A new report on the Donegal diocese of Raphoe will reveal that 20 pedophile priests sexually abused hundreds of children over a 40 years period. This report will detail another massive cover-up scandal within the Irish Catholic Church.
The report, carried out for the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, will be published by the Bishop of Raphoe, Dr Philip Boyce, during the next two weeks.
The report will outline the horrors of the allegations against the priests and how senior colleagues failed the victims.
A source told the Irish Independent “There were hundreds and hundreds of victims…and they were abused again and again while the church actively prevented investigations by the civil authorities.
"The Raphoe diocese, like others, was only interested in protecting the church and not the victims"
One of the victims, who was raped by a priest, said "I cannot begin to tell you how much I am looking forward to seeing this audit being published. It will be like a dark cloud lifting off me.
"The cover-up by the church in Rome and here in Ireland is finally being exposed. I have no doubt Dr Boyce will apologize to people like me, but what we want is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."
Another victim said that all involved in the cover up should be punished. They said “In every walk of life, someone who covers up a crime or who prevents a criminal from being brought to justice is arrested and charged with helping an offender or perverting the course of justice.”
In one case, in 1977, an offending priest was sent away from his parish for just one month after a young boy’s parents had made a complaint to the Church. The family were distraught when he returned as they had been told by the Church that the issue had been “dealt with”.
Over 30 years this priest was shuffled from parish to parish and he continued to target young boys. The Church never informed the police of these complaints.
According to this source when the police were involved in investigations about the treatment of these children the Church was uncooperative. Although some internal investigations within the diocese did take place the investigators found no records of the abuse whatsoever.
In another case the parents of a victim, who had complained, were asked by a senior cleric, if the family were “all right” financially.
The audit was led by Ian Elliott chief executive of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church. A spokesperson from his office said the reports examined the full extent of all complaints or allegations, knowledge, suspicions or concerns of child sexual abuse, made to the Raphoe diocese by individuals or by the civil authorities in the period 1 January 1975 to the present day, against Catholic clergy.”