Joint Statement of Archbishop Sean Brady and Desmond Cardinal Connell
Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference
April 5, 2002
Archbishop Sean Brady and Cardinal Desmond Connell said today that they welcomed the appointment of Mr George Bermingham SC to advise on an inquiry about matters which have arisen in the diocese of Ferns.
They said that every possible co-operation would be offered to Mr Bermingham as he begins his work.
They also announced that the Bishops were now in the process of considering the establishment of an independent audit. The purpose of this is to look at how complaints of child sexual abuse have been dealt with by Bishops nationwide and to consider how clarity, consistency and sensitivity of response may be made to all such complaints.
Archbishop Brady and Cardinal Connell said that they are consulting as to the independent personnel who will undertake such an audit and as to the means by which it may most effectively be conducted.
This initiative builds upon a number of measures which have already been undertaken by the Child Protection Office of the Bishops’ Conference. These include a review of the 1996 Guidelines and a research project being conducted by the Royal College of Surgeons.
A further statement on this matter will be made following a special meeting of the Bishops’ Conference next week.
For further information contact Fr Bruce Bradley at 087-7993606 or Fr Damian McNeice at 086-8154544