TD Slams Vatican Representative

A Fine Gael TD has slammed the Papal Nuncio for his failure to cooperate with the Murphy reports and for his refusal to answer questions at a joint Oireachtas committee.

The Fine Gael spokesperson on children, Alan Shatter TD revealed yesterday evening that the Papal Nuncio had refused to attend a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee.

Deputy Shatter said the non-cooperation of the Papal representative and of the Vatican was "scandalous" and "incomprehensible".

"At a time when it is acknowledged in Rome that members of the clergy in Ireland are guilty of abominable sexual abuse of children, the refusal of the Papal Nuncio to attend a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee is not only deeply regrettable but incomprehensible," Mr Shatter said.

He added: "The victims of abuse and their families, as well as the general public, are entitled to expect that all available information that could inform the deliberations and conclusion of the Murphy Commission will be furnished to it.

"I believe there is a solemn duty on both the Papal Nuncio and the Vatican authorities to cooperate in this."

Meanwhile, the historic two-day meeting between Pope Benedict, his senior officials and Ireland's Catholic bishops has entered its final session this morning at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

It is expected that both Pope Benedict XVI and the Irish hierarchy will issue statements on the two-day encounter this afternoon.

The Pope and the 24 bishops discussed how to respond to last year's Ryan and Murphy reports with top Vatican administrators for almost 12 hours yesterday.


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