independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Victims demand publication of Cloyne chapter

VICTIMS have called for an unpublished chapter in the Cloyne Report into clerical abuse to be released.

The chapter was not released on the orders of the High Court last July for specific legal reasons.

The published sections of the Cloyne Report -- which followed a two-year investigation led by Judge Yvonne Murphy -- rocked the Catholic Church last summer.

It revealed a catalogue of incidents whereby church leaders failed to properly act on reports of clerical abuse, including assaults on children.

It also found that the diocese had failed to fully implement church-stipulated child-protection guidelines, despite the fact it had itself signed up to them.

Cardinal Sean Brady admitted that the report represented "a dark day" for the church -- while Archbishop Dr Dermot Clifford, who took over the running of Cloyne from Bishop John Magee, said his investigations led him to conclude that lies had been told.

Both Dr Magee and his Vicar General, Monsignor Denis O'Callaghan, have apologised for the mistakes that were made.

Ashamed

Dr Magee -- who now lives in retirement in Mitchelstown -- said he was "horrified and ashamed" over what had happened in his diocese.

Now pressure is mounting for the Government to seek High Court clarification on the status of the redacted chapter.

One victim said it was vital that the withheld chapter should be released.

"The truth has to be told -- and the only way that can happen is for all the information to be released. The full report should be published," he said.

Victim support groups are also in favour of the withheld chapter being released -- once the legal issues are deemed to have been permanently resolved.

The sprawling east Cork diocese is still negotiating the settlement of compensation claims taken by a number of abuse victims. Such is the scale of the claims against the diocese that it has had to sell off property assets to raise cash.

Dr Clifford previously acknowledged that whoever agrees to take the Cloyne helm faces years of hard work to rectify the situation.

"Priests will need very strong leadership," he said.

Speculation is mounting that Cloyne will get a new bishop early in the New Year now that the Vatican has appointed a new Papal Nuncio to Ireland.

Irish Independent

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