Sinead about the Pope's pastoral letter to Irish people regarding sexual abuse issue

A little known fact is that until 2001 there were explicit rules in place, issued by The Vatican, to every bishop in the world, on how to deal with allegations of abuse.

These rules included a vow of the utmost secrecy under threat of excommunication, to be sworn by clergy receiving complaints AND sworn by victims.

In 2001 then Cardinal Ratzinger, sent another set of instructions to every bishop in the world, stating that allegations were to be dealt with "exclusively" by the church

and were subject to "The Pontifical secret", which means one risks excommunication by discussing matters of abuse outside of the church.

If you are interested in copies of these documents they can be found here:

1922 an 62 instructions from rome to all bishops in the world which remained rules until 2001
Letter from Ratzinger regarding abuse and "pontifical secret"
Text of the oath sworn by clergy and victims: "I will never for any reason directly or indirectly, by gesture, word,writing or in any other way and under any other pretext, even that of a greater good, or of a highly urgent and serious reason, do anything against this fidelity to secrecy, unless special permission or dispensation or dispensation is granted to me by the supreme pontiff".

The Vatican strategy, as shown in Saturday's letter from the Pope to Irish catholics,

is to sell the Irish catholic hierarchy down the river, by making it seem they were acting independently of The Vatican when they covered up abuse.

That is a lie. And in fact, the letter is a study in the fine art of lying and betraying one's own people.

The fact that the Irish hierarchy are allowing themselves to be sold down river and are leaping in front of bullets for The Vatican, makes me wonder if they themselves are living under abusive and bullying circumstances.

It seems to me the hierarchy revere and fear The Vatican more than they fear the God they are supposed to believe in.

Why are they not telling the truth? Which is that they, like nazis, were following explicit orders.

That fact does not exonerate them, but is simply something we all need to understand.

I know an old man who lately has gone a bit dotty. He has money, but has been caught three times stealing small items from Tesco.

Last week he was handcuffed, arrested and spent a day and a night in jail.

Meanwhile not one member of the clergy the world over, who were involved in following Vatican orders to cover up, have even been questioned by the police, as any of the rest of us would be if we knew of such crimes and covered them up.

The Pope's letter repeatedly suggests that for the the healing of victims and our nation, we should return to the church, and claims the church is the only avenue through which we may be in a relationship with Christ, which is a blasphemy in my opinion.

Why should we remain or return to a relationship with an organiation which has so little respect for its victims or the rest of us, that it keeps lying to our faces and treating us like half-wits, which we are if we let them get away with it?

We are in an extremely dysfunctional relationship with an organization which is actually still abusing all of us.

Three weeks ago we were told by the bishop of Ferns, that it was our "God given duty" to help them pay their legal bills and compensation to victims!

we were told it would be "unchristian" of us not to do so.

We were told it would be "in the interests of the future welfare of children" for us to cough up, along with all our little old ladies and gentlemen.

This is abuse.

All of us know someone who is or has been in an abusive relationship. We would advise our loved ones to walk away. Yet we stay in this relationship with men who care so little for the victims, or the rest of us, that they see fit to lie to us and treat us like fools.

What victims deserve, the world over, is a full confession from the Vatican, that they ordered the cover up.

And that they are now trying to cover up the cover up.

The only way the victims or the rest of us will get that confession is by boycotting them in order to bring them to their knees. And not go back unless they fully confess.

If they don't confess they are finished. It is only a matter of time.

Confession is their one slim chance of survival.

The fact is, we don't need them to get to God, or to have a relationship with Jesus.

We never did need them.

And the beautiful position we are now in, is that they need us.

We should illustrate this fact, all caring catholic people, by boycotting them until they confess and show palpable remorse.

Sinead O'Connor