Topics

Friday, April 26th

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

 

Facilitator, Mannix Flynn

 Keynote Address

IT’S NOT ABOUT FAITH— Colm O’Gorman

 

WHY IRELAND — Patsy McGarry

Why, of all Catholic countries in all of this world, is it Ireland which has been exposing the clerical child sex abuse scandal with such sustained vigour? Why has it been the case that Ireland alone has set up – not one, not two – but four judicial inquiries into the abuse of children by clergy, as well as the recent Magdalene Launderies investigation chaired by Senator Martin McAleese?  No other country’s Prime Minister has denounced the Vatican so unequivocally over this issue as did Taoiseach Enda Kenny on July 20th 2011. How did it come about that a country long-deemed the most Catholic in the English-speaking world and where levels of practice until recent decades were the highest in the Catholic world, arrived to this point?

 

3:30 PM – 5-30 PM

JUSTICE FOR MAGDALENES: THE LITTLE NGO THAT COULD— Mari Steed

An inside look at a ten-year campaign and how the cohesive efforts of a small group of dedicated individuals can make a difference and successfully campaign for justice. What began in 2003 as the ‘pipe dream’ of three adoption activists (two of whom had mothers incarcerated in the notorious Irish Magdalene Laundries) to achieve justice for women who were astonishingly left out of Ireland’s 2002 Residential Institutions Redress Act became, by 2009, a force to be reckoned with and drew the support of noted academics, a young human rights lawyer, politicians and others. Justice for Magdalenes (JFM) took their well-documented case to the Irish Human Rights Commission and ultimately to the UN Committee Against Torture. By publicly calling out the Irish State’s unwillingness to deal with the truth behind the Magdalene Laundries and their own involvement, this “little NGO that could” achieved what many thought was impossible: a formal State apology and comprehensive restorative justice for women and their children who had been so marginalised by the Irish State, Catholic Church and society. And along the way, their quiet, dignified campaign won the respect of the human rights community, government, media and public. 

BEFORE AND AFTER THE WRITING OF “THE GOD SQUAD”— Paddy Doyle

Paddy will discuss what inspired him to write the “God Squad” and how it has changed his life after its publication. The book is about a society’s abdication of responsibility to a child. The fact that I was that child, and that the book is about my life, is largely irrelevant. The probability is that there were, and still are, thousands of ‘me’s.

CHILD ABUSE IMAGES– A WORLDWIDE PLAGUE—- Marie Collins

This presentation will address the increasing use of photography in child sexual abuse. It will  point to how this affects the survivor who has to live with the nightmare of knowing that their abuse was being recorded for others to view. It will also deal with how these images of child abuse are spread globally through the internet for profit. It will point out the work being done by police around the world to catch the perpetrators and to identify and help the victims. The presentation will also show that those viewing these horror images need to be seen as facilitators of the abuse and not, as sometimes claimed, minor offenders doing no harm by “just looking at pictures.

Saturday, April 27th

9:00 AM—11:15 AM

SEEKING JUSTICE THROUGH HIGHER AUTHORITIES: AN UPDATE ON THE FILINGS TO  THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS BODIES — Pam Spees

Pam Spees will discuss the case filed by CCR and SNAP at the ICC, the legal framework used and why the Pope and other high-level Vatican officials should be held criminally responsible under international law for the widespread and systematic sexual violence. She will also present an update as to the status of efforts to hold the Vatican accountable before United Nations human rights monitoring bodies.

THE VATICAN AND THE ABUSE SCANDAL: FROM COVER-UPS TO AWARENESS. THE UNRESOLVED ISSUES OF A NEW STRATEGY — Marco Politi

As Pope Benedict seems to admit in his 2010 Letter to the Irish Catholics, the cover-ups about the sex abuses have been a built-in system within the Catholic Church for decades (and – better – for centuries). Under the pressure of a wave of law-suits and reports in the Unites States and in Europe Pope Ratzinger has publicly promoted a zero tolerance policy, deciding tougher rules at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and asking the national Bishop’s Conferences to work out patterns of action in order to monitor and fight sex abuses by the clergy. An International Symposium at the Pontifical Gregoriana University was conveyed in Rome in the year 2012 in order to implement this policy. But there is a long way still to go in order to get a real change of mind and attitudes within the church-hierarchy. The point is that a crowd of HIDDEN VICTIMS is still waiting to get justice. Until now the Vatican has not yet issued the order to all the bishops of the world that they have the strict duty to denounce sex offenders to the police. Equally, the Vatican has not invited the bishops to open the diocesan archives in order to discover the shelved crimes of the past. The most relevant sign of this “unfinished strategy“ is the situation in Italy, whose territory is directly under the rule of the popes, because every roman pontiff bears the title of “primas of Italy.“ The Italian Bishops Conference has no bishop responsible nationwide for the sex crimes within the church (e.g. like in Germany) nor is there a reference-person – whether lay or cleric – to whom victims can report sex abusesin the Dioceses in Italy. Nor is there an independent commission charged to investigate about past abuses. Such an embarassing “silence“at the heart of the Catholic community represents a bad example and does not stimulate other bishops conferences to act more effectively. In the end it deeply hurts the UNKNOWN VICTIMS, who deserve the right to see the criminals punished.

THE “IRISH GULAG: HOW THE STATE BETRAYED ITS INNOCENT CHILDREN“ —Bruce Arnold

Bruce Arnold will discuss how the “Irish Gulag” came into existence, was corrupted and was then exposed. He will explain how the State claimed to be apologizing to those who suffered when their main purpose was to protect themselves financially. He will also report how church officials collaborated in this continuation of the betrayal of innocent children.  

2:00 PM—4:15 PM

 IRELAND AFTER THE CLERICAL ABUSE REPORTS: A SAFE PLACE FOR CHILDREN?— Maeve Lewis

Maeve Lewis will explore the impact of the Ferns, Ryan, Dublin and Cloyne Reports on Irish child protection policy.  She will discuss the legislative and procedural changes that have been put in place, and will consider if these developments have really made Ireland a safer place to be a child.

 

SEXUAL CHILD  ABUSE BY CATHOLIC PRIESTS—REGUARDING THE FAILURE OF A LARGE SCALE RESEARCH PROJECT AND THE PERSPECTIVES FOR A CONTINUATION OF THE VICTIMOLOGICAL STUDY—Sandra Fernau

In the beginning of 2013 German media reported on the failure of a large study regarding sexual abuse by Catholic priests. It should be conducted by the Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony and was commissioned by the German Bishops’ Conference. This presentation examines the reasons of why the research project was cancelled and point out ideas for how two of the victimological studies can continue. The focus is on the introduction of an ongoing interview study with victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Germany. The main topics are interviewees’ individual upbringing and religious teaching, coping strategies and attitude towards religion and the Catholic Church in general. The study intends to analyze characteristic features and consequences of sexual abuse within the religious context. The first findings from the research will be discussed.

 

EXPERIENCE IN CHILE: VIOLATED AS A CHILD PROTECTING OTHERS NOW—Juan Carlos Cruz

Juan Carlos Cruz will speak about his experiences with sexual violence, as well as the struggle to stand up for himself and survivors everywhere by holding his perpetrator and the enablers accountable. A Chilean, who is now a corporate executive in the United States, Cruz was fifteen years old and had just lost his father, when Father Karadima used confession as way to access and then sexually violate him. As adults, Cruz and two others who were violated by Father Karadima gathered their courage and filed formal complaints about the priest. After a lengnthy internal investigation, the Vatican found the priest guilty of sexually abusing minors in Chile and ordered him to retire to a “life of prayer and penitence.”  Karadima, 80, is to have no contact with his former parishioners or “persons that have been spiritually guided by him.” Last year Cruz and the others courageously filed the first civil case against church officials in the country of Chile. Cruz paid a price for speaking out and was forced to leave his homeland for safety. In spite of enduring ruthless attacks against his character he has made it his mission to advocate for those who have experienced sexual violence and to hold predators and enablers responsible for their heinous crimes. He will discuss the efforts and plans to unite survivors from Chile and other South American countries in order to protect children now and in the future.

Sunday, April 28

9:00 AM – 12 PM Noon

 WHY THE DEAFENING SILENCE? LESSONS FROM IRISH BISHOPS THAT CAME TO AMERICA: MANNING,O’CONNELL AND CURRY— Patrick Wall

Why the continued deafening silence from Bishops of all the Churches? The Silence will be explored through some stories of Timothy Manning, Anthony O’Connell, Roger Mahony, Oliver O’Grady and Thomas Curry. One reason for the silence is in a forgotten Report from 1962: a template for understanding the Crime and Immorality of the last decades. This session will discuss these and how the 1962 report details the past and provides a prologue to the future.

 WHY THE INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH DOES WHAT IT DOES — A LOOK INSIDE INSTITUTIONALIZED NARCISSISM — Tom Doyle

The Institutional Church’s veneer of holiness covers a clerical culture marked by excessive narcissism that has a pervasive influence on the toxic spirituality that has enabled the sub-culture of abuse. The path to wholeness and healing for many requires the discovery of an authentic spirituality. This discovery leads to freedom, wholeness and happiness.

INTERNATIONAL PANEL— facilitated by Dave Beckwith

                    Canada–  Leona Huggins

                        Senegal– Badara Ndaw

                        Chile– Juan Carlos Cruz

                        Columbia– Fabio Herrera

                        United States– Barbara Dorris

 

GRATEFUL AND INSPIRED: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?— Barbara Blaine

All of us have been inspired and amazed at the creativity, generosity and passion used by survivors across the globe to expose and stop the violence. With varying cultural climates, resources available and numbers we have succeeded in affirming that the violence happens in every corner of the globe. Now that we have had this moment together how will we go forward? Can we do it together?

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