Page 7, 19th May 2000

19th May 2000
Page 7
Page 7, 19th May 2000 — Fighting false accusations of child sexual abuse

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Locations: Liverpool


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Page 7 from 19th May 2000

Fighting false accusations of child sexual abuse

From Ms Margaret Kennedy,

Sir, Whilst it must indeed he horrendous to be wrongly accused of sexual abuse,1 was shocked and deeply disturbed by Archbishop Ward's sermon at Liverpool, reported in The Catholic Herald (May 12). Archbishop Ward seems to have sonic knowledge that the rest of us do not, about the total incompetence of the British, the Irish, the Australian and the Canadian criminal justice systems, where Christian Brothers have been tried and found guilty of child sexual abuse. Does he have evidence, for it is evidence that is required, that he should be passing to the police about the "innocence" of these abusers found guilty?

Does it serve some other purpose to persist in conveying to Catholics that the victims/survivors, witnesses, police, solicitors, barristers, judges and juries are all corrupt and liars?

It is tragic to see an archbishop having no regard to the suffering of victims of child sexual abuse. We can only thank him for the idea that suffering can be called "the dirt of the cross", for surely this suffering is principally applicable to the victims of sexual abuse whether perpetrated in their homes, schools, or by clergy. It seems that Archbishop Ward would rather we forget these children, some now adult. The Catholic community must open its eyes to this suffering, not deny its very existence.

Yours faithfully, MARGARET KENNEDY London WC1N 3XX

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