2.39 Responding to Allegations against Deceased Clerics and Religious
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Church Process regarding allegations against Deceased Clerics and Religious
All allegations must be received with openness to listening and responding pastorally to the complainant. If an allegation relates to a cleric or religious who is deceased, it may not be possible to establish the credibility of the allegation.
The following response should be made:
• The allegation must be reported following 2.2.
• The DLP offers to meet with the complainant to receive their account.
• A pastoral response should be provided which includes an offer of a support person and counselling.
• Information to establish the facts should be gathered from the complainant and any case records.
• If there are other allegations against the deceased cleric/religious and there is a pattern evident in the new allegation, it may be assumed that the allegation is credible.
• If the allegation is deemed credible, an offer to meet the Bishop should be made to the complainant.
• The Bishop should offer pastoral care and may consider offering an apology for the harm suffered.
• If there are no previous allegations against the respondent and there is no semblance of truth to the allegation, the complainant should be advised accordingly.
• All allegations against deceased clerics and religious must be reported to An Garda Síochána who have a responsibility to assess whether a criminal offence occurred. In the case of allegations against a deceased cleric or religious, while prosecution is not possible An Garda Síochána will require notification of the allegation as it may assist with solving an investigation.
• Tusla have advised that allegations against deceased clerics and religious should not be reported to them.
• All allegations against deceased clerics and religious must be reported to the National Board who have a responsibility to monitor the management of allegations in the Catholic Church in Ireland.
• All sexual abuse allegations against deceased clerics must be reported to CDF.