Two seemingly separate stories converged today to make one very pertinent point. In Ireland, the Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse published the results of it’s nine year investigation, while the National Public Health Service in Wales announced that they are dealing with a “massive” measles outbreak.
Oliver Kamm on his blog makes the salient point, the day after a pseudo-scandal bought down the Speaker of the Commons, that:
“The word “scandal” is often overplayed. But in this case, it is scarcely adequate to the evil that the Roman Catholic Church – not just some individual, errant priest – has done.”
The main culprits of the systemic abuse in Ireland were the Christian Brothers, who delayed the investigation by more than a year. They successfully won the right for their members to remain anonymous in all references within the report – even in individual cases where Christian Brothers had been convicted of their crimes.
Meanwhile, in Wales, there have been over 150 hospital admissions for measles this year. That’s a four fold increase over last year.
The vaccine needs a 95% uptake in order to achieve herd immunity, which means that those too vulnerable to have been vaccinated are protected. But the latest figures for two year olds in Wales shows an uptake of just 86%.
One school in Carmarthenshire was as low as 14.8%.
It’s not the kids who are refusing the MMR vaccine, it’s the parents, and their actions are putting the entire community at risk from a killer disease that should have been all but eradicated by now. It’s not an overstatement to label this scandalous.
Back in Ireland, the executive summary of the commission begins by defining abuse as:
“the wilful, reckless or negligent infliction of physical injury on, or failure to prevent such injury to, the child.”
Can anyone dispute that, in both these cases, children are the victims of such abuse?