More claims emerge of abuse by Spiritan priests
NEW ALLEGATIONS have emerged of abuse carried out by members of the Spiritans religious congregation, including while they were in ministry at schools in Africa.
The order has said the accounts of several victims contained in today’s coverage are consistent with reports they have received about named priests.
The leading religious congregations in Ireland expressed “profound regret”, saying the content of the reports “is consistent with complaints that we have received about the individual priests mentioned”.
The congregation runs some of the best-known schools in Ireland, including Blackrock College, St Mary’s, Templeogue College and St Michael’s in Dublin, as well as Rockwell College in Co Tipperary.
While it could not “comment on the specifics of the allegations” put to it, a spokesman said they “deeply regret not only the abuse that has been inflicted by any member of the province on individual victims, whether in Ireland or overseas, but also the failings on the part of the province in the way we received or dealt with some complaints”. It was “particularly conscious that some incidents of abuse by members of our province outside of Ireland may not have been brought to our attention”.
The congregation spokesman said: “We will be moving to address this issue in the next phase of our safeguarding work.”
Reports in today’s Irish Times detail child abuse allegations against Fr Henry Moloney arising from his time at Christ the King College (CKC), Bo, Sierra Leone, between 1973 and 1979. Fr Moloney, who resides at the congregation’s Kimmage Manor in Dublin, was sentenced in 2000 and 2009 for abusing four boys at St Mary’s College between 1968 and 1973, the years immediately before his appointment to CKC in Sierra Leone.
In 1979 he returned from Sierra Leone to Blackrock College and was appointed to Rockwell College in 1980. He was there until 1996, when he was removed from ministry.
It has also emerged that, though under supervision at Kimmage Manor, Fr Moloney had access to the internet and in October 2010 posted entries on a blog.
Further allegations reported today are against Fr Patrick Hannan when he was at St Teresa’s secondary school for boys in Nairobi, Kenya, and Fr Christopher Meagher at Rockwell College.
Concerns have also been reported about the record of Fr Arthur Carragher in Nigeria, where he served for 17 years before joining the teaching staff at St Marys College in 1969. He transferred to Toronto in 1971 but was accused by four men of abusing them during his brief time in Dublin. In 2002 he admitted to abusing two of the men, and they were paid compensation. However, he remained in ministry and died in Canada in 2011.
The review of the congregation’s child protection practices was published on September 5th last. Conducted by the Catholic Church’s child protection watchdog, the National Board for Safeguarding Children, it found that 142 abuse allegations had been made against 47 Spiritan/Holy Ghost priests since January 1st, 1975.