Monday, July 27, 2009

New 'Shock' Report into Church Sex Abuse

July 21, 2009
Original Article
Article from: Agence France-Presse

A SHOCKING new report has identified hundreds of victims of child sex abuse by Irish Catholic priests, officials and clerics say, two months after a landmark study found "endemic" mistreatment.

A Government-appointed commission of investigation headed by a judge has been probing allegations of abuse by priests in the archdiocese of Dublin - the country's biggest - since March 2006.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has warned that the report - being presented to Justice Minister Dermot Ahern on Tuesday - would "shock us all".

It is the first time the state has investigated how the once-powerful Church in mainly Catholic Ireland has run its affairs.

It probed whether the Church reported abuse allegations or attempted to "obstruct, prevent or interfere with the proper investigation" of complaints.

A spokeswoman for the archdiocese said the Church authorities had identified between 400 and 450 people that allege they were abused by one of 152 Dublin priests since 1940.

"I would like to stress that that is a very conservative estimate and is likely to rise," she said.

It is not yet clear when the report will be published. "The minister will refer the report to the Attorney General Paul Gallagher to see how best to proceed," the justice spokesman said.

In May Ireland was rocked by a landmark report that concluded sexual, physical and emotional abuse was "endemic" in Church-run industrial and reformatory schools, orphanages and other childcare institutions dating back to the 1930s.

Prime Minister Brian Cowen said it contained a "shattering litany of abuse of children in care in this country over many decades".

He told Parliament the report was the gravest in the history of the country and contained "such horrific stories that it is difficult to know where to begin in talking about it".

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