A half century of government-subsidized child abuse and torture by religious institutions (over-the-top-ironically called the Christian Brothers and the Sisters of Mercy), and nine years of rearguard obstruction to prevent the story from getting out. US governments were mainly asleep at the switch; the Irish state delivered children to these wolves by the busful. Wow.
I conjecture that any enterprise whose personnel is intellectually inbred, especially if it gets to wear a uniform and have ceremonies of allegiance and difference, and whose operations are hidden from outside view, will evolve toward this kind of savagery, especially if it’s given a group of readily identifiable victims with any sort of pre-assigned “guilt” (who are usually children, often women).
Inhumanity is probably the natural outcome of self-governing societies that can keep their activities hidden from public oversight. Sunshine won’t always prevent this, but it sure helps.