Archbishop Martin Will Not Condemn False Statements by Religious Affairs Correspondents
EXTRACT from discussion on www.politics.ie website in June/July 2009 entitled
"My 'Correspondence' with Archbishop Martin re Sex Claims aginst Bishops"
The current section deals with statements made by a number of Irish journalists that deliberately misquote the Archbishop - i.e. by presenting allegations of child abuse (including ones he described as demonstrably false or mistaken) as actual cases of abuse by priests. Martin made no attempt to correct the falsehoods.
18th July 2009
Catholic Clergy Braced for Fallout From Abuse Report
Originally Posted by Kilbarry1
I see that John Cooney, Religious Affairs correspondent of the Irish Independent made the same allegation as Patsy McGarry - in an article that is also dated 16 June 2009
Martin reveals personal disgust at abuse - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie
QUOTE The documentary highlights the willingness of church authorities to move paedophile priests around the country from parish to parish in the full knowledge that complaints had been made against them.
The Dublin diocese provided 60,000 documents to the Commission of Investigation led by Justice Yvonne Murphy. It is due to publish what will be a devastating report within weeks.
"One weekend I decided to try and get through these documents," Archbishop Martin said. "I came to the stage when I simply threw them onto the ground. I couldn't keep reading. This is reality. It can't be hidden and it shouldn't be hidden."
The documents reveal more than 400 children were abused by at least 152 priests.
The investigation covers complaints made between 1975 and 2004 relating to abuse in any period after 1940. END
It is also clear that both Cooney and McGarry have grossly misrepresented the facts. The following is an extract from an article by Cooney dated 8 November 2008 i.e. 7 months before his recent report.
Priests abused up to 400 children in Dublin diocese - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie
QUOTE Archbishop Martin's ongoing discovery of new complaints -- which are now far higher than first found by Cardinal Connell before his retirement -- clearly indicate the huge volume of files being investigated by the Commission which recently received Oireachtas approval to extend its work until next year. Fifteen more priests and members of Religious Orders against whom allegations were made, or suspicions raised, of child sex abuse since 1940 have been found by the archbishop since his previous count in May 2007, bringing the total up from 147 to 152. .......
Archbishop Martin explained that the figures constitute a record of allegations made and suspicions raised since 1940 irrespective of the eventual outcome.
"They include allegations which have been substantiated, and those which have not, and allegations which are demonstrably false or mistaken," he said. To date, eight priests have been convicted in the criminal courts, and three others who have been the subject of allegations of child sexual abuse are currently before the courts. END
So both John Cooney and Patsy McGarry have presented allegations of child abuse as actual cases of abuse. It is clear that they have misrepresented what the Archbishop said. ON THE OTHER HAND why has Archbishop Martin failed to correct their reports? Is he so keen on his PR image that he doesn't want to upset journalists even when they slander his priests?
Maeve Sheehan repeated the falsehood about the number of Catholic priests guilty of child abuse in the Sunday Independent last week.
See article Catholic clergy braced for fallout from abuse report - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie
Catholic clergy are preparing for an onslaught of criticism in the long-awaited report on the hierarchy's handling of paedophile priests, due to be given to the government this week.
The report will scrutinise how some of the country's most senior prelates handled child abuse allegations. It may be some time before it is published as the Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern, is expected to refer the 1,000-page document to the attorney general for legal advice because criminal proceedings are in train against three priests.
The contents have already been described as 'shocking' by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, who has warned priests and parishioners to expect the worst.
Clergy are preparing for the fall-out by ensuring that child protection officers are working in every parish, while circulating special prayers throughout the diocese.
Fr Joseph Mullen, chairman of the Council of Priests, which advises the archbishop, said parishes are working to ensure the responses are in place to deal with the hurt, vulnerability and anger that may follow.
"What we know and what we have communicated to priests is that heinous crimes have been committed against children by priests in the archdiocese. We must seek to uncover and know the truth," he said. Senior clergy have repeatedly been accused of failing to report paedophile priests to the Garda, moving them from parish to parish, and often encouraging victims and their parents to keep matters quiet.
The Government set up a state inquiry, led by Judge Yvonne Murphy, as a result of the lack of confidence in the hierarchy's handling of complaints against priests.
Archbishop Martin has already disclosed from diocesan records that about 400 children were abused by 152 priests since 1940. [My emphasis]
Archbishop Martin previously made it clear that these figures "include allegations which have been substantiated, and those which have not, and allegations which are demonstrably false or mistaken" and his statement was printed in the Irish Independent on 8 November 2008. So why does the Independent repeat that lie? More importantly why does the Archbishop not say anything to contradict the lie? Is he THAT keen on maintaining good relationships with the "liberal" media?