Father Thomas Doyle on the Irish Child Abuse Report

I read a great article by Father Thomas Doyle entitled Irish abuse report demands decisive action  with his observations on the recently released report in Ireland that came from the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse and covered a 60-year-period from 1936 to the present. It raised serious questions about Catholic institutions that permitted and fostered climates of sustained abuse by priests and nuns.

Father Doyle is a canon lawyer and has been a steadfast advocate for victims of abuse. He is a Dominican Priest. He is a godsend to people like me.

Read the article, it is your current homework assignment.

My favorite passage from his article is the simple yet powerful summation of the attitude of the Catholic Church:

The official reaction is predictable. Denial, minimization, blame shifting and finally limited acknowledgment followed by carefully nuanced “apologies” has been the standard fare. At no time has the leadership of any part of the institutional Church ever owned up to any systemic accountability. The standard responses are totally unacceptable because they are devious and irrelevant. Those who still hold to the institutional Church as their source of emotional security may well bray about anti-Catholicism, media sensationalism and exaggeration of what they claim to be an aberration. Such responses are mindless but far worse, they inflict even more pain on the thousands whose lives have been violated.

Can someone tell me why the laity of the Catholic Church remains in their lethargic daze? Why aren’t people screaming, pounding on the doors of Chanceries, withholding donations and seeking reform? I am at a loss!

6 thoughts on “Father Thomas Doyle on the Irish Child Abuse Report”

  1. It’s despicable. When the story broke, I thought of you. And a song by Joni Mitchell, “The Magdalene Laundries” released several years ago about this very topic. The Church always knew. Everyone did. They just let it happen.

    Why aren’t the laity speaking out? They don’t care anymore. They’ve just given up on the Church in droves. The institution has covered itself up so much it is no longer relevant. That’s probably not much comfort to you, but still true.

    BTW, I’m still waiting for Martino to mention how evil it was for the good Catholics Ciavarella and Conahan to sentence kids to jail for money. But I guess anything involving children and abuse is less important (and gets less ink) than criticizing Catholic colleges for having politicians who don’t do what you say speak at commencement.

  2. my name is denise from scotland abused by nuns in nazerth house aberdeen Iwould like someone to help scottissh victims to get compensation. is there anybody out there Iam in edinburgh. Iam glad there is someone like tom doyle is helping survivors. but people seem to forget the horrific affects of the physical abuse carried out by these people. so I would like people to talk about that as well. Ihave been feeling invisible of late. Iwould like to find out who could take up legal case for us besides cameron fyfe. As the pope is coming to scotland it seems a good idea to campaign now! Tom doyle please keep up the good work as it helps all of us. P.S. is Magaret Goggins out there from aberdeen nazereth house

    1. Hi Margaret, I was in Nazzie with you my sister and I Linda & Mary Purves. I took my sister away from Scotland and made new life in London. Sadly my darling sister passed away in 2012. We made a good life here Mary became a Nurse and I gained a degree in Arabic Politics & Economics- we both got married / had children. We created a new life and tried to put the cruelty of Nazzi behind us (Besides who would believe such horrors existed). I’d love to hear From you as I’ve little memory of the past / my husband said I should get hypnotised but I don’t want to go back there to that extent. I know this is a long shot as it’s been a long time but I do hope we can talk. Wishing you well.

    2. Linda, I looked back in the files to see if I had a way to contact Margaret to pass your comment to her directly. Sadly, she did not provide an address. I hope you find a way to connect. I wish you all well. – Michael

  3. Denise, contact the website mentioned above and leave a message. I know of abused by the Sisters of Nazareth. I was dragged up in 2 of Ireland’s institutions myself, so know the capability these twisters have for sadism etc.


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