Friday, 22 January 2016

STATEMENT - FATHER PAUL SYMONDS

Statement by the Diocese of Down and Connor regarding Fr Paul Symonds
 22 January 2016



In October 2009 the Diocese of Down and Connor was notified by the civil authorities of concerns of a safeguarding nature raised against Fr Paul Symonds. In accordance with the Policy and Procedures of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) and the Diocesan Safeguarding Office, Father Symonds stepped aside to facilitate a full investigation by the civil authorities.

In 2011, after statutory investigation, with which the Diocese and Fr Symonds co-operated fully, and during which Fr Symonds was never charged with a criminal offence, the determination of the Prosecution Service was not to prosecute. Thereafter the Church’s own internal canonical inquiry resumed.

The canonical investigation has reached the decision that Fr Paul Symonds will live as a retired priest without any public ministry.

As you are aware, the Diocesan Policy and Procedures advise anyone who may have a concern of a safeguarding nature to contact the PSNI, Social Services, or the Diocesan Designated Safeguarding Officer (Telephone: 028 90492783).

7 comments:

  1. I have been in touch with a victim for 2 years.

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    1. Whats the difference between Fr Symonds and Fathers Kennedy and McManus?

      All 3 were accused. All 3 stepped aside. All 3 received no prosecution. All 3 were judged by a church tribunal.

      Fathers Kennedy and McManus were returned to ministry.

      Father Symonds is "retired"

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    2. Obviously the church tribunal found PS had some case to answer as regards safeguarding.

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  2. Age might have something to do with it

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    1. Age has nothing to do with it. After a criminal investigation concludes, or is dropped, a Church tribunal must investigate to see if allegations have "the semblance of truth". This is necessary because criminal cases often fail to secure a conviction of the guilty for many reasons. Given what is known about PS, it is highly unlikely that he would have ever been allowed to resume ministry. He is fortunate not to have been dismissed from the clerical state and that he is allowed the status of a priest "living in retirement".

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  3. I still say it's to do with age. Think about it.

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    Replies
    1. I think its to do with victims out there who have something to say. Watch this Blog for victims statement.

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