Catholic bishop of Derry speaks on sexual abuse

THE Catholic Bishop of Derry has said that the court experiences of people who have taken legal action against the church are in their opinion worse than the original sexual abuse they encountered from members of the clergy.

Dr Seamus Hegarty was speaking in the wake of the resignations of two Catholic bishops after the publication of the Murphy report-an investigation into clerical sex abuse in the Dublin archdiocese.

Bishops James Moriarty and Donal Murray have resigned in recent days.

However, Dr Hegarty said he was unsure if further resignations would contribute in a significant manner to healing.

"In recent times I have been talking to victims who had been involved in court proceedings. They would say their experience in court was much more traumatic for them than the original sexual abuse," he said.

The Bishop also said he would mention the resignations in his Christmas homily. In November Dr Hegarty called on anyone who had been abused by a member of the clergy to go to the civil authorities.