Skip to main content

Catholic Scandal in Ireland Leads to Outrage and Anger

The Ryan report, a stunning investigation published yesterday in
Ireland, details
the systematic abuse of Irish children in Catholic
church-run facilities that went on for decades, as church leaders did nothing
to stop it. The nine-year government
investigation turned up a history of sexual and physical abuse at reform
schools, orphanages, and other childcare institutions. The report reads in

-- "Children lived with the daily terror of not knowing where the next beating was coming

-- "Nevertheless, each instance of sexual abuse was treated in isolation and in secrecy by the authorities and there was no attempt to address the underlying systemic nature
of the problem."

The report brought fierce reaction from victims, who are particularly angry that
the names of their abusers were not in the report. Here's what people are saying:

Mannix Flynn, victim:
"The whole place was a place of abuse. There wasn't any sanctuary here. It was constant trauma and constant fear of attack."

John Kelly, Survivors of Child Abuse:
"There is nothing by way of justice in
any means significant in this report, nothing. The state doesn't want the world
to know... that it abdicated its responsibility."

Mary McAleese, President of Ireland:
"My heart goes out to the victims of
this terrible injustice, an injustice compounded by the fact that they had to
suffer in silence for so long. This report utterly vindicates their
determination to break that silence."

Brother Kevin Mullen, Christian Brothers' leader (according to the Associated Press, the group fought to keep names out of the report):
"... 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

Christine Buckley, victim:
"(Now Mullen) doesn't mind if the abusers are named and
shamed? Isn't that a little bit late for us?"

Rev. Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster:
“It is a tough road to take, to face up to our own weaknesses. That is certainly true of anyone
who’s deceived themselves that all they’ve been doing is taking a bit of
comfort from children."

The Guardian:
"This could not be
worse. The Ryan Report is the stuff of nightmares. It's the adjectives which
chill: systemic, pervasive, chronic, excessive, arbitrary, endemic. They pretty
much tell the whole story of the violence and sexual abuse suffered by a
generation of some of the most vulnerable children in Ireland over several
decades of the middle of the 20th century.”


Popular Video