Cork: Church’s Child Protection TSAR In Cloyne ‘O’Callaghan’ Lied To Abuse Victims

2 Sep

O’Callaghan told abuse victims he did all he could:

THE child protection tsar in Cloyne wrote to clerical abuse victims to tell them he had done everything he could to help them obtain justice — even though the Cloyne report revealed the opposite to be true.

A letter from Monsignor Denis O’Callaghan, seen by the Irish Examiner, shows how he wrote to a victim in 2009 to tell her that “in all my dealings with you I acted properly and professionally and within my role as delegate for clerical sex abuse“.

However, the Murphy report, published this summer, found that Mgr O’Callaghan systematically “stymied” the implementation of Church protocols on child protection.

He was asked to step down from his child protection role in late 2008 after Bishop John Magee was handed the damning National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church report.

The victim who received the letter said: “Him and Magee should be behind bars for all they did to stop our investigations. I was so upset and frustrated when I wrote to him; so upset with him and Magee not doing what they were supposed to do. Their lies and collusion have just furthered the abuse. Will it ever end?”

Last week, Mgr O’Calla-ghan admitted he should have resigned rather than continue in a job where he disagreed with the child protection guidelines he was expected to enforce.

In recent days, he has also attempted to justify his decision to ignore the requirement to report abuse allegations to the civil authorities on the grounds that, “for most of those priests accused in Cloyne, the complaints alleged incidents dating back over 30 or 40 years”.

Archbishop of Cashel and Emly and Apostolic Administrator of Cloyne Dr Dermot Clifford was so angered by Mgr O’Callaghan’s latest statement that he asked him to stop talking to the media.

Mgr O’Callaghan told the Irish Catholic last week he often had sympathy for the alleged abuser.

“I winced when understandably angry people [victims] expressed the wish that an accused priest would burn in hell.”

In a previous statement he admitted he was often overly concerned with providing pastoral care to the accused priest.

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