Irish Catholic Church concealed child abuse even after new prevention rules in 1990s

July 13, 2011

(Cloyne Cathedral, 7 May 2009/John Armagh)

A government-sponsored report said on Wednesday the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Ireland continued to conceal the sexual abuse of children by priests even after it introduced rules in the mid-1990s to protect minors.

Revelations of rape and beatings by members of religious orders and the priesthood in the past have shattered the dominant role of the Catholic Church in Ireland. But the latest report into the handling of sex abuse claims in the diocese of Cloyne, in County Cork, shows that senior-ranking clergy were still trying to cover up abuse allegations almost until the present day.

“This is not a catalogue of failure from a different era. This is not about an Ireland of 50 years ago. This is about Ireland now,” Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald told a news conference.

The report, which focuses on 19 priests who allegedly abused children during a period from January 1996 to February 2009, lists how the diocese failed to report all sexual abuse complaints to the police and did not report any complaints to the health authorities between 1996 and 2008. The bishop formerly responsible for the diocese, John Magee, falsely told the authorities that he was reporting all abuse allegations to the police, the report said. He resigned in March last year after a Church investigation said his handling of abuse allegations had exposed children to risk.

The report also criticized the Vatican as “entirely unhelpful” in describing guidelines on how to deal with abuse accusations as “merely a study document.” The government will decide soon whether to summon the papal nuncio, the pope’s representative in Ireland, over the matter, Shatter said.

The report said that the Church’s own guidelines would have protected children had they been implemented. Complainants’ pain was compounded by the fact that their abusers appeared to have suffered no sanctions after the abuse had been revealed. One priest even officiated at the wedding of one of his victims.

Read the full report by Conor Humphries here.


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[…] on 16 July 2011. Tags: Catholic church, child abuse, ireland Summary of stories from Reuters, July 13, and the Belfast Telegraph, July 15, […]

Posted by No exceptions, no exemptions in child abuse, says Irish minister | Women's Views on News | Report as abusive

This matter shocked the population of Ireland, especially since it was revealed that the Vatican had, in previous times, sent out an ultra-secret letter, written in Latin by Cardinal Ratzinger as he then was, the present Pope Benedict, ordering bishops worldwide to conceal child abuse from the civil authorities, and letting either the Vatican or the local Catholic Archbishops handle the matter. These letters became public, and it was also revealed that worldwide there were so many cases of priests abusing children that the Vatican was swamped in trying to deal with the matter. After the Irish Prime Minister made a strong emotional speech to Parliament on the matter, the Vatican responded by recalling its Ambassador (Papal Nuncio) to Ireland and publicly scolding the Prime Minister. It will be interesting to see what the Irish population will do in response. Will that, as the people of the German State of Bavaria did in response to a similar episode of widespread child abuse by Catholic priests and resign en-Mass from the Catholic Church, and then try to reform it from the outside ((Shades of Martin Luther))…?


Posted by calexanderbrown | Report as abusive

[…] Irish Catholic Church concealed child abuse even after new prevention rules in 1990s | FaithWorld […]

Posted by Child Abuse In The Catholic Church « Bitter Harvest | Report as abusive

[…] be expelled from the Catholic Church for respecting the validity and dignity of all people (while the Church protects priests who abuse children). That probably means he’s doing something […]

Posted by Real Priests Support Women’s Ordination « Citizen of the World | Report as abusive

[…] sports. It is about the same institutional failures that allowed pedophilia to tarnish the Catholic Church and the Texas Youth Commission. It is about condoning rape because the business or brotherhood […]

Posted by Penn State sexual abuse scandal shows athletic departments are out of control | PARTISANS | Report as abusive

It was Cardinal Ratzinger in Europe and Father Groeschel and Bishop Eagan ( mass.Fall river and Bpt Ct.) and Law of Boston who straightened out he mess they were left by their do nothing previous bishops etc.. All of the wayward priests and Bishops like Weakland of Wisc., Bishops in Florida(Miami and Palm Beach) and O’Brien were run out of the clergy by Ratzinger-Benedict Law and others. Now most of the USA and Canada(Laity and civil Gov.) use the now deceased father Groeschel policy for ouster rather than therapy of priests, swim coaches(USA and hockey coaches and Boy scout leaders engaged in such abuse in North America.

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