2.42 Guidance on Responding to an Allegation Against a Cleric or Non Ordained Religious Belonging to an Irish Diocese or Province, who is Ministering in another Church body in another jurisdiction
This guidance relates to allegations received where the respondent belongs to a Church body based in Ireland but is currently ministering for another Church body in a different jurisdiction. For allegations relating to respondents who are in Ireland please refer to 2.2.
• Allegations against clerics incardinated into another diocese
The allegation must be reported to the statutory authorities, this should be done by the DLP of the diocese in which the respondent has been incardinated (if the person making the allegation is a mandated person the report should be made jointly with the DLP).
• Allegations against non- incardinated clerics or religious ministering in another Church body (irrespective of jurisdiction)
The first stage is to ensure that the allegation is reported to the statutory authorities, this should be done by the DLP of the respondent’s Church body if known (if the person making the allegation is a mandated person the report should be made jointly with the DLP). If the person who receives the allegation does not know the Church body to which the respondent belongs, the allegation should be reported to the DLP of the Church body where the respondent is currently ministering. If the person making the allegation is a mandated person the report should be made jointly with the DLP.
• National Board
In all situations, the DLP must also report the allegation (without identifying information) to the National Board.
A law criminalizing serious offences committed abroad by Irish citizens or residents came into effect at the end of April 2019. Under the Act, Irish citizens who commit serious offences abroad such as rape, murder, sexual assault and manslaughter, will be liable to be prosecuted under Irish law. The current legislation provides a legal basis for An Garda Síochána’s investigation and subsequent prosecution of a crime committed by a cleric or religious overseas. An Garda Siochana will determine whether to report the allegation to Police Force in another jurisdiction.
When reporting to An Garda Síochána, obtain confirmation in writing that they have reported this to the relevant law enforcement agency.
Where it is possible to consult with the statutory authorities and they advise that Church action will not interfere with a criminal or civil investigation the following steps should be taken:
The Church authority who has canonical responsibility for the respondent should consider if information regarding the allegation and respondent should be shared with the relevant Church authority in the other jurisdiction to determine who has responsibility for:
• Informing the respondent
• Determining if restrictions on ministry are required
• Initiating a preliminary investigation and subsequent canonical action
• Informing CDF (if the allegation relates to sexual abuse and the respondent is a cleric)
• Deciding who should respond and offer support and counselling to the complainant.