CATHY HAYES @IrishCentral
The Bishop of Clonfert Dr John Kirby has admitted he made out-of-court settlements in the 1990s to two victims of sexual abuseat the hands of a Catholic priest in his diocese.
Kirby spoke after the publication of seven reports by the National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC) into child safeguarding practices in the Catholic Church.
He said, as he remembers, the payments were made in 1994 and 1998. Including legal fee they totaled “circa IR£130,000”.
At the time Kirby shocked with comments about his understand of what pedophilia was. He said he had thought this sexual abuse was just “friendship that crossed a boundary line”.
The out of court settlements which Kirby referred to were in relation to accusation set against the clergyman indentified as “Priest A” in the reports, according to the Irish Times.
The report states that there were “five separate complaints were made against priest ‘A’ between 1990 and 1997”.
The priest was convicted in court and served a jail sentence. The review revealed that when Kirby had been made aware of the abuse allegations against “Priest A” and another priest he “moved the priests against whom allegations were made to different parishes”.
In defense of his actions Kirby said “I literally thought, and you can put it down as gross innocence and naivety, that if I separated the priest and the youngster, that it was a friendship that crossed the boundary line. I literally thought if I separated them I would have solved the problem.
John Kirby retired as the RC Bishop of Clonfert in the past few days and the Irish hierarchy, clergy and Cathbots are praising his work and service.
Of course we wish any elderly man a happy retirement.
But John Kirby made a fool of himself and his colleagues by
- Moving abusing priests from parish to paris and letting them loose on new parishioners and their children.
- Kirby thought that child sexual abuse was a friendship between a priest and a child going too far and crossing boundaries.
What adult in the 1900s thought that abuse was taking a friendship with a child too far?
How can Kirby even think that a priest, or any other adult, can have a friendship with a child that does involve parental permission and oversight.
I’m afraid that Kirby was just like the rest of them – putting the reputation and monies of the RC church before child safety.