March 23, 2005

Child sex abuse may cost church EUR50m

One in Four

Patsy McGarry, Religious Affairs Correspondent - Irish Times

Ireland's Catholic bishops have estimated that it may cost as much as 50 million to cover the cost of compensation and help for victims of clerical child sex abuse in parishes over the next decade.

In an article published in the diocesan newspaper the Kilmore Herald on March 17th, the Bishop of Kilmore, Dr Leo O'Reilly, said this estimate was presented at a meeting of the Irish Episcopal Conference in May 2004, where proposals were invited as to how the money might be raised.

He said the annual Kilmore contribution to the Stewardship Trust, which was set up by the bishops in 1996 to cover compensation and allied costs for clerical child sex abuse in all 26 dioceses in Ireland prior to 1996, would be around 66,000. He proposed this be raised through rental income on diocesan property, contributions from himself and the priests, and income from investments.

In a statement yesterday, the Bishop of Kerry, Dr Bill Murphy, said his diocese had contributed 158,128 to the trust in 2004. This was not paid from collections taken up in parishes each weekend, or from the annual diocesan administration levy.

Posted by kshaw at March 23, 2005 08:05 AM