The Redemption of Sinead O’Connor

October 5, 2012 Comments Off on The Redemption of Sinead O’Connor

The Redemption of Sinead O’Connor
By Michael Agresta Oct 3 2012

Twenty years ago today, Sinead O’Connor tore up a picture of the pope on Saturday Night Live—and the media largely misunderstood why. Is America finally ready to hear her out?

In the weeks and months after Sinead O’Connor tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II on live television, commentators in the media sought to explain the motives of her protest. Very few, however, made use of the traditional tools of journalism: interviews, research, and textual analysis. Instead, most commentators seem to have consulted their own imaginations….

Also inexplicably ignored were O’Connor’s own words, in an interview published in Time a month after her SNL appearance:

It’s not the man, obviously—it’s the office and the symbol of the organization that he represents… In Ireland we see our people are manifesting the highest incidence in Europe of child abuse. This is a direct result of the fact that they’re not in contact with their history as Irish people and the fact that in the schools, the priests have been beating the shit out of the children for years and sexually abusing them. This is the example that’s been set for the people of Ireland. They have been controlled by the church, the very people who authorized what was done to them, who gave permission for what was done to them.

Her interviewer seemed confused by the connection O’Connor was making between the Catholic Church and child abuse, so O’Connor opened up about her own history of abuse:

Sexual and physical. Psychological. Spiritual. Emotional. Verbal. I went to school every day covered in bruises, boils, sties and face welts, you name it. Nobody ever said a bloody word or did a thing. Naturally I was very angered by the whole thing, and I had to find out why it happened… The thing that helped me most was the 12-step group, the Adult Children of Alcoholics/Dysfunctional Families. My mother was a Valium addict. What happened to me is a direct result of what happened to my mother and what happened to her in her house and in school.

The interviewer remained skeptical of O’Connor’s characterization of Irish schools as playgrounds and training grounds for child abusers, and the interview moved on to different topics.

By now, the history of sexual and physical abuse in the Irish Catholic school system is familiar. As late as 2007, the Church controlled 93% of the schools in Ireland, giving most children no hope of escaping the often-sadistic system. As in America, serial child molesters like Brendan Smyth were shuttled from parish to parish and school to school to keep a step ahead of police and complaining parents. The culture of permissiveness towards abuse affected all communities, but probably the worst off were poor, orphaned, and troublemaking children sent to residential reformatory and industrial schools. To read the 2009 Ryan Report covering crimes carried out against children in these settings is to court a special sort of nausea—the kind that comes from bearing witness to an organized effort to deny the dignity of individual life and make the bodies of the powerless available to service the needs of the powerful. In this case, the powerless were disadvantaged minor teenagers and children.

Sexual abuse in several industrial schools was described as a “chronic problem.” Clergy whose behavior drew complaints from parents of day-school students were transferred to industrial schools where their abuses drew less attention. Some schools seem, on the evidence, to have been more labor camps than institutions of learning. At one notorious industrial school in Dublin, each child was required to string 60 rosaries each weekday and 90 on Saturdays. Students who did not reach their quotas were beaten….

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/10/the-redemption-of-sinead-oconnor/263020/

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Abuse victim believes Irish pedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth murdered an American child, Smyth victim rejects abbot’s apology

June 9, 2012 Comments Off on Abuse victim believes Irish pedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth murdered an American child, Smyth victim rejects abbot’s apology

Abuse victim believes Irish pedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth murdered an American child

Helen McGonigle draws connection between Smyth’s threat and discovery of body

By KERRY O’SHEA, IrishCentral Staff Writer June 8, 2012

Helen McGonigle, who was sexually abused by Irish priest Brendan Smyth  when she was six years old, believes the priest also murdered a child during his time in Rhode Island. McGonigle says that Smyth warned her by saying she would “end up like the body in the woods” if she told anyone about the abuse.

The Anglo-Celt reports on the connection McGonigle made between Smyth’s chilling comments and the finding of a child’s remains in the woods near her school in the 1960s. The discovery of the body, however, came about after Smyth laid down his threat on young McGonigle….

Brendan Smyth had bounced around parishes in Ireland, Wales and the US, committing unthinkable abuses on over 100 children along the way. http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Abuse-victim-believes-Irish-pedophile-priest-Fr-Brendan-Smyth-murdered-an-American-child-158092635.html

Smyth victim rejects abbot’s apology

Helen McGonigle with her brother Gerard and has described the apology to the victims of Brendan Smyth as an insult.

Paul Neilan  June 8, 2012

An American abuse survivor has criticised the apology of Fr Brendan Smyth’s former abbot, which The Anglo-Celt printed last week, and has launched her search for answers.

Attorney Helen McGonigle, who features in our lead story this week, has sent a fax addressed to the former abbot, Fr Kevin A Smith, at Holy  Trinity Abbey, Kilnacrott, Ballyjamesduff, requesting the abbey  “provide[s] me with a copy of the entire file at the abbey on Fr Brendan Smyth”.

The fax, which has an accompanying letter, is dated May 31, two days after Fr Smith released a statement apologising to victims of the paedophile Brendan Smyth. Smyth started abusing McGonigle in 1967, in Rhode Island, when she was six before Kevin Smith became abbot. http://www.anglocelt.ie/news/roundup/articles/2012/06/08/4010802-smyth-victim-rejects-abbots-apology/

Cardinal Brady apologises to abuse victim Brendan Boland, Brendan Boland welcomes Cardinal Seán Brady apology

May 9, 2012 Comments Off on Cardinal Brady apologises to abuse victim Brendan Boland, Brendan Boland welcomes Cardinal Seán Brady apology

If the right thing had been done by Father (now Cardinal) Brady, and Bishop McKiernan, the unspeakable abuse of the other children I had sought to save would not have happened.”

Cardinal Brady apologises to abuse victim Brendan Boland 7 May 2012

Cardinal Sean Brady has said he wants to personally apologise to a man who was abused as a 14-year-old boy by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

Cardinal Brady has come under pressure after a BBC documentary.

It accused him of failing to act on abuse allegations when he was a priest.

He said he had no intention of stepping aside but hoped an assistant – with succession rights – would be quickly appointed to his archdiocese.

Speaking to Irish broadcaster RTE on Monday, Cardinal Brady said he wanted to “apologise without hesitation” to Brendan Boland “and to any victim”.

“I offered that apology last Christmas, I offered to come and see him in person,” he said…..

Last week, a BBC documentary uncovered new revelations about an internal Church investigation into clerical child sex abuse in 1975.

It said a teenage boy who had been sexually abused by Fr Brendan Smyth gave the names and addresses of other children who were at risk from the paedophile priest to Cardinal Brady, who at that time was a 36-year-old priest.

He passed the allegations to his superiors but did not inform the police or the children’s parents.

Fr Smyth continued to sexually assault one of the boys for a year after that.

He also abused the boy’s sister for seven years, and four of his cousins, up until 1988. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-17984642

Brendan Boland welcomes Cardinal Seán Brady apology

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Brendan Boland who, as a 14-year-old boy, was sworn to secrecy by Cardinal Seán Brady after testifying that he had been sexually abused by the paedophile Fr Brendan Smyth, has welcomed the Cardinal’s public apology to him….

Mr Boland added: “I note that Cardinal Brady has now acknowledged that the information I gave him regarding other children being abused or at risk of abuse, should have been passed on to their parents in 1975.

“When I confided in the Youth Club to Father McShane in 1975, he did the right and proper thing in immediately bringing me to my parents and telling them what had been happening to me. It was only after that, that he informed his Superiors.

“If the right thing had been done by Father (now Cardinal) Brady, and Bishop McKiernan, the unspeakable abuse of the other children I had sought to save would not have happened. Both Cardinal Brady and I will have to live with our guilt in that regard.” http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0508/brendan-boland-welcomes-cardinal-brady-apology.html

Vatican ‘has blood on hands’ over Smyth affair, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin calls for establishment of independent Fr Brendan Smyth inquiry

May 7, 2012 Comments Off on Vatican ‘has blood on hands’ over Smyth affair, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin calls for establishment of independent Fr Brendan Smyth inquiry

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin calls for establishment of independent Fr Brendan Smyth inquiry

Sunday, 6 May 2012

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, has called for an independent international commission of inquiry into the crimes of Fr Brendan Smyth, the late paedophile priest.

Dr Martin said such an inquiry was owed to victims and that it would be in the public interest that the full story, and not bits and pieces, should come out….
http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0506/archbishop-martin-calls-for-smyth-inquiry.html

Vatican ‘has blood on hands’ over Smyth affair
By Claire O’Sullivan
Saturday, May 05, 2012

An American lawyer who was abused by Fr Brendan Smyth has said that the Vatican has “blood on its hands” for its failure to inform Irish Church authorities that it had censured Smyth for abuse in the United States years before the 1975 secret inquiry.

Helen McGonigle has learnt that the Vatican’s Congregation for the Religious issued a decree that Smyth wasn’t allowed to take Confession and was to be supervised following abuse complaints made in the late 60s.

Yet, in 1975 the Bishop of Kilmore and the Abbot of Killnacrott agreed a similar censure of Smyth — seemingly oblivious that a similar reprimand had already been handed down.

“Why didn’t the bishop or the abbot inform the Papal Nuncio of this second censure? Why weren’t they informed by the Vatican of the original censure? It is very clear that the 1968 censure was not enforced. What does all of this say about the organisation that is the Catholic Church,” Ms McGonigle asked.

Ms McGonigle has pleaded with police on both sides of the border to investigate Cardinal Brady for his possible role in perverting the course of justice and endangering children.

She pointed to current cases being taken against Catholic priests in the US for failing to report abuse allegations to the civil authorities.

“They are enablers, Cardinal Brady and all these priests. That is what they were asked to do and that’s what they have done,” she said.
http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/vatican-has-blood-on-hands-over-smyth-affair-192867.html

Vatican likely to replace Irish Cardinal with deputy bishop, Dr. Phil – MPD show

May 6, 2012 Comments Off on Vatican likely to replace Irish Cardinal with deputy bishop, Dr. Phil – MPD show

articles:
– Vatican likely to replace Irish Cardinal Brady with new deputy bishop
Report says Cardinal Brady likely to be gone to retirement by end of year
-Advisers backed resignation of Cardinal Sean Brady to save Catholic Church’s image
– As Cardinal Sean Brady turns his back on calls to quit, pressure mounts on police to get involved
– Dr. Phil – “My Husband, My Kids and My Multiple Personalities”
Thursday – May 10, 2012

Vatican likely to replace Irish Cardinal Brady with new deputy bishop
Report says Cardinal Brady likely to be gone to retirement by end of year

By JOHN O’BRIEN, IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

The Vatican is expected to replace Ireland’s leading church figure. Cardinal Sean Brady, and will appoint a coadjutor or deputy bishop by the end of this year who will eventually be his replacement.

The Irish Times has reported that the Vatican move will happen because of  massive public pressure on Brady over his actions concerning the notorious pedophile priest Fr. Brendan Smyth.

Brady is primate of all Ireland, essentially Ireland’s leading Catholic figure, based in Armagh.

The Vatican is expected to act after a BBC documentary alleged that Brady was far more involved in a cover up of Smyth than he admitted at the time in 1987. Brady, then a young priest, served on a panel investigating Smyth. No action was taken against Smyth and  he went on to abuse many more kids.

The Vatican at first defended Brady and said he had their full confidence. However, Irish leader Enda Kenny, Deputy leader Eamon Gilmore, and Northern Irish leader Martin McGuinness, have all called on Brady to resign….

Brady, 73, managed to keep his position after an earlier controversy about Smith and how he handled the case. This latest crisis, however, is seen as far more serious.

If Brady is forced to step down, it will be the 2nd major figure that Fr. Brendan Smyth has been instrumental in forcing out of office.

Former Irish leader Albert Reynolds also resigned after becoming involved in the Smyth controversy….

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Vatican-likely-to-replace-Irish-Cardinal-Brady-with-new-deputy-bishop-150279125.html

Advisers backed resignation of Cardinal Sean Brady to save Catholic Church’s image
By Greg Harkin  Saturday, 5 May 2012
Cardinal Sean Brady was backed by his senior advisers when he offered to resign more than two years ago.

The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland informed the Vatican of his “willingness to stand aside” as one of a range of possible options when his role in the Brendan Smyth controversy became public in 2010.

And his senior advisers backed the move — expressing concern that the Smyth controversy would damage the church.

The cardinal is now planning an alternative exit strategy.

Cardinal Brady had asked the Pope for ‘Episcopal help’ or an auxiliary bishop two years ago when the controversy first erupted, but the bishop was not appointed.

However, the church confirmed yesterday that the request has been “reactivated”.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/advisers-backed-resignation-of-cardinal-sean-brady-to-save-catholic-churchs-image-16154588.html


As Cardinal Sean Brady turns his back on calls to quit, pressure mounts on police to get involved

By Liam Clarke
Saturday, 5 May 2012

Pressure is growing on the PSNI to interview Cardinal Sean Brady over the most recent claims in the child sex abuse scandal.

The police didn’t act two years ago when the revelations that Dr Brady was present at the interview of two victims of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth first emerged.

One of the young victims, Brendan Boland, gave the names and addresses of several other children he knew were being abused by Smyth.

Despite this evidence nothing was done to warn the children’s parents or inform the police, and Smyth went on to abuse dozens more children over subsequent decades until he was finally brought to justice in the 1990s, dying in prison in 1997.

He had been abusing children since the 1940s.
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/as-cardinal-sean-brady-turns-his-back-on-calls-to-quit-pressure-mounts-on-police-to-get-involved-16154168.html

Dr. Phil – “My Husband, My Kids and My Multiple Personalities”
Thursday – May 10, 2012

Tracy is a married mother of four who says her life was forever changed the day she was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, more commonly known as multiple personality disorder. She says she has five personalities, or “alters:” Emily, a frightened 5-year-old child; Becky, who cuts, bruises, chokes and has threatened to kill Tracy; Susie, an innocent 10-year-old child; Samantha, “the CEO;” and Miss Anne, “the caretaker.” Tracy says that she’ll often times black out when an alter takes over and that the transition back to being Tracy can make her physically ill. Joined by her husband, Tyler, the couple says Tracy’s alter egos and unpredictable moods are causing strain on their marriage, and they’re struggling to explain her erratic behavior to their children. Is Tracy’s diagnosis real? Then, in a Dr. Phil first, Tracy transitions between her alters onstage. Speaking as Becky and Emily, can Dr. Phil gather insight into Tracy’s disorder? Tracy’s therapist, Dr. Peggy Avent, joins the show and explains her diagnosis. Could a secret from Tracy’s childhood hold the key to understanding her illness? Tracy’s mom, Sandy, weighs in and shares why she blames herself.

http://www.drphil.com/shows/

Cardinal Brady should face criminal probe says Smyth child victim, Human Trafficking in Canada

May 5, 2012 Comments Off on Cardinal Brady should face criminal probe says Smyth child victim, Human Trafficking in Canada

articles:
– Church crisis: Cardinal Brady should face criminal probe says Smyth child victim
– Abuse survivor: Without courage or integrity Cardinal Brady failed and it is unforgivable
– In full: Cardinal Brady responds to allegations over role in abuse inquiry
– Professor Perrin Appointed Special Advisor to the Prime Minister (first book, Invisible Chains: Canada’s Underground World of Human Trafficking)

Church crisis: Cardinal Brady should face criminal probe says Smyth child victim

By Independent.ie reporters

Friday May 04 2012

A WOMAN, who was sexually abused as a child by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth, today called for a criminal investigation into the actions of Cardinal Sean Brady.

American lawyer Helen McGonigle, (50) who now campaigns for survivors of clerical sexual abuse, said the All Ireland Primate should resign for not alerting other families to Smyth’s horrific catalogue of abuse.

She was molested by Smyth in the late 1960s in Rhode Island, New York.

Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster today, Ms McGonigle said she was “outraged” by Cardinal Brady’s response to allegations in a BBC documentary broadcast this week.

She said Cardinal Sean Brady’s “duty as a human” was to protect children and his failure to act properly on Brendan Boland’s complaint – when he named other five other children being abused – was “unforgivable”.

The Cardinal had shown “arrogance and insensitivity”, Ms McGonigle said.

She was just six-years-old and preparing for the sacrament of penance when she was abused by Smyth, who led her from her classmates into the sacristy of the church where he molested her….

Smyth was already known to have sexually molested children when he was sent to the McGonigles’ parish in the summer of 1965. Using his usual modus operandi, he befriended the family and they bonded over a shared Irish ancestry.

Speaking to the Irish Independent two years ago, Ms McGonigle, who is an attorney living in Connecticut, said: “From 1967 until about 1970 he molested me. He was caught in my parish molesting children as early as 1968….

While any intervention by Cardinal Brady in 1975 would have been too late to save the children of East Greenwich, Ms McGonigle said many others could have been protected….

She said Cardinal Brady must resign and he should be charged with obstruction of justice.

“He sat on this knowledge for 35 years, from 1975 through to 2010, and Brendan Smith continued to abuse children. It is only because of the lawsuit one of his victims has brought that he has had to show his hand.”
http://www.independent.ie/national-news/church-crisis-cardinal-brady-should-face-criminal-probe-says-smyth-child-victim-3099251.html

Abuse survivor: Without courage or integrity Cardinal Brady failed and it is unforgivable  5/3/12

….Now an executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, O’Gorman was not satisfied with the similar but weak defence offered by Scicluna and Brady yesterday that back in 1975 Brady was only a ‘notary’ in the interviews.

“Authority is not needed to walk into a Garda station to report the abuse and rape of children. It takes courage and a sense of moral decency,” he said, adding that it was important to remember that Brady was a highly-educated and qualified Canon lawyer at the time. He was also 35-years-old.

Commenting on the atrocious acts of Smyth that spanned a forty-year period, O’Gorman recalls the level of terror still visible in Brendan Smyth’s victims years later as something “extraordinary”.
http://www.thejournal.ie/abuse-survivor-without-courage-or-integrity-cardinal-brady-failed-and-it-is-unforgiveable-437703-May2012/

In full: Cardinal Brady responds to allegations over role in abuse inquiry 5/2/12  http://www.thejournal.ie/in-full-cardinal-brady-responds-to-allegations-over-role-in-abuse-inquiry-437208-May2012/

Professor Perrin Appointed Special Advisor to the Prime Minister

UBC Law Professor Benjamin Perrin has recently been appointed as Special Advisor, Legal Affairs & Policy in the Prime Minister’s Office in Ottawa….

In 2010, Professor Perrin published his first book, Invisible Chains: Canada’s Underground World of Human Trafficking (Penguin Canada, 2010). The book, an expose on the issue of human trafficking in Canada, was named one of the top books of the year by The Globe and Mail.

He has testified before a number of Parliamentary committees studying the issue of human trafficking and child sexual exploitation. In 2010, Parliament adopted Bill C-268, a private members’ bill calling for mandatory minimum sentences for child traffickers. Professor Perrin proposed and helped draft the bill, which was first introduced to the House of Commons in January 2009 by Member of Parliament Joy Smith….

Professor Perrin…is co-editor of Human Trafficking: Exploring the International Nature, Concerns and Complexities (CRC Press, 2011), and editor of Modern Warfare: Armed Groups, Private Militaries, Humanitarian Organizations and the Law (UBC Press, 2012). http://www.law.ubc.ca/news/2012/may/05_01_12_perrin.html

The Shame of the Catholic Church – Ireland, Cops: Father tries to sacrifice son

May 3, 2012 Comments Off on The Shame of the Catholic Church – Ireland, Cops: Father tries to sacrifice son

Part One – This World     The Shame of the Catholic Church
Decades of clerical abuse and cover up have left the Catholic church in Ireland at breaking point. Now Darragh MacIntyre reveals new evidence of a scandal that goes to the very top of the Irish church.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ma9ALRpEVw

The Shame of the Catholic Church
Decades of clerical abuse and cover up have left the Catholic church in Ireland at breaking point. Now Darragh MacIntyre reveals new evidence of a scandal that goes to the very top of the Irish church.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01h7m8r
available only in the UK

This World: The Shame of the Catholic Church, BBC Two, review
Damian Thompson reviews the BBC This World documentary, The Shame of the Catholic Church, which investigated child abuse claims.
By Damian Thompson  02 May 2012

Paedophiles are cunning. It’s one of those things we’re always told but doesn’t sink in – until we’re confronted by the sort of detail revealed in last night’s BBC Two documentary This World: The Shame of the Catholic Church. Father Eugene Greene of Donegal liked to fiddle with altar boys, and he knew how to go about it. He’d invite one of them to drive his car. That’s pretty exciting when you’re 12 years old – and an honour, too, given that it’s Father’s car. “Both hands on the wheel!” said the priest. And then he’d reach over. I don’t think I need say any more.  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/9241955/This-World-The-Shame-of-the-Catholic-Church-BBC-Two-review.html

 

Cops: Father tries to sacrifice son in cemetery
By R. Stickney, NBCSanDiego.com  4/30/12
A father is in custody, accused of attempting to sacrifice his own son in a San Diego area cemetery.

Joseph Ramirez, 30, took his family to Mount Hope Cemetery Saturday afternoon and told them his dead grandmother told him to sacrifice the 8-year-old boy, according to San Diego police.

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/30/11474419-cops-father-tries-to-sacrifice-son-in-cemetery

Dad Attempts Son’s Sacrifice at Cemetery: Cops 
Joseph Ramirez, 30, took his family to Mount Hope Cemetery Saturday around 4:30 p.m. and told them his dead grandmother told him to sacrifice the 8-year-old boy, according to San Diego police.

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Dad-Attempts-Sons-Sacrifice-at-Cemetery-Cops-149495845.html

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