The Catholic Church’s wall of silence

The Catholic Church’s wall of silence
The site where Pope Francis is to give the closing Mass in the Phoenix Park. Photo:

As Ireland prepares for a visit from Pope Francis, Susan O'Keefe questions the priorities of the Catholic Church, whose leadership must be held to account for the lack of engagement with scandals both old and new.

One thousand children, at least, were abused over a 70-year period in Philadelphia. It’s shocking. It’s the first thorough investigation of abuse by the Catholic church in any US state and it also tells us that these figures are the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, the grand jury states clearly that it is firmly of the view that there were thousands of children abused, by what it described as ‘predatory’ priests who in turn, were routinely shuttled out of parishes if parents complained and whose crimes of rape and sexual assault were known to and systematically covered up by senior church personnel – locally and in Rome.

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