|Statement by Bishop John Magee Regarding the Report on the Management of Two Child Protection Cases in the Diocese of Cloyne.
By John Magee
Roman Catholic Diocese of Cloyne
December 19, 2008
The safety of children is the priority for me and for the Diocese of Cloyne. Supporting those individuals who suffered clerical child sexual abuse is an integral part of my ministry and that of the diocese. Today I apologise to victims of clerical sexual abuse. There can be no place in the Church, or in wider society, for those who have perpetrated such vile acts and who have betrayed the sacred trust placed in them.
The Church's National Board for Safeguarding Children (NSBC), which is independent of the Diocese, completed a review in June of two child protection cases in the diocese. I cooperated with this review and fully accept its recommendations. I am currently implementing the findings of this review.
Clearly, implementing these recommendations is important but so too is public confidence in the child protection procedures in the diocese. For this reason I am today placing the NSBC report on the public record.
Whilst the allegations referred to in this report are not proven and this report makes no determination as to that veracity, nevertheless my intention is to alleviate those who have suffered in any way that I can, and this sentiment underpins my actions today.
I am also placing on public record a progress report issued by the National Board for Safeguarding Children outlining the steps which the diocese has taken, and is continuing to take, to implement the recommendations contained in the NSBC report.
In taking this action I am mindful of the address of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI to the Bishops of Ireland during their ad limina visit in 2006 when he said:
"In the exercise of your pastoral ministry, you have had to respond in recent years
to many heart-rending cases of sexual abuse of minors. These are all the more tragic
when the abuser is a cleric. The wounds caused by such acts run deep, and it is
an urgent task to rebuild confidence and trust where these have been damaged. In
your continuing efforts to deal effectively with this problem, it is important to
establish the truth of what happened in the past, to take whatever steps are necessary
to prevent it from occurring again, to ensure that the principles of justice are
fully respected and, above all, to bring healing to the victims and to all those
affected by these egregious crimes."
I encourage any person who has a concern about a child protection issue regarding any diocesan personnel to contact the diocesan Delegate, Fr. William Bermingham, CC, Youghal, at 086 6059993, as well as An Garda Siochana and the Health Service Executive.
Issued from Cloyne Diocesan Centre, December 19th 2008
Further information: Fr. Jim Killeen, Director of Communications, 087 2053938
Notes for editors
1. Copies of the Report on the Management of Two Child Protection Cases in the Diocese of Cloyne, the Report on the implementation of the Review Recommendations, and the above press release may be accessed through the Cloyne Diocesan website, at www.cloynediocese.ie
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