28 Nov 2009

Church in Ireland 'covered up abuse'

4:13 pm on 28 November 2009

An investigation in Ireland has revealed that the Catholic Church hierarchy covered up child abuse by priests.

A commission looked at how Church and state authorities handled allegations of child abuse against 46 priests in the Dublin archdiocese, from 1975 to 2004.

It found the Church placed its own reputation above the protection of children in its care, and state authorities facilitated the cover-up by allowing the Church to operate outside the law, the BBC reports.

The commission's report found four archbishops did not hand over information on abusers to civil authorities.

Instead, those accused of child sex abuse were systematically shuffled from parish to parish where they could prey on new, unsuspecting victims.