Irish Bishops Planned to Protect Church From Child Abuse Claims

by John McKiggan

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin circulated legal advice to every bishop in Ireland to help the dioceses negotiate insurance policies to protect them from child sex abuse claims.

The Irish paper, Independent has reported:

The legal advice, obtained on behalf of Cardinal Connell’s predecessor Archbishop Kevin McNamara, formed the basis for a dedicated clerical sex abuse insurance policy. Within two years, all dioceses in Ireland had insured themselves against abuse claims, despite later Church claims that they had no knowledge of the fact of, or extent of, errant priests.

Apparently the sexual abuse policies were subsequently cancelled by the insurance companies as a result of “serious legal issues”:

…related to non-disclosure of the full extent and knowledge of clerical sex abuse

So the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland apparently covered up allegations of sexual abuse by priests. Raise your hand anyone who is surprised. Anyone? I didn’t think so.

I just did a google search of the terms “church sexual abuse cover up” that resulted in 181, 000 hits.

In almost every single case I have been involved with representing victims abused by priests, I have uncovered evidence that the Church knew what the priest was doing and actively covered it up or failed to take steps to prevent the abuse from recurring.

The CBC has produced a documentary showing how the Catholic Church in Ontario covered up abuse by Canada’s most notorious serial sex abuser, Charles Sylvestre. You can read more about it here.

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