Following publication of reports from the Catholic Church’s National Board for Safeguarding Children, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children Robert Troy welcomed the progress made in the dioceses being reported on.
However Deputy Troy has expressed concern in light of the severe criticism of the St Patrick’s Missionary Society fathers’ religious congregation.
Deputy Troy said: “The report found evidence of delay in the St Patrick’s Missionary Society clearly adhering to Church safeguarding policies and practice guidelines. It also appears that there were failures on the part of authority within the Society to always vigorously and decisively apply itself to ensure that the adopted policies and disciplinary code of the organisation and the Church as a whole was adhered to.”
It states that “accused priests were afforded too much tolerance and so found it too easy to avoid being held accountable for their actions.”
Deputy Troy added: “The recommendation that all allegations of clerical abuse are responded to quickly must be adhered too. It’s clear that a number of dioceses have significantly improved their reporting over the years and I think the onus is on all religious orders and groups to continue to meet the highest standards in relation to child protection and reporting of abuse allegations.
“I understand that the St Patrick’s Missionary Society leader accepts fully the findings of the review and has apologised unreservedly to all those who have been abused by members.
“I am also calling for the recommendations in all the reports published today to be swiftly implemented as a matter of priority.”