Irish Data Protection Law Frustrating Child Safety Efforts

Board and Bishops Say Progress Is Slower Than Hoped

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MAYNOOTH, Ireland, JUNE 17, 2011 ( Ireland’s bishops say they are sharing the frustration of an independent child protection board at the difficulties in implementing data protection law.

The bishops spoke about this issue in a final statement from Wednesday regarding the June General Meeting of the Irish Bishops’ Conference.

The statement noted that the prelates discussed the annual report from the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, which is an independent board that formulates best practice standards and offers guidance. It has three main roles: to develop policy, to advise, and to monitor and review.

«With regard to its third role, monitoring and reviewing safeguarding practice, progress has been slower than hoped for; we share the board’s frustration in this regard,» the bishops’ statement noted. «This is due to difficulties in the implementation of civil law in relation to data protection.»

The prelates noted that these difficulties were already brought up in 2007 and last year, the board engaged with the Data Commissioner to deal with these issues. The commission has reported «successful navigation of the complex data protection issues that must be considered when examining the processing of sensitive personal data by a large number of separate, constituent organizations.»

The bishops called on the government to take steps that will enable the board to fulfill its task, «receiving and sharing information with Church bodies, as it was established to do in the first place.»

Roman Missal

The bishops also gave an update on progress toward implementing the new translation of the Roman Missal.

Starting Sept. 11, Masses in Ireland will begin to incorporate the first changes.

«With the introduction of the new edition of the Roman Missal we will notice a change in how the Mass sounds but, over time, with the praying of these new texts, the sound of the Mass will again become familiar to us,» the bishops assured.

The Irish translation of the Roman Missal, An Leabhar Aifrinn, is almost complete, the bishops also reported.

It is expected that the Holy See will be able to give approval and the Irish translation will be implemented by the end of the year.

Resources on the new English translation are being provided to parishes and are available on the Web.

Honoring the Pope

As well, the bishops reported that they are taking up an initiative proposed by the Congregation for Clergy and inviting the faithful to 60 hours of Eucharistic adoration to celebrate Benedict XVI’s 60th anniversary as a priest this June 29.

«Pope Benedict has led the Church with faith and humility and has reached out to many people,» the Irish prelates reflected. «In his pilgrimages he has spoken the truth with love and presented the gospel of Christ and the teaching of the Church in an engaging way to audiences of all ages.»

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On the Net:

Resources on new translation of Missal: and

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