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Aug. 3, 2021 | Tuesday
Editorials and Opinions
Letter: Indigenous graves scandal mirrors other church scandals

Dear editor:

During the early days of the pedophile priest scandals, what we all thought were isolated cases turned out to be, and continues to this day, a systemic issue and scab within the Catholic church.

Today, as millions worldwide bear witness to the tip of the iceberg of the Indigeneous grave scandal here in Canada, this too is being exposed as a systemic issue.

One has only to educate oneself with the scandals in Ireland, which shattered the reputation of the Catholic church, over the pedophile priests, mother and baby homes, and the Magdalene Laundries run by the evil Sisters of Mercy, to see how the Indigeneous grave scandal in Canada mirrors Rome's reactions and coverup.

As reported by NBC in January this year, some 9,000 unmarked graves were discovered at homes and laundries in Ireland, 800 alone at a mass grave at a home in Tuam, Galway. That site was exposed by Tuam historian Catherine Corless.

These scandals laid bare some of the darkest chapters in the church's history and moved the current and several former Irish prime ministers to strongly condemn the church.

One such PM, Leo Varadkar, in the presence of Pope Francis during his Irish visit and Catholic church crisis in August 2018, said, "It's time to move the Catholic church from the center of society."

Previously, he stated in an article reported in the New York Times in December 2017: "The scandals led to the demise of the Catholic church." And former PM Enda Kenny condemned the Vatican "for managing the rape and torture of children and frankly brazen disregard for child protection."

No other church in history has done more harm to the innocent, vulnerable and trusting children (who depend on adult guidance, protection, nurturing and love the most ), than the Catholic church.

Fast-forward to 2021: our PM, Justin Trudeau, addressing the Indigeneous crisis, is echoing the same outrage at Rome and the Pope, which is similarly falling on deaf ears. Clearly the church is continuing its unabated practice of child abuse, and to date, with apparent immunity from prosecution for crimes against humanity, from the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

Reportedly, as a consequence of the Irish scandals, some 70 per cent of Irish Catholics turned their backs on the church, a shocking statistic given that Pope Paul VI once called Ireland the most Catholic country in the world, a fact no longer true today.

The Catholic church (Rome), the largest non-governmental land owner in the world has, at this juncture, remained silent on the Indigeneous search.

The church has neither apologized nor offered any funding for these grave searches (another scandal of the church's making), consequently the Canadian taxpayer could be left footing the bill.

This is outrageous and scandalous in its own right.

The church has been riddled with ever more shocking scandals for centuries. Over the past few decades, with social media etc., the world can now bear witness, in real time, to the detailed exposure of these atrocities, which some victims have called genocide.

Will the Canadian grave count exceed that of Ireland and will Canadian worshippers' reactions also mirror that of Ireland?

Practising Catholics deserve better from their church leaders in Rome.

Samuel Young