February 11, 2003
Top cleric criticises Church's 'casual' attitude to sex abuse

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by Grainne Cunningham in The Irish Independent

A LEADING cleric has denounced the Catholic Church authorities for being more concerned about the image of the institution than the protection and welfare of innocent children.

Fr Sean Fagan, Secretary General of the Marist Congregation in Ireland, said committed Catholics are rightly outraged that Church leaders, from the Vatican to the local bishops, should be "so casual" about it all.


He said the sex abuse scandals were "the most serious calamity" to befall the Church in recent centuries and said it was difficult to understand how men appointed to be good shepherds should be so unfeeling as to allow "this cancer in the Church to go unchecked".


And in a hard-hitting attack on the Vatican, for which he once worked, the Marist leader said most of today's bishops were appointed during the present Pope's reign "for their 'safe' views and their attachment to Rome".


Fr Fagan said it was "official Vatican policy" to avoid scandal with little reference to the protection of victims.


Chastising bishops as the Pope's "civil servants", he said many members of the laity feel that bishops represent nobody.


"Their ordination is simply linked with a particular job in the Pope's civil service and they may spend most of their life at a desk," said Fr Fagan in an article published in 'Doctrine and Life'.


Fr Fagan criticised the papacy as "a deeply flawed institution" and said apart from the personal immorality of individual popes, the institution was guilty of persecuting the Jews and other non-Christians, opposing democracy and burning books and witches.

Posted by Colm at February 11, 2003 12:39 PM
Comments

Fr. Fagan's comments on the church and the papacy are encouraging. It is to be hoped that there are many more priests out there who will come forward with honest opinions and stop toeing the party line.

If anyone wants to know more about the history of the papacy an excellent startis Peter de Rosa's book "Vicars of Christ - the dark side of the papacy". Available at Amazon - possibly not in your local libary.

Posted by: on February 11, 2003 09:19 PM

As an American protest-ant of organized, institutional Christianity, I fear that Fr. Fagan has "burnt his bridges" in the Irish Church. I applaud him for the courage of his convictions.

Posted by: Wendell on February 12, 2003 02:11 AM

HI COLM, A NATURAL FOLLOW-ON FROM THIS GOOD PRIESTS COMMENTS, WOULD BE AN IMMEDIATE SEVERING OF "DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS" WITH THESE DESPOTS OF ROME. THEIR REPRESENTATIVE IN IRELAND, SEEKS DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY,WHAT HAS HE TO HIDE?????. HAS HE LOST HIS "PASTORAL" FEELINGS TO CARE FOR GODS CHILDREN??????. HE TAKES THE MONEY, HAS THE CAR, HAS HIS PALACE, ALL THE SOCIAL TRIMMINGS, MAY I, ON BEHALF, OF ALL VICTIMS, ISSUE TO THIS FROCK-WEARING COWARD, OUR "ENCYCLICAL" TAKE YOUR SELF, AND YOUR "MYSTERIUM INIQUITAS" BACK TO ROME,WHICH APPEARS, TO BE THE ACTUAL SEAT OF EVIL. ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME, CERTAINLY IT SEEMS, ALL ABUSE LEADS TO ROME.

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