Survivors Angered by Pope's Decision to Reject Irish Bishops' Resignation

Survivors feel betrayed by this decision.

Has anyone considered that the Pope --in choosing not to accept the resignations – is thereby making it crystal clear–should either of these bishops be called to account in the Irish legal system–that they are bishops? WIth responsibilities? That he isn’t doing what was sharply criticized when the late Pope accepted the resignation of Cardinal Law?

Suppose that part of the penance (which naturally can’t be spoken of save at the decision of the bishops themselves) by the Pope was, “I will absolve you from your sins, but you must stay on in your post, you must face whatever legal ramifications are demanded of you; the Church will not be accused of ‘cover ups’ by me even when I would be perfectly within my RIGHTS to accept your resignation and thereby bring you to a type of ‘safety’. If my bishops have sinned civilly they must pay all civil penalties in order to have their spiritual penalties remitted. . .”

Now, suppose that the Pope had accepted the resignation. Well, it seems to me that anytime he has accepted the resignations of those accused of wrongdoing that the victim survivors haven’t been exactly dancing jigs of joy either. So. . .is the Pope ‘rewarding’ the bishops? Gee, imagine you’re what, 70 years old, you’ve made a big MESS of your very important work, a lot of people are justifiably angry with you and the longer you stay, the worse things are likely to turn out for you. . .you have a chance to ‘retire’ --but the boss says “no.” You think these bishops are happy to stay on, knowing the anger is now going to get even worse? It seems to me that Pope Benedict could well be giving a punishment, and the possibility of even worse–of course, Benedict takes the long view regarding most any subject, not just the short-term, knee-jerk kind of reaction.

And we know that nothing he could do would please everybody. So he might as well do what is right (I’m sure he has a better idea than even the victims) even if he’s misunderstood. . .

I must admit, I’m having a bit of trouble.

Aren’t these the same Survivors groups that had a fit OVER these Bishops offering their resignations…AND now having a fit that these resignations weren’t accepted?


I’m sorry, I don’t remember reading that they did not want these bishops to be fired. I might have missed it though. Using the term “having a fit” indicates to me that you think they are obviously wrong in their feelings.
I bleieve the sex abuse hit Ireland the hardest. As bad as it was here we did not have institutions like the Magdeline laundries and boys work houses where the young were sent into slave labor and further sexually exploited. The article said they were angered. Who wouldn’t be?

Aw yes. Bernard Law. JP2 not only accepted his resignation. But then after doing that set him up nicely with new digs and a move to Rome.

"In December 2002, Cardinal Law left Boston just hours before state troopers arrived with subpoenas seeking his grand jury testimony in what the state’s attorney general, Thomas Reilly, called a massive coverup of child abuse. After his resignation, John Paul II appointed Law to a post in Rome, putting him in charge of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, with the title of Archpriest. He is also a member of the Congregations for the Oriental Churches, the Clergy, Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, Evangelisation of Peoples, Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Catholic Education, Bishops as well as the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Tantum, is JP2 a saint yet? I know they were working on it.

Tantum, either way there is no room for “dancing digs of joy” when Christ’s Church has been so harmed by Apostolic successors.

Indeed Kimmie. in any case having a “fit” is what we all should be doing.

WHAT!!! :eek:

Only if you wish to exclude whole races of people.

Let’s start of with the Irish remembering some of it’s own history

[LEFT][size=3]Mistreated and abused[/size]

In essence, this documentary exposes how we – the Scots/Irish – mistreated and abused the native people of North America and how they, in turn, after many decades of this degradation, found their culture validated by Israeli Jews - of all people! And as we also seek to right the wrongs done in our name, the response has been quite amazing.[/LEFT]
[LEFT][size=2]Today, among Native Americans, the rates of disease, alcoholism and suicide are higher than in many third world countries. Yet only a handful of people on this side of the Atlantic are even aware of the legacy of pain and social deprivation left by those who left these shores. Hidden from history for centuries, this is a story that now demands to be told![/size][/LEFT]
[LEFT][size=2]Raymond McCullough was editor of Irish magazine, ‘Bread[/size]’, for six years and has for many years been involved in reconciliation between Protestant and Roman Catholic in Ireland. However, until the visit of a group of Native Americans to Belfast in 2004 he, like most people here, was completely unaware of any need for reconciliation between ourselves and the First Nations in North America.[/LEFT]


Let’s talk of Canada

Although Education in Canada had been allocated to the provincial governments by the British North America BNA act, aboriginal peoples and their treaties were under the jurisdiction of the federal government.[4] Funded under the Indian Act by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, a branch of the federal government, the schools were run by churches of various denominations — about sixty per cent by Roman Catholics, and thirty per cent by the Anglican Church of Canada and the United Church of Canada, along with its pre-1925 predecessors, Presbyterian, Congregationalist and Methodist churches. This system of using the established school facilities set up by missionaries was employed by the federal government for economical expedience. The federal government provided facilities and maintenance and the churches provided teachers and education.[4]
The foundations of the system were the pre-confederation Gradual Civilization Act (1857) and the Gradual Enfranchisement Act (1869). These assumed the inherent superiority of British ways, and the need for Indians to become English-speakers, Christians, and farmers. At the time, Aboriginal leaders wanted these acts overturned.[5]
The attempt to force assimilation involved punishing children for speaking their own languages or practicing their own faiths, leading to allegations in the 20th century of cultural genocide and ethnocide. There was an elevated rate of physical and sexual abuse. Overcrowding, poor sanitation, and a lack of medical care led to high rates of tuberculosis, and death rates of up to 69 percent.[6] Details of the mistreatment of students had been published numerous times throughout the 20th century, but following the closure of the schools in the 1960s, the work of indigenous activists and historians led to a change in the public perception of the residential school system, as well as official government apologies, and a (controversial) legal settlement.[7]



An Indian boarding school refers to one of many schools that were established in the United States during the late 19th century to educate Native American youths according to Euro-American standards. In some areas, these schools were primarily run by missionaries. Especially given the young age of some of the children sent to the schools, they have been documented as traumatic experiences for many of the children who attended them. They were generally forbidden to speak their native languages, taught Christianity instead of their native religions, and in numerous other ways forced to abandon their Indian identity and adopt European-American culture. Tragically, many cases of mental and sexual abuse have been documented, as in North Dakota.
By 1923 in the Northwest, most Indian schools had closed and Indian students were attending public schools. States took on increasing responsibility for their education.[36] Other studies suggest attendance in some Indian boarding schools grew in areas of the United States throughout the first half of the 20th century, doubling from 1900 to the 1960s.[37] Enrollment reached its highest point in the 1970s. In 1973, 60,000 American Indian children were estimated to have been enrolled in an Indian boarding school.[38][39].[LEFT][size=2]



Holy Father’s response

POPE Ratzinger yesterday apologised to native Canadians who were physically and sexually abused at church-run boarding schools they were forced to attend. He said he was sorry for their anguish, and was praying they would heal.

According to this report, from the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 Indian children in Canada were forced to attend state-funded Christian schools in an effort to assimilate them into Canadian society. Nearly three-quarters of the 130 schools were run by Catholic missionary congregations.
The Canadian government has admitted that physical and sexual abuse was rampant in the schools, with students beaten for speaking their native languages…

Phil Fontaine, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, and himself a victim of abuse at one of the schools said:

What we wanted the Pope to say to us was that he was sorry and … that he deeply felt for us. We heard that very clearly.

A Vatican statement said:

Given the sufferings that some indigenous children experienced in the Canadian residential school system, the Holy Father expressed his sorrow at the anguish caused by the deplorable conduct of some members of the church and he offered his sympathy and prayerful solidarity.

I’m not making light of ANYONE’S suffering -

These kids were not sent because they were petty criminals or unwed mothers…just a different race.

ABSOLUTELY…Has the Irish Government taken on it’s share of responsibility for 1 placing those children? 2 no oversight? Has it apologized?

Sorry. I thought we were talking about bishops in the Church which lays claim to being Christ’s one true Church. On Catholic Answers in sub-section Catholic News not Irish Govt Answers in World News. My mistake I guess.

This is a bit of an urban myth. Cardinal Law has been back and forth the the US on many ocassions and if there was a subpoena out for his arrest he would have bitten the dirt by now. In fact you only haveto look at the type of cases brought against the church recently where they try to put the Vatican on trial to know that if there was a winnable case againts Law he would be arrested the minute he stepped foot in the US.


I am honestly trying to find out what can help end this bitterness.
I guarantee, beating the press into frenzy …heals no one and isn’t meant to heal - its meant to incite.

I have a hard time believing a groups stated interests - that doesn’t acknowledge the whole problem that fed these sins against humanity.

IMHO It appears to be ignoring part of this wound in favor of inciting an agenda.

… never mind.

I know. One might expect some (by no means all) of our separated brothers and sisters who have trouble differentiating between the idea of infallible teachings on faith and morals, and the idea of ‘impeccability’ or sinlessness to somehow imagine that “The Catholic Church” should have sinless bishops as a matter of course and that if the Church ‘lays claim’ to being the One True Church, ‘sinful bishops’ ‘negate’ and give the lie to said claim.

To have fellow Catholics putting in urban legends (yes, I know they are found in ‘internet reports’ but that doesn’t mean they’re true!) about a particular person who has really nothing to do per se with the present situation in Ireland, since at least one of the bishops in question handled the scandal appropriately! and insinuate that the previous Pope, in ‘rewarding’ said cardinal, himself acted wrongly (and to insinuate that the current status regarding that Pope’s sainthood is yet another sign of the Catholic Church being a corrupt and fallible institution) is sad.

:nope: No Tantum. “Trouble differentiating” may not be the problem you expect it is. Nor do I believe any one expects sinless. That would be foolish. Bishops are fallible human beings.

The trouble lies for instance when we have Apostolic successors preaching the sancity of life but do not appear to know they are not supposed to cover up child abuse. That is what is sad Tantum. :sad_yes: You know better Tantum. I know better. Just as you (and I) and I suspect Kimmie, Tim, and Via, know better than to pull a gun on someone on a street corner, rob them and then pull the trigger and murder them. :shrug:

Sure everyone sins. That’s not even in question. But in a Church that distinguishes between mortal and venial sin, and then tries to equate child abuse with missing Mass on a weekday for instance… and claims its Apostolic successors can’t know better than to not cover up child abuse, it legitimately brings them and their motives into question in the minds of many. And I do not fault anyone who has this trouble, Tantum.

Also sad is when the Vatican attempts to make attempts at women’s ordination as equally grave as child abuse.

Another problem is when it is swept under the rug because scandal exists everywhere. How often do we hear "Protestant clergy and people from all walks of life engage in scandal too? Or now Kimmie volleys to the Irish govt.

That is also what is sad, Tantum.

See we are not talking about Protestants or other walks of life or the Irish govt. We are talking about She who proclaims to be the One and only True Church of Jesus Christ!

And when you adhere to such a claim, you must expect higher standards to be held toward you.

Peace to you Tantum and to all. God bless.

Here’s a poll taken by the Irish Times. The comments that follow are interesting.

the abuse in Ireland was not restricted to children in these horrible institutions. You are rightly concerned about the Native Americans who suffered under the unjust practices wrought on them through parochial schools that were run by Catholic religious. I did not know about the Canadian circumstances. What this shows me is that the problem is systemic. You can’t tell me that no one knew anything about this. For the love of all that’s holy it happened in Ireland, the Us, Germany, and probably every other country in the world. I’m sure the victims feel the church leaders put theinterest of the institution above the welfare of the peoople the church was supposed to lead, inspire, and yes, protect.

No, it is you who is equating the seriousness / gravity of these two.

Please provide your evidence :frowning:

The Vatican has no problem distinguishing between the two

WWJD? Via, you said in a more precise way I think what He would not do. Place the institution above people, His children. And I just can’t fault victims for feeling successors of His Apostles did not take the lead in following Jesus in this. Peace to you and God bless.

If they have no problem then they should not have put the 2 on the same list. :shrug:

“what astonished many Catholics was the inclusion of the attempt to ordain women in a list of the “more grave delicts,” or offenses, which included pedophilia”


Actually, the abuses to Native People continued past adulthood. As an adult you were no longer in school, but you had no home to go back too. With no money, no land, you were placed into servitude. at the direction of the Church.

If we don’t want to forgive not forget or drop our guards ] - we never will heal. AND no matter what happened bad to me…no matter if I get an apology -.It remains my individual responsibility, to heal. No one ELSE has that power or responsibility.

AND that is the message I fail to see from this group. I see only the “Place the Blame” and not even equally ] . You cant tell me that parishioners didn’t know of the abuses going on at Magdeline laundries - are they not the body of the Church? Why aren’t they or the Irish Government being called for their complicity, equally?

Does it seem, without calling ALL accountable, …that this group has an agenda to incite - not heal? I believe so.

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