The Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans), C.S.Sp., in Ireland has become the first Roman Catholic Church religious order to request an independent public audit of clergy sexual abuse of children within the congregation. In an announcement on the congregation’s website March 30, the Spiritans said that, “until a complete picture is known of past and present abuse within the church, there can be no possibility of authentic accountability or renewal for the future.”
Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful® applauds this effort.
“Voice of the Faithful® has been working for 10 years to bring about the attitude toward transparency and accountability within the Church shown by the Irish Spiritans’ request for an abuse audit,” said Mark Mullaney, VOTF president. “Just as Spiritan priests, brothers and lay associates have dedicated themselves to the Holy Spirit, so also VOTF members seek to heal their Church by providing it with prayerful voices attentive to the Sprit’s will. It’s our mission and our constant desire.”
The Spiritans’ website announcement also read in part: “The Spiritans Congregation in Ireland has requested to be audited. The present Provincial Leadership Team, supported by the recent Provincial Chapter, believes that only a public audit of the reality of abuse committed by Spiritans can free the Congregation to carry out its mission of service among God’s people here in Ireland and overseas.”
The Spiritans also said the NBSCCC (National Board of Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland), whose “competency and independence” has been recognized by the Irish government, will conduct the Spiritans audit this May, and the report will be issued along with reports of audits on other dioceses and congregations.
John Morgan, NBSCCC chairman, will be a keynote speaker at Voice of the Faithful’s 10th Year Conference in Boston, Mass., Sept. 14-15, 2012.