Monday 27 March 2017

Clifford sorry for 'failures'

DON LAVERY

EVERY priest in ministry in the Diocese of Cloyne has now been vetted by the gardai, Archbishop Dermot Clifford has said as he again apologised for the "consistent failure" to report child sex abuse allegations to the civil authorities.

Dr Clifford, who took over the running of the diocese after disgraced bishop John Magee stepped down in 2009, said in a letter to the people of the diocese today that he expected they would be experiencing many different emotions over the publication of the sex abuse report, including shock, anger, disappointment and sadness.

He again reiterated the apology he made on the day it was published to "the many who have suffered horrendous acts of abuse perpetrated by some priests of the Cloyne Diocese".

"The sexual abuse of children, particularly when carried out by those in positions of trust and responsibility for the welfare of children, is always a criminal as well as a sinful act. It deserves our utter condemnation," he said.

He also apologised for the failure to alert the civil authorities and for the "mistakes and omissions" made over a number of years in the diocese.

Dr Clifford admitted: "The people of Cloyne were entitled to expect that all such complaints would be handled according to the official church guidelines."

He did not mention his predecessor, Bishop John Magee, who was found primarily responsible for the failure in the diocese, in the letter.

Sunday Independent

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