As I was listening to Newstalk radio this morning I tuned in to part of a news item which concerned HSE (Health Service Executive - the agency which oversees the health system in Ireland) failures with regard to child protection. The Irish Examiner carried a story this morning on a report which revealed appalling failures with regard to the protection and care of children in the HSE system.
According to the report: 13 children have gone missing in the last twelve months - add that to the hundreds in the last number of years - and don't forget the few hundred who died in state care. Young girls in HSE care involved in prostitution. No round the clock care provided. Some children put in hostels unsupervised. Add all that to an appalling record, and it seems the HSE is oblivious to it all. The only thing HSE workers were concerned about was girls attending an all night prayer vigil in a Christian church!
Now, given the media frenzy with regard to child abuse in this country, you would imagine this would be front page news? Well, eh, no, it's not, nor will it. Why? Because the media in Ireland seem to be only concerned with child abuse when they can crucify the Catholic Church. Only Catholic priests can be abusers - not lay people and certainly not anyone in the secular world entrusted with the care of the vulnerable yet who, funnily enough, comprise, statistically, the larger percentage of child abusers according the SAVI report. And the Irish media are not the only ones: today the BBC reported on a Protestant minister's conduct with a minor and referred to it as an "inappropriate relationship". One wonders what they would have called it if it was a Catholic priest?
In response to these revelations the ISPCA wants the upcoming referendum on children's rights passed: this referendum will give the State more powers with regard to children, taking rights away from parents. So here's the logic of modern Ireland: children in state care not being looked after properly, so we give more power to the state to take children away from families, so they can do what?
Time for the media to cop itself on and go back to its founding principles: objective reporting. Time for the media to abandon its left-wing, anti-Catholic agenda and take the blinkers off to see the reality in the world. In fact as they fail to report on the abuse of children by others the media may be contributing to a cover-up of a major child abuse problem in this country. If Catholic priests offend, by all means report it - it will do the Church a service, but be objective and look at the bigger problem.
It is time to think of the silent majority who face abuse day after day in their own homes, or those who face abuse and neglect in the state system. Otherwise one might conclude that there is little concern for those who are abused, the only reason to report it is to thrash the Catholic Church. If that is the case, it is an appalling way to use innocent victims to wage war on an institution whose teachings the media do not like.