Steady Progress On Abuse in Ireland

Ian Elliott, head of Ireland’s National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, said seven audits of Irish dioceses, published on April 24, show “clear evidence of steady progress in developing robust safeguarding structures” in the church. “The overall picture is a very positive one, with the vast majority of the criteria used to assess performance against the review standards as being fully met,” he said. While commending the overall picture, some of the audits were critical of past failings. In the Clogher Diocese, for example, the review found that retired Bishop Joseph Duffy “consistently missed” opportunities to prevent abuse. The review of the Ferns Diocese was also critical of retired Bishop Brendan Comiskey for not handling allegations appropriately. Overall, however, the safeguarding board described the results as “gratifying.” Elliott singled out the parishioner-volunteers in every parish who are responsible for ensuring that safeguarding procedures are adhered to.

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