A SENIOR Vatican spokesman has responded to the Taoiseach’s unprecedented criticisms of the Catholic Church following the Cloyne report by appealing for “objectivity” in the debate.
While the Vatican has still to deliver the formal response demanded of it by the Government to the report, Fr Federico Lombardi promised it would reply “at the opportune moment” to the questions raised.
In a statement issued late last night in Rome, he stated: “It is to be hoped that the ongoing debate on such dramatic issues can be carried out with the necessary objectivity so as to contribute to the matter which should most concern us all, namely the safety of children and of young people and the renewal of a climate of trust and collaboration to this end, in both the church and society, as wished for by the Pope in his letter to the Catholics of Ireland.”
Fr Lombardi’s latest intervention in the debate on Cloyne follows Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s accusation that the Vatican had downplayed or “managed” the rape and torture of children in order to uphold its own power and reputation.
Mr Kenny’s words were praised yesterday by Bishop of Dromore John McAreavey, who said they accurately reflected the deep anger of Irish people at the contents of the report and the huge challenges ahead for the church.
Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh Gerard Clifford said he was taken aback by the force and “wide, sweeping nature” of the Taoiseach’s address in the Dáil. “I acknowledge the reason for the intensity of feeling expressed, given the awful findings of the Cloyne report.”
Fine Gael parliamentary party chairman Charlie Flanagan wrote to the Dáil justice committee yesterday proposing members invite former Bishop of Cloyne John Magee to come before the committee to answer questions.
Bishop Magee’s whereabouts remain unknown, a week after the publication of the report and despite calls by other bishops for him to answer questions on its findings.
Mr Flanagan last week called for the expulsion of papal nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza.
The post of Irish ambassador to the Holy See is currently vacant, but Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore said it was “not an option” to appoint the Irish Ambassador to Italy to also be ambassador to the Vatican. This was because the Vatican does not accept the accreditation of an ambassador who is also ambassador to Italy.
Mr Gilmore told Labour TD Kevin Humphreys the Embassy existed to maintain a permanent point of contact with the Catholic Church. Mr Humphreys said the Embassy should be closed in order to send a message that Ireland would not tolerate the Vatican’s failures on child protection.
Meanwhile, Ian Elliott, chairman of the church’s National Board for Safeguarding Children, said the Government’s promise to create a statutory framework for child protection services was welcome but long overdue. Writing in today’s Irish Times , he said the problems in Cloyne were exposed by the board and not the HSE or the Garda.
The Garda Press Office said yesterday a review of the report to see if further action was merited has not yet been completed.
There are some very positive signs, that Ireland is finally throwing off the influence of the mediaeval Church of Rome, and the deference once expected by and shown to the Church in Ireland is disappearing. The Church is the cause of its own destruction, by hiding so many perverts, and and by doing so giving permission to priests to continue abusing children. I never thought I'd see the day when the Irish government stood up to the power of Rome. Doing so can only improve the image of Ireland around the world, showing it to be a modern secular democracy.
It doesn't even have to be secular, it DOES have to quit confusing power with the right to abuse and corruption. Mental homes are secular but full of corruption too. If a church was actually christian as it proclaims, this wouldn't be happening.
Correlation may not mean causality though it's so widespread it would seem it is. Unfortunately, the pervs are drawn to places where people think they are safe and the pervs infiltrate and take advantage. The fact that it's covered up is sick and as appalling as any pervert.
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