Another report has come out on the coverup of child abuse by the Catholic Church in Ireland. The Cloyne Report was specifically commissioned to investigate whether the Church has modified its approach based on relevations in the 80s and 90s. The report specifically looked at the Diocese of Cloyne during period from 1996 to 2008. The mission of the report was
to consider whether the response of the Church and State authorities to complaints and allegations of clerical child sexual abuse was “adequate or appropriate” and to establish the response to suspicions and concerns about clerical child sexual abuse. In assessing how the diocesan and other Church authorities dealt with complaints, the Commission has judged them by the standards set in their own documents – the Framework Document and Our Children, Our Church.
During 1996-2008, allegations of child abuse were made against 7.6% of the priests in the Diocese. So how did the Church respond to these allegations?
No attempt was made by the Diocese of Cloyne to ascertain if there were others who had complaints to make against these clerics. The Commission itself was able to ascertain that, in the case of Father Rion, (see Chapter 20) at least two complaints of a similar nature had been made against him during his time in Australia.
At least six other clerics were retired or approaching retirement age when the first complaint against them was made. Again, no attempt was made to find out anything further about these clerics and only some of the complaints were reported to the civil authorities. One of these clerics admitted to abusing at least four children during his early years as a priest. No attempt was made by Church authorities or the Gardaí to ascertain if there had been other incidents involving this priest. The Gardaí were not told by the diocese of all the admissions made by this priest.
And when the Commission judged the Church by the standards set forth in their own documents, how did they fair?
The response of the Diocese of Cloyne to complaints and allegations of clerical child sexual abuse in the period 1996 to 2008 was inadequate and inappropriate.
Contrary to repeated assertions on its part, the Diocese of Cloyne did not implement the procedures set out in the Church protocols for dealing with allegations of child sexual abuse. The main failures were:
(a) The failure to report all complaints to the Gardaí;
(b) The failure to report any complaints to the health authorities between 1996 and 2008;
(c) The failure to appoint support people;
(d) The failure to operate an independent advisory panel.
As I've said before, the Catholic Church will never be able to fix the problem until they fully admit that they are the problem - not secular society, not the 1960s hippy culture and not homosexuality. And while we wait for the Church to accept that, child molestors are still being protected by the Church.