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Letters: Teachers or parents should have acted over priest asking pupils sexual questions during confession



Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor

Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor

Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor

Reading your article (News, June 22), that an independent report found multiple weaknesses in child protection measures at De La Salle College, is disturbing on a number of levels.

The allegations investigated centre on a Dublin priest taking confession, during which he asked sexual questions to pupils from Year 10 and Year 11 (pupils between 15 and 16 years old).

What motivation lies in the mind of a priest in wanting to hear the detail behind such questions?

The report "explained that the questions asked by the priest related to issues raised by pupils in class before the confessions" as a rationale for asking them.

Exactly what type of class was this, where pupils are encouraged to talk about viewing pornography?

Perhaps most shocking of all is that, despite children raising their concerns about such questioning on three separate occasions, the PSNI did not investigate "as none of the pupils' parents wished to make a complaint".

What right-minded parent would be content to let this issue pass? Are they still so in thrall to the Church that they would put clergy above the safeguarding of their own children?

We hear much about the importance of the 'Catholic ethos' at the centre of the Maintained schools sector.

If this is an example, then it demonstrates an almost voyeuristic obsession by the Church on the sexual activities of young people in its care, as well as a reluctance by teachers and parents to challenge Church authority when issues of serious concern are reported.


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Belfast Telegraph