I was brought up Catholic coming from a Sicilian heritage like I did. I went to Catechism, made my Communion and Confirmation and even took off from school for Ash Wesdnday. As I grew older I distanced myself from the ritualism that was part of the Church, but I believe that my beliefs should remain private no matter where they have taken me. I do have to admit that it does bother me somewhat when I read stories like this.
Ireland's senior Roman Catholic, Cardinal Sean Brady, said Monday he would not resign despite admitting he helped the church collect evidence against a child-molesting priest � and never told police about the crimes.
Brady, as a priest and Vatican-trained canon lawyer in 1975, said he interviewed two children about the abuse they suffered at the hands of the Rev. Brendan Smyth. He said both children were required to sign oaths promising not to tell anyone outside the church of their allegations.
Smyth went on to molest and rape scores of other children in Ireland, Britain and the United States before British authorities in neighboring Northern Ireland demanded his arrest in 1994. The Irish government of the day collapsed amid acrimony over why Smyth was not quickly extradited to Belfast.
"Yes, I knew that these were crimes," Brady said. "But I did not feel that it was my responsibility to denounce the actions of Brendan Smyth to the police. Now I know with hindsight that I should have done more, but I thought at the time I was doing what I was required to do."
Smyth abused at least 90 children in Ireland, Britain and in U.S. parishes in Rhode Island and North Dakota from 1948 to 1993.
His Irish religious order, the Norbertines, gave him sanctuary in the Republic of Ireland in 1991 after one Belfast family told Northern Ireland police he had molested four of the family's children.
This story comes on the heels of the bombshell that fell on Pope Benedict's head.
The priest at the center of a German sex-abuse scandal that embroiled Pope Benedict XVI continued working with children for more than 30 years, even though the pope was personally involved in his case and a German court convicted the priest of molesting boys.
The priest, Peter Hullermann, who had previously been identified only by the first initial of his last name, was suspended from his duties only on Monday. That was three days after the church acknowledged that the pope, then Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger, had responded to early accusations of molestation by allowing the priest to move to Munich for therapy in 1980.
Hundreds of victims have come forward in recent months in Germany with accounts of sexual and other physical abuse from decades past. But no case has captured the attention of the nation like that of Hullermann, not only because of the involvement of the future pope, but also because of the impunity that allowed a child molester to continue to work with altar boys and girls for decades after his conviction.
Bill Donohue probably will be asked to go on TV soon to comment, but will probably decline if he can. I hope he does because he always tries to refer to these types of stories as horrible, but old news. He's one of the most embarrassing people I've ever seen try and represent any religious community. Evah! What do they say about the cover up and the crime, again?