Church's clear step forward
Published 01/12/2011 | 05:00
The timing of yesterday's publication of audits of six dioceses by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCC), coming as it did on the same day that it emerged Cardinal Sean Brady had agreed an out-of-court settlement with one of the victims of serial clerical paedophile Fr Brendan Smyth, whom he had sworn to secrecy in 1975, was unfortunate.
However, despite its many legacy issues on clerical child sex abuse, the publication of the reports does represent a clear step forward by the Catholic Church on this emotive and sensitive issue.
While the NBSCCC, an independent body, heavily criticises two of the dioceses that it audited, Derry and Raphoe, it also acknowledges that huge improvements have occurred in recent years.