Bishop McAreavey addresses Newry mass-goers on abuse scandal

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Thursday, December 1st, 2011
Mass-goers in Newry were addressed by Bishop John McAreavey after it emerged that 35 allegations of child abuse were made against ten priests in the Dromore Diocese of the Catholic Church in Ireland. According to the report no convictions have yet been made but all have been reported to police and social services. Bishop McAreavey spoke to the Newry Cathedral congregation of his sorrow over the Catholic Church’s handling of the cases. He said, “In the past generation we have lived through a time when trust between churchgoers and church leaders has been badly damaged. The disclosures in report after report that children and young people had been abused in our church and the inadequate response of church leaders have caused deep distress and dismay. My thoughts today are particularly with these women and men and again I express to them my deepest sorrow for what they experienced.” The report was critical of his predecessor Bishop Francis Brooks who died last year. The report claimed that the Catholic Church focused on protecting the good name of the Church rather than helping the victims. “We do not intend to dwell on the management practices of the former bishop, but it should be noted that, from our review of the case records from that time, we believe that in some instances the practice followed placed too much emphasis on maintaining the good name of the accused priest rather than ensuring the safety of children” the report said.
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