We need to learn from past mistakes

Dear Editor, I would like to point out to Hilda Nelson (Letters IC 19/12/13) that I have always accepted priests who have “paid the price” for their child sexual abuse crimes should be allowed to move on with their lives. Also that any wrongful accusation of priest or lay person is devastating to that individual and they need support and care.  I have never, as suggested, supported these being the subject of “trawling” by the tabloid press.

None of this changes my opinion that attempts to discredit the work or findings of the Murphy Commission indicate a wish to “rewrite history”.

Trying to portray Church leaders, who protected abusive priests, as victims of a biased inquiry rather than accepting the truth is misguided.

Maybe the statement made by the Irish Conference of Bishops on December 9, 2009 has been forgotten: “We are shamed by the extent to which child sexual abuse was covered up in the Archdiocese of Dublin and recognise that this indicates a culture that was widespread in the Church. The avoidance of scandal, the preservation of the reputations of individuals and of the Church, took precedence over the safety and welfare of children.  This should never have happened and must never be allowed to happen again.”

The Church leadership was willing to admit the truth. Trying to roll back on that admission can only do further damage to the Church. This is not needed now as it is beginning to gain respect for the good work that has been put into setting up better child safeguarding procedures.

We need to learn from past mistakes not try to excuse them.

Yours etc.,

Marie Collins,


Dublin 24.