July 03, 2005

Church leaders brace for 'explosive' Ferns abuse report

The Times

Dearbhail McDonald

THE Bishop of Ferns has warned church leaders to brace themselves for the publication of a report into clerical sex abuse in Wexford that has been described as “explosive”.

Eamon Walsh has written to the leaders of Ireland’s religious congregations asking them to pray for “a positive outcome”, ahead of the publication of a state report into clerical sex scandals that rocked the diocese.

The letter, issued last month, asks the heads of the congregations to pray that the report, which is being reviewed by the church, victims and third parties, will be “proper”.

Although it makes no reference to diocesan priests who abused children, it asks for justice for the victims and prays for “reconciliation”.

The missive, interpreted by some religious sources as a pre-emptive strike ahead of the report’s publication, has received a cautious welcome from victims of abuse in Ferns’s parishes.

Posted by kshaw at July 3, 2005 07:28 AM