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One in Four responds to Cloyne Diocese controversy

One in Four, the national charity which supports people who have experienced sexual violence calls upon each Bishop and leaders of religious orders to commit to publishing a national audit on child protection.

After the publication of the Ferns Report and church child protection guidelines Our Children, Our Church, in 2005 we assumed that the Catholic Church had finally understood the necessity for having a clear and consistent policy in responding to allegations of sexual abuse by priests and religious. However, the Cloyne controversy demonstrates that this may not be the case.

Speaking today, Maeve Lewis, Executive Director, said: "We are aware that a number of Dioceses have taken a robust approach to dealing with allegations of clerical sexual abuse, by involving An Garda Síochana and the HSE upon receipt of an allegation. However, we are also acutely aware that some Dioceses are not following this approach.

"The difficulty lies in the fact that there remains a lack of transparency and accountability in how each individual Diocese and Religious Order are responding to the issue of clerical sexual abuse. In November 2005 the Child Protection Policy unveiled by the Irish Catholic Church in Ireland, ‘Our Children, Our Church’ committed to establishing a National Board on Child Protection. This Board was to undertake an annual audit and publish an annual report on the implementation of the policies and procedures. This audit has not to our knowledge been completed to date.

"We therefore remain in a place of speculation as to how each Diocese and Religious Order is responding to allegations of clerical sexual abuse. It is imperative that this audit be published to ensure transparency and accountability of each Diocese and Religious Order".

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