NEWS.com.au Australia May 21, 2009
Christian group says sorry for child abuse
From correspondents in Dublin | Agence France-Presse
ONE of the main Christian groups criticised in a report on abuse in Irish church-run children's homes apologised on Wednesday for its role in the scandal.
A spokesman for the Christian Brothers said they "unreservedly express our heartfelt sorrow and sadness and regret for what those people who were victimised in those institutions in any way whatsoever, suffered in the past".
"There have been many brothers who have believed they spent their lives honorably and generously in the service of children," Brother Edmund Garvey told RTE state radio.
"Then towards the end of their days... in an ageing organisation they had to face the fact that there was a dark side in this whole history of service.
"They feel very let down by it. They feel very ashamed by it and they are wondering what they can do make amends, to make a reparation, to acknowledge the past and to try to move on."
The report says the Christian Brothers were the largest provider of residential care for boys in the country. The order was founded by Irishman Edmund Rice who was declared "Blessed" - the first step in becoming a saint - by Pope John Paul II in 1996.
The order also ran a large number of non-residential schools. Its regular schools have a past pupils' roll book that reads like a who's who of cultural, political and social life in Ireland, including two former prime ministers.
The Christian Brothers has also been embroiled in child abuse scandals in institutions they ran in Canada and Australia.
In the United States, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), slammed the Christian Brothers.
"Harsh consequences, not mere publicity, deter crimes against children," said its head David Clohessy in a statement, adding: "Greater public awareness and carefully-crafted church apologies aren't enough."
"Regardless of what does or doesn't happen in the legal arena, no one should donate a nickel to the Christian Brothers," he said.
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This is a bogus apology.
If they are really sorry, why did they fight the investigation in court and successfully win the right to keep the names of perpetrators secret and out of the final report, including even those who had already been found guilty of crimes against children?
The only reason they have attempted this feeble apology is because they got caught and exposed. It only adds insult to injury to try and cloak their crimes with phony religious remorse at this late stage.
If a tree is known by its fruit, then the Christian Brothers are a corrupt branch on a corrupt tree. The order should be chopped down (disbanded), all their assets sold and the money given to the survivors of their religious tyranny.