Taoiseach Issues Statement On Cloyne Report

The Taoiseach has released a statement on the Dáil Motion regarding the report of the Commission of Investigation into the Catholic Diocese of Cloyne.

He said the revelations of the Cloyne report brought the Government, Irish Catholics and the Vatican to “an unprecedented juncture”.

He began the statement by referencing the Ryan and Murphy Reports and how Ireland is “perhaps, unshockable when it comes to the abuse of children”, before saying Cloyne had “proved to be of a different order.”

Discussing the report he said: “Cloyne’s revelations are heart-breaking. It describes how many victims continued to live in the small towns and parishes in which they were reared and in which they were abused. Their abuser often still in the area and still held in high regard by their families and the community. The abusers continued to officiate at family weddings and funeral. In one case, the abuser even officiated at the victim’s own wedding.

“There is little I or anyone else in this House can say to comfort that victim or others, however much we want to. But we can and do recognise the bravery of all of the victims who told their stories to the Commission.”

Speaking of the vatican's role in the abuse, he added: “Far from listening to evidence of humiliation and betrayal with St Benedict’s “ear of the heart”, the Vatican’s reaction was to parse and analyse it with the gimlet eye of a canon lawyer.

“This calculated, withering position being the polar opposite of the radicalism, humility and compassion upon which the Roman Church was founded.

“The radicalism, humility and compassion which are the very essence of its foundation and purpose.

“The behaviour being a case of Roma locuta est: causa finita est. Except in this instance, nothing could be further from the truth.”

Under plans to safeguard children from abuse, two pieces of legislation will be brought forward by Minister Shatter to make it an offence to withhold information relating to crimes against children and vulnerable adults and to allow for the exchange of ‘soft information’ on abusers.

The Taoiseach continued: “Safeguarding their integrity and innocence must be a national priority. This is why I undertook to create a Cabinet ministry for Children and Youth Affairs.

The legislation ‘Children First’ proposes to give our children maximum protection and security without intruding on the hectic, magical business of being a child.”

In conclusion the Taoiseach said: “As the Holy See prepares its considered response to the Cloyne Report, as Taoiseach, I am making it absolutely clear, that when it comes to the protection of the children of this State, the standards of conduct which the Church deems appropriate to itself, cannot and will not, be applied to the workings of democracy and civil society in this republic. Not purely, or simply or otherwise. Children first.”


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