Thursday 14 December 2017

Some in church still not following child safeguarding guidelines, warns Martin

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has pledged to hand over schools in areas where there is demand
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has pledged to hand over schools in areas where there is demand

Sarah Mac Donald

THE archbishop of Dublin has hit out at those in the Catholic Church who are not implementing the child safeguarding norms they have signed up to.

In a keynote address yesterday evening in Rome to the 'Anglophone Conference', which brings together child safeguarding experts and representatives from the English-speaking church, the Archbishop warned: "There are still within the church some who play down the realities of abuse, or who take short cuts with regard to established norms and guidelines."

Dr Martin said there was nothing more hurtful to survivors than to find the church proclaiming norms and then find that they are not being followed. He said he was struck when he read in some of the national reports on safeguarding in the Irish church that there were still dioceses or religious congregations which opted out of national norms.

The archbishop also warned those in the church who talked about a preferential option for the poor that they "must show unflinchingly a preferential option for those who have been victims of abuse within its fold".

He said the church could and should ensure adequate counselling for victims and their families and it must be a place where survivors, with all their repeated anger towards the church, could feel they would encounter healing.

The conference, taking place in the Irish College in Rome until Friday, will also hear an address by Dublin abuse survivor Marie Collins as well as Dr Melissa Dermody, the clinical director of Towards Healing, the counselling referral service for survivors of abuse in Ireland, and other experts.

Irish Independent

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