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Overview Report- Tranche 7-(Larger Congregations) & Tranche 2 (Female Religious)

Overview Report- Tranche 7-(Larger Congregations) & Tranche 2 (Female Religious)

From the link:

Overview of the Safeguarding Practice from 7th Tranche of Reviews conducted in the religious congregations of:

The Augustinians;

The Passionists:

The Sacred Hearts Fathers of Jesus and Mary (SSCC);

The Discalced Carmelites (OCD);

The Franciscan Friars (OFM);

The Franciscan Brothers;

The Servites (OSM);

The Marist Fathers and

The Dominican Sisters


The 2nd Tranche of small female congregations of:

Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary

Holy Faith Sisters;

Holy Family of Bordeaux;

Sisters of Charity of Nevers;

Infant Jesus Sisters;

Infant Jesus Sisters and

The Sisters of Charity of Our Lady Mother of Mercy.

In September 2014, the fieldwork began into reviews of safeguarding practice of 8 male religious congregations and 8 female religious congregations. The 8 male religious and 1 of the female religious were assessed against the Catholic Church’s 7 safeguarding standards.  The remaining 7 female religious, due to their limited ministry with children, aging profile and absence of allegations relating to sexual abuse of children were assessed against a different framework, proportionate to the degree of ministry they hold.  The Terms of Reference for both sets of reviews are appended to the individual reports.

The purpose of the full reviews is to ensure compliance against the Church’s safeguarding standards, approved and adopted in 2009, Safeguarding Children: Standards and Guidance Document for the Catholic Church in Ireland, with particular reference to the management of safeguarding allegations. Where there were allegations of sexual abuse, all cases files were examined.  In addition, at the request of the Church Authority, allegations of other forms of abuse, physical and emotional were also examined. The Terms of Reference are clear in stating that in terms of allegations, the concentration is on current risk, in other words the reviewers read files relating to living priests/brothers/sisters. Where the reviewers referenced priests, or brothers or sisters who were deceased, it is because the review of those cases merited comment in terms of future safeguarding practice.

Also included are reviews of the policy and procedures documents and other supporting written evidence maintained by the congregations including notifications to the civil authorities, advice offered on case management issues and contact with survivors of abuse. In all cases, contact was also made by the reviewers with the civil authority agencies, to ensure that notifications had been made and for their critique of the relationship between the congregation/society and the statutory body in working together in the interests of safeguarding children.

All reports have been checked for factual accuracy, have been reviewed by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland’s (NBSCCCI) lawyer and have been scrutinized by an independent Reference Group, made up of Dr. Helen Buckley, TCD, Paul Harrison, HSE and John Toner, independent consultant and chair of safeguarding trust boards in Northern Ireland. This process ensures that all comments contained in the report are based on evidence and represents a fair assessment of the fieldwork findings.  In other words it is in place to ensure the NBSCCCI conducts the reviews properly.

As with all other reviews, the process was initiated through the signing of a data processing deed which allowed the exchange of information with the NBSCCCI. The review process involved fieldwork conducted by reviewers employed by NBSCCCI and this fieldwork took place over a 1/2/3 day period between September 2014 and January 2015.

The reviews involved a time period from 1st January 1975 to the period of the review.

Key Findings of the Reviews

This can be divided into two parts – a) findings from the full reviews which were assessed against the 7 standards and b) the shorter reviews of female religious where there is limited or no ministry with children and no allegations of sexual abuse in Ireland.

In relation to a) – findings from full reviews –  the following themes emerged:

  • There have been 285 allegations made against 98 priests, brothers or sisters.
  • There have been 8 criminal convictions.
  • Allegations relate to the period 1940 – 1998 with the largest number of incidents recorded between 1950 and 1990’s.
  • Variable delays in reporting allegations to the civil authorities up until 2009 (introduction of Safeguarding Children: Standards and Guidance Document for the Catholic Church in Ireland) for most orders and congregations however for some practice did not improve until 2013.
  • Poor record management in many cases making an assessment of practice difficult.
  • Opportunities to safeguard children were missed, known abusers allowed to remain in ministry in 1990’s.
  • Management plans relating to accused priests and brothers and sisters have improved significantly over time, though there is still room for improvement, in terms of clarity of roles, review of restrictions and sharing of information.
  • Support for complainants is good in many cases.  Good evidence of pastoral support, outreach and direct contact between the provincial and the survivor.
  • Adherence to other aspects of the 7 standards was less well developed in many congregations.  Many have limited ministry with children in Ireland today therefore the applicability of all criteria was limited.  Recommendations for improvement where relevant have been made.


Order/Congregation  Numbers of Priests/Brothers Numbers of allegations, suspicions and concerns (sexual, physical and emotional) Numbers convicted
Augustinians 11 33 0
Passionists 20 42 0
Franciscan Friars 28 109 3
Franciscan Brothers 14 56 3
Servites 6 8 2
Discalced Carmelites 6 11 0
Sacred Heart Fathers (SSCCs) 3 5 0
Marist Fathers 7 18 0
Dominican Sisters 3 3 0
Total 98 285 8

In terms of b) –  small scale reviews –  the following issues emerged:

  • Very aging profile and limited ministry through their congregation with children.
  • Sisters who minister outside the congregation follow the policy and procedures of the diocese/service.
  • Strong sense of commitment to working positively with the NBSCCCI, in spite of their limited ministries.


In terms of the large reviews,  the NBSCCCI is disappointed that for the majority of orders, the whole area of safeguarding is only being embraced in the last couple of years. Two orders have demonstrated good compliance with the standards and have demonstrated their commitment to putting in place good safeguards for children as well as prompt responses to allegations of abuse. For the other 7 congregations, there is considerable work to be done.  A series of recommendations have been made within each report and there is an expectation that these will be developed into plans of action. NBSCCCI will request an update on progress of implementation of recommendations in 9 months.

Finally it is important that complainants come forward if there are still unreported allegations of abuse.  NBSCCCI encourages reporting to the diocese/religious order and to the civil authorities.

NBSCCCI also would encourage anyone who has suffered abuse to contact Towards Healing, counselling and support service for survivors of clerical and religious congregations abuse, which is totally independent although funded by the Catholic Church.

Contact details are:

Towards Healing – Click to visit the website :

Free phone 1800303416 (Republic of Ireland) Free phone 0800 0963315 (Northern Ireland)

Catholic priest recalls fleeing after sex abuse confession

Catholic priest recalls fleeing after sex abuse confession

9/9/13 By Gillian Flaccus of Associated Press

From the link:

This undated photo shows a man identified as Carlos R. Rodriguez on the "Megan's Law" online sex offender registry maintained by the state of California. Rodriguez, 57, was a priest with the Vincentian order who confessed to molesting a 16-year-old boy in 1987. His confidential personnel file was released Monday, Sept. 9, in Los Angeles along with those of five other priests from three religious orders.

This undated photo shows a man identified as Carlos R. Rodriguez on the “Megan’s Law” online sex offender registry maintained by the state of California. Rodriguez, 57, was a priest with the Vincentian order who confessed to molesting a 16-year-old boy in 1987. His confidential personnel file was released Monday, Sept. 9, in Los Angeles along with those of five other priests from three religious orders.


The Rev. Carlos Rodriguez’s account of his flight after confessing to molesting a boy was among files released Monday under the terms of a lawsuit settlement.

LOS ANGELES — The orders the Rev. Carlos Rodriguez got from his religious superiors after he confessed to molesting a 16-year-old boy just hours before were swift and decisive: Leave immediately. Check into a motel. Don’t tell anyone where you are going. Await further instructions.

Rodriguez, then 31, picked up cash and waited by the phone. The next day, the regional leader of his religious order called and told him to book a plane ticket out of state. By the time the victim’s family went to police, he had checked in at a residential treatment center for troubled priests in Maryland.

“I felt like a fugitive. But what else could I do under the circumstances. I had no other choice but to follow orders,” he wrote years later in an essay that was included in his Vatican petition to be defrocked.

The essay was part of a 303-page confidential personnel file on the priest that was released Monday along with files for five other priests who were also accused of molesting children while working for their Roman Catholic religious orders — the Vincentians, the Norbertines and the Augustinians — while on assignment in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Rodriguez’s file stands out because it includes a candid and detailed autobiographical account of his actions in 1987 and the steps his religious superiors took to shield him from the family and civil authorities.

The file also makes clear that officials with Rodriguez’s religious order, the Vincentians, and the LA archdiocese worked together to intercede. Both knew of Rodriguez’s confession, but no one spoke with police until the boy’s family filed a police report a month later, according to the file.

“The thing that Carlos Rodriguez does is, he lays out the truth, the underbelly, and exposes that for all that it is,” said Ray Boucher, a lead plaintiff attorney in the clergy litigation who secured the release of the files.

The religious order files are the second set to be released and more are expected in the coming weeks as religious orders comply with the final terms of a 2007 settlement with hundreds of clergy abuse victims in Los Angeles.

The archdiocese itself released thousands of pages under court order this year for its own priests, but the full picture of the problem has remained elusive without records from the religious orders, which routinely assigned priests to work in Los Angeles parishes.

Without access to Rodriguez, the police case dried up and the priest was back at work within seven months, where he molested two brothers. Rodriguez, who was defrocked in 1998, was convicted of that abuse 17 years later, in 2004, and sentenced to prison. He was released in 2008.

Now 57, he lives as a registered sex offender in Huntington Park, a gritty, industrial city southeast of Los Angeles. He has been accused of abuse in at least five civil lawsuits.

“It still weighs heavy on me,” Rodriguez, who wore a cross around his neck, said on Monday when reached at his apartment. “It’s nothing proud to talk about. I still feel remorse and it still hurts.”

The Rev. Jerome Herff, the Vincentian regional provincial who told Rodriguez to leave LA after his 1987 confession and placed him back in ministry the following year, said he urged him to leave because the boy’s family was irate and he feared for the priest’s safety. The treatment center, he said, was recommended by a law enforcement authority, although he declined to say who.

“I did what I thought was best and had to be done and what happened, happened,” Herff said in a brief phone interview. “I’ve lived with this for years and I just don’t want to go back there anymore.”

Rodriguez’s troubles began when he took two teenage boys on a trip to the Grand Canyon in 1987, roughly a year after he was ordained. The three checked into a Holiday Inn in Flagstaff, Ariz., and in his essay, Rodriguez wrote he began molesting one teen who was asleep on the floor.

The boy awoke and the novice priest, terrified at being discovered, drove nearly 500 miles through the night to deliver both teens to their families and immediately went back to his parish, where he took a shower and confessed.

The Vincentians sent him to the residential treatment center. While there, Rodriguez fretted in letters home about the “seriousness of the law in Arizona” that could get him up to 15 years in prison and asked the Vincentians for character references that would convince the Arizona prosecutor not to press charges.

When the family contacted the Los Angeles police a month later, Rodriguez’s superior told the investigating detective that the “church was aware of the situation and the defendant was currently hospitalized,” according to court papers.

The victim’s former attorney, Drew Antablin, said his client, who could not be reached for comment, was part of a larger settlement with the church in 2007.

After his release, Rodriguez was assigned to work for the archdiocese’s office of family life in Santa Barbara in 1988 and then to St. Mary’s Seminary in Santa Barbara. He took a leave of absence in 1993 after complaints of abuse surfaced again — but his superiors soon discovered he was saying Mass in a neighboring county in violation of his status.

In 1996, Rodriguez asked the Vatican to be defrocked and was exiled from the priesthood two years later.

In 2004, he pleaded guilty to molesting two brothers whom he met in 1988, just after his return to ministry. “He used his position in the church and used the victims’ faith as a weapon against them,” said Deputy District Attorney Anthony Wold, who handled that case. “It was outrageous and unforgiveable.”

Associated Press Writer Greg Risling reported from Los Angeles and Huntington Park, Calif.


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