Catholic child-abuse probe re­veals new hor­rors

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

DUBLIN: In­ves­ti­ga­tions of child sex abuse by Catholic priests in Ire­land should be ex­tended na­tion­wide, a top cam­paigner said yes­ter­day af­ter a damn­ing study con­demned a decades-long cover-up.

The call came as one Ir­ish news­pa­per branded the abuse of chil­dren in the care of the Catholic Church, which was cov­ered up for more than 30 years by se­nior clergy, as “satanic”, blast­ing the “ram­pant evil”.

“We are looking at this com­mis­sion’s re­port as the end of its work,” said Marie Collins, a cam­paigner and sur­vivor of abuse by a se­rial de­viant priest named as Fa­ther Ed­mon­dus in the re­port.

“I would call for the re­mit (of the com­mis­sion) to be ex­tended to all of the dio­ce­ses in the coun­try,” she told Ire­land’s state broad­caster.

Fol­low­ing a three-year in­ves­ti­ga­tion in the Dublin Arch­dio­cese, the coun­try’s largest, a re­port is­sued on Thurs­day con­cluded that four arch­bish­ops rou­tinely pro­tected abusers and failed to in­form po­lice of the al­le­ga­tions against them.

The rev­e­la­tions, by Judge Yvonne Mur­phy, fol­low other hor­ri­fy­ing re­ports about rape and abuse by cler­ics in the dio- cese of Ferns in the south-east of the coun­try.

The Mur­phy Com­mis­sion is con­tin­u­ing to in­ves­ti­gate the church’s han­dling of abuse al­le­ga­tions in the dio­cese of Cloyne in the south.

Ire­land’s most se­nior Catholic, Car­di­nal Sean Brady, and Dublin Arch­bishop Diar­muid Martin re­sponded by pub­licly apol­o­gis­ing to all the vic­tims of abuse, and promised that it would not hap­pen again.

But com­men­ta­tors voiced out­rage at the find­ings, which come just six months af­ter a land­mark re­port detailed wide­spread sex­ual, phys­i­cal and emo­tional abuse of chil­dren in Catholic-run in­sti­tu­tions dat­ing back to the 1930s.

The Ex­am­iner news­pa­per, de­scrib­ing the abuse as “satanic”, said Thurs­day’s re­port un­cov­ered a “litany of hor­ror” that could “only be de­scribed as an ac­tive evil, a per­vad­ing dark­ness that poi­soned lives”.

The Ir­ish Times said the “fun­da­men­tally rot­ten na­ture of re­la­tions be­tween the Catholic Church and the state has been laid bare”.

The re­port said that one priest had ad­mit­ted to abus­ing over 100 chil­dren and an­other raped chil­dren of both sexes for more than 25 years. – Sapa-AFP

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