Irish Prelates Discuss Child Protection

MAYNOOTH, Ireland, OCT. 31, 2005 ( The Irish episcopal conference held a special meeting on child protection, and bishops apologized to all those people hurt at the hands of abusers in the Church.

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At the meeting today held in St Patrick’s College, bishops expressed their deep sadness at the findings of the recent Ferns Inquiry and especially those pages retelling the pain experienced by those who have suffered.

The report about the Ferns Diocese told of 100 complaints of abuse by clergy dating back to the 1960s.

The bishops’ conference, in a press statement, said today it discussed the report of the Ferns Inquiry at length.

Arising from the report, the Irish Minister for Children, Brian Lenihan, wrote a letter to the president of the episcopal conference, Archbishop Sean Brady. The bishops discussed the issues raised in the letter.

The prelates agreed to respond rapidly to the proposals outlined in Lenihan’s correspondence.

The bishops restated their commitment to ensuring that the Church sets an example of best practices in the area of child protection.

They agreed to publicly launch the Church’s new national policy, Our Children: Our Church, next month.

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