Thursday 22 March 2018

Empty apologies from bishops an insult to victims

Andrew Madden

The reaction of the Catholic hierarchy to the publication of the Murphy report last Thursday is extremely annoying and deeply hurtful.

I had a meeting with Archbishop Diarmuid Martin some months ago; I made it very clear to him that if the Commission of Investigation found that the handling of allegations of child sexual abuse against priests by bishops was found to have contributed in any way to more children being sexually abused by those priests, then the very least the bishops needed to do was to own up to their part in that and apologise for it very clearly -- they should not hide their own actions behind apologies for what the abusing priests had done.

The report showed that many children were sexually abused by priests whom the bishops knew were a danger. Indeed, in the case of former priest Ivan Payne, the commission identified at least seven boys who were abused by him after I had reported him to church authorities in 1981.

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