Bishop of Clonfert John Kirby repeatedly looked at the floor, picked his fingernails and did a sad face at the media launch of more reports reviewing child protection practices in a number of Ireland’s Catholic dioceses and religious orders. The seven audits were conducted by the The National Board for Safeguarding Children (a Catholic Church organisation, formerly “RAPESTOP“) in the four dioceses and, for the first time, three religious congregations.
The reports will be added to a large pile of other harrowing abuse reports in the NBSCCC offices where they “may possibly” be read “with interest”. A bord of priests and guys in big hats will then be set up to undertake some sort of go-nowhere action that will take years until people finally lose interest or everyone involved is either dead or working missions in Sierra Leone.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Six One News, Chief Executive of the NBSCCC Ian Elliott said he was “shocked and disappointed” with what the audits found in religious orders. “And when I say ‘disappointed’, I don’t use the word lightly” he added.
Bishop Kirby said he was unaware of the recidivist and compulsive nature of child sex abuse when he moved two abuser priests to other parishes in the early 1990s. “I figured they would do something else with their time, like Top Trumps or maybe Sega Megadrive. I definitely didn’t think they’d go back to bumming children or that type of, er…what’s the word I’m looking for…er…”.
“Ah yes – ” he continued – “ol’ guff“.
“And ‘carry-on‘” he added.
He said his understanding of paedophilia at the time was that it was “a friendship that had gone astray or wrong”.
When asked if he felt it was a resigning matter, he said it would be now because guidelines are in place and he would be in breach of them, but at the time there were no guidelines and he had reported the matter to the civil authorities. “If there was policy in place at the time to say that child rape was wrong then I would have followed it”
“But there wasn’t,” he added “so I’m not going anywhere”
He then put on a large hat and cape and strolled out of the door, blessing people hastily and throwing holy water around.