Read the statement that Bishop Jim Moriarty has issued following the meeting of the Irish Bishops with the Holy Father and senior Vatican officials in Rome.

Statement from Bishop Jim Moriarty

20/21st February 2010

Meeting of Irish Bishops in Rome

I am seeking ideas about how priests and people might engage with the letter from the Holy Father and how together we might identify some tangible initiatives that might follow. This might involve forums at parish, deanery or diocesan level.

Following the meeting of the Irish Bishops in Rome, I would like to share a few thoughts and some information in addition to the official Vatican press release.

Obviously the gathering in Rome was a unique event. The amount of time and attention given personally by Pope Benedict was very impressive. Likewise the senior Curia members present were fully engaged and made their own contributions. The various sessions that took place over Monday and Tuesday were long and intense. It was certainly a worthwhile dialogue at the highest level.

As you are aware, each Bishop had an opportunity to address the gathering. The contributions were wide‐ranging, consciously so to avoid repetition. Along with addressing the impact on survivors, our continuing outreach to them, the on‐going management of safeguarding in the Irish Church, some Bishops addressed issues like the role of laity, church communications, the Churchs role in Education and priestly formation.

In my own contribution, I explained how my offer of resignation came about and spoke about the need for unity and a deeper sharing of the mission that transcends the kind of clerical culture that led us here.

The Vatican Press Release should not be viewed as the last word. Pope Benedicts pastoral letter which is expected in mid‐March is the document to focus on. A draft copy of the pastoral letter was shared with the Bishops and we had an opportunity to offer comments. While taking on board these comments, the pastoral letter will be the Holy Fathers document.

It is important to emphasise that this process is on‐going and more steps are to follow.

In regard to my offer of resignation, separate from the general meeting, I had a private meeting with Cardinal Re, the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, who is dealing with it. The acceptance of my offer of resignation is proceeding. My understanding is that it is not a question of if but when. It will not happen immediately but should not go too far beyond Easter.

I am seeking ideas about how priests and people might engage with the letter from the Holy Father and how together we might identify some tangible initiatives that might follow. This might involve forums at parish, deanery or diocesan level.

Any ideas or suggestions can be forwarded to your local priest or directly to me here in Bishops House, Carlow. (bishop@kandle.ie)

As always we keep the survivors in our prayers at this time and pray that this Lenten season may be a time of true renewal in the Irish Church.

HSE audit

The HSE has conducted an audit of all dioceses in regard to our respective records of clerical sexual abuse.

The following are the numbers in regard to the priests of Kildare & Leighlin which our diocese deatiled in the revised HSE audit in January 2010.

The number of priests of the Diocese against whom allegations of child sexual abuse have been made –

Seven Two are living, Five are deceased.

The number of priests of the Diocese who have been convicted in relation to child sexual abuse –

One

Civil cases and settlements

Along with the HSE audit, we have already made public the following information ‐

The number of civil legal actions involving priests of the diocese that have been settled or concluded –

Two

The total cost of settlements or awards made arising from civil actions involving priests of the diocese –

The diocese has contributed to the settlement of two civil cases involving priests of this diocese.

In 2004 the diocese contributed a total of 133,835 to a financial settlement in a civil case involving a deceased priest of this diocese. As was the practice at the time, the diocese received 90% of this payment from the Stewardship Trust, the net cost being 13,383

As our accounts for 2009 will show, the diocese contributed a total of 175,000 to the settlement of a civil case against the priest of this diocese who was convicted in the courts in 2009 (see above). A further 24,300 was also paid in legal fees in 2009 along with 27,359 in 2008. The combined total in this case was 226,659.

Thus the overall net cost to the diocese was 240,042.

In 2003 and 2004, the diocese paid a total of 341,625 towards the Stewardship Trust which was a special fund set up by the Irish Bishops to provide financial assistance to dioceses and to cover running costs re child protection at national level.

At this time, there are no criminal or civil cases pending against any priest of this diocese.