Pastoral Letter

The National Board for Safeguarding Children

Report of the Chief Executive Officer

The past twelve months have been eventful and challenging in a number of respects. Significant progress has been made in developing and implementing a single, coherent strategy to safeguarding children in the Church. This has proved to be demanding for some within the Church who have had difficulty in changing their attitudes to fully embrace a single safeguarding approach.

Read the Report in full in the Downloads section.


 CORI Welcomes Pastoral Letter

20 March 2010

pastoral letter
CORI welcomes the publication of the Pastoral Letter from Pope Benedict XVI to the Catholics of Ireland.
In particular, we welcome the Holy Father’s statement to the victims of abuse and their families when he says: “You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry. I know that nothing can undo the wrong you have endured. Your trust has been betrayed and your dignity has been violated.”
Sr. Marianne O’Connor, Director  General of CORI, said to-day “ For all of us, this pastoral letter is an important part of the on-going process of confronting the mistakes of the past, encouraging healing and reconciliation and ensuring that the safeguarding of children is an absolute priority at all times”.
She added, “The letter asks us to respond to the challenges of the present hour by drawing ‘renewed inspiration and strength’ from the Gospel and makes reference to the immense changes which have occurred in Irish society in recent decades and the serious challenges this presents for us all”.
In the letter, the Pope acknowledges the great contribution in the past of all Irish Catholics to the Church and to humanity throughout the world. He also recognises that all religious are suffering as a result of the sins of our predecessors who” betrayed a sacred trust or failed to deal justly and responsibly with allegations of abuse”.
In addressing priests and religious of Ireland, he says “I am also aware that in some people’s eyes you are tainted by association and viewed as if you were somehow responsible for the misdeeds of others. At this painful time, the Pope says, he wants to acknowledge the dedication of your priestly and religious lives and apostolates”.
The letter also states that the Vatican will be conducting an apostolic visitation to “certain dioceses in Ireland, as well as seminaries and religious congregations”.  It is unclear as to how many religious congregations will be part of this process and we await the detail on this as referred to in the letter.

The letter has been circulated to all 135 Congregations who are members of CORI.

The Pastoral Letter is available for downloading  Click here.
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