Cardinal Dew says concrete actions will follow apology for abuse

Cardinal John Dew says the Catholic Church will follow up Pope Francis’ apology to victims of clerical abuse with “concrete actions” to ensure children are protected and perpetrators are held to account.

Dew, the archbishop of Wellington New Zealand, was speaking to The Irish Times on the fringes of a pastoral conference on The Future of the Irish Parish in Thurles, Co Tipperary

He said he thought the pope did extremely well to address it at the beginning of the mass at Phoenix Park: “He was upfront about it. He apologised for it.”

Some 55 per cent of Irish people believe Pope Francis “did not go far enough” when he addressed the issue of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church on his visit to the Republic last week, according to an opinion poll in The Irish Times.

Responding to that criticism Dew said it was hard to know what people actually want. But he was thought that now that people have been spoken out there will be some concrete actions taken.

“But I haven’t heard too many of what those actions should be at this stage. It’s a massive challenge, but it’s something the Holy Father knows has to happen, and other people know has to happen.”

Dew also discussed the possibility of ordaining women or allowing a priest to marry. He said that while a lot of people want that he had doubts about whether it would solve the problem.

“I think there is something about being celibate and being available. You can see many more people. You can be involved in a whole range of families that you wouldn’t be able to do as a married man,” he said.

At the conference, Cardinal Dew delivered a presentation on how the merging of parishes and the appointment of “lay pastoral leaders” in Wellington has helped to “relieve the heavy burden that priests are expected to carry”.

Read the whole article in the Irish Times


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