Ireland, Bishops in Front Row against Abuse

Vatican Insider
February 10, 2012

Irish bishops deny the statement which circulated in Ireland and «greatly misrepresents reality», according to which victims of abuse have not received any apology, compensation and therapeutic aid.

In particular, it mentioned the “Towards Healing” service which is «jointly funded by bishops and religious congregations, provides all levels of confidential counseling and other support services to victims of abuse, with independent and fully accredited therapists».

The counseling is offered to victims within seven days after initial contact with the service. Since 1997, «Towards Healing» has provided counseling and other support services to over 5,000 victims of abuse committed by clergy and religious, for a total of 250,000 separate sessions.

In 2011 alone 29,000 counseling sessions were provided to survivors and every year the figure stands at around 20,000 counseling sessions. Moreover, the «Towards Healing » service offers group therapy, and a bridge service designed to facilitate access by victims to other services, for example legal.

The note also explains that in 2011 bishops and religious congregations have waived 10 million Euro to co-finance the «Towards Healing» service for the next five years. Until last year twenty million euro had been spent on this assistance and advice service.

Still - adds the note - «many bishops pay counseling for victims who prefer to use their own means». Regarding the issue of compensation, up to now only the Archdiocese of Dublin, the largest in the country, has provided compensation to the victims amounting to 13.5 million Euro (9.3 million for compensation and 4.2 for legal fees).

Lastly, regarding apologies, the note recalls the «many members of the episcopate and congregations» who «have apologized to the victims both publicly and privately and «civil and religious society outraged and disappointed by the Catholic Church for its lack of moral leadership and strong and vital responsibility».








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