Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Where is Northern Ireland's report on abuses?

The Ryan report and now the report into child abuse by paedophile priests in the Dublin archdiocese again raises the question of why the Northern Ireland Assembly has not instigated a similar urgent investigation in the North.

The Dublin report has once more exposed a deep-rooted system of conscious and systematic concealment of abuse of children.

It has concluded that the Catholic hierarchy colluded in this cover-up - placing its own self-preservation and public credibility far above the interests of powerless victims.

What a damning indictment of a supposedly Christian institution. No wonder that many Catholics have lapsed and many others are now only nominal in their allegiance to the Church.

The report has also revealed that the hierarchy was guilty of spreading the virus of paedophilia by moving depraved priests on from one parish to another at the expense of even more unwitting victims.

In addition, during the period 1975-2004 (which the report covers) four successive Catholic archbishops did not make information on paedophiles known to the civic authorities in the South.

One would have to be naive in the extreme to imagine that a systematic cover-up of clerical child abuse did not similarly occur in Northern Ireland during the same period and before.

The Assembly owes it to the victims of abuse and their families to instigate an immediate enquiry.

If not, it will stand accused of indifference and will have confirmed once and for all that it is nothing but a useless extravagance.

RSG

Holywood, Co Down

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