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Final report on abuse underlines failures of Cloyne diocese

December 20, 2011

The Irish government has released a full report on sexual abuse in the Cloyne diocese, including portions of the report that had previously been withheld because they related to the ongoing prosecution of an accused priest.

Political leaders noted that the report showed a clear failure on the part of Church leaders to respond to abuse complaints. “It is clear that the priority of the church authorities in Cloyne was the protection of the institution of the church and not the protection of children in the diocese or the protection of other children,” said children’s minister Frances Fitzgerald.

The Cloyne report also showed that police had failed to investigate complaints.

Archbishop Dermot Clifford, the administrator of the Cloyne diocese, released a new statement expressing sorrow for the abuse and assuring the faithful that new procedures would prevent a recurrence of the problem. The archbishop said that abuse victims would have the opportunity next year to meet with Msgr. Denis O’Callaghan--the former vicar general of the Cloyne diocese whose handling of complaints has been roundly criticized—and perhaps with Bishop John Magee, who resigned in March 2010 amid outrage over his leadership of the Cloyne diocese.


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