A damning report on sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests in Dublin is due out later this week, only six months after another report on abuse in industrial and reformatory schools across the country accused priests and nuns of flogging, starving and, in some cases, raping children in their care.
“It will not be easy reading,” Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said of this new report back in May when the uproar over the first report prompted so many calls to counseling services for abuse victims that the advice centre had to close temporarily because it couldn’t handle all the inquiries.
(Photo: Copy of the first report on clergy child abuse, 20 May 2009/Cathal McNaughton)
The Sunday Independent newspaper, which broke the news, said the report will accuse the four archbishops who preceded Martin of covering up the abuse “to preserve the power and aura of the Church and to avoid giving scandal to their congregations.”
Today, the daily Irish Independent said the diocese’s compensation bill for victims of child abuse is set to double to more than 20 million euros after publication of the report, now expected on Thursday. It is due to be presented to the Irish cabinet today.
“Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has prepared both clergy and public for what we are going to hear. This is a major break with the old tradition of secrecy, which played a major part in getting us into this mess,” wrote the Jesuit blogger Fergus O’Donoghue, editor of Studies: an Irish Quarterly Review. “Our bishops, however, seem to have an air of “business as usual”. This makes them look exactly like our bankers! They must realise that everything has changed and that diocesan and national synods in Ireland are decades overdue. We must be assured that secrecy, particularly in the appointment of bishops, has been abandoned and that Irish Catholicism is moving into a new era of openness and collaboration, even if it is about thirty years too late.”