When men and women believe they have authority from God they can become corrupted by power to a frightening extent. The Roman Catholic Priests, monks and nuns who ran Irish children’s homes from the 1930’s to the 1990’s are an example of this. Marked for blame were the “Christian Brothers” and the “Sisters of Mercy”. Neither order showed signs of brotherly love, sisterly love or any mercy. Some children were put into the sadistic care of those orders because they were considered delinquent but others simply were not properly looked after. Then the religious orders continued to look after the children badly. It is estimated that there were 30,000-40,000 victims.
The secular authorities didn’t inspect those children’s homes properly either.
In some of these Christian institutions children were forced to work in good weather of bad weather unpaid as virtual slaves hired out to farmers who paid the orders that provided the children while the children didn’t get paid. An added sadistic touch which may well have given sick enjoyment to those who controlled the children was that they had to make the instruments of torture that were used on them.
"We made the straps they beat us with to their particular design. Some of them (the religious staff) were so evil that old English three-penny bits had to be sewn into the straps. Some used bits of copper or lead. We had to make them to their instructions. We were making the instruments of our own torture," 
Floggings were regular and children were in daily terror because they never know when the next beating would be. Children were even taken out of bed to be flogged during the night. Boys frequently suffered sexual abuse while girls only occasionally suffered sexual abuse but both sexes suffered physical abuse. Children were even known by numbers instead of by their names.
- Shame on the pope and his agents! A rationalist discussion forum dealing with this topic