Statement by the Standing Committee of the Irish Bishops’ Conference

26 May 2009

25 May 2009

Statement by the Standing Committee of the Irish Bishops’ Conference

The Standing Committee of the Irish Bishops’ Conference met today in Maynooth.  The Committee welcomed the publication of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse Report, chaired by Mr Justice Sean Ryan, as a significant step in establishing the truth and enabling the voices of survivors of abuse to be heard.  The following statement was issued at the end of the meeting: 

“We apologise to those so cruelly abused during their childhood while in Catholic-run industrial and reformatory schools.  This abuse is all the greater because it was perpetrated by those called to care in the name of Jesus Christ.

“No response to this far reaching Report can be confined to a single statement.  To properly address past failures, and to safeguard children today, the whole Church needs to analyse how and why such an abusive environment was allowed to develop and become endemic.  Our ongoing response must support survivors of abuse and promote a civilisation of love for children so that they can receive the best possible care and protection.

“We will carefully reflect on the Report and discuss its findings and recommendations more fully at the June General Meeting of Bishops.  We will work closely with religious congregations and institutes in addressing the needs of survivors of abuse and in the healing process.  We will continue to promote a safe, effective and accountable environment for children in cooperation with the National Office for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church and with all the relevant statutory agencies.”


Notes for Editors
  • The Standing Committee of the Irish Bishops’ Conference consists of the twelve members of the Irish Bishops’ Conference including the Archbishops of Armagh, Dublin, Cashel & Emly, and Tuam.  The Standing Committee of Bishops is a scheduled meeting whose purpose is to plan for the subsequent general (plenary) meeting of the Irish Bishops’ Conference

Further information:
Martin Long, Director of Communications 086 172 7678