September 5, 2012
Bishop of Clonfert John Kirby said today that he had previously regarded paedophilia as a "friendship that crossed a boundary line"
He told Galway Bay FM that he has learned "sadly since" and it was a very difficult experience.
The bishop was speaking after the publication of seven audits into child safeguarding practices in the Catholic church and religious orders.
Three religious orders were also examined - the Dominicans, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and the Spiritans.
Speaking on 'The Keith Finnigan Show' on Galway Bay FM this morning, Bishop Kirby also apologised for moving two priests - who sexually abused children - to different dioceses.
"I think that, without making excuses, the mood of the time, very little was known about the insidiousness and the compulsiveness of child sexual abuse," said Bishop Kirby.
"I think that was true not only in the church, but in society at large.
"I hadn't a clue as to how paedophiles operated, I saw it as a friendship that crossed a boundary line.
"I have learned sadly since, it has been a very difficult experience."