Friday, November 27, 2009

Report abuse by clergy - bishop

Report abuse by clergy - bishop

Bishop Hegarty says he hopes those involved will be prosecuted
The Bishop of Derry, Dr Seamus Hegarty, has called on anyone who has been abused by a member of the clergy to go to the civil authorities.

On Thursday, an inquiry into the Dublin archdiocese condemned the Catholic church for covering up decades of abuse of children.

The report also criticised the civil authorities for failing to investigate many of the crimes.

The leader of the Catholic church in Ireland has apologised.

Cardinal Sean Brady said he was deeply sorry and ashamed by the child abuse the report had revealed.

Speaking on behalf of the Derry diocese, Father Michael Canny said the church's reputation was in tatters.

"The church has no credibility, no standing, and no moral authority.

"The issue is an issue of confidence and of trust.

"This is something which will take certainly my lifetime to build up again," he said.

The church has no credibility, no standing, and no moral authority

Fr Michael Canny
Seventeen priests who served in the Derry diocese have had allegations of child sexual abuse made against them.

One priest, who was on loan to the diocese, has since been convicted.

In a statement, Dr Hegarty said the Dublin report was a "shocking catalogue of appalling crimes".

"The report shows behaviour towards children which was evil in the extreme, and it is to be hoped those involved will be prosecuted."

The Bishop of Raphoe, Dr Philip Boyce, has said he would welcome any inquiry into his diocese.

Father Edward Kilpatrick, from County Donegal, was accused of sexual abuse but later acquitted.

He said he believes the church could still be covering things up to protect its reputation.

"The report is horrifying and scandalous and absolutely terrible.

"But I'm not sure secrecy, the avoidance of scandal and the protection of the institution has disappeared from the church.

"There have been procedures and protocols put in place to deal with the whole child protection issue within the church.

"They seem to be working quite well, but I wouldn't like to bet that secrecy within the church is of a bygone age."

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