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Priest places blame for the sexual abuse crisis on the mothers of Ireland

September 19, 2011

When the clergy sexual abuse crisis exploded in the United States leaders of the Catholic Church explained that it was an “American problem”.  They stated that America was simply devoid of any sexual morality, and as a result some in the clergy had simply succumbed to the perverted culture that they found themselves in.

The media was also to blame.  Cardinal Law of Boston famously said “By all means we call down God’s power on the media, particularly the Globe”.  When secret church documents revealed Joseph Ratzinger’s, now Pope Benedict XVI’s involvement in the case of notorious pedophile priest Lawrence Murphy, the Vatican again blamed the media.  The official Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, said the allegations were “clearly an ignoble attempt to strike at Pope Benedict and his closest aides at any cost”.  Cardinal Martins went further and said it was a “conspiracy” against the church.

This past year the church commissioned John Jay Study attempted to place blame on the sexual revolution and the decade of the 1960’s as the primary reasons why priests were sexually assaulting so many children.  Again, it was the American culture that made them do it.

This past week a priest in Ireland attempted to explain who was at fault for the sexual abuse crisis that has been ravaging his country for so many years.  Fr. Paddy Banville placed the blame on the mothers of Ireland.  Banville stated that “…there is another category of people that will match the failure of the bishops, and probably surpass it; the wives and mothers of Ireland”.

Banville explained that the Irish bishops were simply following the example of mothers throughout Ireland.  He wrote that “In time, I believe Ireland will discover that there is nothing particularly unique in the Catholic bishops bungling attempts to deal with clerical abuse…in fact I believe that covering up is a typical response to child abuse right across the board, at least until very recently”.

The covering up of clergy sexual abuse reports was not “bungling”.  The recent reports that have been published in Ireland; the Ferns Report, the Murphy Report, the Ryan Report, and the Cloyne Report confirm that the bishops did not “bungle”, they made deliberate decisions to conceal the sexual abuse, protect the predator, and silence the victim.

Banville’s comments are an insult to every victim/survivor and their family.  They are also deeply offensive and hurtful to every mother whose child has been sexually assaulted by a Catholic priest.  How many mothers in Ireland have buried their children because they paid the ultimate price for the abuse that was inflicted upon them?  How many mothers in Ireland have watched their children struggle with drug dependency, alcoholism, or depression because of the sexual assault they endured?  How many mothers in Ireland were assured by their church that the parish school was a safe place for their child only to learn later that it was where their child had been raped?

Fr. Banville, ironically, made his remarks during the week in which Catholics celebrated the feast day of Our Lady of Sorrows.  The feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, commemorated on September 15th, reflects on the seven sorrows that the Blessed Mother is said to have endured during her life.  The sorrows of the Virgin Mary focus on the pain and suffering that her child experienced.

Perhaps Fr. Banville should reflect on the sorrows that have been experienced by every mother in Ireland whose child has been sexually abused, and then offer them all a profoundly sincere apology.

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7 Comments
  1. chris permalink

    These priests are delusional..
    They and their church and religion approve of marital rape, domestic violence and the mass production of catholic children..They command that if a mother’s life is in danger during child birth that the mother must die instead of the child (usually leaving behind 5 or more other children).. they ordered no birth control no condoms in africa and other nations causing the spread of hiv aids to mothers and their children and husbands which resulted in deaths of millions
    And now this idiot says that it is the catholic mothers and wives who are complicit with the rapes and deaths of their children.. by priests.
    I am an EXcatholic mother who went after the bishop and the church and jesuits for molesting children at OUR LADY OF SORROWS catholic jesuit church in Santa Barbara California.. decades ago.. the catholic bishop of that time was bishop Zieman.. i believe cardinal leveda preceded him in santa barbara.
    I am NOT a snap member .. i do appreciate you bringing the hypocrisy and insanity of this priest and his sick thinking to public awareness..
    i think the hatred of women and children by the catholic elite speaks for itself..

  2. Judy Jones permalink

    I have a feeling that THIS priest is going to regret blaming mothers!

    Yes, he does not know how angry and how powerful mothers can be, when it comes to harming their own children..

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511.
    snapjudy@gmail.com
    “Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests” and all clergy.
    http://www.snapnetwork.org/

  3. Amos permalink

    There will be some openings soon, and he believes by kissing up this way, he’ll be in line for one of those funny hats.

  4. Michael Sweatt permalink

    Sadly, I doubt that this priest will regret anything he has said regarding blame to be placed at the feet of mothers for the rape of their children by Catholic priests. Too few Pew Catholics will stand up and hold Fr. Moron accountable for his words. They will sit quietly in the pew and tolerate this ignoramus. They may walk away from the church but they rarely speak out against such lies by men in the cloth. This applies to mothers and fathers alike.

  5. Carol Kobel permalink

    Fr. Moron doesn’t have a clue, or does he? Once again, trying to take the focus off the REAL reason children are sexually abused. Gee, I wonder why anyone would want to do that? Hmmm. Does he have any idea the ire that he will inspire in these mothers? He’s just one of so many amongst the clergy trying to explain away why priests/nuns molest children. God forbid any personal responsibility be taken. Saints preserve us! Addendum: I am a member of SNAP, a survivor of sexual abuse perped by a nun and I left the RCC many years ago.

  6. I have sometimes reflected on the “stories from the layworld” communicated to the collared man inthe Confessional. Think of the tales of Irish women and mothers shared with their confessors and the fact that sexual abuse within the family is a “secret too strong to share” kept it from seeing the light of day or the ears of the community.
    The same “code of shame” hung on Bishops who actively avoided dealing with power and sexual abuse perhaps can be placed at the door of clergy who knew about the sinful secrets of power and sex that existed within their communities. Without breaking the seal of the Confessional, how could those priests called for the community to come to the rescue of the abused children? I can think of multiple ways. What lack of courage, fear of criticism, misguided loyalty kept these secrets so tightly held by the “men of the Church”.

    Church rules existed as early the 4th Century prohibiting adult Church men about relations with youth and therefor we know that such rules or laws do not occur unless there is a problem or concern. So, we may assume reasonably that Confessors have had a body of knowledge about sexual sins, crimes, and predations that would call them to some type of action. Where is that priestly action among the majority of clergy? Do they ever consider where Christ would be healing today? At the Vatican chambers with the powerful who kicked the problem into the future carelessly or with the marginalized survivors and their supporters wherever they may be?

  7. Devin permalink

    There is wisdom in what this priest says. If parents were less enamoured with the idea of the priesthood, and kept clergymen off pedastals, watching children with *any* adult, & not having a false sense of security around clergymen, their children would be safer.

    With that said, I take issue that when the topic of clergy abuse is broached, almost always, it applies to priests (and bishops) with children or teenagers. There are many cases of exploitation of women (and other men) by priests (and bishops) and I find this as unacceptable as the abuse of people under the age of 18. Unmarried men (ordained or not) ought not be having any kind of sex with anyone.

    Mandated celibacy has never worked. Mandated celibacy IS a primary cause for abuse and exploitation by clergymen (priests AND bishops). Ending mandated celibacy for ALL clergymen, while not the panacea to end all our problems, will be a HUGE step in the right direction, resulting in a healthier & safer church. It would take clergymen (priests and bishops) off their pedestals, and give lay people a more accurate view of everyone’s role in the church.

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