Sunday, 22 September 2013


Cuban artist Erik Ravelo's photo project "Los Intocables", depicting violence against children in various contexts,including the Catholic Church, is raising a storm

The paedophilia scandal continues to haunt the Catholic Church, this time through the realm of art – though some may disagree about how appropriate the use of the term “art” is in the case of Cuban artist Erik Ravelo’s project “Los Intocables” (The Untouchables).

Ravelo recently published a controversial photo collection, featuring images of children “crucified” to the backs of a number of symbolic figures representing different contexts in which violence is notoriously inflicted on children. “The images refer to paedophilia in the Vatican, child sex tourism in Thailand, the war in Syria, the trafficking of black market organs "donated" by children in the third world and obesity,” Australian website news.con.aureports. “Erik Ravelo took a series of photos of children hung like Jesus from a cross, but in the place of the cross were soldiers, surgeons, priests and Ronald McDonald,” the website explains.

The image which points the finger at the Catholic Church, depicts a young boy in nothing but his underwear, pinned to the back of a Catholic cardinal. It is a painful reminder of the sex abuse scandal that has plagued the Catholic Church in recent years.

Ravelo said he took the photos to make a point about the state of childhood in the world, though numerous complaints have been made about the degree of nudity in the pictures. Ravelo has continued to publish the photos despite Facebook having removed them and shut down his account, reports.

Many comments on the artist’s Facebook page (most of them in Spanish) seem to show a positive reaction to Ravelo’s interpretation of the crude reality of sex abuse against children.

In a statement to Argentinian newspaper Clarín, Ravelo said: “What a coincidence that they should only remove the photo of the cardinal. I think many people get irritated when someone tells it like it is and now they are annoyed at the fact my art is so frank,” Ravelo told Clarín.

According to the website, Ravelo, a Christian, said the religious icon of Jesus on the Cross does not belong to any one person or group.

"The religious icon is not someone's else religious icon. It's my icon too, it's my culture, it's my education, it's the way I was taught to communicate. So, in any case I'm talking about me too,” the artist apparently said.


  1. Let us be honest and truthful - the Catholic Church and Children do not go together!

    Keep children safe and away from the clergy!!

    Catholic mother

  2. I am Denise,

    At last, the catholic church admitting to horrendous crimes committed by their priests! But why does it take a television programme to get them to do this. These severe assaults were reported years ago, and as usual they kept it in house, How many of the men who committed these acts are now alive??. x

    Who are they still protecting - children or abusers? We ordinary catholics are teriffied and talk among ourselves. Our clergy scare us!

  3. Indeed. We can say that real change will have been effected only when the Church itself can bring itself to sluice out instances of the unsavoury practises of its hierarchy, rather than waiting to be caught and shamed into it by journalists, the police or brave victims. The art does seem sincere and will be welcomed, no doubt. Let's see how they follow it up with positive comment or condemn as usual.


  4. Congregations are largely filled with the elderly who will never be able to walk away or composed entirely of new immigrants. I hope no religion will ever be given such privileges again.

    These pictures speak to the heart and make one very angry. I am Sottish and I have to say I am deeply ashamed and deeply hurt by Bishops. We need a REFORMATION!!!!!


  5. Hi Bishop Pat,

    I don't believe for a second that an acknowledged divine right to abuse has collectively existed. The broad brush is oft applied here and it dictates that 'their all at it'. I'm sure you know what I mean. On any subject, those looking in from the outside whilst in possession of an agenda produces some truly fantastical notions.

    Which brings me to art above above. It is not my job - (for the record, I am a merely a church attendee pleb trying to keep myself right with God) - to refute his assertions. I responded to him purely because it appears his mind told him he'd read one thing, when in fact the truth was, er, different.

    In saying what I have said, the sins have run deep and have been very damaging, I sometimes despair at our Bishops, they seem to bury themselves in spending millions on houses!!


  6. There are child abusers in every organisation where children are involved. I once met a child abuser who almost destroyed a major American university. I had no idea at the time. How would I know? He did not identify himself as such. He was a respected member of the community.


    1. Yes, Andrew, that's true. However, none of these organisations have the scale and reach of the Church and the corresponding scale and reach of the abuse scandals involved. Indulging in whataboutery is a distraction from the urgency of THIS problem.

      Check out what the Un have to say on the RCC abuse worldwide scale and perhaps the cases INTERPOL are dealing with!

      Friend of the Oratory Society

  7. It is simply an abuse of power, and fear of reprisals from the clericalisism almost endemic in the Catholic hierarchy, worldwide. Good on you Bishop Pat. It is only a start though, but a very welcome one. Blogs like this and art like above will move us forward. Museum builders like thos in Lisbreen are aware of their serious crimes etc. I would say they find it difficult to sleep - if they have a conscience.


  8. Could this be the start of another Reformation that kicks off in Europe and sweeps the world in its path!

    Please pray for reform!


  9. These Bishop's exhibit cognitive dissonance to ignore a victims and people Today, no apology will do any good, only service this institution as it tries to save face. So they build bigger Bishops houses with luxry stamped all over it!

    And in another report, the chairman of the Catholic Church’s working party on child protection, Alan Draper who has done considerable research in this field, claims there are 100 secret sex abusers in the Catholic Church in Scotland alone. With there only 740 priests, that makes one in seven! Truly shocking!

    Keep rolling out the excuses and keep digging a bigger hole! Respones - spend millions on buildings and there will be nothing for victims, we people are daft to put up with these dangerous men.


    1. Ach calm doon - thats only one in every 7.4.

  10. I am tired of listening to gay and bisexual men who have either joined these institutions because they see it as a way out or because it endorses their own socially conservative attitudes to sex and sexuality.

    It's time the Catholic Church kicked itself into the 21st century and embraced the subject on an entirely accepting and intelligent level. If it can't, people must be educated explicitly and properly on the subject so they are better equipped to vote with their feet and leave it.

    Well done to all speking up.


  11. My congregation is the absolute opposite of the one you stereotype, although I do sincerely take your point. My answer is simple, yet not easy. Report such incidents to the Police, and let them deal with the matter. The Police must get harder on these clerics. Catholics must realise that their clerics are as human as the next guy, and have ALL their faults, failings and, if you like, sins as much as the next guy. I have argued for years that the way in which priests are trained is a major factor, and their are many factors, in this tragic, disgusting trait. i.e. Study at 'normal' universities. Live, not in all male, therefore unnatural circumstances, but in parishes, busy parishes, to help them discern, and the respective Church authorities, to discern whether they are suited for the priesthood. That, I propose, is much more suited to the 21st century.

    Fr. CP

  12. The stories I have heard from victims, Bishop Pat have brought tears to my eyes. The efforts by the Catholic Church to obfuscate and deflect from their crimes have made me angry. I call that 'normal'.

    These are people with NO conscience, a fine bottle of wine rather than a food hammer to struggling families. Lisbreen is rich for rich men with a fine relationship with MONEY!


  13. Don't lump all Catholics behaviour to be the same as the Hierarchy please, if you would not mind.

    Us Catholics are the people who have suffered, these are our children.


  14. I think it is generally understood how the laity differ from the hierarchy in so many ways you could be forgiven for thinking they were two different churches.

    In fact when you think about it there are. We need to stop paying for the millionaires!!


  15. I've done a lot of thinking about that question. One part of the answer, I believe, has to do with the nature of the priesthood. To be ordained is to be elevated, to be taken into a special and higher relationship with God. That's something Catholic officials had a hard time letting go of when it came time to see molesting priests in their ranks for what they were: criminals.

    Another factor, I believe, was Catholicism's attitudes toward sex. On the one hand, it is something sacred when part of marriage. But church teachings forbid virtually all sexual expression outside of marriage and condemn homosexual sex without exception. Moreover, priests are expected to be celibate, which puts them at an even greater distance from the realities of ordinary life. All of this undoubtedly complicated things when church officials were confronted with extreme sexual deviance in their own ranks.

    Sex and power. These are two factors that Catholic leaders have failed to confront, even as the church falls down around them. Any recovery from the great scandal will require change in both areas. Thirty years on, even under the threat of criminal prosecution, they seem incapable of the kind of self-examination that would allow such change. Instead they fight against truth-telling and suffer further ignominy. No wonder this is a scandal without end.

  16. It boggles my mind that Catholics do not snap out of it and drop support by breaking ranks and stopping all monetary donations to their church. Church leaders would rather cover up the sexual abuse to protect the incoming money, rather than be forced to actually bring these pedophiles to justice. It seriously makes the church leaders look like they support priest molesters.

    Without donations, religious leaders would be forced to actually produce something of value for society. I'm also amased that Catholic women do not recognise the discrimination against all women that the buybull teaches.

    Lutheran Philosopher

  17. Think about it, If any of the priest broke rank at this point and time and started to speak out against this what appears to be centuries old practice that would allow the media and the world unheard of access into the Vatican and maybe even child sexual abuse cases elevating much higher then mere priest. It again seems like Rome is not only burning it's at a full five alarm blaze I dont foresee the church outliving these scandels there are to many and the scandal has now reached to the ultimate power in the Catholic church(the pope). Benedict is in it thick, that why he is still in the place!

    The best thing for the church is to try and gather around as tight as they can(no pun intented)to each other and eliminate as much space as possible between the Vatican and the outside world these guys need as much time as possible to get themselves out of this mess.

    The U TV show was interesting, only one way to deal with it, sue them! But these courts are full of friends of Bishops etc!


  18. The simple fact that this institution has to have a debate as to what extent/degree children fu**ing should continue, is in itself a disgrace to the few intellectuals/realists that we have left on this human forsaken planet.

    Wals has questions to answer clearly, Treanor seems to be as bad!


  19. These events go to the heart of the ages old theological/philosophical "problem of evil".

    Christians and other religionists will argue that people who are victims in objectionable and harmful events can be explained by God's tests for an ennobling and character building outcome. But the Catholic Church with all its clerical authority asserts itself as the temporal institution for spiritual faith between living humans and the heavenly realm of God's sanctified grace.

    How can the church declare itself as intermediary on behalf of humans seeking salvation, if itself is the harbinger of insidious sins and evil, its victims denied recourse for centuries?

    Bet you this question is not on the exam paper in Maynooth?


  20. Historical events are ambiguous,but truth is consistant. It is honesty that is missing in order to attain unto a just and equal balance.

    That UTV programme is in no way a surprise. As for that judge, is she called Judy?


  21. When I was a youngster, I was recruited by a Catholic prep school as a student/athlete. The recruiter was a very jovial middle-aged priest by the name of Fr. Frank Nugent. Eventually I decided to go to the school. During the summer, the campus of our school was turned into a summer camp for young boys, run by the same Fr. Nugent. When I returned from summer vacation to start my Junior year, there was an air of mystery surrounding the school. We weren't able to discover what was at the root of it. No one would talk about it, but there was obviously something being covered up.

    Many years later I discovered that during the summer a young boy at the camp was being molested by Fr. Nugent. The boy climbed to the roof of the gymnasium and jumped off, killing himself. It only came out a few years ago that this same priest had molested dozens, perhaps hundreds of children.

    Yesterday I read where a bishop in Ireland had stepped down from his position, apologizing for allowing predators to remain in their positions. I believe that at this juncture the apologies are becoming a little hollow. It is long past the point where these vile individuals can get away with an "Ooops, I'm sorry!" I believe it is time that a few serious prison sentences were handed out, not only to the predators themselves, but to the people who cover up their vile deeds (Bishops)!


  22. Is there no prosecutor in the world who will step up and charge the Church of Rome under organized crime statutes?

    I am no longer Catholic but if I was a practicing Catholic I would demand the return of every cent I ever donated to that criminal organization. They need to be prosecuted for their seemingly endless crimes against children. Divide the assets of that church and distribute it among its victims.

    Rev. Jim (Episcopal)

  23. I had an 1-year affair with an older priest at age 11, so what we had fun and I am not hurt or damaged.

    Michael (25)

    1. You are either making a sick joke, or you were truly the victim of sexual abuse and you would have no problem doing the same to another child. People either see this as wrong and not a problem or they see it as a horrible problem.
      The only people who say that it is not a problem are either victims (damaged) or perpetrators. Get to the police or social services please - do not go near the BISHOP, he will cover it up and make you promise silence.


    2. sexual activity for somebody aged 11 is sick & sad & damaging in any mans or or womans language. Michael are you normal?

  24. When the pope is involved in the cover up and demand immunity from prosecution and hide the perpetrators they do indeed foster pedophilia.

    Their policy about protecting themselves, hiding evidence, moving priest, shielding the preditors makes them fully aware and fully participants in the exact same act. That constitutes a conspiracy and a very ugly one at that. When will they end up in court??


  25. What makes the writer think the catholic church is a christian organization? Protestants are called such because they condemn the catholic church, and have for centuries. Mr Ratzinger, his 2nd (Frank) and his bishops are described by St John in the book of revolations. They are condemned by him. The city where "babylon the great " is situated in the "city with 7 hills" is Rome, where the son of perdition and his cohorts are dressed in scarlet and gold.
    Don't blame Jesus if the world is confused as to who controls the vatican. It isn't Christ, it's Satan !


  26. Nobody ever dares to organise a group that will peacefully demonstrate against the church. Is that because they are afraid of going to jail, or because it isn't politically correct, or because there simply not enough people who would join in?

    It is addressed openly at churches and people still return every week. Why? because the doctrine preaches forgiveness. That everyone is essentially good, because they are created good. And that with our freedom comes responsibilities.

    The stories of the bible, even if they are stories are still good principles to live by. If we started punishing everyone who does "bad" deeds you'll have a tyranny that actually closely resembles what secular government does to its prisoners - and that isn't a responsible solution either I hope we could agree.

    The only real solution is to understand what drives a person to commit mad acts - and to try and avoid it. If you think it is impossible to understand, then you don't know yourself.


  27. In 2004 an Austrian theological seminary was busted for possession of images of child pornography and homosexual activities involving priests and seminary students. I do not think it makes any difference whether or not the Catholic Church drops its celibacy requirement of people wishing to enter the priesthood. The culture of the Church which relies on secrecy to escape any kind of accountability to others, to hide criminals who have engaged in money laundering or committed genocide, and to prevent its dirty laundry from scrutiny is chiefly to blame. People have to unite to force the Church to come clean on so many of its past activities.

    Here is a link to an article on the Austrian seminary:

  28. The "Pedophile's Paradise"

    ..The history of child molestation in the Catholic Church goes back centuries. The first official decree on the subject was written at the Council of Elvira, held around A.D. 305 near Granada, Spain. The precise history is complicated, but the council is traditionally believed to have set down 81 rules for behavior, the 71st of which is: "Those who sexually abuse boys may not commune even when death approaches." It was the harshest one-strike policy: If you're caught abusing a child, you are not only laicized, but permanently excommunicated—damned for all time.

    The other major condemnation of clerical sex abuse was The Book of Gomorrah, completed by radical church reformer Father Peter Damian (a Benedictine monk, as it happens, who became a cardinal) in 1051. He appealed directly to the pope about the abuse of children, as well as consensual sex among clergy—in howling language: "O unheard of crime! O outrage to be mourned with a whole fountain of tears!... What fruitfulness can still be found in the flocks when the shepherd is so deeply sunk in the belly of the devil!"...

  29. TAX THE CHURCHES... since they want to get involved with WORLDLY AFFAIRS... NO PUN INTENDED... OR IS IT?


  30. I am a former very devout Traditional (pre-Vat II) Catholic. I don't always agree with the Bishop's articles, but I agree with this one 100%.
    I would like to point out that we do not hear of these crimes among the priests of the Orthodox Christian Church, because they are married. But, there have been scandals within monasteries..where the monks are celibate. It doesn't happen often nor does it make the news, but it happens.
    How do we know what happened in the Middle Ages? I feel it is a bit naive to assume that these things did not happen in the past simply because it never came out as news in the 'Holy Roman Empire'.
    The Church's bloody history is undeniable. When I was Catholic, I didn't know the half of it because we studied the Catholic version of Church History, which I studied as an adult, not just in Catholic school.
    It wasn't until I left the Church that I learned the truth about 'St.' Simon Montfort or 'St.' Dominic, let alone the other shameful things. It isn't the religion itself that is evil, but the Church organization, itself.
    According to St. Malachy, there is only one Pope left after Ratzinger.
    Good riddance.

  31. If protestant bigots would cool their hatred and read these articles carefully, they would discover that in truth, the Catholic Church has long purged its pedophelia problem. Prots and Jews need to do as well. ALL the cases discussed in the endless articles, including the recent New York Times hit re: the school for deaf, are DECADES old, no exceptions, which strongly suggests there are no problems currently. The Catholic Church is singled out because among religions, it alone proclaims the truth - not perfectly but indeed superior to any of the 35,000 prot sects kicking around. In my town, for example, a few years back there were front-page headlines about a priest and boy regarding a 20-year-old incident. The priest was removed. Meanwhile, the prosecutor was investating 5 cases of prot child abuse; nary a word of any in the press. Also at the same time, a local Methodist church passed on a troubled female minister with a recommendation, just to get rid of her. She wound up molesting a girl in her new gig. No press, needless to say.

    Moderate US Catholic

    1. Protestant Bigots M. Moderate. Please choose your words carefully. I am assuming you are not fimiliar with the troubled history of Northern Ireland where words used wrongly can be sharpened daggers. Sean

  32. The Pope issued an edict in 2001 that established a secret internal reporting system, and that prohibited the clergy from reporting these crimes to local authorities for investigation.

    This deliberately circumvented the laws that every state in the union has on its books, requiring those in positions of authority to report these crimes when they are even suspected, let alone discovered.

    The Church has created a haven for these criminals and the edict put the official imprimatur of the Pope on that relationship. They are guaranteed room, board, employment, the deference of the populace, the implicit trust of the faithful, regular contact with children and now the support of a powerful global political organization when they are discovered.

    I believe that the Catholic Church is so thoroughly infested with this criminal element, it is incapable of resolving the issue on its own volition.

    Taxpayers in the US subsidize the Catholic Church in many ways but most notably through their tax exempt status. I would ask that you consider taking action to challenge that status, writing to your representatives in the Congress and asking that they seek to suspend it until they can demonstrate they are no longer acting in a fashion that aids and abets criminal activity to the detriment of our most vulnerable citizens.

    Irish Catholic

  33. It is my position that the Catholic Church is not sincere about eliminating pedophiles and ephebophiles until the Pope states that all previous threats of excommunication for going public are revoked. Until then, people like myself will have to carry the burden of silence for fear unending darkness for themselves and their love ones. Until then, I will have to wait one year and day after my mother passes away to go public. I know longer believe in the theology of the Catholic Church or heaven (I do believe in hell for I have been there). However, my parents do/did, and I do believe in keeping one's word.

  34. Walsh and Treanor have some questions to answer!


  35. My priest is not a pedophile. It's funny how you think it's racist and bigoted to label every Muslim as a terrorist. But it's OK to label every Catholic priest as a pedophile. I've sick of this bigotry against my church. No one wants to hear that the majority of pedophiles are NOT Catholic priests. The muderer of Holly Jones was an atheist. It was in fact a Catholic priest that called her killer a "monster." You don't want to believe this, but the majority of Catholic priests work to serve the poor and sick. They value people with Down Syndrome far more than you liberal shits do. So why aren't you putting a child dressed up as 9/11 victim against an Iman?