Archdiocese took claims to policeAdded on October 29, 2004
Charges relating to sexual misconduct laid against a priest followed a referral to police from the Archdiocese of Southwark in London last February.
According to a source at the archdiocese, who did not want to be named, a woman approached its child protection officer and described an incident which took place between 1990 and 1992 and on which she had taken no previous action.
The incident described by the woman had fallen within the guidelines laid down by the 2001 Nolan Report, which led to the establishment of the Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults. "These accusations were brought to the notice of the child protection officer, who immediately referred them to the police," the source, a senior office holder within the archdiocese, said.
"We followed the guidelines of the Nolan Report, under which if allegations are made, the appropriate authorities have to be informed," the source said. Under the guidelines, the child protection officer was obliged to report the incident to police. It was then up to police to investigate and, if appropriate, to press charges. He said the compulsory reporting procedure was vulnerable to malice, citing the case of a teacher who was jailed for the sexual assault of children, before later being cleared of all charges.
Father Horan, for instance, would carry the legacy of having been accused of indecency with a child, while those who brought the charges would be protected by the court, their names never made public.
? The Irish Times