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Sick Notes – the real-life story of life in a doctor’s surgery – may help with some answers…
‘We wanted to thank you for all you did for mum over the last 14 years,’ said Mrs Cobham.
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Welcome to the bizarre world of Tony Copperfield, family doctor.
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The Cloyne Report by Annette J Dunlea
Published In The Carrigdhoun Newspaper 30th July 2011 p.11
The Cloyne Commission consisted of : Chairperson Judge Yvonne Murphy, and two Commissioners : Ms Ita Mangan and Mr Hugh O’Neill. The legal team were: Ms Maeve Doherty Solicitor, Ms Deirdre Murphy SC and Mr Donal McGuinness Barrister.The Commission received information about complaints, suspicions, concerns or knowledge of child sexual abuse in respect of 32 named clerics and one unnamed cleric. The Cloyne Diocese is the latest part of the Church in Ireland to be exposed over shocking clerical abuse and cover-ups, with former bishop John Magee , a Vatican aide to three Popes,singled out for misleading investigators and “dangerous” failures on child protection. Self-protection rather than child-protection is still the ethos in some lofty ranks.
The Commission is aware of some 40 people who may have been affected by clerical child sexual abuse in the Diocese of Cloyne. All but two complaints came from people who were adults at the time the complaint was made; these complaints are usually called ‘historical complaints’.Of the 19 clerics within remit, there are 12 clerics against whom a single complaint was made. No attempt was made by the Diocese of Cloyne to ascertain if there were others who had complaints to make against these clerics. The Commission itself was able to ascertain that, in the case of Father Rion, at least two complaints of a similar nature had been made against him during his time in Australia.Four clerics were dead when the first complaint against them was made. One of the complaints was of abuse which allegedly occurred as far back as the 1930s. There was no attempt made by the Diocese of Cloyne to find out anything about these priests and the complaints were not reported to the civil authorities.At least six other clerics were retired or approaching retirement age when the first complaint against them was made. Again, no attempt was made to find out anything further about these clerics and only some of the complaints were reported to the civil authorities. One of these clerics admitted to abusing at least four children during his early years as a priest. No attempt was made by Church authorities or the Gardaí to ascertain if there had been other incidents involving this priest. The Gardaí were not told by the diocese of all the admissions made by this priest.The credibility of the church and some of its most senior members is now at an all-time low.
One priest from the Diocese of Cloyne has been convicted of child sexual abuse. The DPP decided to prosecute another priest for child sexual abuse but the priest was successful in the Supreme Court in stopping his trial because of his age, his ill health and the delay.As already stated, this report describes the handling of allegations made against 19 clerics. Of these, 15 were or are incardinated in the Diocese of Cloyne. One priest was incardinated in the Archdiocese of Brisbane; he is dead. The unknown priest is almost certainly dead – it is not known where he was incardinated but the Commission considers it very likely that he was incardinated in Cloyne. One priest is a member of a religious in the Diocese of Cloyne. One priest was incardinated in the Archdiocese of Brisbane; he is dead. The unknown priest is almost certainly dead – it is not known where he was incardinated but the Commission considers it very likely that he was incardinated in Cloyne. One priest is a member of a religious order; he is living within his religious order with some restrictions on his ministry. Bishop Magee (who is not incardinated in the diocese) is retired.Of the 15 priests who were or are incardinated in the Diocese of Cloyne, eight are dead; two are in ministry in the diocese; three are retired (two of these with restrictions on their ministry); one is out of ministry; and one has left the priesthood but does not seem to have been laicised.
The reaction of the Vatican to the Framework Document was entirely unhelpful to any bishop who wanted to implement the agreed procedures Framework Document was entirely unhelpful to any bishop who wanted to implement the agreed procedures. The Congregation for the Clergy told the bishops of Ireland that the document was “not an official document of the Episcopal Conference but merely a study document”. The Congregation further stated that it contained:“procedures and dispositions which appear contrary to canonical discipline and which, if applied, could invalidate the acts of the same Bishops who are attempting to put a stop to these problems. If such procedures were to be followed by the Bishops and there were cases of eventual hierarchical recourse lodged at the Holy See, the results could be highly embarrassing and detrimental to those same Diocesan authorities. not an official document of the Episcopal Conference but merely a study document”. The Congregation further stated that it contained: “procedures and dispositions which appear contrary to canonical discipline and which, if applied, could invalidate the acts of the same Bishops who are attempting to put a stop to these problems. If such procedures were to be followed by the Bishops and there were cases of eventual hierarchical recourse lodged at the Holy See, the results could be highly embarrassing and detrimental to those same Diocesan authorities.
In evidence to the Commission, Bishop Magee said that he was fully committed to the implementation of the Framework Document and was shocked to discover in 2008 that it was not being implemented. The Commission considers that this response is totally inadequate. It became clear during the course of this investigation that Bishop Magee had, to a certain extent, detached himself from the day to day management of child sexual abuse cases. Bishop Magee was the head of the diocese and cannot avoid his responsibility by blaming subordinates whom he wholly failed to supervise.
Contrary to repeated assertions on its part, the Diocese of Cloyne did not implement the procedures set out in the Church protocols for dealing with allegations of child sexual abuse. The main failures were:
(a) The failure to report all complaints to the Gardaí;
(b) The failure to report any complaints to the health authorities between
1996 and 2008;
(c) The failure to appoint support people;
(d) The failure to operate an independent advisory panel.
The greatest failure by the Diocese of Cloyne was its failure to report all complaints to the Gardaí. Between 1996 and 2005, there were 15 complaints which very clearly should have been reported by the diocese to the Gardaí. This figure of 15 does not include concerns and does not include 7 cases where the allegations were already known to the Gardaí (although some of these also ought to have been reported). Of these 15, nine were not reported. The most serious lapse was the failure to report the two cases in which the alleged victims were minors at the time the complaint was made. One of the most unusual and unacceptable aspects of the diocese reporting to the Gardaí was the reporting by Monsignor O’Callaghan of the complainant’s name but not the perpetrator’s name in the Fr Caden case . The attempt by Monsignor O’Callaghan to have a particular garda deal with this case was correctly disregarded by the garda superintendent.
Monsignor O’Callaghan always had reservations about reporting to the civil authorities. In June 2002, in a letter to a canon lawyer, he stated: “On the issue of reporting to civil authorities I have always been of your mind and endorse everything you say. I am convinced that reporting should have been left to the complainants. Our role in the whole process has been compromised by taking on direct reporting as part of our remit. Why should we take it on ourselves to report when the complainant does not want it done? This commitment on our part also seriously compromises our relationship with the priest against whom allegations have been made.”He failed to understand that the requirement to report was for the protection of other children.
Monsignor O’Callaghan has acknowledged to the Commission that he:“should have struck a better balance in the ministry of pastoral care. I regret now that I did not intervene to counter the choice of the legal route when just settlements should have been made earlier with survivors. I regret also that I tended to show favour to accused priests vis-à-vis complaints in some cases. I realise now that in some instances I became emotionally drawn to the plight of accused priests and in this way compromised my care of some complainants. I now should have struck a better balance in the ministry of pastoral care. I regret now that I did not intervene to counter the choice of the legal route when just settlements should have been made earlier with survivors. I regret also that I tended to show favour to accused priests vis-à-vis complaints in some cases. I realise now that in some instances I became emotionally drawn to the plight of accused priests and in this way compromised my care of some complainants. I now realise that the ministry of pastoral care best operates where roles are distinct in dealing with complainants and accused.”
The Diocese of Cloyne was informed in 2004 that it was not implementing the Framework Document properly. The diocese had voluntarily agreed to have its procedures and processes examined by an independent expert, Dr Kevin McCoy, in 2003. Dr McCoy’s report was completed in 2004. It showed that the diocese was not fully implementing all the procedures set out in the Framework Document. While Dr McCoy stated that the diocese had embraced the reporting policies set out in the Framework Document properly. The diocese had voluntarily agreed to have its procedures and processes examined by an independent expert, Dr Kevin McCoy, in 2003. Dr McCoy’s report was completed in 2004. It showed that the diocese was not fully implementing all the procedures set out in the Framework Document. While Dr McCoy stated that the diocese had embraced the reporting policies set out in the Framework Document. While Dr McCoy stated that the diocese had embraced the reporting policies set out in the Framework Document, this was not in fact the case. He examined eight cases. The Commission was not able to establish which eight cases he examined or precisely what documentation he received. The Commission has examined ten cases which were known to the diocese at the time of Dr McCoy’s investigation. The reporting obligations had been fully complied with in only one case. , this was not in fact the case. He examined eight cases. The Commission was not able to establish which eight cases he examined or precisely what documentation he received. The Commission has examined ten cases which were known to the diocese at the time of Dr McCoy’s investigation. The reporting obligations had been fully complied with in only one case.
One of the ironies of Monsignor O’Callaghan’s position was that it was clear from his evidence that, in most cases, he believed the complainants which makes his failure to implement his own Church’s policy all the more surprising. He also displayed some inexplicable failures to recognise child sexual abuse.The Diocese of Cloyne did not properly record and maintain information about complaints of child sexual abuse up to 2008. There was, in the words of Mr Ian Elliott, an “unacceptable lack of recording”. In some cases, there was no contemporaneous record of a complaint having been made. In one particular case, the written report of a psychologist is on the files but his more nuanced views which he says were expressed orally are not recorded. The Commission received some important documents from priests against whom complaints were made. Copies of these were not always in the diocesan files.
There was an unacceptable lack of recording. In some cases, there was no contemporaneous record of a complaint having been made. In one particular case, the written report of a psychologist is on the files but his more nuanced views which he says were expressed orally are not recorded. The Commission received some important documents from priests against whom complaints were made. Copies of these were not always in the diocesan files.It appears that Monsignor O’Callaghan kept all the files relating to complaints of child sexual abuse in his house. About 20% of the documents supplied by the diocese to the Commission were undated. Many of the documents were hand written and difficult to read. If typed versions of written documents were also supplied, they sometimes differed in content from the handwritten document. It is clear that copies of a number of documents were not retained on files as the Commission received documents from witnesses that should also have been in the files provided by the diocese but were not.Some of these failures to properly record information about complaints of child sexual abuse could be put down to lack of organisation, lack of resources or human error or they could be due to a deliberate policy. The admission by Bishop Magee that he deliberately created two different accounts of the same meeting with Fr Caden raises very serious issues about the diocese’s policy on the creation and retention of documentation. One account of the meeting was created for the diocesan files and the inter-diocesan case management advisory committee while the other was created for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome. While Bishop Magee contends that he did not intend to mislead, the fact is that he did mislead the advisory committee and subsequently Mr Ian Elliott.There was a haphazard and sometimes sloppy approach to documenting canonical investigations.On the basis of its own laws, the diocese should have ordered a canonical investigation into the cases of Fr Corin, Fr Darian, Fr Flan, and Fr Tarin.
Enda Kenny stated that the revelations of the Cloyne report have brought the Government, Irish Catholics and the Vatican to an unprecedented juncture. It’s fair to say that after the Ryan and Murphy Reports Ireland is, perhaps, unshockable when it comes to the abuse of children.But Cloyne has proved to be of a different order. Because for the first time in Ireland, a report into child sexual-abuse exposes an attempt by the Holy See, to frustrate an Inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic.as little as three years ago, not three decades ago. And in doing so, the Cloyne Report excavates the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism….the narcissism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day.He continued that far from listening to evidence of humiliation and betrayal with St Benedict’s ‘ear of the heart’……the Vatican’s reaction was to parse and analyse it with the gimlet eye of a canon lawyer. This calculated, withering position being the polar opposite of the radicalism, humility and compassion upon which the Roman Church was founded.The radicalism, humility and compassion which are the very essence of its foundation and purpose. Mr. Kenny said the Cloyne’s revelations are heart-breaking. It describes how many victims continued to live in the small towns and parishes in which they were reared and in which they were abused. their abuser often still in the area and still held in high regard by their families and the community.The abusers continued to officiate at family weddings and funerals. In one case, the abuser even officiated at the victim’s own wedding.There is little I or anyone else in this House can say to comfort that victim or others, however much we want to. But we can and do recognise the bravery of all of the victims who told their stories to the Commission.While it will take a long time for Cloyne to recover from the horrors uncovered, it could take the victims and their families a lifetime to pick up the pieces of their shattered existence.The Papal Nuncio , Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, undertook to present the Cloyne Report to the Vatican. The Government awaits the considered response of the Holy See.
In a statement issued late last night in Rome, he stated: “It is to be hoped that the ongoing debate on such dramatic issues can be carried out with the necessary objectivity so as to contribute to the matter which should most concern us all, namely the safety of children and of young people and the renewal of a climate of trust and collaboration to this end, in both the church and society, as wished for by the Pope in his letter to the Catholics of Ireland.”A senior Vatican spokesman has responded to the Taoiseach’s unprecedented criticisms of the Catholic Church following the Cloyne report by appealing for “objectivity” in the debate.Cardinal Josef Ratzinger said: ‘Standards of conduct appropriate to civil society or the workings of a democracy cannot be purely and simply applied to the Church.’
The Taoiseach concluded that As the Holy See prepares its considered response to the Cloyne Report, as Taoiseach, I am making it absolutely clear, that when it comes to the protection of the children of this State, the standards of conduct which the Church deems appropriate to itself, cannot and will not, be applied to the workings of democracy and civil society in this republic.Not purely, or simply or otherwise.CHILDREN…. FIRST.
A Statement was issued by Fr Federico Lombardi S.J. on the Report by the Commission of Inquiry into the Diocese of Cloyne . He said that the Irish authorities have forwarded a copy of the Report to Rome by way of the Nuncio, requesting a response from the Holy See. It is to be expected, therefore, that the Holy See’s response and considerations will be forthcoming in the most appropriate time and manner.At the time, the Pope openly spoke of his “shock and shame” at the “heinous crimes” committed.
The Cloyne Report exposes a systemic and deliberate failure by the Catholic Church in the Cloyne diocese to deal with allegations of child sex abuse, and the dismissive attitude the Vatican continues to take to State investigations of abuse… It also shows the State relied on assurances from the Catholic Church instead of living up to its responsibility to protect children. Our Government’s first obligation is to its own people, not to any other State or church.
Mr.Alan Shatter said that, among the findings of the report, the church authorities in Cloyne had failed to:
report cases of abuse to the civil authorities as required, put a system of support for victims in place, appoint an independent advisory panel and properly record cases of sex abuse .Mr. Shatter described the report as truly scandalous and the government was enacting new legislation for the protection of children , making it a criminal offence to withhold the knowledge of child abuse from the gardai.
The “greatest failure” of the diocese was the failure to report cases of abuse to the civil authorities: the diocese failed to alert the gardaí about nine out of 15 cases that “very clearly” should have been reported.The primary responsibility for the failure of the child sexual abuse procedures being adhered to lies with the bishop of Cloyne at the time – John Magee – who “took little or no active interest” in implementing procedures until 2008 (12 years after the guidlines had been agreed upon).The Vatican was “entirely unhelpful” in assisting clerics wishing to implement procedures – describing the guidelines as “a study document”.While the response of the health authorities was “adequate”, the state is in need of stronger guidelines regarding child protection.Although the report is generally complimentary about the gardaí’s response, the handling of three cases have caused concern.Minister FitzGerald said that the Children First document will insist upon a consistent inter-agency approach to child protection, and will also propose to extend the remit of HIQA.Eamon Gilmore has said the Government wants the Vatican to respond to the report on clerical child sex abuse in the Cloyne diocese by the end of next month.
Anybody affected by this article please note the following helplines are available:
Cloyne diocese helpline: Freephone 1800-742800
Harbour Counselling Service (part of the HSE NCS, based in Cork and Kerry): Freephone 1800 235 234
Towards Healing: Freephone 1800 303 416 or 01 800 0963315 (U.K.)
Cork Sexual Violence Centre Freefone: 1800 496 496
The National 24 hour Helpline for Victims of Rape and Sexual Abuse: Freephone 1800 778 888
Connect: Freephone 1800 477 477
One in Four: 01 662 4070 from 9.30am to 5.30pm
The Samaritans helpline is available 24 hours a day everyday on 1850 60 90 90.
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