22 January 2010
Meeting of Bishops in St Patrick’s College Maynooth
At a meeting today in the Columba Centre, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Bishops continued their discussion of 9 and 10 December last on the Commission of Investigation Report into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin by Judge Yvonne Murphy.
Since the publication of the Murphy report, bishops have been listening to the widespread and justifiable anger and frustration from survivors, priests and laity across their dioceses. Bishops recognise that, in the critical area of safeguarding children, people want accountability and transparency in terms of policy and procedures.
Since their last meeting, bishops have asked the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church to explore with statutory authorities, North and South, ways of ensuring that the Church’s policies and practices in relation to the safeguarding of children represent best practice and that all allegations of abuse are being handled properly. These discussions are ongoing.
Diocesan bishops welcomed the invitation from the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI to meet them at the Holy See on 15 and 16 February. Pope Benedict’s request was made in the context of the very serious situation that prevails in the Irish Church.
Bishops also discussed preparations for Pope Benedict XVI’s address, by way of Pastoral Letter, to the faithful in Ireland, and the follow-up listening and consultation process which will take place with the lay faithful, clergy and Religious.
Bishops expressed solidarity with the Church in Haiti and encouraged support for responses to the human tragedy caused by the major earthquake on 13 January last.
Bishops also offered their sympathy and prayerful support to the people of the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois after the destruction by fire of St Mel’s Cathedral in Longford on early Christmas morning.
Martin Long, Director of Communications 086 172 7678
Brenda Drumm, Communications Officer 087 310 4444