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Irish bishop denies report of 'horrific' new report on abuse

Catholic World News - August 11, 2011

The Irish Independent today said that a forthcoming report on clerical abuse in the Raphoe diocese will show that there were “hundreds and hundreds” of victims of sexual abuse by priests, and diocesan officials thwarted any criminal investigations. Bishop Philip Boyce of Raphoe quickly replied that the Independent story was inaccurate.

A report on the Raphoe diocese, prepared by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, is due for publication soon. Bishop Boyce authorized this review, says that he gave his full cooperation to the National Board, and has promised to release the report when it is complete.

A spokesman for the Raphoe diocese said that the National Board’s report would probably be published in August. Bishop Boyce gave a slightly different estimate, saying that it would appear “probably next month.”

The bishop said that he would discuss the report with media representatives when it is published—thus indicating that he would not comment further on the Independent’s story. But he said that he would lodge a formal complaint about the headline story, saying that it is “alarmist” and because of inaccuracies it is “not in the public interest.”

Bishop Boyce said that it is “simply not true” that diocesan officials interfered with police investigations of suspected abuse. He stressed that the diocese today shares all credible reports with law-enforcement officials.

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