Talk:Congregation of Christian Brothers

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Sexual Abuse Charges Laid Against The Christian Brothers of Mount Cashel Orphanage, Canada[edit]

we need to keep in mind that it is biased to pick on the catholic church for sex abuse. this is bigotry. 30,000 children are molested every year in america by public school teachers. why are we focusing on one 21 year old man who claims he molested in 2002? because that one civil case with be a bigger $ lawsuit than the 30,000 kids fucked by public school teachers in that year put together. Peppermintschnapps (talk) 22:36, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

• In 1876 the Congregation of Irish Christian Brothers, which was founded by Edmund Ignatius Rice in 1802, opened schools in Newfoundland and across North America. In 1898, the bishop of St. John's donated land for an orphanage. It was named Mount Cashel after the site in Ireland where St. Patrick is said to have baptized the pagan king Aenghus in 450. Provincial agencies began placing wards of the state at Mount Cashel in the 1950s. • In 1989, Roman Catholic priest Rev. James Hickey was charged with sexually molesting young boys in his parish. The investigation prompted charges against other priests, including several members of the Irish Christian Brothers running the Mount Cashel orphanage. There were also allegations that previous investigations beginning in 1975 had been covered up, and the offenders whisked away to other provinces, where they received treatment and soon took on new religious postings. • The church set up a commission of enquiry, and the Newfoundland government established a royal commission (the Hughes Inquiry) to investigate. The publicity also lead to other investigations into sexual abuse in institutions across Canada. • By March 1989 police had laid 77 charges against the eight members of the Irish Congregation of Christian Brothers who were implicated in the earlier investigation. They also charged a ninth man for more recent offences, and laid 17 charges against three civilians. • Nine Christian Brothers were eventually convicted and sentenced to between one and 13 years in prison. • The Hughes Inquiry concluded that officials had indeed covered up the sexual abuse at Mount Cashel, and recommended that the victims be compensated. But it said there was insufficient evidence to charge church and government officials for obstructing justice. • In 1992, CBC Television aired a movie called The Boys of St. Vincent. The film starred Henry Czerny in a story loosely based on the Mount Cashel abuse scandal. The original broadcast was banned in Ontario and parts of Quebec for fear it would prejudice the outcomes of ongoing abuse trials. It was rebroadcast a year later, reaching more than 2 million viewers each of the two nights. The film was then released internationally, winning film festival awards at Cannes, Banff, Columbus and New York. • The orphanage was closed in 1990, the facility razed and the land sold. It became the site of a supermarket and a residential development called the Howley Estates. A piece of the orphanage was installed as a small monument to the children of Mount Cashel. • On April 5, 1992, the Christian Brothers formally apologized to the victims of abuse at Mount Cashel. • The fight to compensate the victims of Mount Cashel lasted for many years. In 1996 the Newfoundland government paid $11.5 million in compensation. The courts ordered the assets of the Christian Brothers of Ireland in Canada sold to compensate the victims. They were to receive between $20,000 and $600,000 in compensation. • There was another legal battle over the ownership of two Vancouver schools held by members of the Brothers. St. Thomas More Collegiate in Burnaby and Vancouver College in Shaughnessy were slated to be liquidated to pay damages to the Newfoundland victims. But lawyers for the schools said they were not owned by the Order of Christian Brothers, but by four individual members who held shares. In 2002 the schools paid $19-million in an out-of-court settlement.

Blessed POV[edit]

Why is Blessed considered POV ? Frelke 14:46, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Did you ask the person who made the change? evrik 21:19, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Not on their talk page Frelke 22:03, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

St. Joseph's, Chandigarh[edit]

The entry at serial 3 i.e. St. Joseph’s High School, Chandigarh in the entry titled India above is not correct to the best of my information. Aakanxit Khullar (moved here from main page)

Investigating a bit, this school appears to be an "ICSE" affiliated convent school [1], so I'm tentatively removing it. If anyone has better info, please post here. /blahedo (t) 05:08, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Why "charges"?[edit]

Can someone let me know why the term "charges" is used in the article page instead of "convictions"? Surely the conviction is more significant than the charge. Also, "charge" makes it sound like the issue is not yet reolved. Unless there are more abuse charges against childtren that I am not aware of(?). If you second this motion, can you please adjust the title? Thanks, Hu Gadarn 21:33, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes, and *claims*?. These are not just claims, these are widely documented revelations of physical and sexual abuse.Nonplus (talk) 12:16, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree that where a conviction was given, then this is generally the right word to use. I'm not sure that we have the right heading for this section, though. "Sexual molestation charges/convictions" is a narrow description of the section. Really, the section deals with the issue of abuse in a broader sense - for example, much of the abuse was physical but not necessarily sexual. In addition, the subject matter is more than just a list of convictions - there are indeed allegations that never reached court (particularly claims relating to excessive corporal punishment in schools), and charges that were eventually quashed in court (noting the right usage of the word "allegation" in this context). Perhaps the title could be something that clearly states the broad issue, like "Abuse within Christian Brothers institutions"? Any support or suggestions? Rob Lindsey (talk) 12:32, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, just to clarify: subjects like corporal punishment etc that I mentioned above are things that aren't in the article as such at the moment, but should eventually fit into a broader 'Abuse' section that I'm referring to. Of course, always ensuring that we don't go nuts with such things, by adding reams of unsourced and emotive writings as certain editors have done in the past. Rob Lindsey (talk) 12:41, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I suggest "Sexual and physical abuse controversy". "Controversy" includes instances where convictions weren't made or charges weren't substantiated, while also addressing the large amount of public attention these cases received. I really think the sexual abuse should have prominence, since it has been the most prominent and serious charge with the greatest public impact. Excessive corporal punishment fits under "physical abuse." Considering how long this title issue has been on the table I'm just going to go ahead and change it. If this is really unnacceptable to someone, well, we can revert and talk about it. Nonplus (talk) 23:16, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Better than anything I've thought up! I don't really have time to edit articles anymore, but for the record I think the new title is a balanced one. Cheers, Rob Lindsey (talk) 00:09, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree that "sexual molestation charges" is somewhat narrow. Physical and sexual abuse have typically gone hand in hand. I think something like "Revelations of abuse" or "Revelations of physical and sexual abuse". Regarding the issue of charges: Frankly, cases in which charges have been thrown out are less notable, and less significant to the article, than those that have been verified. Clearly the issue here is that abuse took place. If there are a significant number of cases where convictions were not obtained, or when charges were thrown out, that should indeed be mentioned in the relevant section of the article. Likewise, with less severe accusations of excessive corporal punishment. But this section, and the heading, is really about the sexual and physical abuse that took place over decades, and which has been immensely shocking to the publics of Canada, Ireland, etc. Nonplus (talk) 14:42, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Christian Brothers Badge[edit]

Maybe someone can add information concerning Christian Brothers imagry such as the badge etc, what it symbolizes and where it came from.


Christian Brothers' Use of Corporal Punishment[edit]

While sexual crimes are to be taken seriously, the nature of school 'discipline' also bears inclusion in the article. Beating children with open hands, fists, straps, canes and paddles - plus improvised instruments and ritual elements (e.g. students opening the door after repeated beatings to the hands) - should also be taken seriously and noted as part of the Christian Brothers' legacy.

Worthy of note is the change in disciplinary procedures after schools going co-educational - Christian brothers' schools were until relatively recently for boys only.

I'd include my ha'pennyworth, only it'd be original research. And, frankly, I don't wish to make a positive contribution. Ex-students of note can be gleaned from school websites, including the head of the British SS and John Birt, ex head of BBC.--TresRoque 21:22, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Is this any more extreme than some of the legally administered Corporal Punishment in Secular Schools in Scotland during the 1950's? What about the forms of corporal punishment that might have been administered in the home? In short are we in danger of trying to judge 1930's to 1960's attitudes by the manner in which we would wish things to be done now in 2009?80.42.155.102 (talk) 02:47, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Christian Brothers, Marist Broters and all schools in Australia used corporal punishment. That was an accepted form of punishment. To put a 21st century standard on past centuries is inappropriate and only inflammatory. Corporal punishment was the norm throughout the educational system. One doesn't condone it but it was what it was.

A few changes, and a few suggestions[edit]

I have moved the huge list of CB schools to a new article (List of Christian Brothers schools), recognising the fact that its outgrown this article, which has much work that can be done to make this a really decent article.

A current 'to-do' list:

  • Rewrite the section on the establishment of the Congregation.
  • Expand and elaborate on the breaking off and distinction to the Presentation Brothers.
  • Expand and outline the expansion of the CBs more clearly.
  • Identify the mission and role of the CBs within the Catholic communities of Ireland, England, North America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa (ie. education of generations of working-class boys who would have otherwise had little or no education).
  • Rewrite the section on sexual abuse.
  • Locate appropriate images (pictures of work being done within the Edmund Rice Network, or of CB institutions, or of other notable Brothers perhaps (eg. Ambrose Treacy)).

In general, I think the style of the article is pretty unbalanced: it skims over the formation of the Order, the number of schools that they founded and the marginalized communities they served and then spends a lot of ink on the wrongs of the order. The Abuse allegations SHOULD 100% be covered as you have, but I think in fairness you have to throw into the mix that the Order also had many good men who were completly dedicated to the higher ideals of their Order and not tar evey Brother with the same brush. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.163.81.232 (talk) 17:34, 28 April 2008 (UTC)


I'll slowly get onto these tasks over the next couple of months, so any help would be greatly appreciated! Rob Lindsey 14:22, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

British Inquiry on Child Migration[edit]

I felt the need to add a section on the British Inquiry on Child Migration, as contempory attitudes to CB's legacy are somewhat different to the attitudes 'of the time'. My father and aunt were taken to Fairbridge Pinjarra and knew many children who whe sent to Bindoon. He often states that he was lucky not to of gone to Bindoon. The Report is exceptionally critical of Bindoon, Clontarf et el CB. If it wasn't for Margaret Humpheries, and the Child Migrant Trust we would not of ever met our family back in England. Same for the British Government that paid for my father to travel to his homeland to meet them. petedavo 04:25, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

I've amended this section slightly. The City of Nottingham has only been a Social Services authority 1889 - 1974 and 1998 to date. In the period 1974-1998 the Social Services authority was Nottinghamshire County Council. It therefore follows that Nottingham City Council would not fund Margaret Humphreys work in the period referred to. 80.42.155.102 (talk) 02:38, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Paul Keaney[edit]

Why are the child sexual and physical abuse problems at Clontarf Aboriginal College in Western Australia not mentioned in the article. Might be worth looking at Paul Keaney - and the investigations into his behaviour there. It might also be noted that buildings named after him had their named changed due to this controversy. 58.161.212.63 06:00, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

The Christian Brothers and cases of abuse[edit]

I'm getting sick and tired of deleting edits regarding CB abuse cases, which are not properly referenced, or are written in an emotive or biased manner, or both. I am certainly NOT wishing to cover up the crimes that certain Brothers committed, but Wikipedia is NOT a forum in which to moralise in an emotive manner - in particular when these contributions often deal with people who are still living (for without careful wording and referencing, it can become a legal issue that Wikipedia should not have to deal with). If you want to rant on about crimes committed by the CBs and other Catholic religious orders, fine, go start a blog. On Wikipedia you will state verifiable facts in an unbiased manner.

My other intention here is to maintain a sense of balance to this article - if I had not deleted several inappropriate and heated contributions, 9/10ths of this article would have been emotive railings about the CBs by now. The Brothers have done more than perpetrating abuses in their 200 year history, and their Wikipedia article needs to demonstrate this. Note that I have NOT removed all mention of their congregational failings relating to this issue - it needs to be mentioned, but a sense of proportion must be maintained.Rob Lindsey 22:21, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

POV[edit]

After a quick read of the many removed entries on this page it is quite clear that this article is not NPOV. It appears to me that there are deliberate attempts by a small number of people to hide the many details surrounding abuse by Christian Brothers worldwide. Until this is properly addressed the POV tag should stand terrycrosby(UTC)

  • Please re-read what I've written on this topic - provide credible sources (which does not mean adding all kinds of lobby groups in the "Extended Links" section - reference all claims), remove the emotive and unencyclopaedic language, and there would be no problem. Some of us are trying to keep this article in proportion, and I would ask for someone with the spare time to write something about what took place in Ireland (Terrycrosby perhaps?). The real issue is with random people who come across this article and decide to have a rant about the Brothers, not with people attempting to limit their damage. You keep forgetting that in the case of both the victims and the predators, we are in many cases talking about living people, which has potential legal implications for Wikipedia if claims are not verified. It's not difficult people. Rob Lindsey 00:25, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
    • Indeed. I think the article is POV too, but in the other direction. The current coverage of the sexual abuse stuff is way too emotive, and short of references to boot. The suggestion that this article whitewashes the abuse issue is ridiculous, and the material Terry added (then removed himself) was unreferenced and unacceptably biased... but the POV tag should stand. Hesperian 00:31, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
      • I have re-written the section on Australian sexual abuse in the article. Ive chopped it down alot. I removed the section on corporal punishment, because its not related to sexual abuse, it wasnt referenced, and corporal punishment happened at most schools in Australia. Twenty Years 01:26, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Rob I totally disagree with you but for fairness I would not even consider editing the article as I would clearly be very biased in my Christian Brother stance. However, maybe you should stand back a bit and have a look at some of the sections removed and edit them again and seek references. I think just removing them is painting the Christian Brothers in far too favourable light and is an attempt by certain sections to hide "certain" brothers appalling crimes. I think this article is very biased. The only alternative I can think of is a totally seperate article highlighting the abuse delivered by certain Brothers around the world. Incidently UK has not even been mentioned as yet in any of these discussions. Also the section I added was reinstating another previous edit. I agree on reading it was very biased. Very interesting reading but far too biased.Terrycrosby —Preceding comment was added at 19:18, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

* You're absolutely kidding me - you agree that these are biased contributions but still persist on criticising me for removing them! In light of what Wikipedia is all about, I won't even bother pointing out the error of your logic there. And please do not criticise me for not tweaking and referencing the contributions I removed, for they required a decent amount of work on them (time I don't have at the moment), and it's no more my responsibility than any other editor to do so - you're simply passing the buck my making such demands on me.
Now, I'm going to do a decent amount of work on the article quite when I have more time, at which time I probably will use some sites that have so far been poorly used - what I have done in the meantime is damage control on an article that is already poor enough. As an event, or a series of events, the CB abuse cases may possibly warrant their own article, but even then standards will have to be maintained, so it's no justification for your argument.
In short Terry, when you consider the possible legal issues, the Wikipedia policies on quality contributions, and the fact that the weight of consensus on POV is against you, you clearly have no legs to stand on on this issue. I have little time to work on Wikipedia as it is, and I don't want to spend it arguing with someone who has already said that they "would not even consider editing the article". Regards. Rob Lindsey 22:50, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Biased "YES"

Need editing to get NPOV "YES"

Should be removed without full discussion "NO"

It should always be considered how difficult it has been for some people to put these details on here. I will not edit this main article because I believe I will be biased. Perhaps those from the Pro CB camp should take the same view? Terrycrosby —Preceding comment was added at 23:12, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

* Ahem – you’ve chosen to start a discussion (which would fair enough in some cases), but we've had a discussion and even you agree that those contributions are too POV to include without significant editing. There is no need to peremptorily justify such an edit with a new talk page discussion when it is patently obvious that the contribution is currently too POV.
Now stop throwing it back at me – look, I could for example re-instate much of the Artane Industrial school section and create a single reference for it from that website, but without other references from non-lobby groups (like newspaper articles or scholarly articles), other editors will surely object. Quality contributions on such sensitive issues take time.
And yes, it would indeed be tough for people to write about such issues – these can be courageous acts, but there are appropriate forums for such expression. I refer you to my earlier arguments (which you clearly have not taken to heart) as to why some contributions cannot remain in their original state.
And finally, do not label me or these other editors as 'PRO CB' - the arguments I outlined above are based on Wikipedia policies – my actual opinions have no bearing in this issue. It would be disgraceful to not acknowledge what happened, but in terms of content there is already a LOT there (that’s not to say it’s complete), and again it’s about keeping the article balanced and in proportion – there is more to be said about the Christian Brothers than the abuses they committed, much of which has not been written about here yet. I don’t see you complaining about that, and neither am I at this point. Rob Lindsey 23:56, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Conventions[edit]

Hi all, I do intend on making some efforts towards improving this article in the next few weeks. But with this in mind, I've got two queries for the sake of consistency:

1. American spelling or Commonwealth spelling? I've spotted a few American spellings, but as it deals with a subject that was originally Irish, would it be more appropriate to be closer to Hiberno-English, which reflects Commonwealth spelling in most respects?
2. Should the word "brother" come with a capital 'B' or a small 'b' when it isn't attached to a name (a specific brother)? When they're attached to a name it's always capitalised (just like any other title), but would it be different for a casual reference - e.g. "The brothers arrived in Australia in 1868"?

Thank you in advance! Rob Lindsey 01:34, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I noticed that someone anonymous has gone and addressed these conventions in the article - happy enough to see that, but comments would be nice to avoid a future edit war! In lieu of that, this is how it seems to stand (based on those edits which look on the whole fairly good):

- Brother when in reference to the congregation (instead of the fuller 'Christian Brothers')
- brother when referring to the members of the congregation.
AND
- Commonwealth spelling rules the roost (at the moment)...

Until and if there's any objections, we might stick to these conventions. Cheers. Rob Lindsey 20:26, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Brother Marie-Victorin[edit]

Brother Marie-Victorin was not a member of the Congregation of Christian Brothers (more clearly known as the Irish Christian Brothers). Rather, Brother Marie-Victorin (Frère Marie-Victorin) was a member of the De La Salle Christian Brothers (also known as Brothers of the Christian Schools, Fratres Scholarum Christianarum, or Frères des écoles chrétiennes). That he was a member of the De La Salle Christian Brothers can be seen in the Wikipedia article about him since the article includes of photograph showing him in his laboratory. In this photo, he is wearing the religious clothing that was worn by all De La Salle Christian Brothers until recent years. It is also evident that he was a member of the De La Salle Christian Brothers from his statue in the Botanical Garden of Montreal. Additional documentation can be found in his published diary (Mon miroir, Journaux intimes, 1903-1920, published by Éditions Fides, Montréal, 2004). This book contains several photographs of him and thoroughly documents that he was a De La Salle Brother, not an Irish Christian Brother. See also the book Croquis laurentiens (also published by Fides) whose author is identified as "Frère Marie-Victorin,é.c." "é.c." stands for "Écoles chrétiennes," i.e., Christian Schools. The first sentence of the "Présentation" of the book identifies him as a member of the Frères des écoles chrétiennes. Moreover, it would be very unlikely that a francophone in Quebec would join the (anglophone) Irish Chistian Brothers since there were many francophone congregations of religious teaching brothers (as noted on the monument dedicated to the congregations of religious teaching brothers outside city hall in Québec City). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jim Frane (talkcontribs) 20:33, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Suggest protection[edit]

Just removed vandalism - epithet 'paedophilic' added under 'Irish Nationalism' by 193.120.161.6. While I don't necessarily disagree with this user's assessment of the Christian Brothers as an organisation, clearly this isn't encyclopaedic. With the various stories currently coming to light, I'm going to suggest this page is protected.Bedesboy (talk) 16:12, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Brother Vic Larkin[edit]

This edit introduced a wikilink to a nonexistent article about "Brother Vic Larkin - Heor of the Australian Brothers". The link doesn't seem to be in the right format - a name would be used in a wikilink - and it's not clear what "Heor" is - is it a typo for "Hero" or a title?Autarch (talk) 13:19, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Broken Rites[edit]

On what basis is Broken Rites not a reliable source? See [[2]] and references listed that support Broken Rites as a reliable source. Flatoitlikealizarddrinking (talk) 05:04, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Broken Rites is a lobby and support group for victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy. As such, I support what they do. However, this means that they have a strong agenda, which means I don't feel that they can be regarded as a sufficiently reliable source when it comes to naming people involved in child sexual abuse. In general, if the name is public, there will be better sources available. - Bilby (talk) 05:17, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
That is correct, however the three names listed have all been charged, tried and convicted. The article I cited included that information. Flatoitlikealizarddrinking (talk) 05:33, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
That does not make it pass WP:RS. That simply states that the people have received a conviction. If it is reported in WP:RS then that is a 100% valid citation, oddly, even if untrue. If I were to state it in a blog, my blog does not qualify as reliable by its nature. So one has to determine wth precision what typoe, class, of source this is. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 06:27, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
OK fair enough, thanks for the explanation. Much appreciated Flatoitlikealizarddrinking (talk) 06:29, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
If you can find the same material sourced in a WP:RS source there is no issue at all in citing it. Equally, if you determine that the current source meets those criteria, that is also perfectly good. One major issue we have is remembering that every living person, even convicted people, has the right not to be libelled. This can be particularly difficult to remember if we consider the crime to be abhorrent. We do our best to be scrupulous with sourcing in order to do our best. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 16:52, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
Just to follow up, what Fiddle Faddle said. :) The problem isn't that I have a concern about naming people convicted of crimes, but that I regard this as one of the worst crimes possible. Accordingly, I think we need to hold the sourcing up to a very high standard before naming anyone. Broken Rites is an excellent group that has done a lot for victims of sexual abuse, but we need to find neutral sources. On the plus side, media coverage has been solid, so generally I've been able to track down good sources when needed. - Bilby (talk) 17:19, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
Agreed, good feedback. Flatoitlikealizarddrinking (talk) 00:18, 22 April 2013 (UTC)