Statement of Archbishop Clifford, Apostolic Administrator of Cloyne
Dec 19, 2011
Statement of Archbishop Clifford, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of
I welcome the publication of the final chapter of the report by the Commission
of Inquiry into the handling by Church and State authorities of allegations and
suspicions of child sexual abuse in the Diocese of Cloyne.
I fully accept the finding of the Commission that the analysis of how the Fr.
Ronat case was handled is illustrative of the failures to deal properly with child
sexual abuse allegations up to 2008.
It is deeply regrettable that the procedures for handling such cases as clearly
outlined in the Framework Document of 1996 were not carried out. As a result,
further hurt and distress was caused to complainants. They were also denied the
justice they deserved.
On behalf of the Diocese of Cloyne, and on my own behalf, may I express my
profound sorrow and once again extend my sincere sympathy to those who have
been abused and to their families.
The priest concerned was suspended from all Ministry in the Diocese of Cloyne
in November 2005 and has not been allowed to minister to the public since. He
was only allowed to celebrate Holy Mass in the privacy of his own home without
a congregation. He was also instructed not to wear clerical dress or present
himself as a priest.
Priests are in a position of special trust and responsibility, particularly
where young people are concerned. To betray that trust by engaging in the
heinous crime of child sexual abuse is appalling.
I would like to assure the public, and particularly the people of the diocese
of Cloyne, that all of the child safeguarding procedures set out by the
National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church are being
Mr. Bill Meagher, an expert in childcare, has been appointed as the Designated
Delegate for the Diocese, there is a very active Committee for the Safeguarding
of Children under the Chairmanship of Mr. Con Lynch, and there are fully
trained volunteers working in every parish, all with the aim of ensuring the
safeguarding of children in Cloyne.
I would invite any person who has been a victim of child sexual abuse and who
has not yet come forward to report their experience to An Garda Siochana and
the HSE. They can also contact the National Board for Safeguarding in the
Catholic Church through www.safeguarding.ie <http://www.safeguarding.ie> or
the Diocesan Delegate Mr Meagher on 086 0368999.
For further information contact:
086 824 4500
Towards Healing, the organisation that helps those who have suffered
child sexual abuse, has extended its Helpline hours today until midnight and
tomorrow from 11-8 pm
Tel 1800 0303416 (ROI)
Tel 08000963315 (Northern Ireland and UK)