Belfast Telegraph

Friday 21 November 2014

Church 'more serious on abuse'

Retired Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, met abuse victim campaigners in Newry
Retired Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, met abuse victim campaigners in Newry

The Catholic Church is taking clerical abuse in Ireland more seriously, victims have said.

Retired Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor met campaigners in Newry, Co Down.

An apostolic visitation was announced by Pope Benedict in March last year in a pastoral letter to Catholics in Ireland. The publication of reports into abuse in Catholic institutions in the Republic prompted the decision.

Survivors and Victims of Institutional Abuse group spokesman Jon McCourt said: "That sense of urgency is creeping in, there seems to be more counselling available, almost in an immediate fashion.

"This is showing us that they are taking this issue as seriously as the politicians and the Executive are taking it."

Mr McCourt was abused as a child in the 1950s at Termonbacca home in Derry.

"We want an attitudinal change within the Church," he added.

"There is a degree of urgency and action which needs to be taken and we need to see practical steps taken on the ground."

He said children in homes were given numbers and this was systematic in religious institutions across the world. Therefore a solution had to be found at the top of the Church.

Victims want to see a dedicated liaison between themselves and the Church on the issue.

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