(Explanatory note: Asked by a reporter on the Derry Sentinel to comment on her inability to get information from the Derry Diocesan Office on the use of the Stewardship Trust Fund for compensation for clerical child abuse claims in the diocese, Sean O’Conaill issued this statement.)
Voice of the Faithful exists to support victims of clerical child abuse, and also to support priests of integrity – the overwhelming majority. The interests of both are seriously compromised by a lack of information from the diocesan leadership on these matters. This policy of zero information is being interpreted already as a concealment of abuses which should be in the public domain.
The authority of the bishop’s office requires that this interpretation be rebutted as soon as possible.
So does the integrity of the Stewardship Trust Fund. Any possibility that this fund has been, or could be, used to shield perpetrators of clerical child abuse will seriously discourage, if not completely prevent, contributions to it.