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(en) Workers Solidarity No 73 - Clerical rapists and the Irish state

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 3 Dec 2002 06:36:38 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

Raping children is not a serious crime. Well, that seems
to be the attitude of the Irish state. With thousands of
cases of reported child abuse by clerics, and an
admission by the Catholic Church all the way up to
Cardinal Connell, that they refused to report abusers to
the gardaí, there has been remarkably little action taken
against them.

There have been no raids on the Archbishop's palace in
search of the withheld complaints against priests. There have
been no arrests of priests and bishops who have publicly
admitted helping accused clerics to avoid prosecution. Given
all that we now know about the organised cover-up of what
happened in Catholic institutions, churches and hospitals it is
fair to say that if any other organised group were guilty of the
same offences there would be charges brought of
"conspiracy to pervert the course of justice".

The only excuse put forward by the bishops is that they "did
not understand" the seriousness of raping children! These
are the same guys who, with great certainty, condemned
multi-denominational education in the 1970s, who opposed
the legalisation of contraception and divorce, who call
abortion http://struggle.ws/wsm/abortion.html
"murder". But when it came to destroying the
childhood of young children we are expected to believe that
they didn't realise it was a particularly bad thing! Bollocks.

Of course the state can hardly claim to be neutral. The
majority of hospitals and the vast majority of schools are
owned by the Catholic Church. Yet the state (with our tax
money) pays the wages and pays 85% of the building costs.
The Church authorities are then given the power to hire and
fire nurses and teachers we pay for.

The government even gives the main churches money to
promote their religion. Back in 1998 (March 25th) the
Supreme Court dismissed an application by the Campaign to
Separate Church and State to prevent the Minister for
Education paying chaplains in community schools. So, we
have the absurd situation where people of minority religions
and of no religion at all see their tax money used to pay
priests. It's just a little reminiscent of the tithing system of
Penal Law days whereby Catholics and Presbyterians were
forced to pay 10% of their income to the Anglican clergy.

Churches should have the right to worship their gods as they
see fit, to organise their own affairs as they see fit. They
should have the same rights as any other voluntary group but
with no special privileges. Anarchists are not out to stop
anyone practicing their religion, but we are determined to
end the 'special position' of the churches (supposedly
abolished in the 1972 referendum). Anarchists will continue
to defend the weak and vulnerable, and will continue
campaigning to break the power of the bishops.

                                   Joe King

See also

Anarchism and Religion http://struggle.ws/wsm/religion.html
Anarchists traditionally have a hostile attitude to religion,
summed up by the slogan 'No Gods, No Masters'

This page is from the print version of the Irish
Anarchist paper 'Workers Solidarity'  http://struggle.ws/worksol.html .

We also  provide PDF  http://struggle.ws/ws/pdf.html files of
all our publications for you to print out and distribute locally

Print out the PDF file of this issue http://struggle.ws/wsm/pdf/ws/73.html

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