Up to 350 Irish priests were likely accused child abusers
New report shows it was far more than just a small element
One of the arguments made frequently in Ireland is that it is only a tiny minority of priests who were abusers. Yet the latest investigation, released yesterday, into six dioceses seems to indicate the opposite.
The report was compiled by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church.
The figures, shown below, were on the RTE television website soon after the investigation made its findings public seem to indicate otherwise.
All in all a total of 85 priests across six dioceses were accused of child sexual abuse. If you extrapolate that number across the 20 other dioceses you end up with a number close to 350 if you include the fact that Dublin and three other archdioceses are still to be counted and will have far more accused as a result of larger numbers of priests.
That is 350 priests that we know were accused. We will never know if there were more who got away because of the tenor of the times. But it certainly makes the issue far more than about a small minority.
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Of course the overwhelming majority of the cases were never pursued because of the unholy alliance between the church and the government and the police to cover it all up for decades
If you think things are getting any better think again perhaps.
Last month Father Patrick McGarvey (43) was elevated to the position of parish priest of Fanad, County Donegal, by Bishop Philip Boyce of the Raphoe diocese, the man whose diocese was one of the worst offenders when it came to clerical abuse.
According to the Belfast Telegraph, in August 2004 McGarvey was caught by undercover police at Foyleside shopping centre in Derry, watching men in the public restrooms. The police caught the priest while carrying out an investigation after members of the public had complained.
Is that the kind of man you want in charge of a parish? Would you let your kid near such a priest?
Will the church ever learn?
Here’s a breakdown of the figures:
.52 allegations reported to gardaí against 14 priests
. Eight out of 14 priests out of ministry, six retired
. Four convicted of an offence against a child
. Significant errors of judgement made by successive bishops
. Too much emphasis on accused priests, not victims
. More attention should have been given to preventative actions
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