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Monday, March 27, 2017
Survey shows trust in Irish church shaken but faith remains
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¬†More than 90% of Irish people questioned, feel the Catholic church has been damaged as a result of clerical sex abuse of children - a survey commissioned by the Irish Bishops revealed this week. More than a third said their own religious practices, including Mass attendance and prayers had been negatively affected by the issue. But their faith in God, remained high overall, with most people seeing the Irish church and priests as 'better or the same as in the past'. About 92% of those questioned in the poll for the Bishops' Committee on Child Protection said a priest who abused children should not return to ministry. More than 1,000 adults in Ireland were interviewed in the survey. The findings come as the Irish government faces pressure to establish a full statutory inquiry into sex abuse by priests in the light of new claims from alleged victims stretching back decades. Justice Minister Michael McDowell authorised an official investigation into the issue last month ≠ but stopped short of giving it the statutory status it needed if it was to force witnesses to attend and give evidence. On Tuesday former victims of sex abuse by Church figures intensified their demands for a full-scale official investigation. The Survivors of Child Abuse group spelt out its concerns in a meeting with Mr McDowell. A spokesman said the group wanted to discover how seriously the government was treating the renewed controversy over sex abuse charges involving the Catholic church. It is pressing for a full statutory inquiry, for the Garda Siochana, to be given the power to obtain all documents held by the Church authorities, and for the victims' legal representatives to be granted. Source: Ireland On Line/Irish Bishops Conference
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