Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

August-13-02

Priest Scandal Extends Worldwide; Catholic Heartland of Ireland Reels With Revelations

After years of sexually abusing young boys while leaders of the Catholic church looked the other way, a prominent Irish priest was arraigned on 29 charges of sodomy, indecent assault and gross indecency – showing that the scandal that has rocked the church in the US extends even as far as the devoutly Catholic stronghold of Ireland. The Washington Post reports in a front page article that the case of Reverend Sean Fortune, who is reported to have raped young boys even before his ordination in 1979 (a fact the church knew about but allowed him to become a priest anyway), is one of many incidents involving pedophile priests continuing to surface in Ireland.

Fortune committed suicide 11 days after he was arraigned on these charges in 1999. However, it wasn’t until British Broadcasting Company (BBC) television documentary recounting Fortune’s decade of abuse was aired four months ago that the church was impelled to launch two internal investigations and reexamine complaints going back several decades. Just after the broadcast, Bishop Brendan Comiskey – who transferred Fortune from parish to parish and at one point applauded his “enthusiasm, zeal and love” despite receiving scores of complaints about the priest – was forced to resign. In addition, the Irish government launched its own inquiry – a confidential report was reportedly turned in last week.

The Catholic Church in Ireland has lost so many cases that it has agreed to pay $110 million in compensation to victims of abuse in church-run but publicly-funded vocational schools alone, according to the Post. Overall, monetary settlements have been so extensive that the Irish parliament has had to bail out the church to pay them. “Considering Ireland has a population of close to 4 million people the sums of money are staggering,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “Given the inability of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church to deal with this widespread problem, can you imagine what the future claims would be in the US if we were to go to a church-run public voucher system?”

Media Resources: Washington Post 8/13/02; Feminist Majority Foundation 8/13/02


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

9/22/2014 Under the Affordable Care Act, More Women Then Ever Have Free Access to Contraception - Two-thirds of American woman now have access to free birth control, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Guttmacher Institute released a study Thursday showing steep increases in the number of women who were able to take full advantage of the ACA birth control benefit. . . .
 
9/22/2014 Climate Change Activists Take Over Manhattan to Demand Action - An estimated 400,000 people took to the streets of Manhattan over the weekend to demand world leaders take action on climate change. The People's Climate March, which some are calling the single largest call for climate action ever, took place ahead of Tuesday's emergency UN Climate Summit. Joining the march were several labor unions, former Vice President Al Gore, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and celebrities Leonardo DiCaprio and Edward Norton. . . .
 
9/22/2014 New President and National Unity Government Announced in Afghanistan - The Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced yesterday that the Afghan people have elected Dr. . . .