The Irish Bishops' Conference held its three-day Summer Meeting in Maynooth from 10 to 12 June. The Principal Spokesperson for the Conference, Fr Martin Clarke, issued the following statement at the conclusion of the Summer Meeting this afternoon: This was a scheduled General Meeting of the Conference and was attended by all 34 bishops. The Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto was present for part of the meeting. The principal item on the agenda was the issue of Child Protection and Child Sexual Abuse. Significant progress was made on this issue, and the Conference reached agreement in principle on the structure, terms of reference and personnel to conduct the independent nationwide "audit" promised by the Conference at its Extraordinary General Meeting on 8 April. As this is a "whole Church" exercise being undertaken jointly by the Bishops' Conference, the Conference of Religious of Ireland (CORI) and the Irish Missionary Union (IMU), the proposed arrangements are now being referred to CORI and IMU for consideration. CORI holds its Annual General Meeting from 18 to 20 June. It is hoped that the three bodies concerned (Bishops' Conference, CORI and IMU) will be in a position to make a joint announcement with full details of the arrangements for the "audit" during the week beginning 24 June, and that a joint press conference will be held in a Dublin venue. A meeting of the Trustees of St Patrick's College, Maynooth, also took place. However, Fr Clarke does not act as spokesperson for the Trustees, and any enquiries regarding St Patrick's College should be addressed to the President of the College, Monsignor Dermot Farrell.
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