Someone Warned Us About Catholic Child Sex Abuse 26 Years Ago, but Nobody Listened, by Carey Wedler

Sinead O’Conner got nothing but abuse for trying to speak out against Catholic pedophilia on Saturday Night Live. She was early, but it turns out she was right. From Carey Wedler at

Musician Sinead O’Connor tried to warn the world of abuses within the Catholic church during an appearance on Saturday Night Live in 1992, but no one listened.

In a now-iconic gesture, the singer tore up a picture of then-Pope John Paul II while singing Bob Marley’s “War” and switching out lyrics about African apartheid to reference “’child abuse, yeah,’ repeated twice with spine-stiffening venom,” the Atlantic noted in a 2012 article acknowledging she was right. During that protest, she also said: “Fight the real enemy.”

That article noted that the media failed to make “use of the traditional tools of journalism: interviews, research, and textual analysis. Instead, most commentators seem to have consulted their own imaginations.

From a Rolling Stone article at the time:

“[I]s O’Connor’s aim to educate people about her point of view or to alienate them and insult their beliefs—as she did when she ripped up a picture of the pope on Saturday Night Live, ensuring that they will never take her seriously?”

In an interview with Time, she explicitly laid out her grievances with the Catholic church, clarifying her decision to rip up the pope’s picture:

“It’s not the man, obviously—it’s the office and the symbol of the organization that he represents… In Ireland we see our people are manifesting the highest incidence in Europe of child abuse. This is a direct result of the fact that they’re not in contact with their history as Irish people and the fact that in the schools, the priests have been beating the shit out of the children for years and sexually abusing them. This is the example that’s been set for the people of Ireland. They have been controlled by the church, the very people who authorized what was done to them, who gave permission for what was done to them.”

To continue reading: Someone Warned Us About Catholic Child Sex Abuse 26 Years Ago, but Nobody Listened


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