October 25, 2005

Church, police, state: all failed raped children

The Guardian

Angelique Chrisafis, Ireland correspondent
Wednesday October 26, 2005
The Guardian

A devastating report into one of the world's worst clerical sex abuse scandals has found that children throughout County Wexford were abused over a 40-year period while the Catholic church, the police and the Irish state failed in their duty to protect them.

At least 21 priests were accused of more than 100 cases of rape and sexual assault against children in the diocese of Ferns from 1962 to 2002. The rural area of south-east Ireland is believed to have the highest proportion of accused clergy in a Catholic diocese anywhere in the world.

The report, headed by the retired supreme court judge Frank Murphy, is Ireland's first state investigation into the Catholic church's handling of abuse allegations against priests. It found that the church's negligence in dealing with allegations went as far as the Vatican.

Colm O'Gorman, a victim of child rape by one priest in Wexford, told Irish state broadcaster RTE: "The report says very clearly that the Vatican carries a responsibility for the rape and abuse of children."

The report is likely to spark public anger in Ireland, where the once all-powerful Catholic church has been hugely damaged by revelations of abuse.

Posted by kshaw at October 25, 2005 11:11 PM