Brothers pledge resources

 

The Christian Brothers has accepted it has a “moral obligation” to people who were abused under its care and plans to review how its resources can be used to help victims.

In a statement this afternoon the order said it accepted “with shame” the findings of the Ryan commission and was deeply sorry for the hurt it has caused, “not just for the mistakes of the past, but for the inadequacy of our responses over recent years”.

“As a congregation, we recognise and accept our culpability along with our moral obligation to former residents, to present and future generations of children and to society as a whole,” it said.

However, the order made no mention of re-opening the terms of the controversial 2002 indemnity deal which victims’ groups have called for.

Instead the congregation said it would review, in consultation with former residents and the Government, how its resources “can best be applied in reparation for abuses of the past and as an investment in child education”.

The review process would extend to all of its resources “above and beyond such accommodation and means necessary to maintain the members of our congregation and to support selected commitments at home and overseas”.

The changes anticipated from offering these resources would require some time to consider as the congregation said it did not want to compromises existing community services and therefore it asked for time “to properly consider these matters”.

In its statement, the Christian Brothers said its breach of trust had tarnished the name of its founder Edmund Rice and the principles for which he stood.

"We have extended the suffering of former residents who were either not listened to or not believed”.

"As a congregation we want to make amends and to beg forgiveness. Our first step in doing so will be to listen with a fresh perspective to former residents, to their families and to representative groups - a process which will commence immediately," it said.