Delays in how the Vatican tackles cases of priests accused of abuse continue to be a concern for Irish bishops, a spokesman for the hierarchy has confirmed.
Addressing Australia’s royal commission into the institutional
handling of abuse allegations earlier this month, Teresa Devlin, CEO of
the Irish Church’s safeguarding board, said she believed that Ireland’s
bishops may have asked for steps to be taken to address these delays and
she knew “there is a keenness” on the part of the bishops “for this to
be moved along much quicker”.
However, a spokesman for the Bishops’ Conference told The Irish Catholic
that while “The lengths of penal trials have always been a concern for
bishops and priests,” he had no information available on “particular
representations to the CDF on this matter”.
Elphin’s Bishop Kevin Doran told The Irish Catholic that as far as he was aware, “no specific changes” had been sought from the CDF.
He said the subject was not highlighted during the Irish bishops’
January ad limina pilgrimage to Rome, although the difficulty was
recognised in meetings there.
“When in Rome in any of the conversations, there was an awareness on
all sides that from the point of view of fairness to people, it’s best
if things are not delayed,” he said, adding that, “Everybody’s aware it
can take time get to the bottom of things in the case of abuse or
Emphasising that cases go to Rome when there is a question of what
ecclesiastical discipline should be imposed on clergy convicted of or
admitting to abuse, Dr Doran said, “In situations when something doesn’t
come back as quickly as you’d like you’d ring up and ask.”
Mrs Devlin had described the need for ad hoc personal contacts to expedite cases as “not reasonable”.