Catholic World News

Irish premier demands Church payments on abuse costs

March 13, 2017

Ireland’s Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny has demanded that Catholic religious orders “measure up to the responsibilities that they have accepted” and make substantial payments into a fund for compensating victims of sexual abuse.

The religious orders agreed in 2002 to pay €128 million ($136 million) into a compensation fund. That figure was nearly tripled after an independent commission investigating the prevalence of abuse, known as the Ryan Commission, issued a damning report in 2009 detailing the failures of Church leaders to curb clerical misconduct. To date, however, the religious orders have paid only 13% of the sum they promised.

Kenny advised religious leaders to “get on with it,” suggesting that his government was prepared to take action to enforce payment.

Earlier, Irish health minister Simon Harris had said that there was “significant merit” in the suggestion that the government should seize the property of religious orders in order to meet the costs of compensating abuse victims. Harris said that the payments to date have been “pathetic and paltry,” and disclosed that he is weighing the different options the government might have to compel payment.

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  • Posted by: grateful1 - Mar. 14, 2017 7:58 PM ET USA

    And where is Pope Francis on this, as his commission on sexual abuse itself becomes increasingly dysfunctional?

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Mar. 14, 2017 4:02 PM ET USA

    Hit 'em where it hurts--in the pocket book. Pope Francis may be right about a poorer Church in the future.

  • Posted by: dfp3234574 - Mar. 14, 2017 12:57 PM ET USA

    It seems the goal here is to fleece the Church out of existence in Ireland! Ireland!