38. Credit Where Credit Is Due

Having completed my story, I find that I am now looking back at the last two years.  I have seen despair, anger, frustration, more anger.  I have always had a fear of The Catholic Church, of priests, of the very Organisation that encouraged my and my fellow victims’ abuse.  I say encouraged, as that is the way it appears to me.  Any outfit that allows its ordained members to behave in such an evil manner is, in my humble opinion, evil.  There again I say ordained.  Robinson was in year 4 of a 6 year course when I had the misfortune of making his acquaintance.  The very fact that at the trial it was read out in court, that it took him 13 years to be ordained tells me many things.  I was, in fact, abused by a trainee, not yet a priest.  Yet he was expelled from his seminary in London for making sexual advances to the nuns.  It is apparent that the church let him back in a number of times.

I remember sitting in my cottage, back in 1995, watching “The Late Late Show” with Gaye Byrne, on RTE 1 television.  On this particular Friday night one of the guests was Cardinal Cahil Daly.  During the interview Gaye Byrne asked Daly, “were you aware of the child abuse going on with regard to Fr Brendan Smyth?”  He without hesitation replied, “yes.”  I was shocked.  The audience was taken aback and they made a gasping sound.  Gaye asked the same question again, this time instructing the Cardinal, “to think hard about the answer.”  He replied immediately, “yes.”  That night the Catholic Church, lost all credibility and still does to this day.

I have witnessed the Ryan, Murphy and now Cloyne Reports and I am still shocked not only by the church’s guilt, but by the way they treat the victims.  Their Christianity has no beginning.  Surely this has to change?  Last week I wrote a letter to The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, pledging my support for his efforts.  He is a very brave man to be taking the brunt of the public anger at what has gone on.  Yes a truly brave man.  Credit where credit is due.  This is the only man who seems to give anyone “hope for the future of the church in Ireland.”  I can see it, and I’m an atheist.

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