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Sinéad O'Connor

Sinéad O'Connor

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An Open Letter to the Pope

Posted: 09/20/10 07:30 PM ET

Sir,

Your remarks made last week concerning church authorities' handling of child rape complaints give the impression that neither John-Paul II nor yourself knew of how these complaints were being managed.

Can you please make clear exactly who has been running the church since 1979?

You have said church authorities did not act quickly nor decisively in dealing with allegations. This is entirely dishonest.

In fact church authorities acted extremely quickly and decisively, but in protection of rapist priests and the church, not of children.

In your letter to Irish mass-goers you stated that the Irish hierarchy, in covering up rape and transfering known rapists to other parishes, where many more children were raped, had done so out of "a well-intentioned desire to protect the reputation of the church."

If there is any such well-intentioned desire on your part then why have you not in outrage fired every employee of the church who contributed even in the remotest of ways, consciously or uncsonciously, to the attack on Christ himself as made manifest in those children who were raped?

It looks extremely bad that you have not done so. And that you continue to set up lies and smoke-screens and treat us as if we are stupid.

Spokespeople on your behalf keep saying, falsely, that hierarchies acted independently of The Vatican, when countless pleading letters from bishops to The Vatican show that is not the case, as do the specific instructions issued by The Vatican in 1962 to all bishops in the world for dealing with allegations of rape and abuse.

As you are aware, those instructions required the cleric taking complaints, as well as the victim making the complaint, to sign an oath of silence under threat of excommunication.

Your letter of 2001 to all bishops in the world confirms the 1962 instructions were in operation until 2001.

Why do you allow your representatives to lie?

All reports carried out in the four corners of the earth have found, independently of each other, that the church's main concern in dealing with abuse was the preservation of its assets and reputation and that the welfare of children was not a consideration.

As an example I refer you to the fact that in 1987 the church in Ireland took out a series of insurance claims in every diocese in order to protect the church from claims they foresaw would be made.

The church then sat back and did nothing until 1995 when complaints became public knowledge.

The reports show that without exception each diocese in the world behaved in exactly the same manner when dealing with allegations.

If hierarchies had been acting independently of The Vatican there would have been differences in their behaviour.

We deserve better than lies and insults to our intelligence.
The Holy Spirit deserves better.

As long as the house of The Holy Spirit remains a haven for criminals the reputation of the church will remain in ruins.

Finally, your statement that you hope the church's "humiliation will help the victims" is deplorable on two levels.

One: not one member of The Vatican has publicly displayed an iota of humility over this issue. Instead each person who has spoken has done so most arrogantly and dismissively.

Two: how dare you use the word humiliation to describe what you and the church are going through? Hope and pray, and thank God that you will never know the abject humiliation of children who were raped by monsters in the employ of your church. That is true humiliation.