Report Puts Clerical Abuse Back In Focus

A review into the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations have found that dioceses failed to respond adequately to the accusations.

Now the Bishop of Raphoe has apologised for "poor judgements" in managing priests accused of "horrific acts of abuse" against children.

Bishop Philip Boyce was speaking as a review of practice in the diocese found it experienced "a significant level" of clerical abuse cases in past decades.

Six reports were published this morning as part of an all-island review of child protection policies in all Catholic institutions on the island of Ireland.

They were probed by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, covered Derry diocese, Dromore (Down), Kilmore (Cavan), Ardagh Clonmacnoise (Longford, Leitrim, Offaly) dioceses as well as Tuam archdiocese.

The Diocese of Raphoe in Co Donegal comes in for particular criticism with the review concluding that "significant errors of judgment" were made by successive bishops in responding to the accusations.

However, while many dioceses come in for criticism for their handling of abuse allegations in the past, the reviews conclude that lessons have been learned.

Most dioceses are praised for the manner in which they have implemented child protection guidelines and for their pro-active approach to dealing with accusations.


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