Raphoe report described as a ‘whitewash’

A report into the handling of clerical child sex abuse in the Diocese of Raphoe says successive bishops made significant errors of judgement.

The review - by the National Board for the Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church - says too much emphasis was placed on the situation of the accused priest - and too little on the needs of their complainants.

The Bishop of Raphoe Philip Boyce is admitting insufficient emphasis was placed on the needs of victims - often in the misguided attempt to protect the reputation of the Church.

However, the report praises Bishop Boyce and his team for demonstrating a commitment to implementing best practice.

The 23 page report shows that 52 complaints were made against 14 priests between January 1975 and August 2010.

The audit says significant errors of judgement were made by successive bishops when responding to abuse allegations.

Too much emphasis was placed on the situation of the accused priest and too little on the needs of their complainants - while

It also says more attention should have been given to ensuring that preventative actions were taken quickly when concerns came to light.

There has been criticism of the lack of detail in the report with victims groups expressing disappointment that more documentation and evidence of abuse was not published.

The report also only includes priests ordained in the Raphoe Diocese and does not include ministry priests, allegations against them will be included in reports relating to their diocese.

Speaking on the 'Shaun Doherty Show', Bishop Boyce admitted that Raphoe Diocese probably has the highest level of clerical abuse allegations:

[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/boyfig.mp3[/podcast]

The Bishop confirmed that there are no records of allegations against Eugene Green, a fact he describes as extraordinary:

[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/bishletter.mp3[/podcast]

However former Garda Martin Ridge, who was involved in the case against Fr Eugene Green has described the report as a white wash:

[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/ridg1.mp3[/podcast]