Thursday, 17 June, 2010
The Catholic Church in Ireland has reached yet another out-of-court settlement with a child abuse victim. Compensation of over €250,000 was paid to Marie McCormac, who was abused while a child by Fr. Bendan Smyth between 1970 and 1975.
McCormac sued Cardinal Seán Brady, the diocese of Kilmore, and the Norbertine Order. The settlement was made without admission of liability but did include an apology. It’s somewhat strange that liability was denied while compensation and an apology were offered.
In this particular case, it is alleged that the Catholic Church did not report allegations to the Gardaí and conducted an internal investigation that included swearing witnesses to secrecy.
The actions of a very tiny minority of priests and the subsequent response of some of the church leadership damages the reputation of the entire Catholic Church in Ireland, regardless of the fact that its overall contribution to Irish society is overwhelmingly positive through countless acts of charity helping the less fortunate in society.
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