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+ Bishop Colm O'Reilly - Ferns Report

My dear Priests and People,

 

We are all very saddened and hurt by the recently published Report which describes the enormous damage done by a number of priests in the Diocese of Ferns who sexually abused children. For all those who have suffered in this way words of apology are weak and inadequate and yet cannot be left unspoken. We must reach out now to those who are victims and support them with our prayers. We must let them know that we are determined to ensure that what has happened will never happen again.

 

Much has still to be done by the Church to repair harm done in the past. It is important that I reassure people that our own Diocese is fully committed to this work. Many of the recommendations coming out of the current Ferns Report are already in place. The interim child protection policy, entitled Our Children, Our Church, has been accepted by all dioceses in Ireland. In our own we have put in place a Committee who will oversee the implementation of a code of conduct for child protection in every parish. I am convinced that we have every reason to be confident that the Church will ensure that all children are safe in the care of those who serve in the various Church ministries.

 

I feel a great concern for priests who have been living with the hurt caused to the Church by abuse of children perpetrated by other priests. This has been demoralising and painful and would indeed be unbearable were it not for the loyalty and support they have received from parishioners. To you who have been their faithful friends through trying times I want to avail of this opportunity to say a sincere word of thanks and to express the confident hope that you will continue to help us.

 

I ask your prayers for healing for those who have been hurt in the past, for the success of our efforts to provide a safe environment for children into the future, and for the close bond between pastors and people which has marked their relationship in the Church in this land down the centuries.

 

 

Yours in Christ,

+ Colm O'Reilly, Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois

 

Associated Links :

ARCHBISHOP OF ARMAGH AND PRIMATE OF ALL IRELAND DR SEÁN BRADY - RESPONSE TO THE PUBLICATION OF THE FERNS INQUIRY REPORT

STATEMENT OF BISHOP EAMONN WALSH, APOSTOLIC ADMINISTRATOR OF FERNS

PASTORAL LETTER FROM BISHOP EAMONN WALSH

CHILD PROTECTION OFFICE OF IRISH BISHOPS' CONFERENCE WEBSITE

Archived References  
       
Bishop Colm's Christmas Message 2010
Statement by Bishop Colm O'Reilly on the Dublin Report
Bishop Colm O'Reilly video interview for Mission Sunday 2009
Message on Diocesan Pilgrimage to Knock 2009
Homily by Bishop Colm for Trinity Sunday, on 150 years of SVP in Longford.
Bishop Colm's Pastoral Letter Easter 2009
Bishop Colm's Christmas Message 2008
Bishop's Letter to the Diocese, Easter 2008, 'on the way forward'.
Bishop's Message for the Year of Vocation
Bishop's Homily at Diocesan Pilgrimage to Knock, Sept 2007
Message from Bishop Colm on Ferns Report
Message from Bishop Colm on the death of Pope John Paul II
Homily by Bishop Colm at Requiem Mass for Pope John Paul II in St. Mel's Cathedral, 7th April
BISHOP'S MESSAGE FOR CHRISTMAS 2007
Statement from the Bishop, 27th May 2006
Homily at Clonmacnois Pattern Day, 2006
Bishop's Christmas Message 2005
Message from Bishop Colm for Vocations Sunday 2005