Ireland: Poor Showing On Child Protection

Irish Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin said he would seek assurances from religious congregations operating in his diocese that they are rigidly following child protection guidelines after a fresh round of audits raised serious concerns. In a statement on Feb. 10, Archbishop Martin said it was “appalling” that some major religious congregations had delayed fully implementing the church’s child protection guidelines and that, in some cases, this process really got underway only in 2013. The Irish church’s monitoring watchdog, the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, published 16 reviews on the implementation of policies in religious congregations—eight male, eight female. Teresa Devlin, the board’s chief executive, said she was “disappointed that for the majority of orders, the whole area of safeguarding is only being embraced in the last couple of years.” She also said, referring to seven of the male congregations, that “there is considerable work to be done.”

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