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Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Archbishop Martin says there is 'no room for complacency' in child protection

Church leader says the institution must ensure that “we never allow slippage to permit us to be off guard”.

THE ARCHBISHOP OF Dublin Diarmuid Martin has launched a Diocesan Policy for Child Safeguarding and Protecting Children.

The policy collates a series of practices and procedures into a 31 page booklet which includes chapters on ‘How to respond to child protection allegations and suspicions’ and ‘Preventing harm to children’. The document has been produced in cooperation with the Child Safeguarding and Protection Service, a service provided by the Church.

At this afternoon’s launch the CSPS outlined increases in the number of allegations made against priests in the Dublin Diocese since the publication of the Murphy Report, stating that there’s been an increase of nine allegations against priests since November 2009, bringing the total to 93, while suspicions have now been raised concerning 11 priests, an increase of two.

Speaking at the launch the Director of the CSPS Andrew Fagan said:

Some people argue that there is no need for a service such as ours and that allegations that abuse has occurred or suspicions that it may have occurred should simply be referred to the civil authorities with no further action required on the part of Church authorities.

Fagan says operating the service is “not without difficult challenges” but that “we want children to come to Mass, to serve on altars, to sing in choirs, go on retreats and to be happy and safe as they do so”.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin meanwhile says that the aim of the process is to “heighten once again the awareness of all our parishes of the need to ensure that all our policies and norms are scrupulously observed”. He said that the Church must “never allow slippage to permit us to be off guard” and that there is “no room for complacency”.

Archbishop Martin also says that child safeguarding is “not just about the management of abuse cases. It is about creating an environment which facilitates and encourages the involvement of children and young people in the life of the Church”. He does however say that:

The Church should be actively seeking out victims to embrace them with the healing power of Jesus Christ.

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