Statement from Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Reacting to the publication today, by the ACP of a lawyer’s review of the Murphy Report, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said “One should never overlook the context which gave rise to the establishment of the Murphy Report – that a strikingly large number of children were sexually abused by priests within the Church of Jesus Christ. Anyone who loves the Church must be truly saddened by this fact. The children who were abused and their families and dear ones must be uppermost in our minds.”
Archbishop Martin said it is the right of any Association or person to examine or criticize the fairness of an Act of Legislation.
However, he pointed out that every bishop or priest of the Archdiocese who engaged with the Murphy Commission was offered legal assistance for preparation, during their engagement, or when verifying drafts submitted to the Commission for factual accuracy.
He added, “To my knowledge the Commission had no objection to priests or diocesan officials always being accompanied by their lawyers in their engagements with it.Any person who had a difficulty with the fairness of procedure adopted by the Commission had the right to challenge those procedures by way of a judicial review in the High Court.”
He added that the Murphy Report concerned itself with a representative sample of abuse cases. To date, the Diocesan Child Safeguarding and Protection Service, and the civil authorities, have allegations of abuse recorded against 98 priests. The CSPS has information that over 500 children may have been abused by priests in Dublin.
“As I said it on the publication of the Murphy Report in 2009, the fact that the abusers were priests constituted both an offence to God and affront to the priesthood. The many good priests of the Archdiocese share my sense of shame. This is and remains the case in 2013.”
Further Information contact: Annette O Donnell on 087 8143462