Rome, Italy (CNN) — The pope has summoned several Irish bishops to the Vatican to discuss a report documenting child abuse by Irish clergy members, the Vatican spokesman said Wednesday.
The bishops will meet with Pope Benedict XVI in mid-February, said Father Federico Lombardi, the spokesman.
The report, which came out in November, found that the Catholic Church in Ireland covered up “widespread” child abuse from 1975 to 2004.
The pope already has met with senior Irish bishops about the report, produced by the Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation. The Irish government created the commission in 2006 to examine abuse allegations
The pope said after that meeting that he was “deeply disturbed and distressed” by the report’s findings. He promised that the Catholic Church would try to develop strategies to make sure abuses don’t happen again.
“He wishes once more to express his profound regret at the actions of some members of the clergy who have betrayed their solemn promises to God, as well as the trust placed in them by the victims and their families, and by society at large,” the Vatican said in a statement then.
Two Irish bishops — Jim Moriarty and Donal Murray — resigned in December amid scrutiny of clergy members committing or covering up child abuse in Ireland.
DUBLIN — After a nine-year investigation, a commission published a damning report Wednesday on decades of rapes, humiliation and beatings at Catholic Church-run reform schools for Ireland’s castaway children.
The 2,600-page report painted the most detailed and damning portrait yet of church-administered abuse in a country grown weary of revelations about child molestation by priests.
The investigation of the tax-supported schools uncovered previously secret Vatican records that demonstrated church knowledge of pedophiles in their ranks all the way back to the 1930s.
Wednesday’s five-volume report on the probe _ which was resisted by Catholic religious orders _ concluded that church officials shielded their orders’ pedophiles from arrest amid a culture of self-serving secrecy.
“A climate of fear, created by pervasive, excessive and arbitrary punishment, permeated most of the institutions and all those run for boys. Children lived with the daily terror of not knowing where the next beating was coming from,” Ireland’s Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse concluded.
Victims of the abuse, who are now in their 50s to 80s, lobbied long and hard for an official investigation. They say that for all its incredible detail, the report doesn’t nail down what really matters _ the names of their abusers.
“I do genuinely believe that it would have been a further step towards our healing if our abusers had been named and shamed,” said Christine Buckley, 62, who spent the first 18 years of her life in a Dublin orphanage where children were forced to manufacture rosaries _ and were humiliated, beaten and raped whether they achieved their quota or not.
The Catholic religious orders that ran more than 50 workhouse-style reform schools from the late 19th century until the mid-1990s offered public words of apology, shame and regret Wednesday. But when questioned, their leaders indicated they would continue to protect the identities of clergy accused of abuse _ men and women who were never reported to police, and were instead permitted to change jobs and keep harming children.
The Christian Brothers, which ran several boys’ institutions deemed to have harbored serial child molesters and sadists on their staff, insisted it had cooperated fully with the probe. The order successfully sued the commission in 2004 to keep the identities of all of its members, dead or alive, unnamed in the report. No real names, whether of victims or perpetrators, appear in the final document.
The Christian Brothers’ leader in Ireland, Brother Kevin Mullan, said the organization had been right to keep names secret because “perhaps we had doubts about some of the allegations.”
“But on the other hand, I’d have to say that at this stage, we have no interest in protecting people who were perpetrators of abuse,” Mullan said, vowing to “cooperate fully with any investigation or any civil authority seeking to explore those matters.”
Buckley, who said she was abused at an orphanage run by the Sisters of Mercy, which ran several refuges for girls where the report documented chronic brutality, said the religious orders for years branded the victims as money-seeking liars _ and were incapable of admitting their guilt today.
She criticized Mullan for suggesting that “today, having read the report, he doesn’t mind if the abusers are named and shamed. Isn’t that a little bit late for us?”
The report found that molestation and rape were “endemic” in boys’ facilities, chiefly run by the Christian Brothers order, and supervisors pursued policies that increased the danger. Girls supervised by orders of nuns, chiefly the Sisters of Mercy, suffered much less sexual abuse but frequent assaults and humiliation designed to make them feel worthless.
“In some schools a high level of ritualized beating was routine. … Girls were struck with implements designed to maximize pain and were struck on all parts of the body,” the report said. “Personal and family denigration was widespread.”
Ireland’s myriad religious orders, much like their mother church, have been devastated by 15 years of scandals involving past cover-ups of abusers in their ranks.
The Christian Brothers have withdrawn from running several schools that still bear their name and the order has had few recruits in Ireland in the past two decades. Other orders are down to a handful of members, and their bases are closer to nursing homes than active missions.
“Most of these orders will literally die out in Ireland within the next generation or so,” said Michael Kelly, editor of the Irish Catholic newspaper in Dublin. “Many of them are already in wind-up mode. They lack the confidence even to seek new vocations (recruits), due to the stigma associated with their members’ shocking, scandalous behavior.”
The Irish government, which in 1999 apologized for its role in permitting decades of abuse and established the commission to nail down the full truth of the matter, has tried to use money to bring closure to the victims.
A government-appointed panel has paid 12,000 survivors of the schools, orphanages and other church-run residences an average of $90,000 each _ on condition they surrender their right to sue either the church or state. About 2,000 more claims are pending. Irish Catholic leaders cut a controversial deal with the government in 2001 that capped the church’s contribution at $175 million _ a fraction of the final cost.
Some victims emphasized, even as they began thumbing through the report, that nothing _ not even criminal convictions of their long-ago tormentors _ will ever put right their psychological wounds and make their nightmares go away.
Tom Sweeney, who spent five years in two Christian Brothers-run institutions where he was placed for truancy, says he suffered sexual abuse and beatings. He also has bitter memories about more everyday humiliations _ such as being forced to wrap his urine-stained sheets around his neck and parade in front of other children when he’d wet his bed.
“It’s something you’ll never forget, the way you lived in these industrial schools,” he said.
“Reformers Reveal the Beast of Revelation 13 and the Little Horn of Daniel 7.”
Most reformers spoke of the papacy as antichrist. The papacy has since that time, received it’s deadly wound by France in 1798 (Rev. 13:5,10) and is again becoming popular and powerful just as the prophecies predicted! (Rev. 13:3)
Martin Luther (1483-1546) [founder of the Lutheran Church]
“nothing else than the kingdom of Babylon and of very Antichrist….For who is the man of sin and the son of perdition, but he who by his teaching and his ordinances increases the sin and perdition of souls in the church; while he yet sits in the church as if he were God? All these conditions have now for many ages been fulfilled by the papal tyranny.” Martin Luther, First Principles, pp. 196-197
John Calvin (1509-1564) [founder of the Presbyterian Church]
“I deny him to be the vicar of Christ, who, in furiously persecuting the gospel, demonstrates by his conduct that he is Antichrist–I deny him to be the successor of Peter..I deny him to be the head of the church.” “Some persons think us too severe and censorious when we call the Roman pontiff Antichrist. But those who are of this opinion do not consider that they bring the same charge of presumption against Paul himself, after whom we speak and whose language we adopt…I shall briefly show that (Pauls words in 2 Thessalonians 2) are not capable of any other interpretation than that which applies them to the Papacy” John Calvin, Tracts, Vol. 1, pp. 219,220. John Calvin, Institutes.
John Wesley (1703-1791) [founder of the Methodist Church]
“He is in an emphatical sense, the Man of Sin, as he increases all manner of sin above measure. And he is, too, properly styled the Son of Perdition, as he has caused the death of numberless multitudes, both of his opposers and followers… He it is…that exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped… claiming the highest power, and highest honor… claiming the prerogatives which belong to God alone.” Albert Close, Antichrist and His Ten Kingdoms,
London: Thynne and Co., 1917, p. 110.
King James (1566-1625) [Authorized the King James Version of the Bible] “The faithfull praiseth God for the Popes destruction, and their deliverance,” and for “the plagues which are to light on him and his followers.” “The Pope by his Pardons makes merchandise of the soules of men: Heaven and the Saints reioyce at his destruction, albiet the earth and the worldlings lament for the same”
James I, Paraphrase, in Workes, pp. 47, 57
John Wyclif (1324-1384) [Completed the 1st English translation of the Bible] “Why is it necessary in unbelief to look for another Antichrist? Hence in the seventh chapter of Daniel Antichrist is forcefully described by a horn arising in the time of the 4th kingdom. For it grew from [among] our powerful ones, more horrible, more cruel, and more greedy, because by reckoning the pagans and our Christians by name, a lesser [greater?] struggle for the temporals is not recorded in any preceding time. Therefore the ten horns are the whole of our temporal rulers, and the horn has arisen from the ten horns, having eyes and a mouth speaking great things against the Lofty One, and wearing out the saints of the Most High, and thinking that he is able to change times and laws.” (Daniel 7:8, 25 quoted) …”For so our clergy foresee the lord pope, as it is said of the eighth blaspheming little head.” Translated from Wyclif’s, De Veritate Sacrae Scripturae, vol. 3 pp. 262, 263
William Tyndale (1484-1536) [1st translator of the Bible from the Greek] “The pope’s forbidding matrimony, and to eat of meats created of God for man’s use, which is devilish doctrine by Paul’s prophecy,… are tokens good enough that he is the right antichrist, and his doctrine sprung of the devil.” 1 Timothy 4:1-3 Tyndale, An Answer to Sir Thomas More’s Dialogue, in Works, vol. 3, p. 171 Visithttp://www.williamtyndale.com for more information on William Tyndale.
John Knox (1505-1572) [Scottish Reformer] He preached that Romish traditions and ceremonies should be abolished along with “that tyranny which the Pope himself has for so many ages exercised over the church” and that he should be acknowledged as “the son of perdition, of whom Paul speaks.” In a public challenge he declared: “As for your Roman Church, as it is now corrupted… I no more doubt but that it is the synagogue of Satan, and the head therof, called the Pope, to be the man of sin of whom the apostle speaketh.” Knox, The Zurich Letters, p.199
Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560) [Associate of Martin Luther]
“Since it is certain that the pontiffs and the monks have forbidden marriage, it is most manifest, and true without any doubt, that the Roman Pontiff, with his whole order and kingdom, is very Antichrist. Likewise in 2 Thess. II, Paul clearly says that the man of sin will rule in the church exalting himself above the worship of God, etc.”
Translated from Melanchthon, Disputationes, No. 56, “De Matrimonio”,
in Opera (Corpus Reformatorum), vol. 12 col. 535
Huldreich Zwingli (1484-1531) [great Swiss reformer quoted on Dec. 28, 1524] “I know that in it works the might and power of the Devil, that is, of the Antichrist… the Papacy has to be abolished… But by no other means can it be more thoroughly routed than by the word of God (2 Thessalonians 2), because as soon as the world receives this in the right way, it will turn away from the Pope without compulsion.” Principle Works of Zwingli, Vol. 7, p. 135.
An open letter to Mr. Patrick Madrid and Envoy Magazine,
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