November 06, 2002
90% believe Church damaged by abuse


Royal College of Surgeons Ireland

From RTE News Online

More than 90% of people in Ireland believe the Roman Catholic Church has been damaged as a result of revelations of clerical sex abuse of children, according to a Poll published today.

The survey, of over 1,000 mostly Catholic adults, revealed that more than a third of those questioned said allegations of widespread child abuse by priests had affected their religious practices in terms of churchgoing and prayer.

The survey which was carried out by researchers at Dublin's Royal College of Surgeons, come as the Government faces pressure to order a full statutory inquiry into allegations of clerical abuse in cases stretching back over more than 40 years.

Michael Breen, a member of the Irish Bishops' Committee on Child Protection, which commissioned the poll as part of a wider survey, described it as "a very useful piece of work".

"I think people are rightly appalled by the way the church has handled the issue and rightly dissatisfied, but before we can begin to redress a wrong, we have to know the extent of what needs to be done and this is part of our effort in that direction," he said.

More than three in four people believed the Church's response to the sex abuse was inadequate. And 92% of those questioned said a priest who abused children should not return to ministry.

On the issue of clerical celibacy, almost three-quarters told researchers they were opposed to the requirement, with 17% in favour.

However, faith in God remained high overall, with most people seeing the church and priests as better or the same as in the past.

Mass attendance by practising Catholics was recorded in the poll at 63%, a 2% drop from a 1997 survey.

Breen said he was "very encouraged" that religious practices had not been overly affected. Faith was about a relationship with God rather than an institution, he added.

Posted by Colm at November 06, 2002 06:46 PM

Myself & my family will never ever entre a Roman Catholic Church again.
All our children will never know about this Evil church.And those in their teens & twenties are not interested.
Weddings Furerals ect will be by laymen.

Posted by: brian on November 9, 2002 02:24 AM

surely the time has come for people to realise that these child clerical abuses should really be termed CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY and an international panel of jurists be convened in ireland i have suffered at the hands of priests and christian brothers in EVERY SENSE YOU CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE and isnt it tme now for the state to stop prevarcating arrest all these perverts and lets have some closure of some sort on our suffering haul the bishops in get the records give us the justice everyone is clamouring for perhaps someone over there might possibly take the time to do some sort of thesis on the long term effects of all these abuses it may enlighten me as to how i entered these instituitions as an innocent ten year old and emerged four years later as a serious criminal and led a life so horrible its beyond description over the past 15 years i have arrived at the conclusion that all the crime laden ills of ireland can be honestly laid at the doors of ALL THESE INSTITUITIONS and perhaps the royal college of surgeons would be more benefically and gainfully employed if they concerned themselves with the victims of these abuses rather than FALLING CHURCH ATTENDANCES

Posted by: angry on November 30, 2002 10:00 AM
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