Bishop Philip Boyce, who has edited and cleared a final draft of the report, has given the go-ahead for it to be released next Monday.
We also understand that it “won’t be as bad” as first thought as the audit will only contain evidence gathered from within the Catholic Church in Raphoe.
Sources told us that the report – carried out by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church – will not contain any cases of abuse prior to 1975 – with more than 15 cases since then expected to be documented although many of the priests will not be identified.
“The lack of input into the audit from victims will cause an outcry,” said one Church insider.
“It is vital that a state inquiry follows so that victims are given a voice otherwise it is a pointless exercise.”
Earlier this year one media report said up to 20 priests had abused hundreds of children over a 50-year period, a report which was slammed by Bishop Boyce as “not true.”
Observers will be watching the report with interest, in particular how the audit finds the diocese dealt with notorious paedophile Father Eugene Greene who abused more than 100 kids in several parishes.
Meanwhile Cardinal Sean Brady has paid tribute to the former Bishop of Derry and Raphoe Seamus Hegarty.
In a statement last night Dr Brady said: “I have heard the sad news of the medical condition of Bishop Séamus Hegarty which has necessitated him offering his resignation to the Holy Father and that resignation being accepted today.
“I thank Bishop Hegarty for his faithful and generous service as bishop, first, of the diocese of Raphoe and more recently of Derry, for almost thirty years during what has been a very challenging period in the history of the Church.
“I wish to acknowledge the contribution made by Bishop Hegarty to the work of the Bishops’ Conference and especially in the pastoral leadership which he has shown over the years to the personal, social and economic challenges facing Irish emigrants and their families – difficult conditions which again apply to Irish society – North and South.
“In addition, I thank Bishop Hegarty for his work with the Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas, and especially for his unwavering commitment to the welfare of prisoners and assistance to their families.
“I wish Bishop Hegarty the blessing of better health to enjoy a long and happy retirement.”Tags: