November 13, 2005

Irish Report on Sexual Abuse by Priests Stokes Outrage

The New York Times

Published: November 13, 2005
DUBLIN, Nov. 12 - An independent report on sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests in Ireland has led some members of Parliament to call for a severing of the formal ties between the Irish government and the Roman Catholic Church and has led the justice minister to promise new child-protection laws and a nationwide audit of how the church handles such cases.

The report, by a three-member panel appointed by the Irish government, showed that the Catholic Church hierarchy in Ireland was only one part of a system that enabled cover-ups allowing known sexual predators to retain their positions within the church - and their access to young victims.

Before 1990, the panel found, the police were reluctant to investigate claims of sexual abuse by the clergy because they were fearful of challenging the privileged position of Roman Catholic Church authorities.

Most schools in Ireland are run by the Catholic Church, so even lay teachers found it difficult to sound alarms. In addition, public health authorities failed to follow up on some accusations of abuse and cut short other inquiries.

Posted by kshaw at November 13, 2005 08:21 PM