April 18, 2005

Church plan for abuse aftermath

Belfast Telegraph

By Clare Weir

18 April 2005
Priests in Londonderry have spoken of the need to heal "fractured relationships" in the wake of a recent sex scandal in the diocese.

Clergymen have expressed "relief" at the end of a marathon round of meetings sparked by the case of Father Andrew McCloskey.

It emerged earlier this year that the Dungiven-based curate paid a 19,000 out of court settlement to a man who claims he made a sexual advance on him when he was 18.

The man had gone to Fr McCloskey for help with his own history of sexual abuse.

Fr McCloskey had been allowed to become a sex abuse counsellor despite two serious sexual allegations against him. It then emerged that since November 2004 around three percent of parish income - about 200,000 - was being contributed into what was described as "the Stewardship Trust".

The fund was set up in 1996 to cover compensation, counselling and legal costs of clerical child sex abuse cases and the costs of the Irish Bishop's Conference Child Protection Office.

Posted by kshaw at April 18, 2005 06:07 AM