Cathedral service for child abuse victims

Roses offered at the Service of Sorrow held at the Catholic Cathedral in Sheffield. Picture Mark Harvey
Roses offered at the Service of Sorrow held at the Catholic Cathedral in Sheffield. Picture Mark Harvey
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A SERVICE for victims of the child abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic church in Ireland was held at Sheffield’s Cathedral Church of St Marie.

The Service of Sorrow and Reconciliation was organised jointly by the Survivors of Roman Catholic Clerical Child Abuse in Institutions in Ireland and the Bishop of the Hallam John Rawsthorne.

The Ryan Report, a nine-year government study published in May 2009, revealed rapes and beatings by nuns and priests were common at institutions which held up to 30,000 children. The emotional service included readings, prayers and music and also roses offered up at the altar.

Sheffield survivor Tony O’Farrell said: “The event did not seek to forget what occurred and the damages caused.

“It has been a hard road and continues to be so, but we are encouraged by the manner in which this event has been taken on board and planned, and we see it as a momentous time and one that I never thought I would see in my lifetime.”