DUBLIN – Roman Catholic Church leaders in Dublin spent decades sheltering child-abusing priests from the law and most fellow clerics turned a blind eye, an investigation ordered by Ireland’s government concluded Thursday.
Thursday’s report detailed “sample” cases of 46 priests who faced 320 documented complaints, although the investigators said they were confident that the priests had abused many more children than that. They cited testimony from one priest who admitted abusing more than 100 children, and another priest who said he abused a child approximately every two weeks for 25 years.
Just 11 of the 46 ultimately were convicted of abusing children — typically decades after church leaders learned of their crimes — while two others are scheduled to face Dublin criminal court actions within months. Fourteen are dead and most of the rest have been defrocked or barred from parish duties. Just six are still active priests.
I shouldn’t be surprised, I shouldn’t be sickened, but I am.
But, on a positive note, I have received acknowledgment from two child protection representatives and I may have tracked down the identity of one of the priests who abused my family members. One of the child protection representatives is willing to interview my father, maybe he will get some closure, and that will be a blessing.