Colm O'Gorman Answers Call For Memories Of Pope's Visit With Story Of Clerical Abuse

Colm O'Gorman, the Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, posted a response on Twitter with a catalogue of attempts by the Church to cover up the clerical sexual abuse he suffered.

Colm O'Gorman at a press conference speaking into a microphone with the Amnesty International logo behind him

In advance of the upcoming contentious Papal visit to Ireland, The Journal online published an article with the call out, “Were you around for the Pope’s visit in 1979? We want to see your memorabilia”. Colm O’Gorman delivered an angry riposte, releasing a Twitter thread describing the abuse he suffered at the hands of a Catholic priest and the attempts made by the Church to cover it up.

Accompanied by a link to the article, O’Gorman’s opening tweet read: “I was 14. Within six months of the visit I was raped for 1st time by a Priest who had been ordained despite the Church knowing he was a paedophile. 15 years later I sued Pope JPII (Pope John Paul II) to try get the Vatican to tell the truth about what they knew about the priest”.

The following tweets went into further detail: “The priest’s parishioners complained repeatedly to Bishops about the priest’s behaviour. They also complained to the Papal Nuncio. The Nuncio responded and told them the Holy See (the Pope) was aware of their concerns. Nothing happened. He kept abusing. For years.”

Things only came to a head when O’Gorman involved the police, as he described: “He was only finally removed from ministry when I made a criminal complaint in early 1995. In the meantime he had abused scores of other children. And the church had continued to ignore repeated complaints about his abusive behaviour. And when I sued this Pope to try get to the truth, the Vatican asserted diplomatic immunity to avoid having to deal with the case. The truth it appears, didn’t matter. So when I hear JPII’s ‘Young people of Ireland, I love you’, it doesn’t inspire me. It sickens me.”

O’Gorman detailed why those famous words delivered by the Pope angered him so much: “Because if JPII really had loved the young people of Ireland he would have protected us from known clerical paedophiles. And I wouldn’t have had to endure three years of rape and sexual assaults. And thousands of other Irish children wouldn’t have endured the same. If JPII had really loved the young people of Ireland, then he would have at the very least, told the damn truth and made some kind of effort to redress the harm he allows to happen.

“If he really loved the young people of Ireland, young men like Peter Fitzpatrick probably wouldn’t have died. Peter was abused by the same priest as me. He shot himself aged 23 with a shotgun. One of a number of that priest’s victims who died by suicide.”

O’Gorman finished by posing a provocation to the soon-to-visit Pope: “If Pope Frances loves the young people of Ireland, or has the slightest regard for principles such as truth and justice, he will acknowledge the depth of the Vatican’s appalling failures, its role in the cover up of the rape and abuse of Irish children like me. Let’s see.”

No response has yet been forthcoming.

© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.