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Dr. Monica Applewhite Address to Irish Bishops


March 10, 2009

Thank you for welcoming me to be with you here today. I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity to speak with you. Please allow me to acknowledge from the outset that I have neither the right nor the information to tell you what you should do at this moment with respect to the Irish Church or the priests in this country who have sexually abused minors.

My intention this morning is to share with you some of the particulars of our experience in the United States that may not have been reported in the usual avenues of international communication. I intend to be as frank as possible in the hope that by sharing openly with you we may assist you in the asking of questions and the development of your solutions. I recognize that these are painful times filled with unexpected challenges. Thank you for committing your lives to the service of the Church and its people. Thank you for continuing on during these difficult days.

My presentation will be in three parts:

First, I will provide a context and history of the events in the US, recognizing that you are certainly familiar with the Catholic Church dimensions of the story.

Second, will briefly define the two systems of response that were developed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Conference of Major Superiors of Men.

Third, given that we have lived within these two systems for 6 years now, I will share with you the aspects of the programs that have proven most successful….