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Government's views on Vatican and Cloyne Report unchanged

The Irish Government sticks to its view that the Vatican did not fully co-operate with the inquiry into allegations of abuse at Cloyne despite response by the Holy See.

The Papal Nuncio's residence in Dublin. The Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Giuseppe Leanza, will delivered the Vatican's response to the Cloyne Report as one of his last actions in office.
The Papal Nuncio's residence in Dublin. The Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Giuseppe Leanza, will delivered the Vatican's response to the Cloyne Report as one of his last actions in office.
Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE IRISH GOVERNMENT remains adamant that the Vatican did not fully co-operate with the inquiry into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Diocese of Cloyne.

In a written statement this evening, the Government said a 1997 letter from the Papal Nuncio to Irish Bishops provided a pretext for some members of the clergy to evade full co-operation with the Irish civil authorities in relation to clerical child abuse.

The Government said its view on that confidential letter written by Archbishiop Storero is unchanged despite the official response of the Holy See to the Cloyne Report on Saturday.

Regardless of its intention, the letter is a matter of great concern, the Irish Government said.

In the statement, the government also acknowledged the Holy See’s response of September 3 and said it hopes lessons have been learned from past failures. It welcomed some parts of the statement, especially that in which the Holy See said that it was “sorry and ashamed for the terrible sufferings of the victims and their families”.

Defending Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s comments in the Dáil following the publication of the Cloyne Report, the Government said the landmark speech “accurately reflected 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”.

The Holy See had said that some of Kenny’s comments were “unfounded”.

Despite what the Government called outstanding differences, the Department of the Taoiseach also welcomed the commitment of the Holy See to a constructive dialogue and co-operation with the Government.

In welcoming this commitment the Government expects the fullest cooperation from the Holy See, the Catholic Church in Ireland and all other relevant bodies with a view to ensuring 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.

Here’s the full statement from the Government:

The Government of Ireland thanks the Holy See for its response of 3 September 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 14 July 2011.

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 cooperation 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 cooperation with the Government. In welcoming this commitment the Government expects the fullest cooperation from the Holy See, the Catholic Church in Ireland and all other relevant bodies with a view to ensuring 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.

Read: ‘I didn’t go to far’: Taoiseach defends Cloyne report comments>

Read: Vatican rejects Taoiseach’s criticism over Cloyne sex abuse report>

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