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One in Four welcomes today's audits but says church must never become complacent again

Counselling services are available to support people impacted by today’s child protection reports.

Image: Church via Shutterstock

TODAY’S PUBLICATION OF child protection audits by the National Board for Safeguarding Children’s has been welcomed by One in Four.

The charity provides support to people who have experienced sexual violence.

Advocacy Director with One in Four Deirdre Kenny says, “The audits show how some dioceses and orders have embraced a policy of transparent child protection and are working hard to implement good practice.

“In each case there has been a vast improvement in cooperation between the Catholic Church and the statutory agencies and all allegations are now reported to the civil authorities.

The audits by the Church’s own watchdog are very worthwhile and the Catholic Church probably now have more consistent procedures in place than many other organisations and professionals.

However Kenny did state her shock in the case of the Society of the Divine Word where case files were not kept on priest that abused in mission countries.

It is shocking to read how the Society of the Divine Word neglected crucial safeguarding protocols until 2013.

The Audits

The reports focus on current practice of four dioceses and five religious orders.

It covers the Arch Diocese of Dublin, the Diocese of Meath, Cloyne and Killaloe.

Previously the Dublin and Cloyne dioceses were strongly criticised by the Murphy commission for their handling of clerical abuse allegations in the past.

Today’s reports shows that progress has been made in putting in place child protection measures:

The child protection audits also review the religious congregations of the Presentation Brothers, the Patrician Brothers, Benedictine, Glenstal and the Missionary Societies of the Columban Missionaries and the Society of Divine Word.

Kenny added that “It’s very encouraging to see that appropriate procedures are now very much part of the Church’s work, however as highlighted by the National Board for Safeguarding it is imperative the church does not become complacent in relation to the protection of children”.

Counselling Services 

Towards Healing and Connect counselling are both available to support people impacted by today’s child protection reports.

Towards Healing is a counselling and support service funded by the Catholic Church for survivors of institutional, clerical and religious abuse.

It’s extended it’s opening hours today and tomorrow in response to the publication of the reports by the National Office for Safeguarding Children.

The extended opening hours are 8pm – 1am.

  • Freephone 1800 303416 (Rep. of Ireland)
  • Freephone 0800 0963315 (Northern Ireland and UK)
  • There’s a mobile number so hearing impaired people can text: 085-8022859

Connect counselling is funded by the HSE and provides professional telephone based counselling and support to survivors of abuse, its opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday 6-10pm.

Connect Manager Theresa Merrigan said, “Times of public focus on clerical abuse can awaken distress and upset for people who have been affected and the Connect service is available to support these people.”

  • Freephone 1800 477 477 (Rep. of Ireland)
  • Freephone 00800 477 477 77 (Northern Ireland and UK)

 

Read: Responsibility to safeguard children taken with “utmost seriousness” in Diocese of Meath>

Read: Killaloe diocese praised for “great effort” to minimise risks to children>

Read: Case files not kept by religious order on priest that abused in mission countries>

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