Irish Catholic Church ‘trying to dump’ sex abuse priests on State

The Irish Times Mon, Jul 18, 2016 by Patsy McGarry

Two of America’s leading Catholic child protection advocates have strongly opposed suggestions by the church that care of laicised priests convicted of child abuse ought, in certain circumstances, to be a State responsibility.

It follows an interview in which Teresa Devlin, chief executive of the Irish Catholic Church’s child protection watchdog – its National Board for Safeguarding Children – said “once you know he is guilty, then you do have to cut the ties, you cannot continue to pay for someone, and at some stage the State has to take over with pensions.

“We are still talking about those people in their 60s because most of this abuse did happen around the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, so we’re talking older people,” she said.

Last month new child protection guidance standards were published by the board where it stated: “If the respondent is not the responsibility of the church authority, the church authority must inform the statutory authorities, and the process of involvement (by the church) in relation to safeguarding ends.”

‘Heinous crimes’

US lawyer and former Benedictine monk Patrick Wall said his take on it “is that they are looking to dump all their criminals on the public”.

He said that the church “selected, hired, trained, supervised and turned these perpetrators loose where they committed heinous crimes against children leaving permanent scars that continue to impact survivors and their families. The church ought to reap what they sowed”.

What should happen...

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