“Ultimately actions speak louder than words and we’ve heard the apologies before. It’s long past time to move on from words to solid action.”

The Social Democrats have called on the Pope to use his visit to Ireland to acknowledge the complicity of the Catholic Church in clerical child sexual abuse in Ireland and to commit to worldwide mandatory reporting to the civil authorities of all cases of child sexual abuse, be they historical, current or future cases.

Social Democrats co-leader, Catherine Murphy TD, said:

“Ultimately actions speak louder than words and we’ve heard the apologies before. It’s long past time to move on from words to solid action. The Pope on his visit to Ireland should clearly and unambiguously acknowledge the role that both the institutional Catholic Church in Ireland and the Vatican have played in covering up and perpetuating child sexual abuse in Ireland.

“The Social Democrats call on Pope Francis to formally commit to mandatory reporting of any suspicion of child sexual abuse to the civil authorities in every diocese across the world.

“The Pope must commit to full open disclosure of all documents and materials that relate to past cases of child sexual abuse that are held by the Vatican, or by the Irish Catholic Church, religious orders and institutions, to the Gardaí and to the appropriate authorities. This commitment must apply across the world. Just this week in the US we’ve seen that that it still takes a grand jury to wrest this information from Catholic Church authorities.

“Too many people continue to suffer in silence from their treatment at the hands of clerics or religious institutions, including those who were in mother and baby homes and Magdalene laundries. We call for full and open disclosure of all records and information about these institutions. At the very least, those who lived through very difficult and often torturous treatment deserve the full extent of information about what happened to them.”

ENDS

23rd August 2018