Irish Priests Who Abused in the US

In the wake of the Irish abuse report published earlier this year, it’s now known that at least 70 Irish-born priests have been accused publicly of abuse here in the United States. Even before the report was published, we suspected that the depth of the Irish abuse in the United States had been significantly understated. For the better part of the 19th and 20th centuries, Catholic parishes were staffed by Irish missionary priests. The dearth of US vocations and the number of Irish priests led many US bishops, some of whom were Irish themselves, to visit and recruit priests from Ireland. In most instances, there was no background check performed on these priests. In instances where an Irish priest was considered problematic in Ireland, the Irish bishop was all to happy to send him off to a foreign land where he was free to abuse others. The culture of secrecy as well as the desire to protection the institution of the church at all costs further fed this tragedy of abuse.
The situation in Ireland mirrored the situation in the US concerning how the church handled reports of abuse. Mary Raftery, who produced the documentary “States of Fear,” and wrote a book on the same subject, “Suffer The Little Children,” discussed the state of the Irish church in terms of dealing with the abuse scandal,
“The approach of the religious orders was described by the commission in 2003 as “adversarial and legalistic.” The Department of Education, whose duty it was to inspect and regulate the bulk of the institutions, was refusing at that time to cooperate fully with the commission’s demands for documents.”
This is why the civil justice system had to intervene. Years of obfuscation provide the evidence necessary to conclude the church isn’t willing and simply can’t police itself.