Monday, October 26, 2009

Child Abuse Report 'Will be Painful'

Original article

A long-awaited report into clerical child sex abuse will be a painful reflection on society, the Archbishop of Dublin warned today.

Diarmuid Martin said the report on the Dublin diocese, expected to be published later this week, will also help point the way forward for dealing with paedophilia.

“I think it will provide a painful but an important reflection on society and where we should be going to address the sexual abuse of children,” the Archbishop said.

“It’s a terrible problem.”

The High Court ruled last week that all but one chapter of the report of the Dublin Archdiocese inquiry can be published, to avoid prejudicing a prosecution against one priest.

It will be the second devastating clerical child sex abuse report to rock the Catholic Church in Ireland this year after the harrowing Ryan report laid bare the physically and psychologically abusive regimes operated by religious orders in church and state-run institutions.

The latest long-running inquiry, headed by Judge Yvonne Murphy, has uncovered thousands of cases of abuse by priests.

Up to 450 people have made abuse allegations against former priests since 1940.

The inquiry has focused on a sample of 46 priests and how the Church hierarchy dealt with allegations of abuse.

They include 19 senior clerics, including Cardinal Desmond Connell, who last year dropped a potentially embarrassing court challenge to stop the commission getting access to 5,586 secret Church files.

The Archbishop said he did not know when the report will be released, but added: “It’s very interesting, this question was brought to the courts on September 8 and we are now six weeks on.

“It just goes to show that there is a very difficult balance that needs to be attained between the public interest and my interest in getting the report out and the need to avoid prejudicing prosecution or to ensure the right of anybody who has not had the opportunity to challenge what has been said.

“It’s the first time that this legislation has been used. It’s difficult.

“My hope is, and I’ve said this on many occasions, the sooner the report comes out the better.”

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