Government Criticism Of Vatican Continues

It now seems unlikely that the Irish Government will back down on its criticism of the Holy See following the Vatican's response to the Cloyne Report, into Clerical Child Sex Abuse.

The Government is to discuss the Vatican’s weekend response to the Cloyne report at its Cabinet meeting this week, although there was no indication it was backing down on its criticism of the Holy See.

In a response to the report the Vatican have denied allegations that they interfered with the Cloyne inquiry and attempted to frustrate the implementation of child protection.

The Vatican also described as "unfounded" Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s claim in the Dáil on July 20th that it attempted to frustrate an inquiry into abuse "as little as three years ago".

The Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has called on the Taoiseach to explain the incidents to which he was referring to back in July.

In a brief comment on the Vatican response, shortly after it was published on Saturday, Mr Kenny said he stood over his July 20th address to the Dáil, in which he forcefully criticised the Vatican. Asked if he regretted what he had said, Mr Kenny responded: "No. I made my statement to the Dáil." He added: "the Vatican has responded. I want to read the report."

Mr Kenny accused the Vatican of downplaying the rape and torture of children to protect its power and reputation. According to the Taoiseach it is clear there had been huge failings by the Church in terms of cases which were not reported to the civil authorities and where there were cover ups.

He also said some cases showed a culture where the priority was not the protection of children but the protection of the institution of the Church.

A government spokesman said it intended taking time to consider the Vatican document and to compile a detailed response.

Meanwhile Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has accused the Vatican of missing the point after the Holy See rejected claims it had frustrated a State inquiry into clerical abuse.

Mr Gilmore said the real issue was that the Catholic Church did not deal effectively with paedophile priests.

He said: "There was the most horrific sexual abuse of children perpetrated by clerics. The Catholic Church did not deal with that as it should have dealt with it.

"Let's not be distracted. Let’s not miss the point – no less charges were made."

In connection Minister For Justice Justice Alan Shatter has said child protection measures are "very much on target", with legislation to be published by the end of next month.

Mr Shatter said moves to put the obligatory reporting of child abuse to gardaí, as well as the vetting of adults who work with children, on a statutory footing were well under way.


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