Irish Church, Government Leaders Welcome Report

Members of the Irish church and Irish government officials have welcomed a report by an independent commission on child abuse and have expressed sorrow about the incidents it documents. The 2,600-page report of the Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse, published May 20, "throws light on a dark period of the past," said Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, Northern Ireland, president of the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference. "The publication of this comprehensive report and analysis is a welcome and important step in establishing the truth, giving justice to victims and ensuring such abuse does not happen again," the cardinal said. "This report makes it clear that great wrong and hurt were caused to some of the most vulnerable children in our society. It documents a shameful catalog of cruelty—neglect, physical, sexual and emotional abuse—perpetrated against children." The report said physical and sexual abuse was endemic in government institutions for boys run by religious between 1940 and the late 1970s. Although girls were subjected to predatory sexual abuse by male employees or visitors, sexual abuse was not systemic in girls' institutions, the report said. "I am profoundly sorry and deeply ashamed that children suffered in such awful ways in these institutions," Cardinal Brady said. "Children deserved better, and especially from those caring for them in the name of Jesus Christ."

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