Derry diocese ‘disgraced’ by church abuse

The Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Derry has said the shortcomings highlighted in a report into how it handled allegations of clerical sex abuse “disgraced” the Church.

The Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Derry has said the shortcomings highlighted in a report into how it handled allegations of clerical sex abuse “disgraced” the Church.

Monsignor Eamon Martin made the remark following the publication today of the Review of Safeguarding Practice in the Diocese of Derry carried out by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCC).

The report found that the Diocese has dealt with allegations against 23 priests made since 1975 and that 33 allegations had been referred to social services on both sides of the border. It also found that no priest of the Derry Diocese has been convicted of child abuse.

It also found that the Diocese has improved its reporting and handling of allegations of clerical sex abuse and that adequate procedures are now in place to deal with any allegations.

Speaking at St Eugene’s Cathedral this afternoon, Monsignor Eamon Martin, who was appointed as Diocesan Administrator five days ago following the resignation of Bishop Seamus Hegarty on health grounds, said the Diocese will reflect on the report’s contents and act on its recommendations.

Mons. Martin said he could understand if victims of abuse could not acceot that the Church is serious about addressing abuse. “I am truly sorry at what happened to you and ashamed at the way you were treated,” he said.

He also described some of the report’s conclusions as “disturbing.”

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