Monthly Archives: June 2020

JUNE 30 2020 – “COTTRELL AND CAREY: WHY IS SOME SAFEGUARDING SECRET, WHILE OTHERS ARE THROWN TO THE MEDIA?” – ‘ARCHBISHOP CRANMER’

Cottrell-Carey

Stephen Cottrell Archbishop of York [left] – George Carey Former Archbishop of Canterbury [right]

“COTTRELL AND CAREY: WHY IS SOME SAFEGUARDING SECRET, WHILE OTHERS ARE THROWN TO THE MEDIA?” – ‘ARCHBISHOP CRANMER’

 

“Bishop Stephen Cottrell: Safeguarding Statements” – ‘Thinking Anglicans’ [+ Comments]

 

JUNE 26 2020 – “OXFORD COLLEGE ROCKED BY ALLEGATIONS OF LEAKS AND BLACKMAIL” – FINANCIAL TIMES

ISTOCK

SENIOR members of Christ Church, Oxford, have been accused of “weaponising” the suffering of abuse victims in a further attempt to oust the Dean, the Very Revd Dr Martyn Percy.

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“OXFORD COLLEGE ROCKED BY ALLEGATIONS OF LEAKS AND BLACKMAIL” – FINANCIAL TIMES

Academics at one of Oxford’s richest colleges have presented mobile phone records to support an allegation that the institution’s dean leaked confidential information, the latest twist of an extraordinary governance row.

Trustees of Christ Church, the alma mater of 13 prime ministers including William Gladstone, have been locked in a very public pay dispute with the dean, Martyn Percy, that has so far involved an attempt to oust him from his position, more than £2m in legal fees and a suspected blackmail campaign.

On Thursday the Charity Commission, which has regulated colleges at Oxford and Cambridge since a legal change a decade ago, ordered the two sides to return to mediation. “It is not our job, as charity regulator, to referee disputes,” it said. Both sides had wanted the Commission to intervene after Mr Percy broke off mediation efforts in March.

The college had offered the dean a settlement worth more than £1m to leave his post, which would cover his legal fees of at least £450,000. But senior university figures fear that significant intervention by the Commission could have implications for all Oxford colleges, which, unlike most charities, tend to have large numbers of trustees — academics — who are also paid and therefore have a financial interest in the charity’s spending.

The latest row between Mr Percy and the college centres on who leaked a confidential tribunal judgment that largely vindicated Mr Percy of allegations of impropriety relating to the dispute.

The dean, who is a senior Church of England priest, has consistently denied being the source of the document.

However, Christ Church’s governing body was told last week that Mr Percy’s work phone records show that in February he was in regular contact with the former Conservative minister Jonathan Aitken, who in March circulated the judgment.

Another PDF circulated by Mr Aitken showed its author to be “Martyn Percy”. Mr Percy declined to comment. He has told the college that an old document could have been edited to include new information. Mr Aitken told the FT that he had not received any documents from Mr Percy. He said he had received the document from an unknown email address by the name of “Henry Wolsey”.

The Charity Commission’s powers include firing trustees and ordering an independent review. The head of another Oxford college said, “If [Christ Church] were a school in Hackney, it would already have been taken into special measures.”

The dispute dates back to 2017, when Mr Percy, who had been appointed three years earlier, asked for a pay increase. It escalated after college figures accused him of trying to rig the make-up of the board that set his salary. In return, Mr Percy began multiple employment claims against the college.

The dean survived an initial attempt to oust him last year, when a retired High Court judge largely cleared him of allegations of impropriety. But relations have worsened since, after copies of the confidential judgment were circulated and leaked to the governing body and the media.

Mr Percy has denied speaking to journalists about internal matters. But he handed over a screenshot of his phone calls, which revealed contact with a journalist at the Times newspaper before it published extracts of the judgment.

The college subsequently found multiple text messages and calls between the journalist and Mr Percy. The dean told the college they were regarding his advisory role at the British Board of Film Classification.

Nearly two-thirds of the trustees, mainly academics, have accused Mr Percy of “a consistent lack of moral compass”, and called for the Charity Commission to help to remove him.

The dean, who has been portrayed as a reformer, was the subject of vicious emails by some trustees soon after his appointment in 2014. The issue has raised questions about Christ Church’s statutes, which offer few ways to resolve governance disputes, and its unique structure, with the college and the adjoining cathedral both headed by a dean.

Christ Church, whose endowment was worth £578m as of July 2019, has suffered a series of unrelated embarrassments. A professor was suspended last year, over claims he was involved in the theft of a papyrus, which he denies. Millions of pounds of art, including a painting by Anthony van Dyck, were stolen from the college library in March.

An undergraduate also made an offensive joke about Black Lives Matter protests during recent student hustings.

In a sign of the vicious atmosphere surrounding the dispute with the dean, senior academics reported receiving emails saying that, unless they paid large sums to Mr Percy, confidential documents would be published.

Christ Church said the emails “were reported to the police, and are being treated as blackmail”. The emails were also from an account labelled “Henry Wolsey”, the same name used by the person Mr Aitken says sent him the judgment. Mr Percy declined to comment on the allegation.

Mr Aitken said that the dean had no intention of leaving Christ Church, and instead called for his accusers to be removed. “He’s not going to move for 20 years. Why should he?” the former minister said. “The Augean stables have to be cleaned out — which must mean some departures”.

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

“Charity Commission calls for urgent mediation at Christ Church” – ‘Thinking Anglicans’

“CHRIST CHURCH PR AGENCY LUTHER PENDRAGON COLLUDES WITH FT JOURNALIST [AND ALUMNUS] TO DEFAME DEAN” – ‘ARCHBISHOP CRANMER

 

JUNE 24 2020 – “CLERICAL ABUSE AND CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP” BY JOSEPHINE ANNE STEIN – ‘MODERN BELIEVING’ – THE JOURNAL OF THEOLOGICAL LIBERALISM

“CLERICAL ABUSE AND CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP” BY JOSEPHINE ANNE STEIN – ‘MODERN BELIEVING’ – THE JOURNAL OF THEOLOGICAL LIBERALISM

Abstract

The Church of England’s official responses to clerical abuse compound the harm done to victims/survivors, as well as damaging clergy accused of abuse, congregations and not least, the Church itself as a Christian institution. This article explores the reasons why the Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM) and other current responses to abuse are incompatible with Christian discipleship, and presents Christocentric alternatives which prioritise the cure of souls and reconciliation. This approach draws upon non-adversarial practices such as occupational psychology, pastoral and social work intervention and restorative justice to craft bespoke responses to ecclesiastical abuse by clergy and church leaders. Improved understanding of clerical abuse and applying theologically grounded responses would improve spiritual recovery for all those wounded by ecclesiastical abuse: survivors, perpetrators, congregations, church leaders and their families and communities. But it is the Church of England itself which would stand most to benefit from enacting its Christian vocation.

 

JULY 2016 – “SURVIVING THE CRUCIBLE OF ECCLESIASTICAL ABUSE” BY JOSEPHINE ANNE STEIN – ‘SAFEGUARDING’ – THE CRUCIBLE JOURNAL OF CHRISTIAN SOCIAL ETHICS

https://www.anglicannews.org/features/2016/08/archbishop-welby-abuse-victims-must-be-heard.aspx

 

file:///C:/Users/Symonds/Downloads/Crucible%20front%20matter%20plus%20JAS%20article.pdf

JUNE 22 2020 – THE MARTIN SEWELL LETTER – DAILY TELEGRAPH [20/06/2020]

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SIR – The way allegations have been made against the Dean of Christ Church, the Very Rev Professor Martyn Percy (Letters, June 19), breaches the Church of England’s guidelines and ignores recommendations of the Carlile Report into the Bishop Bell fiasco.
I hope that Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury whose right to officiate has been revoked (report, June 18), fares better. Abuse victims know that an organisation which puts PR before justice is no friend of theirs.

Martin Sewell
Member of the General Synod
Gravesend, Kent

JUNE 21 2020 – “GEORGE CAREY – A VICTIM OF STASI-STYLE INJUSTICE ?” – ANGLICAN INK

Carey-Bell (2)

Former Archbishop George Carey [left] – Bishop George Bell [right]

George Carey – a victim of Stasi-style injustice?

 

Has the former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey been the victim of a Stasi-style injustice in the summary removal of his permission to officiate in Oxford Diocese?

According to a diocesan statement, Carey, 84, had his PTO removed because ‘new information has come to light’ in the course of the Church of England’s ongoing review into its handling of the John Smyth abuse scandal. The review is led by a well-respected former director of social services, Keith Makin. In the 1970s and 1980s, high-earning lawyer Smyth, then a Queen’s Counsel, savagely beat boys he groomed through the Iwerne evangelical camps for pupils from the ‘top 30’ fee-paying English boarding schools.

The Oxford statement does not specify what this ‘new information’ was that was passed onto the Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team, which then told  the Bishop of Oxford, Steven Croft, that he had to act against Carey.

But the ‘new information’ is almost certainly to do with the fact that Carey was principal of Trinity theological college in Bristol when Smyth was an independent part-time student there in 1983 a year after the Iwerne leadership privately told Smyth to get out of the network.

Carey claims he has no memory of meeting Smyth and is ‘bewildered and dismayed’ by the sudden decision to take away his PTO and the lack of an explanation why.  In 2017 Carey resigned his role as an honorary assistant bishop in Oxford Diocese after admitting he had been duped by the serial church abuser, Peter Ball, and to mishandling the allegations against Ball whilst he was Archbishop in the 1990s.

Carey’s PTO, which he applied for in 2018, enabled him to help out with services at his local parish church. Surely a lesser man than Carey would not have bothered with Christian service at his local church after resigning as an honorary bishop in the diocese?

The strong evidence is that even if Carey did meet Smyth at Trinity and forgot about him amidst the various student faces passing his eyes, he would have had no knowledge of the abuse scandal. After a victim disclosed Smyth’s abuse in 1982 to the then vicar of the Round Church in Cambridge, Mark Ruston, the scandal was kept secret. Ruston compiled a report on the abuse but circulated it to a small group of Iwerne leaders. The report was not made public or passed onto the police.

Carey, being from a working class background, was not a Iwerne insider. He would not have been shown the Ruston report.  Moreover, it is extremely unlikely that so soon after the Ruston report any Iwerne insider would have told Carey that he had an abuser at his college.

So, why has Carey been fingered for an association with Smyth? And where does that leave clearly Iwerne-background clergy in the Church of England who knew about the Smyth scandal in the 1980s? If ‘new information’ comes to light about them in the course of the Makin review, which is due to report next year, will they be summarily suspended Stasi-style?

Julian Mann is an evangelical journalist based in Morecambe, Lancashire, and author of Christians in the Community of the Dome

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

“CAREY PROCLAIMS HIS INNOCENCE AFTER MYSTERY SUSPENSION BY OXFORD DIOCESE” – ANGLICAN INK

In a 17 June 2020 statement Lord Carey proclaimed his innocence. He was also nonplussed as to why he was suspended and what he was alleged to have done to merit the discipline.

“I am bewildered and dismayed to receive the news a short time ago that due to ‘concerns’ being raised during the review of John Smyth QC I have had my PTO revoked. I have been given no information on the nature of these ‘concerns’ and have no memory of meeting Mr Smyth. In 2018 the National Safeguarding Team and the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury invited me to meet with them to arrange safeguarding training and facilitate a meeting with survivors of Peter Ball’s abuse. To my immense disappointment they have failed to deliver action on either of these matters which were the subject of a mutually agreed plan. As a result, I have little confidence in their ability to pursue a proper investigation. I understand from the testimony of victims and survivors of clerical abuse that this lack of confidence is widely shared”

JUNE 20 2020 – VENDETTA AGAINST THE DEAN OF CHRIST CHURCH MARTYN PERCY SPARKS LETTER TO THE GENERAL SYNOD

VENDETTA AGAINST THE DEAN OF CHRIST CHURCH MARTYN PERCY SPARKS LETTER TO THE GENERAL SYNOD

 

“This letter is currently being circulated to members of General Synod of the Church of England, in advance of their virtual meeting in July. There will be two Q&A sessions, and it is hoped that this summary of the situation will encourage Synod members to look carefully into the way the Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, is being appallingly treated – not only by the Governing Body of the College, but also now by the National Safeguarding Team of the Church of England.

“The authors, lawyers Martin Sewell and David Lamming, have worked tirelessly on the chronic mishandling of the Bishop George Bell case, and it is profoundly disappointing to see many of the problems identified by the Carlile Report seemingly replicated in the case now being considered against Prof Martyn Percy”

‘Archbishop Cranmer’

Dear General Synod colleague,

Christ Church, Oxford and the NST

Private Eye recently carried a piece on the reporting of the Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, Martyn Percy to our National Safeguarding Team for alleged safeguarding deficiencies. No child, young person or vulnerable adult has made any allegation of misconduct and the report comes from Christ Church malcontents whose complaints (not about safeguarding) have already been dismissed by the retired High Court Judge, Sir Andrew Smith, employed by the College pursuant to the College’s governing statutes to comprehensively investigate.

The Church is being dragged into a vendetta not of our making and, surprisingly, our officials and advisors seem to have allowed this to happen. This abuse of our processes by well-connected persons raises an important matter of principle. We doubt many internal parish bun fights would be so well received at national level. The issue flags up our institutional deference towards those of privilege.

It is not a currently a transparent process: the only transparency is the motivation. If Dean Percy is criticised by the Church or the Charity Commission it will be pleaded in the defence to the Dean’s Employment Tribunal claim against the Governing Body to defeat or mitigate the damages for the dons’ failed coup. We are being used. This is a route to an objective that can now only be secured by pretending the Dean is unsafe.

It has all the hallmarks of bullying, plain and simple. The Dean, uniquely at Christ Church, has no grievance procedure under the Statutes. This means that he can be attacked with impunity by malcontents and has no defence other than an Employment Tribunal. The Charity Commissioners are now involved. Yet the NST have decided to side with the malcontents at Christ Church, without so much as interviewing the Dean, or even doing a simple fact-check. The strain, and the financial and emotional burden, must be dreadful; but the Dean is resisting injustice, and the abuse survivors who are aware of the circumstances unanimously support him.

Christ Church has no procedure for removing the Dean, either by the dons or the Church, other than by a complex statutory process (and which applies to all dons). Seven dons tried to remove the Dean in 2018-19, and this failed completely with all 27 charges against him dismissed following a costly 11-day hearing. We ought not to allow the dons now to try to use safeguarding as their short cut, and with the complicity of the NST and its processes abused for ancillary purposes. We defer to nobody in our concern for proper safeguarding practice. But this case has nothing to do with safeguarding. The allegations of “safeguarding concerns” now being made to the NST never featured in the complaint of 2018-19. No person, survivor of abuse, or vulnerable adult has made any complaint, ever, against Dean Percy.

Dean Percy is trusted by survivors and was invited to be a contributor to the seminal book Letters to a Broken Church, published in July 2019. When two lone survivors protested the enthronement of the Bishop of Oxford on 30 September 2016 for safeguarding concerns, the entire Church hierarchy ignored them save for Dean Percy, who ensured they had access to a College toilet and brought them coffee and sandwiches.

The NST declined to investigate Jonathan Fletcher as he was not employed by the Church of England but was, rather, vicar of a proprietary chapel. William Nye, in his evidence to IICSA (witness statement 22 December 2017, paras 87-90) states that clergy in institutions such as Christ Church must have “due regard” to C of E standards in safeguarding, but that discipline remains with the independent institution (in the case of Christ Church, as a formal process in accordance with its Statutes). The C of E does not have jurisdiction. However, the NST has decided, with specious reasoning, that jurisdiction nevertheless applies in order to investigate Dean Percy, despite this being an entirely parochial Christ Church matter.

As this is going to be a growing controversy with more information emerging, we are undertaking a detailed analysis which we will share with you in the near future, should it become necessary. We draw on our experience of the George Bell controversy. This case is arguably even worse: lessons have been ignored despite the expensive Carlile Review.

Below are links comprehensively addressing the issues. We hope you will take the trouble to acquaint yourself with the story and find the links helpful in understanding the controversy. There are to be two Q&A sessions at the informal ‘virtual’ General Synod on Saturday 11 July. As you learn of the problems, you may have questions relating to the issues.

Members of clergy might usefully apply the following test: would I have confidence in the NST to handle a case against me in the light of this?

With best wishes,

Martin Sewell
David Lamming

 

Annexures:

JUNE 19 2020 – BRIDGE BUILDERS + “CLERICAL ABUSE AND CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP” BY JOSEPHINE ANNE STEIN

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“Some alternatives to the CDM [Clergy Discipline Measure] are little better from the survivor’s standpoint. Such is the power imbalance between clerical perpetrator and vulnerable survivor that the ecclesiastical conflict resolution organisation Bridge Builders does not take on mediations in safeguarding cases”

‘Clerical Abuse and Christian Discipleship’ by Josephine Anne Stein

 

“Christians are called to be ‘as wise as serpents, as gentle as doves’; we are not called to be the ‘useful idiots’ of which Lenin spoke”

Martin Sewell

[Church Times Letters – June 19 2020]

 

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“…this is not simply an issue of attitude but of competence too. This is a point which has been made powerfully by Martin Sewell, who is both a lay member of the General Synod and a retired child protection lawyer. He points out that diocesan staff are typically trained in theology and Canon law, not in safeguarding or child protection law. As a result, he says, many of those making a decision about safeguarding in the Church of England have no credible claim to expertise in this increasingly complex situation. Interestingly, Mr Sewell makes that point both in relation to the treatment of complainants of abuse, but also in regard to the mishandling, in his view, of the George Bell case. He sees the failings on both of those aspects as two sides of the same coin, a fundamental problem, in his view, being a lack of competence and specialist knowledge, particularly legal knowledge and experience gained in a practical safeguarding context”

[Source: Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse [IICSA] – Monday March 5 2018 – Page 129 – Paras. 2-19 – Richard Scorer – Counsel for the complainants, victims and survivors represented by Slater & Gordon]

 

DECEMBER 8 2011 – “IRISH ARCHBISHOP [JOHN CHARLES MCQUAID] WHO DIED IN 1973 IS LINKED TO ABUSE” – NEW YORK TIMES

Irish Archbishop Who Died in ’73 Is Linked to Abuse

New York Times

By

DUBLIN — The former archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid, widely regarded as the most powerful Catholic prelate in modern Irish history, stands accused of serial child sexual abuse, The Irish Times newspaper said Thursday.

Two specific complaints and a separate unspecified “concern” against an unidentified cleric were reported to the Murphy Commission, a state-sponsored investigation into the handling of clerical sexual abuse of children in the Dublin archdiocese. The newspaper reported that Archbishop McQuaid, who retired in 1972 and died a year later, was the unidentified cleric.

The commission published its main report in 2009, but it said that “due to human error” the latest allegations emerged only in a supplementary report published in July. This does not name Archbishop McQuaid, but the newspaper is adamant that the allegations of abuse contained within it refer to the archbishop. One allegation is regarding abuse of a 12-year-old boy in 1961.

“The supplementary report records that in June/July 2009, as the commission was completing its main report, it received information which would have ‘brought another cleric’ within its remit,” Patsy McGarry, the newspaper’s religious affairs correspondent, said in an interview. The archdiocese “found a letter ‘which showed that there was an awareness among a number of people in the archdiocese that there had been a concern expressed about this cleric in 1999,’ the report states. The ‘cleric’ is Archbishop McQuaid.”

The main body of the Murphy report was highly critical of Archbishop McQuaid’s attitude toward abuse, accusing him of showing “no concern for the welfare of children.” However, this is the first suggestion that the official body had received specific complaints against Archbishop McQuaid, who was at the very apex of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland for three decades.

In a statement, a victims’ group, One in Four, called for a statutory inquiry into the accusations, saying that “if Archbishop McQuaid was, as is alleged, a sex offender himself, then it is no wonder that the secrecy and cover-ups which have characterized the church’s handling of sexual abuse was so entrenched.”

The archdiocese told the newspaper that the police were investigating the matters dealt with in the supplementary report. There is also a separate civil action being taken against the archdiocese by one complainant.

 

EIGHT FALSELY ACCUSED BISHOPS

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Eight Falsely Accused Bishops (and Archbishops) in Ireland

Archbishop John Charles McQuaid (slandered by Dr Noel Browne and John Cooney)

Cardinal Archbishop Cahal Daly (slandered by Deputy Pat Rabbitte)

Background:

This article started as an “open letter” to several Irish historians on 7 December 2006, with a follow-up 10 days later. Both were published at the time by the “Alliance Victim Support Group” on its website AllianceSupport.org. I think that the Group which was founded in 1999, disbanded recently and there is just a skeletal website remaining. The first two letters refer to false allegations against six Irish Bishops – including two Archbishops (John Charles McQuaid of Dublin and Cahal Daly of Armagh – pictured above). In June 2008 I forwarded copies of the two to Brenda Power of the Sunday Times in response to an article she had written concerning the effects of false allegations of sexual assault. By this time there had been an additional allegation against a former Archbishop i.e. Thomas Morris of Cashel and I also recalled that Mary Raftery had slandered the former Bishop of Ossary, Peter Birch. Bishop Birch had been widely admired for his work among the poor by many people – including by my own mentor Brother Maurice Kirk.

All of the falsely accused Bishops were extremely high-profile – including three Archbishops. There are only four Archdioceses in Ireland and I have joked over the years that an Archbishop of Tuam – either current or deceased – is obviously next on our anti-clerics hit-list. Actually it has already occurred – but more on this later!

EIGHT Falsely Accused Bishops 

Monday, 23 June, 2008
From: “Rory Connor”
To: Brenda Power, Sunday Times

Brenda Power
The Sunday Times 
Regarding your article “It’s the Innocent who Merit an Explanationhttp://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/ireland/article4188284.ece
you may like to look at the following two articles which have appeared on the http://www.alliancesupport.org website.

The letters were originally addressed to a number of Irish Historians – and cced to Colm O’Gorman of the “victims” group One in Four for obvious reasons.

A total of 8 Bishops have been falsely accused of sex offences in Ireland – including 3 Archbishops. There are only 26 full Bishops in the country including 4 Archbishops so the Archbishop of Tuam is presumably next on our liberals hit list!

The following articles dated December 2006 relate to 6 Bishops. There has been one subsequent case – the late Archbishop Thomas Morris of Cashel [1] and incredibly I had overlooked one case – that of the late Bishop Peter Birch of Ossory (Kilkenny) [2].

Finally the hysteria about sex crimes is not indiscriminate or at least it didn’t begin that way. It was first directed at the Catholic Church and then spread to the rest of society. To counter it you need to start with the obscene lies directed at Churchmen.

Regards

Rory Connor

[1] See “Archbishop Thomas Morris and Oliver O’Grady” on http://www.alliancesupport.org on 17 January 2007.
Relevant Link: Archbishop Thomas Morris and Oliver O’Grady

[2] Included in the article “Vincent Browne, Mary Raftery and Sister Conception” on http://www.alliancesupport.org on 21 July 2006.
Relevant Link Bishop Birch and Mary Raftery

Originally SIX Falsely Accused Bishops

Ladies, Gentlemen and Scholars,
The following article concerns false sex allegations directed against 6 Irish Bishops between 1994 and 2006. This represents nearly a quarter of the Irish Hierarchy (shades of “One in Four“!).
Can we expect Colm O’Gorman, the founder of “One in Four” to comment? After all people who make false allegations of child abuse are trading on the misery of those who were REALLY abused. When our current Witch-hunt eventually comes to an end, children who are true victims of child abuse will find it difficult to get a hearing.
Cynicism is the legacy of Hysteria and Cynicism will be the ultimate legacy of our Irish Salem.
Regards
Rory Connor 
7 December 2006
FALSE SEX ALLEGATIONS AGAINST IRISH BISHOPS
In the 12 years since 1994, a total of six Irish bishops have been the target of false sex allegations in the media. The majority of the allegations relate to claims that the bishop was a paedophile, one to a different sex claim and one to a charge of trying to prevent the extradition of the paedophile priest Father Brendan Smyth.
There are only 26 bishops in the whole of Ireland.
My articles on the allegations are published on the website http://www.alliancesupport.org between June and November 2006.
    http://www.alliancesupport.org 29 September 2006
Relevant Link: The Guardian and Bishop Magee
On 2 April 1994, The Guardian, which is Britain’s most distinguished “liberal” newspaper, published an allegation that a senior Irish Bishop was linked to a paedophile ring. 
The Guardian thought that, by not naming the bishop they could get away with their lies. However there are only 26 bishops on the whole of Ireland and the newspaper report contained certain remarks that reduced the number of possible targets still further. The Irish Hierarchy threatened a class libel suit and the Guardian were forced to apologise.
On 22 April 1994, the Irish Times which is the Irish equivalent of the Guardian, published a report that contains little more than the text of their sister paper’s apology. However the more down-market Sunday Independent published a detailed report into the background of the libel. Independent journalist Sam Smyth pointed out that this claim had been previously investigated by a number of British TABLOIDS which rejected it as false! Yet the Guardian went ahead and published anyway!
The following summary comes from Richard Websters article “States of Fear, The Redress Board and Ireland’s Folly” on the website http://www.richardwebster.net. 
(My own longer article “FALSE ALLEGATIONS: PAT RABBITTE AND CARDINAL CATHAL DALY” is on http://www.alliancesuppoprt.org in October 2006.)
Relevant Link: Pat Rabbitte and Cardinal Cahal Daly 
The beginnings of the story go back to 1994 when the authorities in Northern Ireland sought the extradition from the Republic of Father Brendan Smyth, a Catholic priest who was facing a number of counts of child sexual abuse to which he would eventually plead guilty. It would appear that he had previously been protected against allegations by his own Norbertine order, which had moved him from parish to parish as complaints arose, and failed to alert the police.
 
 Perhaps because of the age of the allegations, which went back twenty years, there was a delay of several months during which the Irish attorney general took no action in relation to the extradition request. Unfounded reports began to circulate in Dublin that the process was being deliberately delayed in response to a request made at the highest level by the Catholic Church. An Irish opposition deputy, Pat Rabbitte, then referred in parliament to the possible existence of a document that would ‘rock the foundations of this society to its very roots’. He apparently had in mind the rumoured existence of a letter written by the Primate of All Ireland, Cardinal Cathal Daly, to the attorney general in Dublin. In this letter the Cardinal had supposedly interceded on behalf of Father Brendan Smyth and requested the delay in his extradition which had in fact taken place.
 
No evidence has been produced that any such letter ever existed. Yet, as a direct result of the rumours which now swept the country, confidence in the ruling establishment was undermined and the Fianna Fail government of Albert Reynolds fell, amidst talk of a dark conspiracy involving politicians, members of Opus Dei, the Knights of Columbus and others. This conspiracy was allegedly seeking to cover up the activities of paedophile priests.”
Relevant Link: Bishop Comiskey and Gay Byrne

The following is from a sneering article by Declan Lynch in the Sunday Independent on 8 October 1995. It is headed “Gaybo Speaks and the Catholic Faithful Tremble“:

I personally would rate myself a friend and admirer of Brendan Comiskey [said Gay Byrne on his radio programme], and indeed I was looking for him on the telephone recently, and he didn’t make contact with me which would have been kind of unusual, a little bit unusual.

“So much so that I don’t believe now that Brendan Comiskey has gone to America because of stress, nor do I believe he’s gone because of alcohol, nor do I believe he’s gone because of his alleged protection of a priest who’s up on charges.

“I think there is something other. I haven’t the faintest idea of what it is, but I think there is something else, and I think it is something dreadful, and I.m almost afraid of what it might be. That’s my personal reaction.”

A second article in the same paper commented that “although the remarks appeared to be ‘off the cuff’ it is known that Gay scripts his shows with extreme care and attention.

[See article “Apology to Bishop of Cloyne, John Magee by TV3”  on http://www.alliancesupport.org on 27 Sept 2006]
Relevant Link: TV3 and Bishop Magee

The following is the text of TV3’s apology for libelling Bishop Magee:
RETRACTION AND APOLOGY TO THE BISHOP AND DIOCESE OF CLOYNE BROADCAST BY TV3 ON TUESDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER  [1999] IN THE 5.30PM, 7.30PM AND 10.45PM NEWS BULLETINS
It was reported on the 15th September last in the news at 5.30pm, 7.00pm and 10.45pm that the Catholic Church had settled a case with a man who claimed that inappropriate behaviour took place in the Bishop of Cloyne’s residence. We wish to unreservedly retract same as it is clear that no such claim was made by the man in question. We are satisfied that there was no basis or truth whatever in the allegations and any suggestion that the Bishop of Cloyne has been compromised in any manner in the conduct of his duties is sincerely regretted and entirely without foundation. We wish to offer an unreserved apology to the Bishop and to the Diocese of Cloyne.
The sincerity of TV3’s repentance can be gauged from the fact that, one month later, in October 1999, they broadcast Louis Lentin‘s documentary “Our Boys“. This contained an allegation by Gerry Kelly that he attended the funerals of boys in Artane who had been killed by the Christian Brothers. No boy died of any cause while Gerry Kelly was in Artane!
Relevant Links: Five Articles on John Cooney and John Charles McQuaid
I have published several articles on this subject on the Alliance website from July 2006 onwards. See in particular the 5 articles entitled “JOHN COONEY AND JOHN CHARLES MCQUAID” (1) to (5). The first article contains quotations from 4 Irish historians, all of whom agree that the allegations in Cooney’s biography of John Charles are rubbish. Incredibly they also agree that its a great book – provided you disregard the “silly bits” about paedophilia!! 
The most outrageous claim in John Cooney’s book “John Charles McQuaid – Ruler of Catholic Ireland” is that the Archbishop was a homosexual paedophile. However in my third article I refer to Cooney’s other allegation that the Archbishop used an astronomical telescope to spy on courting couples on Killiney beach and on girls in a schoolyard. I point out some problems with these claims
:
(A) Killiney beach is not visible from the Archbishop’s observatory
(B) Homosexual paedophiles do not normally display an interest in courting couples or females of any age (Actually the same applies to non-paedophile homosexuals!).
(C) An astronomical telescope is designed to view stars millions of miles away. It is not suitable for observing human beings a hundred yards away!
Dr Noel Browne is the source of the main allegation against the late Archbishop. See articles “DOCTOR NOEL BROWNE AND HIS ENEMIES” and “DOCTOR NOEL BROWNE AND THE BISHOPS” on the Alliance Support website.
Relevant Links: Noel Browne and His Enemies and Noel Browne and the Bishops
Relevant Link: Bishop Casey Accused
Bishop Eamonn Casey was recently accused by a middle aged woman who claimed that he had abused her 30 years ago. Thus we are clearly talking about an allegation of pedophilia. The claim was given huge publicity by the media which emphasised that the woman is regarded as mentally disturbed and has made unfounded allegations against other people. So why all the publicity since journalists obviously did not believe her?. If she had accused a retired headmaster or senior civil servant would her lies have been given equal prominence? The difference is that Eamonn Casey is a retired Bishop. The Rape Crisis Network also thought that this was a good opportunity to demand that he apologise again to Annie Murphy. 
What we have here is a society that is spewing on itself. The saga of false allegations against Bishops began in 1994 when the UK Guardian accused an un-named Bishop of being part of a paedophile ring. Later that year Pat Rabbitte  implied that Cardinal Cahal Daly was engaged in a conspiracy with the Attorney General to prevent the extradition of Father Brendan Smyth. In that year the false allegations were being made by the highest in the land. Now a poor deranged woman is repeating them. “A fish rots from the head” says the Russian proverb about the role of intellectuals in society. Now the rot has reached both tail and heart!
Rory Connor 
7 December 2006

‘One in Four’ Bishops – as per Colm O’Gorman!

Ladies, Gentlemen and Scholars,

A couple of objections to my article on “False Allegations against Irish Bishops” have come to my attention. [www.alliancesupport.org on 9 Dec 2006]. The main objection is that I am overstating the significance of the number of false allegations. I claim – only partly with tongue in cheek – that the allegations against six Bishops amount to “One in Four” of the Irish Hierarchy (as per Colm O’Gorman and his group of that name).
FIRST OBJECTION.  You are referring to TWO different generations of Bishops. After all Archbishop McQuaid died in 1973 and Bishop Casey retired in 1992. Therefore the proportion of falsely accused Bishops is one in eight or ten rather than “One in Four“. 
MY ANSWER. Yes but all of the allegations date from 1994 to date and these 12 years fit neatly into one generation. MOREOVER the usual explanations for making claims decades after the event, do not apply in these cases. The usual excuses are:
(A) I was traumatised by my experiences and only recovered recently, 
(B) Nobody would believe my word against that of a priest/Bishop.
Since we are talking about lies and slander these explanations are irrelevant. Thus the “One in Four” proportion is OK.
SECOND OBJECTION: There are 26 Irish dioceses but 33 Bishops – the other 7 are “Auxiliary Bishops”. Again this means that you have exaggerated the proportion of those who have been falsely accused.
MY REPLY.  No Auxiliary Bishop has been falsely accused (as far as I know) and I think it unlikely that one will be in the future. Just look at the list of those who have been the target of obscene lies:
  • John Charles McQuaid was the best known Irish prelate of the 20th Century. He was Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland.
  • Cathal Daly was Cardinal Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland.
  • John Magee of Cloyne is the only man in the history of the Church to have been Private Secretary to three Popes (Paul VI, John Paul 1 and John Paul 11)
  • Bishops Eamonn Casey and Brendan Comiskey are very well known prelates who had frequent dealings with the media
  • I am reasonably sure I know the identity of the un-named Bishop who was accused by the UK Guardian in 1994. He is no “Auxiliary” either!
  • Our lying intellectuals tend to concentrate on the “big shots” in the Catholic Church and disdain mere Auxiliary Bishops.  Thus I think my “One in Four” proportion is still valid.
FINALLY I believe that the behaviour of our lying anti-clerics says a great deal about the nature of the paedophile problem in this country. Let us suppose, for the sake of argument, that there is a major problem with paedophile clergy in the Catholic Church. Then over the last 50 years or so, you would expect that at least one Bishop would be identified as a paedophile. You would also expect that this man would be operating in a small diocese and that few people would have heard of him before the scandal. THAT is the way things work out in real life (as opposed to Salem Style Witch-hunts). And the reason things happen that way is that a man with severe moral and emotional problems is unlikely to be a high-flier in any profession. (Compare the unfortunate Judge Brian Curtin).
However that is NOT how things actually worked out. Ludicrous and lying allegations have been made against  a Cardinal Archbishop of Armagh, a  former Archbishop of Dublin who was a hate figure for “liberals” since the 1970s etc etc. 
Clearly we are not talking about real life but a parallel universe in which our anti-clerics draw their plots from Dallas and their morals from the Nazi pornographer Julius Streicher. 
Is it possible that I am overstating my case?
Best wishes, 
Rory Connor
 

[19 December 2006]

False Allegation against Former Archbishop(s) of Tuam

Over the years I have joked that  Irish “liberals” who slandered three of our four Archbishops, were bound to take aim at the Archbishop of Tuam. Actually it happened  a few years ago but I didn’t fully appreciate its significance at the time. In June 2014 the Jesuit magazine “America” persuaded the Associated Press to issue an apology for claiming that the Catholic Church had refused to baptise the children of unmarried mothers at the mother and baby home in Tuam run by the Bon Secour nuns. Senior Editor Kevin Clarke wrote in “The Galway Horror Part II”
https://www.americamagazine.org/content/all-things/galway-horror-part-ii
“Babies born inside the institutions were denied baptism and, if they died from the illness and disease rife in such facilities, also denied a Christian burial.” It is a sentence, unattributed to any source, which repeats—either word for word or in a close approximation—in hundreds of articles concerning the now infamous deaths and burials of hundreds of children in Tuam, Galway between 1925 and 1961. This appalling sacramental indifference is referenced in major U.S. and U.K. publications and cited in leading online opinion journals like Salon as more evidence of the cruelty of the Bon Secours sisters who ran the home and the Catholic Church in Ireland in general.

The text of the apology is as follows:
DUBLIN (AP) — In stories published June 3 and June 8 [2014] about young children buried in unmarked graves after dying at a former Irish orphanage for the children of unwed mothers, The Associated Press incorrectly reported that the children had not received Roman Catholic baptisms; documents show that many children at the orphanage were baptized. The AP also incorrectly reported that Catholic teaching at the time was to deny baptism and Christian burial to the children of unwed mothers; although that may have occurred in practice at times it was not church teaching. In addition, in the June 3 story, the AP quoted a researcher who said she believed that most of the remains of children who died there were interred in a disused septic tank; the researcher has since clarified that without excavation and forensic analysis it is impossible to know how many sets of remains the tank contains, if any. The June 3 story also contained an incorrect reference to the year that the orphanage opened; it was 1925, not 1926.

The journalists who published those lies were aiming at the Bon Secour nuns in particular and at the Catholic Church in general. However it is the clergy and not nuns, who would have made that decision and the local priest would certainly have referred an issue of such rarity and importance to his Bishop – or in this case to the Archbishop of Tuam.  According all four Irish Archbishops have now been subjected to obscene lies by our “liberal” media!

If our journalists – and politicians – were targeting Protestant Archbishops or the Chief Rabbi of Ireland with such lies, no one would be in any doubt as to their motivation!