Abuse victim welcomes notice of audit by Spiritans


A NOTICE on the Spiritans (former Holy Ghosts) congregation’s website announcing it has invited an audit of its handling of clerical child abuse allegations has been welcomed by abuse victim Mark V Healy.

The review follows a lengthy campaign by Mr Healy to have it put in place. The audit, by the Church’s National Board for Safeguarding Children, will take place in May, and its findings will be published.

Mr Healy was abused as a pupil at St Mary’s College, Rathmines, Dublin, by a Spiritans priest who was convicted in the courts. He said the audit was “a first regarding an Irish review of a missionary order” and “a first to be carried out anywhere in the world” on a missionary order.

“I very much welcome it and the fairness in placing a notice of such a review on the Irish Spiritans’ website.” ( www.spiritans.ie)

He said any additional notice on other Spiritans’ web services “might also be fair considering how far flung are some survivors of clerical child sexual abuse allegedly committed by the Irish Spiritan congregation”.

It “should also be given such public notice so that those who wish to come forward and contribute on the Irish province may do so wherever they are in the world, whether they be a survivor, a family member or some one of good conscience in the community”. He hoped it might “set high standards and go a long way to recognising the damage done and the work needed to console and support survivors”.

Mr Healy intends seeking placement of notice of this audit on as many survivor networks as possible. “I hope to see it on the National Board for Safeguarding Children as much as BishopsAccountability.org, SNAP, NSAC, VOTF, Survivors Voice, Alliance, One in Four, Aisling, the UK Macsas group, and many more,” he said.

Macsas (Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors) has launched a survey of abuse victims to garner their response to the Vatican visitation report published on March 20th. It aims to delineate how clergy sexual abuse survivors view the “care and attention” they have received, and how well “listening and receiving and support has been offered” by church authorities. Prepared by chairwoman Anne Lawrence and founder Dr Margaret Kennedy, the confidential survey is available through Dr Kennedy at magsken57@gmail.com