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Church criticised in abuse probes
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PostPosted: 26-10-2005 12:32    Post subject: Church criticised in abuse probes Reply with quote

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Church criticised in abuse probe
An Irish government inquiry into child abuse in a County Wexford diocese has uncovered over 100 allegations of sexual abuse by priests.
The 271-page Ferns report said the allegations were made against 21 priests who had been working in the diocese between 1966-2002.

The report said police investigations into claims of abuse were inadequate.

It also criticised bishops in the diocese for failing to take basic precautions to protect children.


Minister for Children Brian Lenihan presented the dossier to the Irish government on Tuesday.

The two-year investigation into the allegations of abuse was chaired by retired supreme court judge Frank Murphy.

Six of the 21 priests have been named in the report but 15 others are identified by numbers as allegations against them have not been proven in the courts.


'Moral problem'

It said that between 1960 and 1980, the then bishop of Ferns, Donal Herlihy, treated child sexual abuse in his diocese as an "exclusively moral problem".


Priests who were accused of abuse were transferred to a different post or different diocese for a time, but were later returned to their former position, the report found.

A second senior clergyman, Bishop Brendan Comiskey, was also heavily criticised.

The report stated he had consistently failed to have priests step aside because he considered it unjust as allegations of abuse were not substantiated.

Administrator of the Diocese of Ferns, Bishop Eamonn Walsh, welcomed the report and said he "accepted and acknowledged" its findings.

He said the church "unreservedly and sincerely apologised to all who have suffered abuse".


I think it is shocking to everybody's sense of how children should be protected
Bertie Ahern Irish Taoiseach



"For those who have been abused, or in cases where that abuse was compounded by the response or lack of response by the diocese, words of apology cannot be left unspoken," he said.


Speaking as the document was published, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said immediate action would be taken to implement the recommendations contained in the dossier.

"It is a catalogue of serial abuse and gross dereliction of duty in the diocese of Ferns," he said.

"I think it is shocking to everybody's sense of how children should be protected.

"Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families. The report brings out the full horror of their situation ... and catalogues the continuing failure to respond adequately in Ferns until recent years.

'Damning indictment'

"It's obviously shocking that it went on for decades."

Mr Ahern also said that the government accepted the report's recommendations in principle and would work towards implementing them immediately.

Opposition leader Enda Kenny said: "The detail is scandalous and brings shame on a civilised society. It is a shocking wake-up call to the Church and the state."


The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children said the report was another damning indictment of how Irish society had failed to protect children.

"This cruelty, consisting not just of sexual abuse of children, but of institutionalised silence and inaction, served not only to traumatise and hurt children but also served to make these children feel that they were to blame for the abuse perpetrated on them," a spokesman said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/europe/4376328.stm

Published: 2005/10/25 17:11:32 GMT

© BBC MMV


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PostPosted: 27-10-2005 16:30    Post subject: Abuse claims 'against 26 priests' Reply with quote

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Abuse claims 'against 26 priests'
Allegations of child sex abuse have been made against 26 priests serving in the Derry diocese over the past 50 years, the diocesan bishop has said.
Dr Seamus Hegarty said there had been only one successful prosecution.

It follows a report which found that 21 priests had abused children in County Wexford over the past 40 years.

Bishop Hegarty investigated past and current child sex abuse allegations with the aid of an independent child welfare expert.

He said they trawled back over 50 years, a period during which 330 priests served or are still serving in the Derry diocese.

Nine of the priests against whom allegations were made are now dead, Dr Hegarty said.



Allegations against 11 of the rest were found to have been withdrawn, not substantiated, mistaken identity, failure to be identified at all, or else determined by the police or social workers not to be a case of child sex abuse, he said.


I am confident that every allegation made against priests now serving in this diocese have been investigated and the necessary procedures followed
Dr Seamus Hegarty
Bishop of Derry


Of the remainder, one priest was stood down and was professionally assessed to be no risk and another priest paid money to a claimant - though admitted no liability.

In another case, the alleged abuse happened outside Ireland and another case is recent and ongoing, said the bishop.

Two cases resulted in prosecutions and one of these was successful, said Dr Hegarty.

In 1996, Father Gerard McCallion admitted the abuse of two Londonderry sisters years earlier.

'Investigated allegations'


Bishop Hegarty said he published the report on Thursday confident that "every allegation made against priests now serving in his diocese had been investigated and the necessary procedures followed".

To the victims, he said he "could not express enough his heartfelt and unreserved apologies".

"I also acknowledge that no system will be perfect," he said.

"However, as Bishop, I will do everything that I can, with the help of national, diocesan and parish structures, to ensure that all reported allegations of abuse are dealt with promptly and effectively.


"Our paramount concern is for the safety and welfare of children," he said.

"An independent child care consultant has recently carried out a review of all cases in this diocese, and the diocese will have ongoing external review."



This report is a catalogue of criminal abuse and of sacred trust betrayed
Bishop Hegarty

Meanwhile on Thursday, the Catholic Church authorities in Derry confirmed a parish priest in the diocese had left his post while the police investigated an allegation of child abuse.

A diocesan spokesman said the priest requested a leave of absence during the investigation into the allegation, which the priest denies.

An Irish government inquiry into child abuse in the Ferns diocese in County Wexford uncovered over 100 allegations of sexual abuse by priests.

The 271-page Ferns report published on Tuesday investigated allegations against 21 priests who had been working in the diocese between 1966-2002.

The report said police investigations into claims of abuse were inadequate.

It also criticised bishops in the diocese for failing to take basic precautions to protect children.

Bishop Hegarty said the report had been devastating.

"These innocent people have been wounded so badly by those they should have been able to trust," he said.

"This report is a catalogue of criminal abuse and of sacred trust betrayed."


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/northern_ireland/4382736.stm

Published: 2005/10/27 15:07:54 GMT

© BBC MMV
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PostPosted: 27-10-2005 16:56    Post subject: Government Publishes Ferns Inquiry Reply with quote

The Ferns report is not available online. I just rang the Government Press Office and they said that the Attoroney General had advised that the report should not be published online.

Ramon


GOVERNMENT PRESS OFFICE
e-mail:press.office@taoiseach.gov.ie
Phone: 01 6194033
Fax: 01 - 6763302




Quote:
Government Publishes Ferns Inquiry
25 October 2005

The Minister for Children, Brian Lenihan, T.D., published the Report of the Ferns Inquiry today (Tuesday, 25th October 2005) following its consideration by Government at their meeting this morning. The report has been published in full on foot of legal advice received from the Attorney General. The Report has been laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas in accordance with the terms of reference.

“On behalf of the Government I want to condemn in the strongest possible terms the repeated failure and gross dereliction of duties of those in positions of trust in the Dioceses of Ferns who engaged in acts of child abuse or failed to take effective steps to defend and vindicate the rights of the children concerned.”

The Government accepted the recommendations of the inquiry in principle and is committed to their implementation by line Departments and relevant agencies. The Government also decided to refer the report to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Minister said “I want to pay tribute at this point to the very courageous people who gave evidence of their experiences of abuse to the Inquiry”. He added that the Chair and members of the Inquiry have acknowledged in their Report its debt to the individuals who spoke about their experiences of abuse to the Inquiry and have indicated that it would not have been possible to produce the report without their cooperation and help. The Inquiry Team also acknowledges that they received full cooperation from the Diocese of Ferns and from the State authorities involved.

The Minister said “The Inquiry has examined the handling of over 100 allegations of child sexual abuse against Roman Catholic priests in the Diocese of Ferns over the period 1966 to 2002. It is clear from the report that effective action was not taken to protect vulnerable children over a period of many years. We must learn from the mistakes of the past. In addition to increasing public awareness and understanding of the horror of child sexual abuse, this report provides practical and far reaching recommendations to strengthen child protection practices in organisations working with children and to ensure a speedy and effective response to reports of abuse.

In the case of the church authorities, we must ensure that the current high standards of child protection operated by the Ferns Diocese are replicated in all dioceses. I am writing to the Episcopal Conference to ensure individual and collective compliance with the Inquiry’s recommendations in all Dioceses and I have requested the HSE to liaise with the bishops at local level on their implementation”.

Minister Lenihan said “The content of the report and in particular the Inquiry’s detailed recommendations for legislative changes will now be considered in depth and followed up as a matter of urgency.”

The Minister referred to the sea-change which has occurred over the past 15 years in relation to our knowledge of child abuse and to the steps taken by successive Governments to protect children from abuse and to promote their right to be heard.

These measures include

A strengthened legislative framework including the Child Care Act, 1991, the Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act, 1998, the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act, 1998 and Sex Offenders Act 2001.
Investment of some €240million since 1991 through the health system on building up an effective child protection infrastructure and family support services.
Appointment of a Minister for Children and a Cabinet Committee on Children
Publication of Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children in 1999
Publication of the National Children’s Strategy in 2000 (the first goal of which is to give children a voice) and establishment of the National Children’s Office to drive and oversee implementation of the strategy.
Appointment of the Ombudsman for Children in December, 2003
Implementation of the recommendations of the Working Group on the expansion of the Garda Vetting System.
The Minister concluded “On behalf of the Government I want to thank the Ferns Inquiry under the chairmanship of Mr. Justice Francis D. Murphy for the excellent job they have done. The Report of the Inquiry will be urgently examined to ensure that lessons learnt are acted upon. I want to echo the hope of the Inquiry team that should this type of abuse ever occur again, there will be mechanisms and procedures in place which will enable victims promptly to report the abuse in the confidence that they will be believed and the certainty that appropriate action will be taken to terminate the wrongdoing.”

http://www.dohc.ie/press/releases/2005/20051025.html


Quote:
Background
On 28 March, 2003 the Minister announced the establishment of the Inquiry into the handling of allegations of child sex abuse in the Diocese of Ferns following the Government Decision of 19 September, 2002 (S180/20/10/0270B). This followed the report of Mr. George Birmingham, SC, who advised on the most effective way of conducting the Inquiry. It was a non-statutory informal Inquiry as recommended by Mr. Birmingham as the Church authorities had indicated to him that co-operation would be forthcoming and that documentation would be provided without the need for Orders for Discovery.The Inquiry was chaired by the retired Supreme Court Judge, Mr. Frank Murphy and, in line with the recommendations contained in Mr. Birmingham´s report, two other specialist members were appointed to assist the Inquiry. Dr. Helen Buckley, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Studies, Trinity College, was appointed as a specialist in child protection issues. Dr. Laraine Joyce, Deputy Director of the Office for Health Management, was appointed to assist in reviewing the structures and management of the organizations coming within the scope of the Inquiry.

Anonymity
The complainants who appeared before the Inquiry are given fictitious Christian names to preserve their anonymity. This has also been extended to members of the clergy but it has not been possible to do this in all cases because of the unique or distinguished positions held by some or as a result of convictions in a criminal court.

Work of the Inquiry
The Inquiry undertook its work in four stages.

The Inquiry analysed the Birmingham report to establish the parameters of the Inquiry.
It researched and consulted on relevant areas including child sexual abuse, paedophilia and the management structures of the organisations which had handled the complaints.
The Inquiry established the factual events which occurred in the diocese by looking at documentation provided by the Church, Gardai and Health Board and hearings with witnesses.
The final phase was the drafting of the report. Extracts were provided to any person mentioned and the opportunity was given to them to respond.
Allegations of Abuse
Details of the alleged abuse are contained in Chapter 4 of the report and is quite graphic. These allegations numbering 100 relate to 21 priests. The number of allegations against individual priests range from single complaints against 9 priests to 26 complaints against one individual. These allegations were made between 1966 and 2005 and each statement is synopsised in the report.

The Diocesan Response
Chapter 5 of the Report (pages 124 to 206) outlines the Diocesan response to the allegations made. Again this response is given on a priest by priest basis which mirrors the approach in the chapter on the allegations. The Inquiry’s views of the handling by the Diocese of each priest’s case is summarised at the end of each section. The nature of the response on receipt of allegations evolved over a 40 year period. In 1966 Bishop Herlihy removed a priest from his post and sent him to the Diocese of Westminster which was not informed of the reason behind this. The priest received no treatment and returned after two years. In 1973 another priest against whom allegations were made was also sent to Westminster, which on this occasion was informed of the reason. Again no assessment or treatment was provided and he was appointed to chaplaincy and managerial roles in local schools. In the early 1980s the Bishop sent two priests to a Professor in UCD for assessment. Unfavourable reports were provided but both were appointed as curates without any monitoring or controls.Bishop Comiskey was of the view that when allegations were made the proper response was to remove the priest from active ministry. However, although he received allegations against 10 living priests and 4 others who had died no priest was stood aside from active ministry during his episcopacy. “Priests were moved out of the diocese in some cases but no child protection measures were put in place to ensure that children in the Diocese to which the accused priest was sent were not placed in danger.” On foot of the allegations the Bishop either conducted inquiries or sought to have them instituted but these were protracted and inconclusive. Financial assistance was provided to complainants if the priest was deceased.Bishop Walsh requested six priests to stand down pending determination of the matter, each of which did so without any proof or admission of guilt. In addition, three priests have been excluded from the priesthood.

The Inquiry's View on the Adequacy of the Church's response to the Allegations
Bishop Herlihy (Bishop of Ferns 1964 – 1983) The Inquiry is critical of Bishop Herlihy and was of the view that his failure to take even basic precautions to protect children was an inadequate and inappropriate response. Furthermore, he does seem to have recognised that child sexual abuse is a serious criminal offence. The restoration of two priests to their former positions was ill-advised and, again, was “neither adequate nor appropriate”. The referral of two priests for professional assessment was the considered appropriate. However, the failure of the Bishop to act on the unfavourable reports on these two priests is “inexplicable” and represented a “wholly inappropriate and inadequate response”.

Bishop Comiskey (Bishop of Ferns 1984 – 2002)The Inquiry is also critical of Bishop Comiskey. His request to priests to attend for assessment and, if necessary, to undergo treatment was an appropriate response in the view of the Inquiry. However, he was “unable or unwilling”to implement the advice received and the Inquiry has some evidence that he may not have passed a full history to the medical experts. He also consistently failed to have priests step aside because he considered it unjust as the allegations were not corroborated or substantiated. “The particular and inconclusive investigations conducted by Bishop Comiskey were an inappropriate and inadequate response to serious allegations. The bishop was rightly conscious of the need to protect the good name and reputation of his clergy but he failed to recognise the paramount need to protect children as a matter of urgency, from potential abusers.”

Bishop Eamonn Walsh (Apostolic Administrator of Ferns 2002 – Present) “Bishop Eamonn Walsh has told the Inquiry that he would be prepared to require a priest to step aside from active ministry where he had a “reasonable suspicion” that the offence of child sexual abuse had been committed.” The Inquiry states that the approach by Bishop Walsh has been both adequate and appropriate in relation to allegations of child abuse.

The South Eastern Health Board Response (Chapter 6)
Chapter 6 (pages 206 to 221) outlines the response by the South Eastern Health Board. The Inquiry addresses the response by the Health Board to the cases of abuse involving 6 priests. Of these cases, the Inquiry is of the view that they acted appropriately in the cases of 4 priests. In a case involving one priest the Diocesan authorities did not inform the Board of the name of complainant. In the final case the Inquiry states that the Community Child Care assessment unit was in the early stages of development and “that in those circumstances, it provided an effective response for the children at that time.”The Inquiry considered that the responses made by the Health Board to allegations were not consistent in all cases. In 1988 allegations by 10 children in Monageer were forwarded to the Gardai and church authorities and 7 of the children were interviewed together. Counselling and support was only offered in 1995 through a public statement, 7 years after the alleged incident.On notification of another allegation some support was offered to both the child and the family but this support was discontinued after the conclusion of the criminal trial.The Health Board carried out a risk assessment when it received evidence of possible danger to children by a priest who was the subject of a Garda investigation.

The Inquiry's View on the Adequacy of the South Eastern Health Board's response to Allegations
The provision of counselling and support by the Health Board was considered appropriate. However, in some cases such support was not made available. The issue of how the Health Board notified third parties of allegations against individuals has been raised by the Inquiry. The Inquiry also questions the Health Board’s statutory powers to act in third party abuse.

The Response of An Garda Siochana (Chapter 7 )
Chapter 7 (pages 221 to 245) outlines the response of An Garda Siochana. In the 1970s and 1980s informal complaints were made to individual members but no record of these complaints were found “on the Garda files or elsewhere”. When a complaint was made in relation to the parish priest in Monageer relating to 10 children both the children and the priest were contacted by different Gardai but it appears no further investigation took place. Between 1990 and 1995 complaints against three priests were carefully investigated with two successful prosecutions. The third case was struck out following the suicide of the accused. Four further cases have been investigated but the DPP has not instigated proceedings.

The Inquiry's View on the Adequacy of An Garda Siochana's response to Allegations
Prior to 1990 there appears to have been a reluctance by individual members to properly investigate according to the Inquiry. Since 1990 the institution of proceedings indicates that the Gardai are not deterred or hampered by the status of the accused and these investigations were efficient and considered an adequate and appropriate response. The Inquiry is of the view that the investigation of allegations made by 10 children in Monageer, in line with the findings of the internal Garda investigation, was neither adequate nor appropriate.

Criminal Proceedings
The Director of Public Prosecutions instituted criminal proceedings in respect of 4 complaints made against Fr. Donal Collins and 1 complaint made against Fr. James Doyle and convictions were obtained. Proceedings were also instituted against Fr. Sean Fortune in respect of 66 charges which were struck out following his suicide.Six other priests against whom allegations were made were deceased at the time of the complaint and three priests have since died. The DPP decided not to institute proceedings against 4 priests in view of the evidence presented to date. Two further cases which were notified to the Gardai were not passed to the DPP and in the remaining three cases no formal complaint was made.

Conclusions and Recommendations (Chapter 8 )
In the Executive Summary the Inquiry comments as follows.“With the benefit of hindsight it is possible to see that the Church authorities, the medical profession and society generally failed to appreciate the horrendous damage which the sexual abuse of children can and does cause. The Inquiry was struck by the hurt still borne by mature and fair minded victims who gave evidence before it. The Oireachtas has fixed a maximum penalty of life imprisonment for the more serious offences involving child sexual abuse. The Inquiry is of the view that the severity of that penalty is fully justified….The members of the Inquiry would express the hope that should the type of abuse chronicled in this Report ever occur again, there will be mechanisms and procedures in place which will enable victims promptly to report the abuse in the confidence that they would be believed and the certainty that appropriate action would be taken to terminate the wrongdoing.”The conclusions and recommendations of the Inquiry are set out in Chapter 8 of the Report pages 246 to 267. The principal recommendations relating to the Diocese, Department of Health and Children, Department of Justice Equality and Law Reform, and the Gardai are set out under E, F and G (of the terms of reference) in pages 262 to 267.

Cost of the Inquiry
To date the Inquiry has cost €1.868m. This is made up of €914,000 for the Inquiry’s legal expenses, €728,000 in expenses such as rent etc., €50,000 on advertising and €121,000 on staff costs for researchers and receptionist.

http://www.dohc.ie/press/releases/2005/ferns_guide_20051025.html
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PostPosted: 28-10-2005 13:45    Post subject: Diocese releases abuse statistics Reply with quote

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Diocese releases abuse statistics
The largest Catholic diocese in NI has released statistics which show that 15 priests have been accused of sex abuse there over the past 50 years.
Down and Connor, which released the statistics, said five priests were dead at the time of the allegations.

Three priests have been convicted and payments totalling £102,000 were made to 10 people because of two priests.

Bishop Patrick Walsh said strict procedures were now in place to protect children in the diocese.

"Anybody who feels they have been hurt, we want to help them," he said.

"We have put in place very, very strict policies and procedures in regard to child protection and there will be training for everyone in every parish in the diocese.

"Everyone who is going to be involved with children, in any way, will first of all have to be vetted and, secondly, will have to go through a very intensive course of training."

Bishop Walsh said a letter outlining what the church intends to do will be read out at weekend Masses.


The statement from Down and Connor said that three priests accused are still in ministry while one investigation has recently been re-opened by police.

The priest being investigated denies the allegations which dated back more than 20 years, while the other two priests were returned to ministry after their cases were investigated in 1992 and 1996.

Two civil actions against one priest are pending, two other priests have been suspended and a further two have retired.

The latest statement follows revelations of child abuse in the Derry diocese and the findings of a report into clerical sex abuse in County Wexford earlier this week.

On Thursday, Bishop of Derry Dr Seamus Hegarty said allegations of child sex abuse had been made against 26 priests serving in his diocese over the past 50 years.


Dr Hegarty said there had been only one successful prosecution.


Bishop Hegarty investigated past and current child sex abuse allegations with the aid of an independent child welfare expert.


He said they trawled back over 50 years, a period during which 330 priests served or are still serving in the Derry diocese.

Two cases resulted in prosecutions and one of these was successful, said Dr Hegarty.

Bishop Hegarty said he published the report confident that "every allegation made against priests now serving in his diocese had been investigated and the necessary procedures followed".

To the victims, he said he "could not express enough his heartfelt and unreserved apologies".

The bishop's comments followed the Ferns inquiry which found that 21 priests had abused children in County Wexford over the past 40 years.



Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/northern_ireland/4384144.stm

Published: 2005/10/28 08:21:41 GMT

© BBC MMV
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PostPosted: 31-10-2005 11:13    Post subject: Claims over priest lead to move Reply with quote

Claims over priest lead to move
Catholic priest Fr Pat Crilly has left his post while claims of child sex abuse against him are investigated, the Bishop of Derry has said.
Dr Seamus Hegarty broke the news to Fr Crilly's parishioners at Mass in Desertmartin on Sunday.

He said Fr Crilly had denied the claims but asked for leave of absence while police carried out an investigation.

The bishop last week said allegations of sex abuse had been made against 26 priests in the diocese over 50 years.



Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/northern_ireland/4392022.stm

Published: 2005/10/31 09:24:12 GMT

© BBC MMV
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PostPosted: 04-11-2005 13:27    Post subject: West stunned as 27 Tuam priests in abuse scandal Reply with quote

Quote:
Wednesday, November 02, 2005

West stunned as 27 Tuam priests in abuse scandal

A total of 27 priests from the Archdiocese of Tuam have been linked to allegations of child sexual abuse, the Western People can reveal. The figure is one of the highest in the country and will come as a major shock to parishioners in counties Mayo and Galway where the alleged paedophiles were based.

In a statement released at the weekend, the Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Michael Neary, revealed that seven of the 27 priests are now deceased. The earliest date of the alleged abuse was 1940 and eight priests who had been identified as probable child sexual abusers have since left the priesthood.

Archbishop Neary said 19 priests had been based solely in the Archdiocese of Tuam while a further seven had held temporary positions or had occasionally administered in the Archdiocese. The Tuam diocese covers a vast area of South and West Mayo, including Claremorris, Ballinrobe, Westport, Castlebar, Achill Island, as well as parts of North Galway.

Of the 27 priests involved, three have been convicted of charges of child sexual abuse while the Director of Public Prosecutions has decided not to prosecute another two. A further eight priests - living at the time the complaint was received – have left the priesthood following a reasonable suspicion that child sexual abuse may have occurred.

Mr Colm O‘Gorman, Director of One in Four group, which offers support to victims of clerical sex abuse, said the claims in Tuam were “on a par” with the scandal-riven Diocese of Ferns, given the similarity of the population of each diocese.

Mr O’Gorman said he found it remarkable that bishops were only now making these figures available, even though in some cases they were available for the last 50 years.

Dr Neary revealed that eight civil actions involving child sexual abuse have been brought, of which seven have been settled. Compensation of €327,000 has been paid to the victims with an additional €170,000 being expended on legal fees. The Archbishop did not reveal if further settlements were pending.

Dr Neary assured Catholics throughout the Archdiocese that the alleged perpetrators of child sexual abuse had been removed from office and he said that the Gardaí had been contacted in all cases involving living priests.

“No priest is currently in ministry who is the subject of an investigation involving child sexual abuse or about whom there has been reasonable suspicion that child sexual abuse may have occurred.”

On Sunday, Dr Neary attempted to explain to the people of the Tuam diocese why he had initially declined to ask a priest in an alleged rape case to stand down. The priest, who is accused or raping a pregnant woman some years ago, only stood down after the case was highlighted in the national media.

Delivering a homily in Tuam Cathedral, Dr Neary insisted that he had consulted with various sources, including the gardai, before being satisfied that no public safety issue existed.

But, the “balancing exercise” that had led to this decision was altered on Thursday of last week when, he claimed, the “confidentiality of the Garda investigation was breached” by an Irish Independent front page story.

He assured the people of the diocese that the procedures in place to protect children were of “a very high standard”.

The Western People understands that the alleged incident involving the pregnant woman occurred in County Mayo and that a Garda file on the matter is due to be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions within a matter of weeks. A second priest from the Archdiocese of Tuam is also under investigation for the alleged assault of a 17-year-old girl in the 1970s. The priest is believed to have been living in the south of the country for some time.

The child sex abuse statistics from Tuam are among the worst in the country and dwarf those of neighbouring dioceses. The Bishop of Killala, Dr John Fleming, has revealed that he received one anonymous allegation concerning a priest who had died. No other complaints had been made.

Meanwhile, the Diocese of Achonry stated that three priests had allegations of child sexual abuse made against them. One of the priests is dead while the other two are retired and are not involved in ministry in the diocese. Neither man has been convicted of offences relating to the allegations.

http://www.westernpeople.ie/news/story.asp?j=27827
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PostPosted: 07-11-2005 11:22    Post subject: Nationwide church abuse inquiry ordered Reply with quote

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07/11/05
Nationwide church abuse inquiry ordered

By Shaun Connolly, Political Correspondent
A TOP level investigation into whether paedophile priests have been allowed to remain in positions of authority despite serious accusations of child abuse against them will be ordered by the Cabinet tomorrow.

The sweeping national audit of every diocese in the country is to be unveiled by Justice Minister Michael McDowell alongside a statutory inquiry centred on allegations in the Dublin area.

The framework for the most far-reaching investigation into the scale of abuse by priests in Ireland has been revised in the aftermath of the Ferns report following consultation with victims and to encompass the national scale of the probe.

The State-wide audit will take the form of an independent examination of every diocese in the Republic, to establish whether there are current child protection concerns relating to serving priests.




The Dublin investigation will focus on the response of the church authorities to allegations of sexual abuse against more than 70 priests in and around the capital.

It is expected the examination will recommend whether or not other dioceses should be the subject of a full statutory investigation by the inquiry.

The national audit is unlikely to look at every file on record in each diocese relating to child abuse allegations, but will instead seek to establish whether dioceses currently have adequate child protection measures.

A key task of the probe will be to examine whether priests against whom serious allegations of child abuse have been made have been allowed to continue in ministry in recent years and whether this has placed children at risk.

The audit was announced by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in the Dáil after the publication of the harrowing Ferns report.

That study found there had been allegations against 27 clerics made by more than 100 people, and that in many cases priests had been able to continue in ministry right up until three years ago.

Minister of State with responsibility for children Brian Lenihan has already written to Catholic bishops asking them whether their current child protection policies are in line with those introduced in Ferns in 2002.

These require that any priest accused of child abuse stand aside pending an investigation.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Rory Brady is considering whether the State should pay legal costs incurred by Ferns diocese in its dealings with the Ferns inquiry.

It has been reported the diocese has sought €100,000 from the inquiry to cover legal fees it incurred in dealing with the inquiry. A spokesman for the diocese would neither confirm nor deny this.

In light of the Ferns report and ahead of the new inquiries, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has asked priests there to begin a programme of consultation with lay parishioners as to how the archdiocese can improve child protection structures.

Nationwide Probe
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KondoruOffline
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PostPosted: 09-11-2005 20:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where are the parents in such cases?
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feen5Offline
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PostPosted: 10-11-2005 13:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Where are the parents in such cases?


Where are the parents in any such cases, what can a parent do if they don't know whats going on. How can a parent find out if the child has been told that their parents will be killed if they tell anyone whats happening to them. Add to that the position that the catholic church had in Ireland until very recently. How could anyone have stood up to them. There have been plenty of cases here of people going to the bishops about what was going on and the priests were simply moved to other parishs rather than being sent to the police like they should have been. In a lot of the cases there were no parents anyway. The kids were sent away to schools because of petty crime or being born out of wedlock.
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PostPosted: 13-11-2005 19:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

It still seems odd to me to go to the bishop instead of the police
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PostPosted: 14-11-2005 09:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is odd but it wasn't in this country i'm afraid. The catholic chruch had unimaginable power over the population who were already mostly hardened catholics as well as access to every level of government and police. It probably would have seemed ridiculous to most parents that in the few cases where their children reported something that priest could be to blame. As well as that virtually every child in the country was taught by the religous orders. You couldn't avoid the church wherever you went or who ever you told.
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PostPosted: 14-11-2005 11:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
November 13, 2005
Irish Report on Sexual Abuse by Priests Stokes Outrage
By BRIAN LAVERY
DUBLIN, Nov. 12 - An independent report on sexualabuse of children by Roman Catholic priests in Ireland has led some members of Parliament to call for a severing of the formal ties between the Irish government and the Roman Catholic Church and has led the justice minister to promise new child-protection laws and a nationwide audit of how the church handles such cases.

The report, by a three-member panel appointed by the Irish government, showed that the Catholic Church hierarchy in Ireland was only one part of a system that enabled cover-ups allowing known sexual predators to retain their positions within the church - and their access to young victims.

Before 1990, the panel found, the police were reluctant to investigate claims of abuse by the clergy because they were fearful of challenging the privileged position of Roman Catholic Church authorities.

Most schools in Ireland are run by the Catholic Church, so even lay teachers found it difficult to sound alarms. In addition, public health authorities failed to follow up on some accusations of abuse and cut short other inquiries.

For nearly three years, the commission, led by a former Supreme Court judge, heard more than 100 accusations of abuse against 26 priests over a 40-year period in one diocese, Ferns, on Ireland's southeast coast.

One-fifth of the report's 271 pages is taken up by testimony, often verbatim and frequently explicit, from the victims. It includes accounts of priests at a Catholic boarding school who measured boys' penises at night, of boys who were forced to perform oralsex on priests and of girls who were molested during confession, one even on a church altar.

The sense of outrage that has simmered in Ireland since the late 1990's, when abuse cases began coming to light in the United States, here and elsewhere, has reached the boiling point with the release of the report. Newspaper headlines and angry pub conversations have referred to Ferns as "the most evil diocese in the world" and to abusive priests as "the Devil's disciples."

An investigation of 60 accusations of abuse in the Dublin archdiocese began this week, and a public debate has begun about whether to end the Catholic Church's role in the Irish education system. About 95 percent of Ireland's elementary schools are state-financed but run by Catholic authorities.

Internationally, victims' support groups and campaigners for changes within the Catholic Church have hailed the Ferns report as a watershed in the history of the sexual abuse scandals.

"We at last now have a government coming out on the record against this institution," said Paul Baier, a director of Bishop Accountability, a nonprofit group based in Boston that documents cases of sexualabuse by priests. "It is showing what a lot of us know, that this is a worldwide problem."

The inquiry uncovered greater detail than six recent American grand jury investigations, said David Clohessy, director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, which is based in St. Louis.

"Tremendous secrecy is still the norm," Mr. Clohessy said. "Any external peek into how it works is very rare and very valuable."

Pope John Paul II, who was pope when many of the sexual abuse scandals became known, said in 2002 that he was "deeply grieved by the fact that priests and religious have themselves caused such suffering and scandal among the young."

His successor, Pope Benedict XVI, has given no response to the Ferns report, in keeping with Vatican policy of refusing to comment on specific cases.

Few people in Ireland have been as instrumental in exposing the scale of the abuse as Colm O'Gorman, who said he was abused as a boy in Ferns by Sean Fortune, who became known as Ireland's most notorious pedophile priest.

After Mr. Fortune committed suicide in 1999, while facing 66 criminal charges of sexually abusing boys, Mr. O'Gorman founded One in Four - the name refers to the concept that one in four people is a victim of sexual abuse - a counseling and support organization. Lobbying by Mr. O'Gorman's group was integral to setting up the Ferns inquiry.

"On a professional level, there is a real sense of relief," Mr. O'Gorman, 39, said in an interview after the report's release. "Nobody will ever be able to say again, 'We didn't know.' Nobody will ever be able to say again, 'We didn't understand the implications,' or 'This is best left to the church.' "

As in the United States, the Catholic Church in Ireland has financially compensated many victims of abuse to avoid legal proceedings, including Mr. O'Gorman's own settlement for $350,000 in 2003. At the time, an admission of church negligence was read by Bishop Eamonn Walsh into the Irish High Court record. Bishop Walsh, who was appointed to Ferns after the scandal broke, has publicly accepted the findings of the report and repeated his apology to victims.

The Irish government's publications office has sold more than 3,000 copies of the report, and thousands more have been downloaded from that group's Web site, www.bishop-accountability.org. The government declined to publish the report online for fear that doing so could expose it to defamation lawsuits in other countries, including the United States.

The report's harshest judgments were against Donal Herlihy, the former bishop of Ferns, who has since died, and his successor, Brendan Comiskey, who resigned in 2002 after the BBC broadcast a documentary about Mr. O'Gorman.

The Ferns report also touched on the Vatican's demand for secrecy in sexual abuse cases - on pain of excommunication - and revealed how Bishops Herlihy and Comiskey repeatedly placed priests whom they knew to be pedophiles in positions that made it easy for them to abuse children.

"Bishop Herlihy's failure to take even basic precautions to protect children from men known to have abused in the past must be seen as inadequate and inappropriate," the report said. "He does not appear to have recognized that the wrongdoing was a serious criminal offense. Neither he nor the medical and health care community appreciated the grave damage which child sexual abuse can cause to its victims."

In the 1970's, Bishop Herlihy knew that two men studying in the local seminary had been accused of sexually abusing children, but still ordained them as priests. When additional accusations against them emerged, Bishop Herlihy sent the two for psychiatric treatment, then made the "inexplicable" decision to appoint them to curacies despite their "manifest unsuitability," the report said.

Bishop Comiskey continued similar practices, the report said, appointing known abusers to manage elementary schools as late as 2002.

The report referred to the 15 priests it investigated by Greek letters, like "Father Alpha," which left many victims feeling that the reckoning was incomplete. "It has been very difficult for people whose abuser hasn't been named publicly," Mr. O'Gorman said.

Even accusations against Greek letters are damaging to the Catholic Church, which is at the lowest point in its history in Ireland. For the first time, the Dublin archdiocese will not ordain any new priests this year.

Gina Menzies, an Irish theologian and author, said she suspected that the government might next choose to investigate religious orders.

"This is only the tip of the iceberg," she said, referring to the report.


Abuse
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KondoruOffline
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PostPosted: 14-11-2005 13:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that pretty much answers my questions.

It looks like catholicism is pretty much doomed in Ireland.
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PostPosted: 15-11-2005 12:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Priest 'misconduct' claims probed
A priest has been suspended following allegations of misconduct against children in Northern Ireland, the Diocese of Clogher has confirmed.
In a statement the diocese said the authorities were investigating the claims, which are thought to be linked to alleged events 20 years ago.

The priest is now attached to a parish in County Monaghan in the Republic.

Bishop of Clogher Dr Joseph Duffy told parishioners he asked the priest to step down as a precautionary measure.

The bishop said because the case was being investigated and that a priest "like any other citizen has the right to the presumption of innocence," he was unable to give any more details.


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/northern_ireland/4438106.stm

Published: 2005/11/15 09:16:13 GMT

© BBC MMV
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PostPosted: 15-11-2005 16:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

How is this Fortean?
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