List of Irish clergy accused of child abuse to be released
A list of Irish clergy who were found guilty of child sexual abuse will be published for the first time by International organisation BishopAccountability.org.
The move will intensify pressure on the Vatican to release all of their records that relate to clerical abuse.
Bishop Accountability is an organisation that aims to document the crisis of abuse in the Catholic church.
It has already released documents featuring details of clergy members in the US and South America who have been accused of abuse.
Their list of Irish clergy is said to include names of over 70 priests and brothers who have been convicted or named in State enquiries.
Pope Francis is set to visit Ireland later this week and Bishop Accountability are calling on him to release the names of all clergy – including Irish priests – who have been disciplined by the Church for child abuse.
They will ask Ireland’s Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, to support their cause and encourage Pope Francis to go ahead with the idea.
Co-director of Bishop Accountability, Anne Barrett Doyle, said: “An institution with a long and troubled history of concealing child sex abuse has two moral imperatives: to protect children and to help survivors heal.
“Disclosing the names of the credibly accused is a powerful way for the Catholic Church to achieve both these goals.”
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Bishop Accountability’s calls are being echoed by Irish survivor Mark Vincent Healy.
Healy will publish his own body of work, which will highlight the low conviction rate for clergy members who were accused of sexual abuse.
His figures come from audits published by the National Board of Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church of Ireland.
He said he is worried that Ireland is becoming ‘desensitised to what has been the most appalling attack on the youth of Ireland who have had to live with this trauma’.
He added that it is the perfect time to bring the issue back into focus, with the Pope’s visit just days away.
Healy want’s Pope Francis to hand over the files to an independent body who could examine them on a global scale.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has also called on the Pope to release the Church records to State bodies.
He said: “What we need, I believe, is truth, justice and healing for the victims. And, yes, that does involve making available any information that the State authorities ask for.”
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling