11:27 - IRELAND: PAEDOPHILIA, IN THE SUMMARY OPENING TO AND ASSISTING THE VICTIMS
The Holy See renews the feeling of dismay expressed by Pope Benedict XVI in his Letter to the Catholics of Ireland and the sympathy he has expressed on several occasions with the victims of such sinful and criminal offences committed by priests or religious men: this is stated in a summary of the results of the apostolic visit to Ireland, the final document of which will be presented today (at 10.00 am Irish time, 11.00 am Italian time) to the press at Saint Patricks College in Maynooth, Ireland. The summary points out that the apostolic visit had a pastoral nature, so it made it possible, on one side, to confirm the seriousness of the deficiencies that in the past resulted in poor understanding and response, even by the bishops and religious superiors, to the terrible phenomenon of child abuse. The document insists that it has been clearly found that, after the Nineties, decisive steps began to be taken that raised awareness of the problem and led to deep changes in the way of responding to it. So it is recommended that bishops and religious superiors keep opening up and assisting the victims of abuse. (continued)
11:28 - IRELAND: PAEDOPHILIA, IN THE SUMMARY OPENING TO AND ASSISTING THE VICTIMS (2)
The summary presented today points out that the Guidelines contained in the previous document, Safeguarding Children of 2008, include some aspects of key importance to keep monitoring and preventing any misconduct in this connection: first of all, it speaks of a widespread involvement of the faithful and the ecclesiastic organisations in prevention and education; it insists on their being most willing to closely cooperate with the civil authorities in the timely reporting of any charge; it states again that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will take care of such charges, insofar as under its jurisdiction. In addition, the text points out that such regulations turned out to be an effective tool to handle reports of abuse and to raise the awareness of the whole Christian community about the protection of children. Another passage commits the archbishops of the archdioceses visited by the Vatican envoys to make sure that any new case of abuse that might be reported will be promptly referred to the civil authorities concerned, as well as to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It insists that such Guidelines will have to be updated to reflect the suggestions published by the Congregation on 3rd May, 2011.