Child Abuse and thee Catholic Church

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    theirishobserver.posted 5 years ago

    A long-awaited report into the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations in the Diocese of Cloyne is due to be made public within weeks.

    Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said today the Murphy report is expected to be brought before Cabinet on Tuesday, July 12th and published shortly after.

    The report centres on allegations of child sexual abuse against 19 clerics operating in the diocese between 1996 and 2009.

    The High Court ruled in April one chapter be censored over fears it could prejudice the criminal trial of an alleged pedophile priest.

    Mr Shatter said he had hoped the report would have been published by now.

    “It’s been a long drawn out process of consultations involving lawyers who had an interest in the matter and unfortunately it’s been more long drawn out than I anticipated,” he said.“It looked as if it might be necessary to make a court application to get some further clarity on the matter, but as a result of legal advice I received at the end of last week that doesn’t appear to be the case.

    “We’re now moving to a position where it is likely the report can be brought before cabinet on Tuesday week and published very shortly thereafter,” he told RTÉ.

    Its publication follows a two-year investigation by Circuit Court judge Yvonne Murphy, who also investigated the handling of abuse claims in the Dublin Archdiocese.

    The statutory inquiry was ordered in January 2009 after a damning report by the Catholic Church’s abuse watchdog found that the then Bishop of Cloyne, John Magee, took minimal action over a series of child abuse allegations against two of his priests.

    Branding his child protection inadequate and dangerous, the National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC) in the Catholic Church said that what little action the bishop took was also inappropriately delayed.

    The former Vatican aide, from Newry in Co Down, faced down repeated calls to quit his post in Cork until his resignation was finally accepted by Rome in March 2010.

    Dr Magee, who served as private secretary to three different popes, apologised to victims when the inquiry’s scathing report was first published on the internet the week before Christmas 2008 but refused to resign.

    It detailed how he failed to inform authorities about abuse allegations.

    A second audit by health chiefs, published in January 2009, found the bishop failed to tell authorities one of his priests was under investigation for abuse. At the same time, he claimed he was fully compliant with child protection

    His daily duties were later taken over by Dermot Clifford, Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, before his resignation was accepted.

    Maeve Lewis, of support group One in Four, said she welcomed the publication of the report as soon as possible.