April 01, 2005

Archbishop admits Church cannot afford compensation bill

One in Four

By John Downing, Political Correspondent – The Star

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin admits he does not have money to deal with clerical child abuse claims.

He is frank about the problem he inherited in the Dublin Archdiocese when he took over one year ago from Cardinal Desmond Connell. “I walked into an explosive situation. We are continuing to try to deal with it” he said simply. “Aside from personal hurt and blighted lives, the bill is considerable. I am talking to the priests about how we face up to the issue”. “It will mean finding new money, I don’t have it, he told The Star.

Latest Dublin figures show EUR3.7 million has been paid in settlements, with EUR1.3m in legal costs to date. An extra EUR1 million was spent on archdiocesan child protection fund. But all the signs are that the problem is continuing to grow, with claims dating back to before 1996 still expected. The archdiocese has so far paid EUR2.5 to a “Stewardship Fund” set up to in 1996 to deal with the problem.

Posted by kshaw at April 1, 2005 06:20 AM