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Archbishop Martin calls on Taoiseach to explain Vatican comments

The Archbishop of Dublin was speaking following the publication of the Vatican’s controversial response to the Cloyne report.

Enda Kenny and Diarmuid Martin in 2009
Enda Kenny and Diarmuid Martin in 2009
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

THE ARCHBISHOP OF Dublin has called on the Taoiseach to explain what he was referring to when he said the Vatican was trying to undermine investigations into clerical child sexual abuse in the diocese of Cloyne.

On RTÉ Radio One’s This Week programme Archbishop Martin was speaking following the publication of the Vatican’s response to the Cloyne report in which the Holy See rejected criticism of it by Enda Kenny in a speech he delivered to the Dáil last July.

Kenny accused the Vatican of downplaying the rape and torture of children to protect its power and reputation and was scathing in his speech, widely considered a landmark moment in the State’s relationship with the Catholic Church.

Martin said that he wanted to know what the Taoiseach meant by “a very, very specific allegation” relating to investigations three years ago:

I would like to know what he is referring to about the Holy See trying to undermine three years ago.

It’s a very, very specific allegation.

But it is important also to be able to say calmly and ask the Taoiseach or whoever was speaking on his behalf, what exactly was meant by this so that we can move forward, not having suspicions that there were some how or other, other agendas there that we don’t know about.

The Archbishop pointed out that when Judge Yvonne Murphy, who led the inquiry into allegations of abuse at Cloyne between 1996 and 2009, attempted to contact the Vatican she was told there would be co-operation as long as her pursuit of information was done along normal diplomatic channels.

Meanwhile, the government has indicated that it will study the document before deciding whether or not to make any response.

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This is also the position of the Taoiseach, who spoke only briefly about the Vatican response yesterday, insisting he did not regret his speech to the Dáil on 20 July.

Read more on the Cloyne report >

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Hugh O'Connell

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