Clergy urged to listen to victims


Clergy should devote more time and effort into listening to abuse victims, a Vatican report on the child abuse crisis in the Catholic Church in Ireland has recommended.

The report produced by a delegation of senior Catholic Church officials sent to Ireland by Pope Benedict in the wake of a series of clerical sex abuse scandals also proposed a number of reforms to improve child protection.

A seven-page summation of the report by the apostolic visitation was published at the Columba Centre in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth this morning at a briefing attended by Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, the director general of Cori Sr Marianne O'Connor and papal nuncio to Ireland Archbishop Charles Brown.

The report was completed after seven teams of Vatican-appointed church leaders visited Ireland. The teams visited the four Irish Archdioceses, two seminaries and the male and female congregations.

It found that while guidelines to protect children are being followed, academic programmes in seminaries should put more focus on the issue.

The report also called for changes be made to seminaries and admission criteria for would-be priests and urges the Church to devote more time and effort into listening to and providing support for abuse victims.

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