Via Pharyngula, here are two reactions to the reports of systemic abuse within the Catholic reform schools in Ireland:
The church has failed people. The church has failed children. There is no denying that. This can only be regretted and it must be regretted. Yet “sorry” can be an easy word to say. When it has to be said so often, then “sorry” is no longer enough.
And on the other side of the spectrum, we have the American president of the Catholic League, Bill Donohue, who decided that it really wasn’t all that bad, and it was a long time ago anyway:
The Irish report suffers from conflating minor instances of abuse with serious ones, thus demeaning the latter. When most people hear of the term abuse, they do not think about being slapped, being chilly, being ignored or, for that matter, having someone stare at you in the shower. They think about rape.
By cheapening rape, the report demeans the big victims. But, of course, there is a huge market for such distortions, especially when the accused is the Catholic Church.
Bill, being as he is blinkered by his affiliation with the church, is unable to see the implications of this latest Catholic scandal. Instead, his organization has been spending its time decrying Obama’s visit to Notre Dame.
Oh — and it’s interesting to note that Donohue is very concerned about possible rapes of children. Just not when the rapists are Catholic clergymen.