March 19, 2006

Abuse scandals lower church's status in Ireland

IRELAND
Austin American-Statesman

By Don Melvin
INTERNATIONAL STAFF

Sunday, March 19, 2006

GOREY, IRELAND Colm O'Gorman was born 39 years ago into an Ireland in which the Roman Catholic Church was central to almost everyone's life.

At 3 1/2, he began attending a state school owned and run by the church. When he was 8 or 9, he became an altar boy. Social life revolved around the church.

The local priest was a revered and powerful figure. The church wielded a strong influence on Irish politics.

"There wasn't an arena or an area it wasn't involved in," O'Gorman said.

So, he said, when he was sexually abused by a priest for three years, beginning at age 14, he blamed himself.

Posted by kshaw at March 19, 2006 07:40 AM