Unheard Story: Dublin Archdiocese and the Murphy Report
An attempt to give the other side of the story that was the basis of the Murphy Report of 2009. Author signed.
The 2009 publication of the report of the Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation, known as the Murphy Report, shook the people of Ireland to the core, especially coming as it did only a few months after the terrible revelations of the Ryan Report about institutional abuse. The reputation of the Catholic Church had never been so low. Commentators, media and clerics praised the report for vindicating the claims of the abused and acknowledging the pain they had suffered. Immediately it seemed to achieve 'infallible' status, of the kind once reserved for Papal pronouncements. The report criticised the state, but especially harshly the Church, for not responding effectively to allegations of abuse. Again, dissenting voices and objective assessments were non-existent. Critics demanded harsh treatment of the 'villains', of Dublin Archdiocese, who had 'facilitated' the abuse of children, who had 'covered up' the scandal.
The Murphy Report was devastating. Clergy of the diocese had no voice, as the tsunami of public opinion overwhelmed them. When a number of bishops resigned it was seen as an admission of guilt. In The Unheard Story, Pádraig McCarthy challenges some of the assumptions and conclusions of the Murphy Report. He puts the response of the diocese to priests who abused children into the context of the times. The diocese claimed that its personnel were on a 'learning curve' about child sexual abuse during the period from 1975 to the late 1990s. This was rejected by the Commission of Investigation, but the author finds it entirely plausible in the light of the experience of other agencies and other countries. He contends that the generally accepted allegation that there was widespread cover-up is not in accordance with the facts.
The Unheard Story asks that justice and fairness should apply to all the parties involved in the investigation.
|Publication date||17 Oct 2013|