02 May 2007

Sexual abuse by Catholic priests revealed in Ireland

The Dublin Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church has announced that almost 150 priests and other members of Catholic religious orders have been suspected or accused of sexually abusing children in Ireland since 1940. As many as 15,000 people have filed compensation claims for abuse suffered at the hands of priests or nuns in orphanages. It is expected that the Irish government will pay the victims a sum of €760 million (Canadian $1.1 billion) (BBC).

Let's hope there is a good way to separate the real victims from false ones; it would be a shame if scams such as those perpetrated after Hurricane Katrina are repeated here.

It is an encouraging sign that the Catholic Church is finally tackling the issue with a degree of openness. The question is, though: why does the Irish state have to compensate the victims? Why can't the Church itself pay?

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