Dublin sex-abuse cases costing millions

More than 100 priests serving in the Dublin archdiocese have been accused or suspected of sexual abuse, and the Irish archdiocese has paid nearly AU$9 million to settle lawsuits against clerics, according to statistics released by the archdiocese.

The Dublin archdiocese released statistics on sex-abuse charges to the media following the leak of data from Archbishop Diarmuid Martin's office, Catholic World News reports.

The figures, based on the independent "Ferns Report," cover the time period from 1940 to the present. During that time, 2,800 priests (1350 diocesan priests and 1450 members of religious orders) have served in the Dublin archdiocese. Allegations of sexual abuse have been made against roughly 3% of those priests.

The archdiocese has identified about 350 victims of clerical abuse, and has been unable to trace another 40 possible victims.

The Dublin archdiocese reports that 91 priests (68 diocesan and 23 religious) have been the subject of allegations of sexual abuse. Another 11 clerics (7 diocesan, 4 religious) have been placed in a separate category as the subject of "suspicions."

To date 8 priests have been convicted on criminal charges. Victims have filed 105 lawsuits, of which 65 have been resolved. The archdiocese has paid a total of 5.8 million (AU$9.4 million) to settle plaintiffs' claims, including 1.7 million ($2.75 million) in legal costs. Another 35 lawsuits remain unresolved.

Dublin sex-abuse cases near $7 million damages (Catholic World News 8/3/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Ferns Report
Archdiocese of Dublin
Catholic Communications Ireland

Irish probe finds abuse cover-up in Catholic Church (CathNews 26/10/05)

In effort to 'right past wrongs', Archdiocese of Dublin publishes massive sexual-abuse report (Catholic News Agency 8/3/06)
102 Irish Priests Suspected of Abuse (The Guardian/Associated Press 8/3/06)
Media reports on sexual abuse unjustified, says Catholic League (Catholic News Agency 8/3/06)

9 Mar 2006