March 20th, 2011
08:21 AM ET

Irish Catholic Church pledges $14m to help abuse victims

By Peter Taggart, For CNN

The Catholic Church in Ireland is pledging an extra 10 million euros (about $14 million) to help victims of abuse at the hands of priests and other Catholic officials, it announced this weekend.

The announcement comes on the one-year anniversary of a major papal statement on the widespread problem of child abuse in the deeply Catholic country.

"As a result of the grievous wrong of abuse, for many survivors their faith in God and the Church has been profoundly damaged,"  said Ireland's senior churchman, Cardinal Sean Brady.

"Many have expressed a hope that this damage can be addressed," he said, adding that the latest moves were "tangible signs" the church was working to ensure all children were cared for.

The financial pledge is part of a Church initiative called "Towards Healing and Renewal."

The new money will be divided equally between dioceses and religious orders over a period of five years, the church said.

It comes on top of 20 million euros (about $28 million) that has been spent on the confidential helpline and counselling referral service to date.

The initiatives from Irish bishops mark the first anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI's Pastoral letter to Irish Catholics.

Since the letter last year, bishops have been meeting with abuse survivors, and will continue to do so, the church said.

As part of the plan, bishops are to set aside each first Friday as a day of fasting and prayer in reparation for the abuse.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church • Ireland • Pope Benedict XVI • Sex abuse

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soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. Julio E. Cuesta

    The church should stop paying money to cover their tracks. The priests involved as well as the bishops, cardinals and others that covered for the priests, they should all be put in jail. No matter how old they are. No matter how sick they are.

    March 20, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  2. Mary

    This is a joke, right? This is a worse pay out than publishers clearing house.

    March 20, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
  3. LiberateUSCatholicsfromtyranny

    I hate our media, and everyone who bashes the Church. This is nothing but media B.S. Too bad you morons can't see that

    March 20, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
  4. john leddy

    can you believe that the same catholic hierarchy that told hard working people that it was sinful to use condoms to plan the size of their families was quietly moving priests who were preying upon their children from parish to parish?

    March 20, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
    • LiberateUSCatholicsfromtyranny

      There are thousands of priests and a very small number of people in the Church hierarchy. They can't keep track

      March 20, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
  5. B. A.

    GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. As if their f****ing money can give the victims their lives back. The damage is irreversable, lost years of normal childhood, haunting memories and nightmares, and deep dark secrets separating the victims from honest relationships and genuine feeling of self worth. I hate the catholic church.
    Damn near all of it.

    March 20, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
    • gerald

      Are you protestant?

      March 20, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • LiberateUSCatholicsfromtyranny

      Protestants are the biggest hypocrites of Christianity. Fred Phelps pretty much made me realize that

      March 20, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      BA, Jesus teaches us how to forgive. Life is just a test. The righteous get tested. All those abused are righteous and were tested. All abused get to a higher level, that being closer to Jesus because they focus on knowing Him by reading the Bible. The more we read, the closer to Jesus we get. The closer to Jesus we get, the more His truth changes our thinking/believing, writings, doings into His spiritual righteousness, making carnal thinking and believing fall to the wayside.

      The prayer Our Father shows us how to forgive those that trespass against us so it leads us not into temptation. Forgiveness starts with ourselves to start the healing process. Jesus takes us through the forgiveness process so we can heal.


      March 21, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  6. RinMaine

    You owe that much to each of your victims.

    March 20, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
  7. Thade

    This is a reaction from the church in response to their highly unpopular program "No childs behind left".

    March 20, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  8. Willy Loman

    Where is CatholicMom? She usually bips in on these abuse threads and accuses the victims of lying and conspiring to destroy the Catholic church.

    March 20, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • gerald

      Are you bearing false witness again. I have not ever seen her blame victims. Seems those who hate the Catholic Church justify anything they say, distorting the good name of others and using broad brushes to point the finger at everyone in the Church. Some even go so far as to accuse me of being a child molestor because I side with priests who have not comitted abuse.

      March 20, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • LiberateUSCatholicsfromtyranny

      Persecute us...we will retaliate

      March 20, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
    • Mr. Sniffles

      "we will retaliate"

      Is that what Jesus meant by "turn the other cheek"?

      March 21, 2011 at 3:16 am |
    • HeavenSent

      CatholicMom reads the Bible. So much for what you folks think you know.


      March 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  9. bp

    Im sorry we wronged you! lets see how can we fix this? I know lets say were giving money out to people but really give it to ourselves all so we don't loose our followers so we can keep taxing them!

    How do people follow this nonsense?

    March 20, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  10. Matt

    WHY, WHY... why still the roman catholic church exists?? How F %*^$ is the mind of those still supporting this corrupted organization? The Earth will be finally one step forward when all these F $#$ers disappear.

    March 20, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • gerald

      So when do you graduate from grade school?

      March 20, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
  11. Dan613

    Shame on the church, shame on all these corrupted clergy, and shame on Catholicism. They'd be better on their way.... to Mars...

    March 20, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • yen Phan

      It's so bad. I agreed with you. It was happened long time ago. I knew it when I was In V N before 1975. All prists have power , have guns and got protected from Gov ( Catholic 's Gov).They got anything they wanted, they discremination other religions. But they're alway good people and standed for God. They were lia from first day...Thanks

      March 20, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Just remember there are millions of Catholics that read the Bible and follow the teachings of Jesus. You're confusing the Catholic echelon with the people. Church is community folks to gather together to learn Jesus' spiritual truth.


      March 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  12. Reality

    Money wasted as the "vomit-inducing" ped-ophilia and coverup will simply hasten the elimination of all religions as we know them. It is time to replace all religions with a few rules like "Do No Harm" and convert all houses of "worthless worship" to recreation facilities and parks

    March 20, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Mr. Sniffles

      In San Francisco was an old synagogue that Bill Graham turned into a rock venue called The Geary Temple during the hippy era. He sold it later, and it ended up as the home of Jim Jone's Peoples' Temple (of Guyana kool-aid mass-suicide fame). After that, it was a punk rock club (I saw the Dead Kennedys and the Buzzco-cks there), and finally was demolished after damage in the Loma Prieta earthquake.

      The point of all this is that long and away the best, most positive use of the Geary Temple was as an alternative music venue, and the absolute worst use was religious

      March 20, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Reality, we can tell you are impressed with yourself. That's it. You and a few others that haven't a clue about Jesus' wisdom, yet you all continue to put Him down. The day any of you create anything is the day you have a voice. Right now, you are just dry bones, wells without water, spiritually dead walking among us.

      Jesus created ALL. Non-believers hate Jesus' truth because they don't have His wisdom to create, hence, you just destroy as followers who love satan and his lies.


      March 21, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
  13. a child who's parents were abused by Nuns and Priest in Ireland

    My parents were both victims of violence by both nuns and priests. When will the Church be honest and start criminal prosecutions of these hundreds of thousands of abusers ? If there is ' a god' as they believe, then no god would condone merely a from of 'blood money' for the abuse. Stopping the abusers right now, and stop the sick insidious power called the Vatican, the Pope and all the nuns and priests who hide their sick criminal minds under cloaks of 'purity'. The church has zero credibility.

    March 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Mel

      100,000s of abusers? Are you stone mad? Don't exaggerate the problem to the point of absurdity. There were hundreds of abusers at most, as bad as that is, but not thousands or hundreds of thousands. Let's keep the problem in perspective. We didn't all get abused or beaten growing up. Most of us had happy childhoods.

      March 20, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Al Bluengreenenbrownenburger

      Mel, here is the reality. In 2004, the John Jay Report, commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, found 4,342 priests in the U.S. had been accused of se-xual abuse of a minor between between 1950 and 2002. That's far more in America alone than the hundreds worldwide you invented (the facts are just a few keystrokes away, if you were interested in facts). That's 4% of their priesthood, a significant number. And that does not attempt to account for the real possibility that a significant number never received abuse complaints.

      The worldwide number is less clear as the U.S. and Ireland are the only countries that did surveys, but considering that America has only 5.9% if the world's Catholics and 4% is a reasonable percentage of pedophiles in the priesthood, then the world had about 108,000 pedophile priests during that period. By the way, the Vatican itself concurs: "In September 2009, the Holy See stated "We know now that in the last 50 years somewhere between 1.5% and 5% of the Catholic clergy has been involved in se-xual abuse cases."

      Sorry, Mel, abusive apologetics like yours, aside from being wildly wrong, have been a major part of the denial and hostility that have made the lives of the victims even worse.

      Congratulations! You have sided with the perpetrators against the victims. You are part of the problem. How Christ-like of you.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Ken

      Al Bluengreenenbrownenburger,,,, You're giving Mel grief for not paying attention to details, yet you are quoting figures out of the US when Mel is talking about the figures in Ireland. You're not talking about the same thing.

      March 20, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • Al Bluengreenenbrownenburger

      Ken, do show me where, exactly where in his post that the original poster stated he was limiting his comments to Ireland in any way. Do the same for Ken's post. The only mention of Ireland was in the original poster's name bar, and that is backstory, not a precis of the text. Were your reading skills a tad bit better, you would see that both are clearly discussing the Catholic church as a whole. My post is perferctly relevant to both prior posts; yours was not.

      Please pay attention.

      March 21, 2011 at 1:15 am |
    • HeavenSent

      As a Christian I have never met an abusive priest or nun for that matter. I know thousands of Christians and Catholics from all over the globe who have never personally met one either. We only now about the abuse from what we read and hear on TV.


      March 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I typed to fast. I forgot the K in know.

      March 21, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Jake

      "I know thousands of Christians and Catholics from all over the globe who have never personally met one either."

      Seriously, how do you do it. I mean do you travel to all these places to get to know them? You must be famous or something to know all these people. Or are you lying?

      March 21, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  14. Al Dente

    The treatment of the Irish Catholic hierarchy by the Papal cabal is nothing short of disgusting. If you take the time to read some of the now-published letters sent back and forth between Rome and the Irish bishops, what is clear is that Rome covered up abuse and refused to allow others to act to combat it. Then, once the story broke, the same men that tried to argue for transparency and action over child abuse were sold up the river by Ratzi and his gang.

    There is no doubt that the Irish bishops have blood on their hands over the abuse scandal- however, the actions of Ratzinger et al are some of the most flagrantly immoral possible. These men (and it is always men, of course) repeatedly demonstrate that the suffering of the abused is of little consequence compared to the reputation of individuals and the church as a whole.

    If we do not indict and try the Pope in a court of law then there is no justice.

    March 20, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Jack

      Nothing worse than Protestants making comments on Catholic matters as if they think they know something. Just get out of Northern Ireland and go back home!

      March 20, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • J

      II come from a Catholic background. Try the pope and every priest found to be abusive or an accomplice.

      March 20, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
  15. Mr. Sniffles

    I cannot even begin to imagine that, after having suffered se-xual abuse from a priest, then being subjected to decades of stonewalling, insensitivity, cover-up, denial, priest-hiding, abusive insults, and all the rest that these people have endured from the Catholic church, that after all that, I would go to the Catholic church for the meager phantom of help they are presently offering.

    And yes, it definitely seems that almost all the money is going to their own people, not the victims

    March 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  16. Explonential

    How exactly will this money be spent? With more faith-based counselling and more shelters? More access to abused children for rapist priests. No thanks. http://www.explonential.com/catholic-church-pledges-e10m-to-support-abuse-victims/

    March 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  17. Caracoles

    Help is NOT coming soon!!

    March 20, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  18. Al Bluengrenenbrownenburger

    Notice the victims don't get the money? The first $28,000,000 went to a hotline and counseling referral (not the counselling, just a referral). The next $15,000,000 will divided equally between dioceses and religious orders over a period of five years. Got that? They are giving the money to themselves and claiming they are helping the victims.

    March 20, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Jcork

      Like I said. Sick.

      And to top it all off, the money that the church has in the first place is donated by its congregation. Religion is the biggest scam in human history. I forgot who originally said that, but it's oh-so-true!

      March 20, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Caracoles

      You say it, I say it, millions of people say it, but still, a lot of retards do not believe it and the reason is their mentally capacity.

      March 20, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • Topper Harley

      Just wait to you find out the money is being used to give victims bibles.

      March 20, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      If they are playing games about where the money is going. All involved will have to deal with their sins upon sins when they meet Jesus.

      I wouldn't want to be standing on the wrong side of the divide. Would you?


      March 20, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • EmeraldCity

      That was my thought. Why are the dioceses and religious orders getting this money. Give it straight to victims! What a joke.

      March 20, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
  19. Jcork

    So, I guess money DOES solve problems, huh Catholics? And all this time I was told that prayers and faith could heal those poor, innocent children forced into a deluded doctrine by their families. Makes me cringe reading out this crud every week!

    This sickens me.

    March 20, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • HeavenSent

      That's why Jesus taught us how to pray ...

      Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

      Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven.

      Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.

      Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

      Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

      Matthew 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

      Matthew 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.


      Forgive those (meaning ALL) that trespass against us, so they lead us not into temptation. First we pray for them so we can start the healing process and not take vengeance into our own hands. It's difficult at first, but then as the Holy Spirit guides us, we can comprehend why we pray for those blinded by sin. Those blinded by sin care less what they do to others. Jesus told us that it is up to us to heal ourselves by focusing on Him and His teachings.

      March 20, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Jcork

      How does quoting scripture from YOUR bible help your cause? Why are you not quoting the Koran? My point exactly.

      Start thinking for yourselves, please!

      March 20, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • oopru

      jcork: "How does quoting scripture from YOUR bible help your cause? Why are you not quoting the Koran? My point exactly. .. Start thinking for yourselves, please!"

      Ah yes, the ad hominems and insights of a intellectually enfeebled atheist.

      Perhaps he's quoting from "his" bible because, after careful thought and reflection, he came to the conclusion that "his" bible is closer to the "word of God" and moral living than any other religious text.

      Your assumption that anyone who's religious doesn't think for themselves speaks volumes about your own dogmatism.

      March 20, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • Jack

      Go Chase yourself you protestant jerk – try getting out of Northern Ireland – with all your blood on your hands you should be the last one commenting on abuse.

      March 20, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
    • gerald

      Atheists are child molesters to. How much money are victims of atheists getting? We pray that those who have suffered these crimes are shown mercy by God and end up in heaven where all will be healed. We don't claim everything is healed in this life and no the money won't do it.

      March 20, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • John

      Well I dont think those people would turn down the money and just say "Please pray for me" instead. So like you just said money does solve everything, even your greediness....

      March 20, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Actually, I said this prayer each and every day that carnal minded folks destroyed my life (as I knew it). Total of 8 years of them forcing a living hell on earth upon my life. In order for me to heal, I had to focus on forgiving those that trespassed against me so it didn't lead me into temptation to retaliate. Spiritual mindset taught by Jesus equals no pain. Stay in the carnal mindset causes pain.


      March 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  20. eddie2010

    So $1 each, huh?

    March 20, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • Gordon Freeman



      March 20, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • BigFatCryBaby

      Heh heh. THAT is the truth.

      March 20, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Mel

      Well there are only 5 million people in the whole country, so your mathematics is a little off. :0)

      March 20, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • BADGUY

      I think the Catholic Church had better start planning for married priests and female priests. Depending on "celibate' males to make up the priesthood looks like a real losing proposition. As they say it's either "that way or the highway". Either the lawsuits from victims will bankrupt the church or people will stop their participation (and money). Simple as that!

      March 20, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
    • Lu

      Noticed it doesn't go to the victims.. rather it goes back to the church.

      March 20, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.