My regular online newsletter from the National Secular Society arrived in my inbox just now.
It would seem that the Roman Catholic diocese of Middlesbrough has lost its appeal in what is the largest British child abuse case. This is very good.
The Court of Appeal dismissed a challenge by the Roman Catholic diocese of Middlesbrough in a case where more than 150 former pupils are suing for an estimated £8m in compensation – the largest such claim ever seen in Britain. The claimants are alleged to have suffered sexual and physical abuse by staff at St William’s in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire between 1960 and 1992. (NSS)
It now seems the way is clear for some 140 to 150 claimants to press for compensation that is apparently in the region of £8 million. This is the largest such claim ever seen in Britain. Mind you, the US compensation claims from different dioceses have been of an order of magnitude that boggles the mind and has sent some dioceses broke. Yay!! I should not be so intemperate; sorry.
Even if the RCC is one of the richest organisations in the world, hitting its back pocket will have some effect (it always does). After all Middlesbrough has been delaying the outcome of this case for a long time. They have been trying to implicate (slough off the moral and fiduciary responsibility onto) De La Salle Brothers who are accused of actually perpetrating the abuse to these former students. No doubt the Brothers were more than brotherly, but the courts have ruled the diocese’s ultimate responsibility for the Brothers employed in their school.
From a report in The Guardian, the diocese is considering the implications of the judgement. So there will be further delays in a case that was brought to the courts in 2006, unless the courts deny further appeals.
I have finished reading the most damning book by Geoffrey Robertson The Case of the Pope
that leaves very little unturned in his very thorough investigation into the handling of child sex abuse cases within the Roman Catholic Church. One of the sticking points is the ‘employee’ status of priests with regard to the Vatican, abusing or not. Another sticking point is how to treat the infiltratory nature of the Vatican and the Holy See into the global political and humanitarian scene vis a vis the UN.
Because so few cases ever get to the civil courts and instead are ‘dealt with’ by the Church’s inadequate Canon Law, the perpetrators are shifted from one place to another in an attempt to protect the reputation of the RCC while the Vatican keeps on denying the extent and severity of the problems with its clergy. Of course, the welfare of the victims has never been even mentioned in the annals of pastoral care as practised by the RCC. The Pope is one of the oddest fish:
Sorry to be blunt, but human beings, like all other sexual animals, need some form of sexual relief. The male of the (any) species produces sperm and the physical imperative to deposit this load is unavoidable.
The RCC says masturbation is a sin. The RCC says its clergy must be celibate. The RCC wanting children to be inculcated as soon as possible puts a sexually frustrated and delusional group of men (otherwise known as the clergy) in charge of children’s spiritual, educational and health welfare.
How could this be anything but a recipe for disaster?
There is no directive anywhere in the RCC holy book for its pastoral carers to be celibate. It was a political/financial decision to consolidate the RCC assets and stop them being appropriated to the sons produced by priestly unions with women of substance.
At the end of Robertson’s book he makes the following observations:
No doubt the RCC doesn’t like it, but it appears that some 22% of priests in Austria are said to be in heterosexual relationships.
A recent survey in Poland showed 54% of priests would like to be married while 12% owned up to already having a wife.
There are some 2,000 women in the US who are involved with an organisation that is bringing law suits (paternity suits) against priests of the RCC who had fathered children with them.
I think it is difficult for those of us who have never been religiously indoctrinated to appreciate the extent to which priests believe in their own ecclesiastical powers and the authority with which their parishioners imbue them. It is a ready-made master/slave relationship where the slaves are held in thrall.
According to Robertson, the Vatican newspaper is urging that the age of first communion be lowered from six to five years of age. How low can you go!!
Well! At the risk of spitting chips, all I can say it is low enough for a Prime Minister and his Deputy and numerous other pollies bowing and scraping to be seen in photo ops with this disgusting CEO of a very successful, manipulative and criminal organisation.
I imagine all readers of this blog understand how I view organised religion and especially the RCC. I have written before and will undubitably do so again!
I must stop – I am becoming vituperative. This is why I didn’t write when the Pope was visiting this country. I wouldn’t have been able to stop!