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,” it said.
In making its main findings, the report it concluded that “it is the responsibility of the State to ensure that no similar institutional immunity is ever allowed to occur again. This can be ensured only if all institutions are open to scrutiny and not accorded an exempted status by any organs of the State.” Read complete article - by Patsy McGarry- IRISHTIMES.COM
Photo - The four archbishops of Dublin during the period covered by today's report into the handling of allegations of clerical child sex abuse. Clockwise (from top left) John Charles McQuaid, Dermot Ryan, Kevin McNamara and Desmond Connell.