Archbishop of Boston to meet victims of clerical sex abuse during Irish visit

PAMELA DUNCAN

Irish Times 6th January 2011

VICTIMS OF clerical abuse in the Dublin diocese will meet the Archbishop of Boston in the coming months as part of the work of a delegation sent to Ireland by Pope Benedict.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said Cardinal Seán OMalley had already visited Dublin at the beginning of December and would be returning this month and next month when he would mainly be meeting victims of clerical abuse in Ireland.

Cardinal Seán Brady said the former archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-OConnor, had visited the archdiocese of Armagh before Christmas.

“He will return this month accompanied by his team and we welcome it and we will co-operate,” Cardinal Brady said yesterday. Archbishop of Toronto Christopher Collins and Archbishop of Ottowa Terrence Prendergast are also visiting the archdioceses of Cashel and Tuam respectively.

The delegation is in Ireland to explore how cases of sexual abuse of children by priests were handled and to monitor the effectiveness of current procedures for preventing abuse in the Catholic Church in Ireland.

However, Cardinal Brady noted that the delegation formed just one part of the programme of renewal described by the Pope in his pastoral letter to the Catholics of Ireland last March.

The Holy See has indicated that the delegation is to complete its work by May. A spokesman for the church in Ireland said it would be a matter for the Vatican whether reports by the “apostolic visitors” would be made public thereafter.

Both Cardinal Brady and Dr Martin were present yesterday at the launch of Share the Good News , the first national directory for catechesis in Ireland, a 10-year plan covering evangelisation, religious education and catechesis – the process by which people are introduced to faith.

Dr Martin described the new directory as “revolutionary” and a “time bomb” thrown into the catechetical and religious education establishment in Ireland.

“It is an invitation to break away from our current situation, which is overly school-orientated, and bring back into the picture in a more focused way the central role of the parish and the family,” he said.

“There is need to provide a new generation of catechists in our parishes, both full-time professional catechists but above all as a new group of committed lay people who will take on a period of formation to be voluntary catechists in their parishes.”

Dr Martin said the directory was being published at a time of great change in Irish religious culture, when faith education in schools was under scrutiny.

“There are various contending voices and interest groups, speaking often in a polarised way, and there is very little common reflection on what the right way forward should be. I still believe that a broad national forum on the future of education provision and the place of faith education in the Irish educational system would be of value,” he said.

Dr Martin said the right of parents to choose their children’s education was a fundamental right. “This right is not an invention of the Catholic Church in Ireland or of an out-of-date Irish Constitution. It is clearly present in all the major international human rights instruments,” he said.

Cardinal Brady described the directory as a “most significant document” which addressed in a unified, coherent and co-ordinated way many pressing issues for the Irish church.

The directory was launched by Bishop of Kerry Bill Murphy and the document’s author and editor, Rev Dr Gareth Byrne, yesterday.

  1. Still the same old story . claiming ignorance of the abuse inflicted on the vunerable, after all we were just children. but as they were then these people still remain the same today oblivious to the suffering of abused people.

  2. When the pope speaks of change, Its very differcult to believe him . the schools thay ran did not even change with evolution, and since its a well known fact that he needs a very very long time before he dicides. well it might not begin to happen before 50years at least. how many lives have been ruined while he was deciding to act about sexual abuse.He knew from different sourcesthat thay both priests and nuns were taking out thier frustration on children

  3. amere-brush-hand

    When is Brady going to be held to account for his role in covering up the rape of children? This is what he did when he asked for a vow of silence from the victims of Brendan Smyth.

    The Vatican enquiry is just a con, a smokescreen to hoodwink the public. We know the Catholic Church moved rapists from parish to parish.

    We know the Vatican and the present pope was also complicit in a cover up. When are they going to face justice?

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