One of the principal reasons why priests were able to get away with their rape and abuse of children for so long was because the state abdicated its responsibility to protect children. This is most obvious in relation to control of education.
Again and again in the Ferns report it emerges that priests were able to use their position on management authorities of primary schools to gain access to the children they abused. For example, in Monageer Fr. James Grennan abused 10 young girls during confirmation classes. Local gardai 'lost' the investigation files and this evil predator was allowed to continue to abuse children. And he was able to use his position as chair of the management board of the local primary school to gain access to his victims.
Up to 95% of primary schools in the 26-Counties are directly under the control of the Catholic church. This means that the local bishop is the patron and has an effective veto over membership of the management board. In the vast majority of cases, it means that the local parish priest is chairperson of the Board of Management.
But the Ferns report and other evidence has proven that the Catholic church as an institution cannot be trusted with our children. Not alone have large numbers of priests been guilty of abusing children but also the institution of the church &endash; the bishops and other priests &endash; rallied around and protected the evil perverts in their midst.
For the sake of our children's safety, it's time to tell them to get out of our schools.
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This edition is No89 published in Nov 2005