This is a statement received from the family of Peter McCloskey. It has been reproduced here without alteration.
McCloskey Family Statement on 3rd December 2009
Issued by Peter McCloskey’s parents, Aidan & Mary, his brother Joseph and sister Aida.
Peter McCloskey is our son and brother. United with common purpose we speak now on his behalf. As a family, we have found the events of recent years deeply traumatic. In common with many families, who have had similar experiences, we are familiar with “The Silent Episcopal Wall” that leaves us torn apart, above all wounded.
The publication of the Ryan Report, and more recently the Murphy Report concerning the Dublin Archdiocese, has resonated deeply within our family. It crystallises for us, that Peter’s search for truth and justice in approaching the Limerick Diocese, to expose his experience of clerical child sexual abuse, was as innately corrupt as that of the Dublin Archdiocese. The cover-up is endemic and country wide in the Catholic Church.
We are broken hearted in the wake of so much human suffering. The Dublin audit gives us a “Map”. It reveals how so many individuals affected by childhood sexual abuse, met the “Wall of Silence”. The audit has sent ripples of pain into every parish community. The pain of all victims, the named and unheard, their partners and families, indeed Church itself, will not be healed for a long, long, time.
This family has been steadfastly loyal to the Catholic Church and our Christian belief throughout all that has happened. We are certain that our observance of Religious Practice must have been difficult for Peter to endure, given what he had suffered as a child. As a man, he came forward and experienced another form of abuse when he began processing his experience of childhood clerical sexual abuse, by bringing it to the attention of Dr. Donal Murray and his team.
It is clear to us, from the findings of the Murphy Report, that Dr. Donal Murray learned his craft well, while working as an Auxiliary Bishop in the Dublin Archdiocese. The reward seems to have been a Diocese of his own. Regretfully, the Murphy Report highlights the name “Dr. Donal Murray”. In fact, the report “Red Flags” him in particular, for his failures, and duty of care, to protect children while serving in Dublin.
Dr. Donal Murray, once appointed to Limerick Diocese, became Commander in Chief and autonomous without any scrutiny. The question then arises as to how did he hone his skill set and honour his responsibilities? In particular, his modus operandi when dealing with child protection issues, and the adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, cries out for an immediate audit. We testify that the reality of Peter’s experience, at the hands of Dr. Donal Murray and his legal team, is not reflected in the public persona that Dr. Murray portrays. Peter, once he encountered his advisers behind the closed doors of interviews met the same “Wall of Silence” and “Bullyboy Tactics”.
At this time, our desire is to be constructive. At present, all Priests are subject to a policy of “Stepping Aside” from ministry where there is even a suspicion, or any concern, of a child protection issue. We believe that the same policy which an ordinary Priest is governed by; the Murphy Commission should implement a similar policy and apply it to all Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals.
In light of the findings of the Murphy Report, the “Red Flagged Name” of Dr. Donal Murray warrants an immediate intervention by the Commission of Investigation. We believe this is of the utmost urgency. The “Map” should spur the Commission to meet, and if necessary increase their resources to audit the Limerick Diocese immediately. In this respect, it may mean that that the “Red Flagged Man” should stand aside and be subject to the discipline he, and his fellow Bishops, impose on all Priests.
Sadly, the Murphy Report has come too late for Peter. However, through the establishment of a formal audit in Limerick Diocese, the full facts of how Peter was treated will emerge in time.
Peter’s determination to achieve justice was based upon a belief that those who perpetrated, or covered-up child sexual abuse should be accountable for their actions. The “Map” we propose calls for a deployment from the Commission to audit the tenure of Dr. Donal Murray, and the Limerick Diocese in its totality. It is the least that Peter is owed by the Church, which so terribly failed him.
The suffering must be acknowledged. The evil corruption must be purged, so that every man, woman and child can safely move forward in the Ireland of today.