Whereas in our case, we couldn’t complain and quiet cos if a boy name is known spilling beans then CB would ensure that boy gets beaten up. In the process i squealed and got beaten up. That’s the price that we had to pay. Many years later in far east, i met Irish pub owner who went to Artane as he recognized us through sign language cos our ex school was known to him. He told us that a particular CB abused boys in Artane. We were gobsmacked cos it was a lot earlier than 1960’s (50’s). Then it dawned on us that CB was reported by boys and he went sent back to our ex school cos we were too quiet and couldn’t go home for months. CB’s knew that for years re history of any CB as i would say it also applies to the Vatican as well. There was one Vincentian priest whom my mother told me to keep away from him. I just thought it was his drink problem. But it wasn’t until many years later that i found out that he abused some deaf girls in the confession box re their private parts. There was one other Vincentian priest whom i went to for confession. What i didnt knw was that priest spilled beans to a certain CB as he would know. For example, say i stole an apple and told that priest in confession box. That priest in turn told CB re me stole apple. Then one day CB said to me , you stole a apple is that right? i often wondered how the hell did he know that. Then one day, my ex class mate stole 50 pounds from a CB ‘s jacket as he old priest later. Three months later (reason why 3 months cos priest didn’t want boys to make a connection). CB told my ex class mate you stole my 50 pounds and beaten that boy up. He only told three of us re 50 pounds as we strenuously denied it. Then he did his own analysis how 50pounds had gotten out etc. Then he decided to see if that priest was telling etc. He told priest than he stole ten pounds without telling us. He caught that priest as he was going to beat him up but CB got the wind of it and moved that priest to deaf girls school. That priest never came back to our school cos we were waiting for him.
Never liked Mc Aleese cos of his other brother who is deaf as he is alive now. When Mc Aleese cousin worked in ex deaf school & saw abuses there. Then reported to mc aleese family as they took him out and moved him to Belfast and UK school for deaf. But they didn’t report the abuses to the authorities.
The rot has always been there.
Are you sure it started with Vat2? Perhaps victims of earlier priests merely had no forum to report to
9:41 : There was plenty of rot pre VAT 2. Silly…..😆
That’s why he instigated the investigation.
Nothing to do with the Catholic Church, McAleese suffers from post-adulation / fame syndrome. She’s had a taste of the limelight and can’t retire to the shadows. She made the mistake of thinking the honours were for her personally rather than the POSITION as President of a nation. She’ll just become sadder and sadder, shouting into the emptiness to get anyone to look at her.
1:42 : What investigation and when?
The one plonked on his desk just before he decided he couldn’t face it any more and resigned.
A bitter and twisted comment!
Sodano and most of the Curia are the problem; doesn’t mean McAleese isn’t telling porkies.
3:29 Cardinal Sodano et al in the Curia are the problem re covering up for what’s going/ gone on in the priesthood world wide. McAleeses comment is of little significance in that context. We know they’ve covered up. Ffs.
3:28: Was that investigation into child sexual abuse by clergy? Wasn’t it supposed to be
a report into widespread moral corruption and active homosexuality in the Vatican as well as other shenanigans such as the Vatican bank. etc.
2:34: That explains why the church in America has paid out billions in compo; ‘due to petty gossip. ‘
Agree. They are the ones who have covered up, but if I point out I wouldn’t go by what McAleese says then I’m free to do that.
It’s the McAleese groupies making an issue of it. It’s not an ‘either / or.’
You don’t think they are linked?!
Homosexuality, seminarian and young boy abuse, code of silence, undercurrent of blackmail.
Draw the Venn diagram. See the intersections.
9:41 If used as an excuse in a court of law- ‘What I did, Your Honour, was due to Vatican 2,’
the person would be laughed out of court. 😮
4:49 Who said you’re not free to do so? I didn’t know McAlesse has fans/groupies. Various Popes seem to have their groupies.
7:18 Well, where was he living and what was he doing for over 35 years or more.
He’s up to his neck in covering and doing little or nothing.
It’s not credible to claim otherwise, regardless.
It took him a long time to realise the overwhelming depth of the rot.
No argument with that. Inform police, certainly.
The comment was in reply to a specific question on my opinion of Pope Benedict, so I gave it.
Ah sure Pat it could hardly be the poor priests fault. The child led him astray.
That’s exactly what Sean Brady wss trying to determine with his lurid, intrusive questioning of two 14 year old boys about their experience of sexual abuse by Brendan Smyth.
Clerics, almost by nature, will blame anyone hut themselves for their criminality. And it goes on, even today.
Nobody said that I’m not free to do so, I was merely pointing out that that is my prerogative.
As to your awareness of groupies, well, sure, you can’t know everything.
7:32 Neither can you know everything.
Just as well I don’t claim to then.
The Roman Catholic Church’s bishops and priests have a heavy burden of responsibility and guilt for what has happened in our Church. it is a cliche we have heard so often, but it remains true: They were more interested in the reputation and standing of the Church and its clerics than they were in the wellbeing of the vulnerable, and went to extraordinary lengths to do this. Like Sodano trying to broker a deal to protect his archives and avoid the truth being known.
Just in the last few days, Pope Emeritus Benedict has issued a letter, that I suspect is a bit of an embarrassment for even a heavily incriminated Church, putting the responsibility for what has happened in the Church, and the criminal and abusive actions of priests and bishops, on the sexual revolution of the 1960s. + Georg really should have test read it before he was allowed to publish it !
Benedict’s letter, and all other attempts to divert blame and guilt, be it from Francis or anybody else, simply ignores the facts. Abuse has been perpetrated by bishops and priests, by their hands, by their actions, by their will and decision. The fault lies there, not with the Devil, not with gays, not with victims, not with the sexual revolution of the 1960s.
When will these people accept what has happened, accept that they are the cause and perpetrators in this abuse, and look to themselves for the reasons why it has happened. Let me give you a few, as a starter for ten – exceptionalism, entitlement, superiority, untouchable, unaccountable, special, clericalism … and so many more reasons. Our seminaries are still turning out priests with that frame of mind and attitude. That is where we need to start rooting out this evil so that it does not continue to afflict us in the future.
Anon @ 9:57. Thank you. You’ve summed it all up most appropriately.
And those criticising Mc aleese get a grip…I agree with Mm, it takes time for the wool to be wiped from our eyes…years of indoctrination is what most of us have suffered from.
Get a grip yourself.
You want us to exchange unquestioning belief in churchmen for unquestioning belief in politicians /ex public dignatories.
I don’t think so!!!!
The devil attacks children through morally corrupt clergy.
They have it arse about face to suit a narrative.
9:57: Good Post. 👍
I am not Irish or live in the republic, Bp Pat, but hopefully the programme “Rome vs the Republic” will be available on RTE Player in due course.
One review of the programme ends up: “Despite two decades of horrific scandals, cover-ups and revelations the documentary concludes that church remains embedded in Irish life.”
3:04: It’s on RTÉ player.
Bp Pat, I believe Mary McAleese’s encounter with Cardinal Sodano who was the number two in the Vatican at the time. Nowadays, the former number three at the Vatican incarcerated for child sex abuse in Australia.
Pell was not number three in the Vatican.
Well, that’s what was reported in many newspapers.
His number is up!
Maybe that’s the paedo’s prison number.😕
3:13: He only liked vanilla flavor according to lawyers!
Mary shouldnt throw glass stones at people in houses.
4:35 Houses or palaces
For those of us who didn’t know, the documentary reveals Maynooth was built in the late 1700s ,with finance from the British crown/government.
More leniency under Francis.
Ssshhh! You’re not allowed to say anything against francis.
How dare ye! When he got down only yesterday to kiss the 6 Sudanese Muslim feet! Pity he can’t genuflect before the Real Presence.
7.41: An ignorant comment. Pope Francis did the right thing by kneeling in gesture with the Sudanese delegation and, in humility kissing their feet. It’s a Christ like gesture and a gesture that would be inspired by his love of Christ in the Eucharist. It might be something you – moron – might do in service of others. Oh…you probably don’t have the ‘humility’ to be of service to others!!!
The real presence is less concerned about genuflection than you appear to be.
Jesus’ spirituality would have formed by expressions such as this one:
‘This people honours me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.’
@9.59 & @1.25
The two blind men who don’t WANT to see.
You’re both too subservient to the Francis cult. Jesus gave, and DEMANDED, full honour for the Father.
He drove the desecrators out of the temple. The FIRST commandment is love and honour of God. The fear of God is the beginning of all wisdom. Moses was ORDERED to take off his shoes because the place he stood on was Holy ground.
Francis is a politician first and foremost. He puts man first. God has no place for him. He only uses the God word as a tool to get what he wants for man. Francis is a humanist. Maybe you both are too.
I kneel before Almighty God. I don’t kneel for kings, queens, Muslims or other people.
Francis REFUSES to genuflect before the Blessed Eucharist, to bless himself and prises the joined hands of young children apart.
Christ washed the feet of His disciples to teach them that to be great in His kingdom you must serve others.
That has nothing to do with publicity stunts where you kiss the feet of Muslim politicians to stop them fighting.
ESPECIALLY when you claim bad knees stop you kneeling before God. You are both groupies, but not Christians.
The Rector of Maynooth talks about the seminary from 5 mins on. He reveals that there are 21 sems and that they have written round local parishes to fill the college chapel for the RTE TV broadcasts from there at Easter.
Pat, we enter catholic churches to meet Jesus, which we do. There are so many wonderful reasons to regularly visit these churches. You seem to be embracing more and more the spirit of anti Christ despite the good work that you also do.
Jesus is also in you. And you will meet him there, too.
Or do you, like Michael Voris, deny his word for an agenda?