Southern Religion

Archbishop of Irish nationality being investigated by the Vatican for alleged abuse of 14-year-old girl [Update]

This may not be another case of institutional concealment. But how did the affair begin in a hospital and continue for two decades without institutional collusion?

The Irish Independent reports:

It was learned yesterday that Richard Burke, 60-year-old Archbishop of Benin, a city in southern Nigeria, stepped aside earlier this year pending the outcome of an ecclesiastical trial by the Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog body, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Kiltegan missionary archbishop from Fethard, Co Tipperary, who is believed to be in the United States, has not commented on the allegation.
He is accused by Dolores Atwood, a 40-year-old married woman now living in Canada, of sexually abusing her when she was a minor, aged 14, and ill in a Nigerian hospital that he visited as a priest.

She also alleges that she suffered “emotional torture” during a 20-year secret affair that he conducted with her contrary to his vow of celibacy.

Read the entire story here.


Irish Central reports that Burke has multiple sexually exploitative relationships, among them one with Ms. Atwood’s younger sister. Ms. Atwood is reported to have said:

In 2005 I found out that Bishop Burke had had a sexual relationship with my youngest sister.

The “friendship” between Bishop Burke and myself began to deteriorate as, once again, I started to become aware of other young girls that he was molesting.

In fact, I suspect that Richard Burke has molested or sexually abused hundreds of young Nigerian girls during his time as a priest and Bishop in Nigeria.


October 26, 2009 - Posted by | Catholic, Crime |

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