Via the Irish Times:
The Commission of Investigation into Dublin’s Catholic Archdiocese has concluded that there is “no doubt” that clerical child sexual abuse was covered up by the archdiocese and other Church authorities. The commission’s report covers the period between January 1st 1975 and April 30th 2004. It said there cover-ups took place over much of this period.
In its report, published this afternoon, it has also found that “the structures and rules of the Catholic Church facilitated that cover-up.” It also found that “the State authorities facilitated the cover-up by not fulfilling their responsibilities to ensure that the law was applied equally to all and allowing the Church institutions to be beyond the reach of the normal law enforcement processes.”
Over the period within its remit “the welfare of children, which should have been the first priority, was not even a factor to be considered in the early stages,” it said. “Instead the focus was on the avoidance of scandal and the preservation of the good name, status and assets of the institution and of what the institution regarded as its most important members – the priests [.]”
The sitting Aauxiliary Bishop of Dublin Eamonn Walsh has called for a cessation of further inquiry, claiming:
…[W]e’d be far better using our time, energy and money in consolidating our church-protection services, our school-protection services and all of the legislation that will enable it.
Vatican spokesmen have declined comment.
Via the Boston Herald:
[A] report in May sought to document the scale of abuse as well as the reasons why church and state authorities didn’t stop it, whereas Thursday’s 720-page report focused on why church leaders in the Dublin Archdiocese – home to a quarter of Ireland’s 4 million Catholics – did not tell police about a single abuse complaint against a priest until 1995. By then, the investigators found, successive archbishops and their senior deputies – among them qualified lawyers – already had compiled confidential files on more than 100 parish priests who had sexually abused children since 1940. Those files had remained locked in the Dublin archbishop’s private vault.
The investigators also dug up a paper trail documenting the church’s long-secret insurance policy, taken out in 1987, to cover potential lawsuits and compensation demands. Dublin church leaders publicly denied the existence of the problem for a decade afterward – but since the mid-1990s have paid out more than euro10 million ($15 million) in settlements and legal bills.
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