Monday, November 30, 2009

Statement by Bishop Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Connor

Statement by Bishop Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Connor, in response to the Dublin Report

The recent publication of the Dublin Report into cases of child abuse within the Archdiocese of Dublin from 1975-2004 is a shameful reminder to us of the pain and suffering experienced, both directly and indirectly, by children at the hands of those who should have cared for and protected them.

As a Church, we must continue to apologise to those who have suffered for our failure to act and to listen to them in their hour of need.

This abuse should never have happened and is contrary to the Christian call to reach out to the vulnerable in our society. Dreadful and painful as it is to address these issues, it is important to get to the truth of what happened and to find forums to discuss this problem.

On this occasion of the publication of the Dublin Report, our prayers and thoughts are primarily with all those who have suffered in any way. Obviously, our focus must be upon them to ensure they receive the support and care that they require to address this abuse.

However, as a Church, it is also important for us to examine in detail this report and its recommendations to ensure that we can continue to implement various processes and mechanisms to ensure that such abuse does not continue to happen in the future.

From the first cases of abuse to publically come to light, the diocese of Down and Connor has responded quickly to introduce measures to ensure the protection of our children.

We have learned and are learning from mistakes in addressing the issue of child abuse. We can assure all parishioners that we will be examining this Report carefully to explore what lessons can be learned.

We also wish to take this opportunity to affirm that we are committed both morally and legally to upholding the rights of children and young people and will continue to work openly and collaboratively with all statutory authorities to ensure that we, as a Church and as a society at large, address these issues.

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