Call for Catholics to help with fund


ABUSE COMPENSATION:ALL CATHOLICS should contribute to financial compensation for victims of child abuse in religious institutions, theologian Fr Enda McDonagh has said.

He said the religious orders had to “take on board” that there needed to be further financial compensation for victims.

“But so also do the rest of us Catholics, whether we’re bishops or priests or layfolk. We’re involved. We took advantage of these religious orders often ourselves, being educated by them or whatever,” he said.

“We’re now involved with them. They’re the primary target for the moment but we’re all involved. And if there is to be compensation both in money and in other ways then we ought all to contribute.”

Fr McDonagh was speaking in Dublin at the launch of the first volume of An Irish Reader in Moral Theology, which he edited with Vincent MacNamara.

He described the findings of the Ryan commission as “horrifying for people of goodwill, not just for Catholics or religious or bishops”.

Fr McDonagh said the report showed a very serious collapse over the years in both the morality of ordinary members of religious groups and in the diligence of their overseers, “whether within their religious congregation or bishops in the diocese”.

Meanwhile, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said the archdiocese was considering contributing to a trust fund to help the victims of institutional abuse.

Dr Martin had been a trenchant critic of the initial approach taken by the 18 religious orders involved in the abuse scandal as outlined in the Ryan commission report.

Speaking at the opening of the Fr Collins Park in Donaghmede, Dublin, yesterday, he said all 18 orders “must come forward” to acknowledge their responsibilities.

He said he was in favour of an autonomous trust fund that would address the needs of survivors in an impartial way.