Friday, July 15, 2011

Ireland censures Vatican on silence

From The Australian:

THE Irish government has summoned the Vatican's ambassador for a rare face-to-face confrontation, as anger over Rome's advice to bishops not to report pedophile priests to police reignited the country's child abuse scandal.

The Catholic "seal of the confessional" is also under threat in Ireland, with priests who refuse to disclose details of sex-abuse crimes revealed in the confessional or elsewhere, facing prison sentences of up to five years. It is the first time this has happened anywhere.

The Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, was called in by Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore in Dublin yesterday after the publication of the 400-page Cloyne report. That report revealed that, in 1997, the Vatican encouraged bishops to reject the Irish church's tough new child-protection rules.

Archbishop Leanza was ordered to take a message to the Holy See that the Irish government believed its conduct had been unacceptable.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who did not attend the meeting, had earlier called the Vatican's role in placing the church's canon law above Irish criminal law "absolutely disgraceful".

The chairman of the Fine Gael parliamentary party, Charlie Flanagan, called for Archbishop Leanza to be expelled, accusing the Vatican of massive deceit.

The Cloyne report is the fourth damning investigation into clerical sex abuse in recent years and shows a catastrophic failure to follow church rules on reporting abusers who were active until as recently as three years ago.

Archbishop of Armagh Cardinal Sean Brady, the primate of all Ireland, expressed his "shame". He described the discovery that nearly one in 10 priests in Cloyne was involved in child abuse from 1996 as "another dark day in the history of the response of church leaders to the cry of children abused by church personnel".

No comments:

Post a Comment