Clergy abuse – Ireland and Chicago

July 25, 2009 Comments Off on Clergy abuse – Ireland and Chicago

Second child abuse uproar engulfs Catholic Church in Ireland – A second report has given details of alleged sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Dublin 7/22/09 David Sharrock, Ireland Correspondent – A report detailing the alleged sexual abuse of 450 children by Roman Catholic priests in the Archdiocese of Dublin was handed to the Irish Government yesterday. It is the second one this year to examine the extent of abuse perpetrated by members of the Catholic Church in Ireland and will undermine further its position in a country that only a few decades ago conformed rigidly to standards set by the Vatican. The Report of the Dublin Archdiocese Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse was delivered to Dermot Ahern, the Justice Minister, who must decide if and when to make its findings public….Dr Martin handed over 66,583 documents to the commission, which is presided over by Justice Yvonne Murphy. In a television documentary, he said that since 1940 more than 400 children had been abused by at least 152 priests in the Dublin area. In April the Archbishop told his congregation that the report’s revelations would “shock and horrify us all”….The commission was established in 2006 and has investigated how allegations of child sex abuse made against a representative sample of 46 priests were handled by 19 bishops in Dublin from January 1975 to April 2004. The report is likely to produce evidence of how bishops sought to cover up the activities of paedophile priests by moving them from diocese to diocese, thereby facilitating the abuse of children over a wider area. The arrest in 1994 of Father Brendan Smyth, who was convicted of abusing children in Dublin, Belfast and the US over 40 years, led to the collapse of the Irish Government. Last year Cardinal Desmond Connell, who was replaced as Archbishop of Dublin by Dr Martin in 2004, abandoned a lengthy legal challenge to his successor’s transfer of tens of thousands of church files to the commission. The cardinal, who retired under criticism for his handling of clerical sex abuse allegations, had argued that the files were legally privileged. The commission investigated nineteen bishops, seven of whom are dead. Its report is expected to name fifteen priests, eleven of whom have been convicted.  http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/ireland/article6722491.ece

Failure to report sex abuse in Chicago archdiocese described – Bishop’s deposition details attempts to keep cases secret By Kristen Mack – Tribune reporter 7/22/09  The archdiocese of Chicago has agreed to pay $3.9 million to settle six sexual abuse cases and on Tuesday released a bishop’s deposition that detailed the church’s failure to report the crimes and attempts to keep them secret. The 180-page deposition provides a rare glimpse of “how clerical culture operated in the past,” said Jeffrey R. Anderson, an attorney for the victims. Retired Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Goedert, the second-highest-ranking bishop in the Chicago archdiocese, testified that most of the priests he confronted with sexual abuse charges admitted them. “I knew the civil law considered it a crime,” Goedert said in his deposition, adding that he felt church law required him to treat matters confidentially. “I simply would not talk about [the cases] to anyone except those who had a right to know because of their position in the diocese.” Goedert’s deposition demonstrates the “energy spent on keeping the scandal contained,” said Marc Pearlman, another attorney for the victims…. The deposition shows how “deeply ingrained secrecy” is in this archdiocese, Barbara Dorris, the outreach director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said in a statement. “That confidentiality allowed the archdiocese to move serial predators from parish to parish without congregations’ knowledge about child-abuse allegations,” she said….The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago paid more than $15.8 million in legal settlements related to sexual abuse last year, amounting to $80.2 million in claims from June 2001 to June 2008. kmack@tribune.com
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-catholic-sex-abuse-settle-22jul22,0,5067268.story

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