Saturday, November 28, 2009

'Perpetrators will have to face God'

'Perpetrators will have to face God'

Saturday November 28 2009

A PRIEST who was abused as a young seminarian yesterday said that bishops who failed to prevent or report decades of child abuse in Dublin would have to face God over their devastating inaction.

Fr Paddy McCafferty (46), whose own pleas to senior bishops fell on deaf ears, stopped short of calling for the resignations of those such as Donal Murray, currently head of the diocese of Limerick.

Bishop Murray was previously an auxiliary bishop in Dublin and the Commission of Investigation heavily criticised how he dealt with complaints.

Fr McCafferty, currently based in Rathmines parish, said that Dermot O'Mahony, an assistant bishop in Dublin who did not tell his Archbishop about complaints, was now ill.

"Bishop O'Mahony is an ill man and an ailing man," he added.

Fr McCafferty, a native of Belfast, was abused by a babysitter and a male neighbour when he was a child. It was always his ambition to enter the priesthood.

"I fell prey to this priest in our diocese at home who kind of adopted me," he said.

"At first, he was fine and he was good and friendly and all that. And then it turned sinister and it became abusive and he used force.

"People say to me, 'How could you go on after what happened?' But my faith in God was strong enough. If I didn't believe in God, I think I would have taken my own life."

- Fiach Kelly

Irish Independent

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