Independent Media Centre Ireland

Former Prisoner with a different perspective on the 2018 Visit of Pope Francis to Ireland.

category international | miscellaneous | opinion/analysis author Wednesday September 12, 2018 23:35author by Dublin Catholic Worker

A Call for Debate

Only the second Papal visit in 2,000 years by the first non European Pope. Pope Francisco is from Argentina where the United States client state ruled with terror, kidnappings and politically motivated assassination. His papacy appears to have many proactive enemies from wiithin reactionary Catholicism globally and (neo) liberal elites in Irish media & NGO sector. The recent visit was in visual and audio contrast to the only other visit of the papacy to Ireland. Pope John Paul 2nd in 1979 (the year of the Mountbatten assassination, Warrenpoint, punk). What does this tell us about Papa Francisco and contemporary Irish society?

Ciaron O'Reilly is available for interview

Longtime Catholic Worker Irish-Australian Ciaron O'Reilly wishes for a broader reflection, discussion and debate
over the recent Papal visit and recent attempts to force a Papal resignation by former Vatican diplomat U.S. Carlo Maria Vigano.

O'Reilly stated,

"I first came to Ireland to visit my grandparents in County Offaly only months after the 1979 visit by his Holiness John Paul 2nd.
Since that time, I have spent my life in Dorothy Day's lay Catholic Worker, a Christian anarchist pacifist movement of over 200 communities that live and work with the homeless practising the "works of mercy". Our other mission is to nonviolently resist war and war preparations that cause homelessness, child abuse and death. The church is presently considering the anarchist suffragette Dorothy Day for canonisation. Pope Francis referenced her in his speech to U.S. Congress along with Abraham Lincoln and two other pacifists the Baptist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Catholic monk Thomas Merton.

O'Reilly was one of five Catholic Workers who were acquitted in Dublin in 2006 of $U.S. 2.5 million criminal damage to a U.S. Navy plane at Shannon Airport en route to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. He previously served a year in U.S. prisons for disabling a B52 Bomber on the eve of the 1991 Gulf War. More recently he has been described by Australian media as Australian WikiLeaks publisher "Julian Assange's bodyguard". He was asked to perform this role by WikiLeaks along with his Godson, a former member of the British Parachute Regiment and S.A.S. who has become a Catholic pacifist. It was their responsibility to get Julian Assange in and out of court safely. A "Plea to Pope Francis to accompany the Australian Assange out of the U.K. to a place of safety", initiated by O'Reilly, was hand delivered to Pope Francis as he visited the Sean McDermott Centre for the homeless last Saturday.

O'Reilly states "I was an altar boy for many years at the Magdalen Laundries located in our Brisbane neighborhood of Mitchelton. For a number of years a rampant sexual abuser of children Fr. Paul Mac Lachlan was based there for some time. My father worked there when I was born and my mother worked there for a long time. I would occasionally participate in amateur dramatic musicals with those living and working there and with fellow parishioners. I have good memories of the kindness the girls and Irish Good Shepherd nuns from that period. Some of the former residents still seek me out when I am at home visiting my mother My family still have friends in our neighborhood who were sent there as children. McLachlan began to groom me but backed off, probably out of fear of my father's response should it be discovered. My father was not a pacifist. I discovered later McLachlan had raped a number of my friends who were also altar boys. I refuse to use the word "peodophile" as it translates as "love of children". Abuse is not love.

I was sexually assaulted when I was 15, not by a priest but a chiropractor. My relative who brought me there for treatment of a football injury was in the next room and unaware - before, after and during the abuse - was himself a victim of more serious rape and physical abuse at the notorious Western Australian Bindoon orphanage after he was transported from a Barnardos Orphanage in Bristol. The other two members of my extended family - who I am aware of - were more seriously raped and like myself were the victim's of health practitioners - a doctor and a nurse. One relative was a teenager at the time, the other an adult with Down Syndrome.

Some of the women I have dated over the years have been sexually abused by father's, brothers, uncles, a piano teacher, British occupying forces,and opportunistic strangers. Male friends of mine have been sexually assaulted in childhood by an elite psychiatrist, boy scout leader, rowing coach and clergy. These are only the cases of which I am aware. The physical and sexual abuse of children exists wherever there is unaccountable power and a culture of deference that facilitates it. Such abuse and the more premeditated cover up against the teachings and praxis of Pope Francis and Jesus Christ. Sexual abuse of children is not Catholic, it's prolific!

To see the reactionaries in the Church weaponise child abuse against a compassionate Pope with a sincere commitment to peace, justice, wealth redistribution and defence of the marginalised is disgusting. To see left liberals in Ireland play the
role of what Vladimir Lenin would refer to as "useful idiots" for such reactionary elitists in the church would be amusing if not terrifying.

I was recently refused communion at the the elitist Oratory church while undertaking a three week 24/7 solidarity vigil for my friend Julian Assange at the nearby Ecuadorian embassy. There are people at that elitist church who want me and the Pope gone! I can assure you that if anyone is going to be doing the leaving, it won't be me or Pope Francis!

At that church there is not one image of the present Pope on notice boards or in literature that I extensively investigated.
When I asked why?
The response from a church worker was "We don't like him?
When I asked "Why not?"
The response was "He is too inclusive?"
When I replied "Of who? Protestants?"
The reply was "No, single mothers!"
Barely containing my rage, I dead panned. "Wasn't Jesus's mum a single mother?"

The authoritarianism that followed Irish Independence came primarily from having a society run by those who had a skill set needed to brutally fight the overwhelming forces of British imperialism. This is not the skill set suitable for running a tolerant, compassionate society. The Irish church acted as an abused child who becomes an abuser. The tragedy is that the church will surrender its autonomy to the state that takes its marching orders from Washington D.C. and London, two cultures that are deeply anti-Catholic. This will make the Catholic Worker vocation of practising the acts of mercy and nonviolent prophetic resistance even more difficult.

Bindoon Orphanage, now S.A.S training centre, Western Australia
Bindoon, Western Australia

Bindoon is a town 84 kilometres (52 mi) from Perth city on the Great Northern Highway within the Shire of Chitte...

Catholic Church sex-abuse: Fr Paul McLachlan, Brisbane archdiocese

Plea to the Pope to accompany WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to a place of safety.
Los Angeles Catholic Worker website

Photo on
taken on occasion of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange's 40th. birthday.

Former British Parachute & S.A.S. Afghanistan/Iraq, Macedonia & north of Ireland veteran,
founder of "Veterans for Peace U.K." Ben Griffin.
Australian WikiLeaks publisher, detained without charge in the U.K. for eight years, Julian Assange
Catholic Worker & Plowshares activist, former prisoner of the United States, Irish-Australian Ciaron O'Reilly.

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