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One in Four responds to comments of Pope Benedict XVI in relation to clerical sexual abuse in the Diocese of Ferns

One in Four, the national charity which supports people who have experienced sexual violence, acknowledged the comments by Pope Benedict XVI. The Vatican’s comments come one year on from the publication of the Ferns Report which detailed allegations of abuse made against 26 priests from the Diocese of Ferns.  The report, found that the Catholic Church at Diocesan and Vatican level had failed to adequately address the sexual abuse of children by its priests and put in place proper procedures to prevent such abuse.

Speaking today, Colm O’Gorman, Director, said  “One can of course appreciate on a human level Pope Benedict’s own “personal anguish” and any expression of concern for those who have been abused is welcomed. However, that the Pope as “Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church” has failed to respond to the findings in the report that the Vatican had failed in its responsibilities in relation to child sexual abuse perpetrated by its priests. The Pope’s words of care are welcome, but action is always more meaningful than words.

“ As the supreme head of the Catholic Church only Pope Benedict can act to put in place a mandatory child protection policy underpinned by Church Law right across the Catholic world, that he has failed to do so highlights the continuing failure of the Vatican to address this issue in any meaningful sense”

“ One in Four is also concerned that the Child Protection Policy unveiled by the Irish Catholic Church in November 2005 “ Our Children, Our Church”  has yet to be either sanctioned by Rome  or implemented across the Irish Church”

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Support and resources for people who have experienced sexual abuse and/or sexual violence.