Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bishops reject claims made at Rome conference


Irish Catholic bishops have accused a member of the Vatican's investigation team here of grossly misrepresenting the Irish Church's ongoing outreach to clerical child sexual abuse survivors.
A statement from the hierarchy last night rejected comments by Baroness Sheila Hollins at an international conference in Rome on the sexual abuse of children within the Catholic Church.
Psychiatrist Baroness Hollins had remarked that "in Ireland it is said that very few victims have had any counselling or therapy".
Ms Hollins is one of four people appointed by Pope Benedict to investigate abuse in the Archdiocese of Armagh, where she has met dozens of survivors.
The Irish bishops said this grossly misrepresents their - and the religious congregations' - ongoing outreach to survivors.
It said it has supported over 5,000 survivors in 250,000 separate confidential sessions with independent and fully-accredited therapists and other professionals.
The bishops also rejected Ms Hollins' comments that few survivors had received an apology or compensation.
They cited the Dublin Archdiocese, which had a €13.5 million compensation bill, and said many apologies had been given by bishops and congregational leaders to individual victims, groups and wider society.

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