One of the places to be hit hardest by the sex abuse crisis is Ireland, with 381 claims of sexual abuse made between 1914 and 1999. Now the first stage of a Vatican investigation into the problem in Ireland has been concluded, according to Vatican Radio.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor is one of six Catholic Church leaders appointed by Pope Benedict to lead an investigation into the causes of abuse within Ireland’s major dioceses and religious congregations. On Monday, the Vatican announced that this so-called “apostolic visitation” has concluded its first stage and that the initial reports have been submitted to Vatican officials.
He spoke to Vatican Radio, telling them that the Church in Ireland will be renewed if the right steps are taken:
“The Church is always being reformed and renewed and that will happen in Ireland too. The Church in Ireland needs our prayers, prayers for the gift of the Spirit, for a renewal of life, and for grace.”
You can listen to the interview here. In it, the former Archbishop of Westminster also points out the historic role that the Church has, and has had in the past, in caring for and educating children.
In the CTS report, The Catholic Church and the sex abuse crisis, Dr Pravin Thevathasan pays special attention to the problem in Ireland, explaining that two reports were released on this issue in 2009:
“The first of these was the Ryan Report which gives details of six decades of physical, sexual and psychological abuse perpetrated on children in Ireland’s residential institutions run by fifteen religious orders. The second report, the Murphy Report, is a government inquiry into abuse in the Archdiocese of Dublin from 1975 to 2004.
“Once again we see two evils: the evil of sexual abuse and the evil of abusive priests being protected by the bishops.”
May we keep this nation – which, as the Cardinal points out, has done the Church so much good and given her so many missionaries – in our prayers at this difficult time.
The Catholic Church and the sex abuse crisis is available from the CTS priced £2.50
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