Friday, June 29, 2007

Anti sex-abuse group defends its actions

THE One-in-Four anti sex-abuse charity said it would be failing in "the most basic level in our collective responsibility to protect children" by not reporting a credible child abuse allegation.

The priest falsely accused of child sexual abuse was suspended from ministry after a complaint from the man involved and the One-in-Four group to the Archbishop of Dublin.

Last night, a spokesperson from the group said that the body's standard practice was to pass on credible allegations to the appropriate authorities.

"Any time a credible allegation is made, it must and should be reported," said the spokesperson.

"To not do that would be to fail on the most basic level in our collective respnsibility to protect children.

"Credible means capable to be true."

When One-in-Four is contacted with an allegation about a priest, said the spokesperson, it passes on information to the appropriate diocese.

"How any diocese reponds to a concern like that is obvioulsy a matter for the diocese, but best practice would dictate that if the allegation is credible, then, as is required by the Church's own guidelines, the person involved would be asked to step aside when the allegation is investigated, and I understand that is what happened in this case," he said.

However, the group said it fully supported the full extent of the law being put in place when a false allegation is made.

"Clearly if somone makes a fraudulent or malicious allegation of child sexual abuse, they should be prosecuted and the law should be stridently used," said the spokesperson.

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