As you are aware, a recent allegation has been made against you in relation to child abuse. The matter has been notified to the statutory authorities for their inquiries. Following conclusion of those inquiries, I will initiate a canonical inquiry.
While I appreciate this is very difficult for you, I must take the allegation seriously and have to address any potential risk to children. At this stage it is not my intention to restrict your ministry; however, in the interests of safeguarding children, and as required of all Church personnel, I require that you fully observe the child safeguarding policy and procedures of the diocese.
- I require that at no time will you have unsupervised contact with children;
- In order to facilitate this, you must ensure that while present with altar servers there must be another adult present at all times;
- Any contact you have with children must be open, in the presence of other adults, and involve absolutely no physical contact.
During the statutory authority investigation, and any subsequent Church inquiry, I will appoint an advisor to support you. You are also entitled to the services of both a canon and a civil lawyer.
Please contact me to confirm that you agree with these arrangements, and let me know if you wish to avail of the services of an advisor.
Following this, I will ask the designated liaison person to draft the above into a written agreement, which I will ask you to sign.
It goes without saying that while this is a serious allegation that must be investigated, the matter will only be shared on a need-to-know basis with appropriate Church and statutory personnel. I have, as I am required to do, informed the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland of this allegation.
I appreciate this is a difficult time for you, and hope you recognise that we all have a responsibility to ensure the safety of children in our care.
Please be assured of my prayers during this time.