New Catholic support service for abused launched in Knock

Towards Peace one of three church agencies in Ireland set up to help survivors of abuse

At the launch of Towards Peace, Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary said it was “so disconcerting that a ministry which ought to have brought hope and healing instead brought harm and hurt and left in its wake brokenness, betrayal and disillusionment”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

At the launch of Towards Peace, Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary said it was “so disconcerting that a ministry which ought to have brought hope and healing instead brought harm and hurt and left in its wake brokenness, betrayal and disillusionment”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

Towards Peace, a new spiritual support service for people whose faith has been damaged by clerical abuse and its handling by church authorities, was launched in Knock, Co Mayo, tonight by the west’s Catholic bishops.

The service was launched in Cork on May 25th by the Bishop of Cork and Ross, John Buckley, and is to be launched in the north and east of the country at later dates.

Towards Peace is one of three Catholic Church agencies in Ireland set up to help survivors of abuse. The others are the National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC), which monitors child protection in Catholic institutions across the island, and Towards Healing, the telephone counselling referral service. All are sponsored by the Catholic Church in Ireland.

At the launch tonight, Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary said it was “so disconcerting that a ministry which ought to have brought hope and healing instead brought harm and hurt and left in its wake brokenness, betrayal and disillusionment.

“A ministry which should have brought light, brought darkness, a ministry intended to bring joy, brought deep sadness. There is no doubt that the ministries of priesthood and religious life have been seriously tarnished by such evil actions.”

Accompanied by Bishops Christy Jones of Elphin, John Fleming of Killala, Brendan Kelly of Achonry, John Kirby of Clonfert and Martin Drennan of Galway, Archbishop Neary said that while Towards Peace was “geared mainly towards those who have suffered abuse, there is recognition that families, friends and indeed the people of God at large have been affected in different ways by the scandal.”

Towards Peace is contactable at 01 5053028 and mobile 086 7710533, Mon-Thurs between 10am-1pm and 2pm-4pm. Its email address is towardspeace@iecon.ie and website is towardspeace.ie