Irish Government Responds To Vatican

The Irish government spent the last few days pondering the official response from the Vatican on the Cloyne Report and the uproar which ensured upon its publication. Basically they offer a "thank you for your response, but we stand by everything we said" to the curia, including the remarkably bitter and pointed condemnation from Irish Prime Minister Edna Kenney before the Dáil in July.

According to a governement statetment released today: "Having considered carefully the Cloyne report and the response of the Holy See, the Government of Ireland remains of the view that the content of the confidential letter in 1997 from the then apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Storero, to the Irish bishops, regardless of whether or not it was intended to do so, provided a pretext for some members of the clergy to evade full co-operation with the Irish civil authorities in regard to the abuse of minors. This is a matter of great concern to the Irish Government....The Government of Ireland must point out that the comments made by the Taoiseach and other political leaders accurately reflect the public anger of the overwhelming majority of Irish people at the failure of the Catholic Church in Ireland and the Holy See to deal adequately with clerical child sexual abuse and those who committed such appalling acts."

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Here's the complete official response to the response:

The Government of Ireland thanks the Holy See for its response of September 3rd regarding the report of the Commission of Investigation into the Catholic Diocese of Cloyne (the Cloyne report) and the representations made to it by the Tánaiste in this regard in his meeting with the Apostolic Nuncio on July 14th, 2011.

The Government acknowledges and welcomes the statement in the response that the Holy See is sorry and ashamed for the terrible sufferings which the victims of abuse and their families have endured. The victims of abuse and their families must remain foremost in our considerations.

Having considered carefully the Cloyne report and the response of the Holy See, the Government of Ireland remains of the view that the content of the confidential letter in 1997 from the then apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Storero, to the Irish bishops, regardless of whether or not it was intended to do so, provided a pretext for some members of the clergy to evade full co-operation with the Irish civil authorities in regard to the abuse of minors. This is a matter of great concern to the Irish Government.

The Government of Ireland notes the comments in the Holy See’s response on the political debate which ensued in Ireland after the publication of the Cloyne report and in particular the statements made by the Taoiseach and other political leaders.

The Government of Ireland must point out that the comments made by the Taoiseach and other political leaders accurately reflect the public anger of the overwhelming majority of Irish people at the failure of the Catholic Church in Ireland and the Holy See to deal adequately with clerical child sexual abuse and those who committed such appalling acts.

It is the Government of Ireland’s hope that, in spite of outstanding differences, lessons have been learned from appalling past failures. In this regard, it welcomes the commitment in the concluding remarks of the Holy See’s response to a constructive dialogue and co-operation with the Government. In welcoming this commitment the Government expects the fullest co-operation from the Holy See, the Catholic Church in Ireland and all other relevant bodies with a view to ensuing that Ireland is a society fully safe for children and minors and that all of those with responsibility for the welfare and care of children in this country are fully subject to Irish laws and requirements.

 

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John Hayes
7 years ago
Regardless of the Vatican's parsing of the 1997 letter, it seems to me that Cardinal Hoyos letter to Bishop Pican in 2001 is a clear statement of the position of the Congegation for Clergy at that time.  Pican had just recived a 3-months suspended sentence for not reporting a priest to the police. Cardinal Hoyos congratulated him on not reporting a brother priest and said he would send a copy of his congratulatory letter to all of the bishops conferences. 

PIcan continued as bishop of Bayeux-LIsieux until 2010 

See David Gibson's article: http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/04/15/top-vatican-official-praised-bishop-who-covered-for-child-molest/ 
Crystal Watson
7 years ago
I thinnk the Irish goverment is right  - good on them.
Gerald Taylor
7 years ago
As a Catholic, a United States Citizen and an Irishman I share the deep embarrassment  of the events described in the Cloyne Report;  and comparable events in the US. 
I am greatly distressed by the lack of courage that Bishop Magee demonstrated when he tried to fall back on his lack of exposure to the implementation of the Framework Document; basically hanging Monsignor O’Callaghan out to dry, I say this regardless of the Monsignor’s culpability.  Referring to Bishop Magee’s comment, “Bishop Magee said that he was fully committed to the implementation of the Framework Document and was shocked to discover in 2008 that it was not being implemented.”  This lit the pilot light of my Irish tongue.
 Secondly, the classic “it ain’t my job” defense Monsignor O’Callaghan took when he took the position that is was incumbent on the complainant to report the offense. 
Simply, these are clear examples of the lack of leadership, leadership we desperately need from the Clergy of Catholic Church to demonstrate.

I agree that the determination of a credible event which has resulted in the abuse of another person is not easy and has serious repercussions if flawed, in either case; as was called out in the report.  Given that, it does not preclude common sense and the close monitoring of trends.  It does not preclude quick and definitive action once a set of circumstances lends itself accordingly.

I for one believe that God has hand a clear hand in this.  As unacceptable as it will be to the innocent victims of the Catholic Diocese of Cloyne, and others, I accept the regret as expressed by Monsignor O’Callaghan in the report.  We have to have the courage to forgive but also the courage to be transparent, a transparency that will seed the healing and continued growth of faith, hope and trust in OUR Church.

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