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Enda Kenny’s attack on the Vatican reflects ferocious public anger

Fr Lombardi’s response to the Cloyne scandal is legalistic: the Vatican still has serious questions to answer

By on Thursday, 21 July 2011

Enda Kenny: playing to the gallery (PA photo)

Enda Kenny: playing to the gallery (PA photo)

Never before has an Irish Prime Minister attacked the Vatican so virulently as Taoiseach Enda Kenny did yesterday, when he said: “The Cloyne report excavates the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism, the narcissism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day.

“The rape and torture of children were downplayed or ‘managed’ to uphold instead, the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and ‘reputation’. 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.”

The Taoiseach was moving an all-party motion that “deplores the Vatican’s intervention which contributed to the undermining of the child protection frameworks and guidelines of the Irish state and the Irish bishops”.

As Ireland is a 90 per cent Catholic country, you might assume that there could be some political risk in so eviscerating the Holy See. Yet Kenny is in fact playing to gallery: his speech merely reflects the ferocious public anger at the Catholic Church.

In the wake of the publication of the Cloyne report last week, senior Irish politicians have called for the expulsion of the papal nuncio to Ireland. The Irish government, meanwhile, has promised to introduce laws requiring priests to break the seal of confession to report confessions of abuse to the civil authorities, with penalties of up to five years’ imprisonment for those who fail to do so.

In all this, some see signs of hysteria, such as the ever-contrary columnist Kevin Myers, who last week sardonically suggested: “As the next step in the current calm and rational debate on child protection, what about this: why don’t we kick a Catholic priest to death every day?” Although Mr Kenny’s speech was sympathetic to “the good priests” – now effectively in the role of “the good German” in the 1930s. Kenny said: “
This Roman clericalism must be devastating for good priests, some of them old, others struggling to keep their humanity – even their sanity – as they work so hard to be the keepers of the Church’s light and goodness within their parishes, communities – the human heart.”

Ireland has seen heartbreaking reports into child abuse before. So what makes the Cloyne report so different? Let the Taoiseach inform you:

“After the Ryan and Murphy Reports Ireland is, perhaps, unshockable when it comes to the abuse of children. But Cloyne has proved to be of a different order. Because for the first time in Ireland, a report into child sexual abuse exposes an attempt by the Holy See to frustrate an inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic… as little as three years ago, not three decades ago.”

The charge against the Vatican is quite specific: it relates to the Cloyne report’s finding that the Vatican’s 1997 response to the Irish bishops’ proposed norms for dealing with child abuse cases was “entirely unhelpful”.

In early 1996 the Irish bishops had drawn up the “Framework Document” for dealing with child abuse cases. It required the mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse to the civil authorities in Ireland.

The Cloyne report cites a 1997 letter by the then nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Luciano Storero, summarising the concerns of the Congregation for Clergy regarding the Framework Document. The letter said:, “In particular, the situation of ‘mandatory reporting’ gives rise to serious reservations of both a moral and a canonical nature,” and referred to the guidelines as “merely a study document”. The Cloyne report found that: “This effectively gave individual Irish bishops the freedom to ignore the procedures which they had agreed and gave comfort and support to those who … dissented from the stated official Irish Church policy.”

Bishop Magee of Cloyne was one such bishop. During his tenure, between 1996 to 2008, only six of 15 reportable complaints of abuse were in fact reported to police by the diocese.

It was this finding that caused the Taoiseach’s comments that “the law of the land should not be stopped by a collar or a crozier” and MP Charlie Flanagan’s call for the expulsion of the papal nuncio, on the basis that “The Vatican has broken the law in Ireland.”

However, did the Vatican’s 1997 letter really amount to a breach of Irish law?

The Irish state awaits a formal Vatican response, but Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, the director of the Holy See Press Office, has issued a statement which he emphasised was not “an official response from the Holy See”.

He argues that “there is absolutely nothing in the [1997] letter that is an invitation to disregard the laws of the country. During the same period, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, then prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, in a meeting with the Irish bishops stated: ‘The Church, especially through its pastors, should not in any way put an obstacle in the legitimate path of civil justice… while, at the same time, she should move forward with her own canonical procedures.’”

He notes that “the objection the letter referred to regarded the obligation to provide information to civil authorities (‘mandatory reporting’). It did not object to any civil law to that effect, because it did not exist in Ireland at that time…”

This is true: there was no such law at the time. Therefore the accusations that the Vatican’s 1997 letter broke the law in Ireland are probably false – leaving aside the morality or wisdom of the intervention.

Fr Lombardi continues:

“Therefore, the severity of certain criticisms of the Vatican are curious, as if the Holy See was guilty of not having given merit under canon law to norms which a state did not consider necessary to give value under civil law. In attributing grave responsibility to the Holy See for what happened in Ireland, such accusations seem to go far beyond what is suggested in the report itself (which uses a more balanced tone in the attribution of responsibility) and demonstrate little awareness of what the Holy See has actually done over the years to help effectively address the problem.”

Fr Lombardi’s somewhat legalistic defence of the Holy See’s 1997 intervention was met with short shrift from Justice Minister Alan Shatter, who on RTE radio yesterday called the comments “unfortunate and disingenuous”.

Mr Shatter said: “The Cloyne report is very clear in saying that there could be no doubt that the letter that the papal nuncio sent in 1997 greatly strengthened the position of these in Cloyne who didn’t approve of the Church’s Framework Document for the protection of children.”

He also said that the letter made it very clear that the papal nuncio and the Congregation of the Clergy regarded the Framework Document was “a mere study. It cautioned against mandatory reporting. It essentially laid down a marker that where there was an allegation of child sexual abuse, if in compliance with the framework document, a member of the clergy in Ireland reported the matter directly to the civil authorities it clearly indicated that that could be contrary to both moral and canonical law”.

It is perhaps significant that, unlike some of his colleagues, Shatter – himself a formidable lawyer – stopped short of saying that the papal nuncio’s 1997 letter actually broke Irish law.

Even if there is some technical merit in Fr Lombardi’s defensive statement, does it not in itself reflect the “gimlet eye of a canon lawyer”, in Mr Kenny’s memorable phrase?

For the truly substantial questions remain unanswered: did the papal nuncio’s 1997 letter reflect an attitude of greater concern for clergy than for abused children? Did some in the Vatican intentionally hamper those bishops who wanted the truth to be aired?

The motion before the Dáil yesterday asked: did the Vatican’s intervention “contribute to the undermining of the child protection frameworks and guidelines of the Irish state and the Irish bishops”?

The motion was carried.

  • Nat_ons

    Fr Lombari’s response – as a seemless bureaucrat – is disingenuous; just as Enda Kelly’s spokesperson, or David Cameron’s, or Barak Obamah’s, would have to be. That is the character of the service; calm, non-committal and covering his (and his superior’s) interest’s (think: Sir Humphrey Appleby). What matters rather more substantially (than the accidental – but eagerly longed for – ‘good’ sound bites issuing from Enda Kelly and his office) is the motion put before the Dáil; for it would seem, whether intentionally or unintentionally, Vatican officers did contribute to the undermining of the child protection frameworks and guidelines.

    However, if Mr Kelly thinks this will take the heat (if not the spotlight) off him, the Irish State, and the Catholic hierarchy in Ireland, he is mistaken (unless he is remains outrageously lucky in foxing the media .. which is not impossible). The oversight of the church in Ireland – committed to the pastoral care of its hierarchy – is the bishops’ responsibility, so too is their keeping or breaking of the local secular laws, guidelines and best practice (not least morally). An officer of the Vatican is not their line manager, but a pastoring servant, like them; his role is not to do their job for them but (in the first instance) to advise, it is for the bishop to exercise apostolic rule among his own flock – and responsibly so; that a pastoral official, however respected or feared or narcissistic, may have given duff advice does not take away the responsibility of the person actually carrying out the procedure (here he cannot even hide behind the ‘just obeying orders, guv’nor’ canard). 

    God bless, Nat.

  • Thirsty Gargoyle

    All else aside, aren’t you missing the point that Enda said this attempt to frustrate an Irish Inquiry happened within the last three years? 1997 was fourteen years ago, not three. There’s nothing in the Report — nothing at all — that holds that the Vatican has sought to frustrate anything. Enda lied to the Dail.

  • Thirsty Gargoyle

    Just to add…

    Nat-ons, it’s Enda Kenny, not Enda Kelly.

    And actually, the Report doesn’t show that the 1997 letter undermined anything. It claims it several times, but it never shows it. It does seem that Monsignor O’Callaghan, one of the two villains in this affair, interpreted the letter as dismissing the ‘rules based’ approach the bishops wanted to introduce, but if he read it that way then he clearly ignored the direct instruction that canon law procedures were to be ‘meticulously followed’. Indeed, it seems that he responded to the CDF’s 2001 instruction by saying that its subtext supported his approach; he had to claim that its subtext did this as its text blatantly didn’t!

    The report is a damning indictment of John Magee and Denis O’Callaghan and how they mishandled things. It says very little about the wider Church, whether nationally or internationally.

  • Kennyinliverpool

    I think people are just REALLY angry about what’s happened. The Church should have done more and been more effective or something. I think people feel let down and are struggling to deal with the situation. 

    I think we are all shocked and saddened by child abuse, especially when it is being done by a person we trust like a priest or religious brother.

    I am not sure what the future of the Church will be in Ireland as a result of this?

    I just hope the victims get the support they deserve and that this doesn’t happen again. 

    It’s a sad day when parents are scared to leave their child alone with a priest?

  • Michael O’connor

    The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D. has announced that the Redress Board is to be wound down.In a statement issued yesterday, 5th July, the Minister said that he intends introducing amending legislation to the effect that the Board will not consider late applications received on or after 17th September 2011

    Yet those in power seek to close the Redress Board scheme with minimal publicity.    Whilst the scheme has dealt with many claims. lots of people are unable and / or unwilling to bring a claim.  I think this statement should be placed on the first page of every newspaper to ensure every possible step has been taken to notify anyone affected.  This may really help those affected to realise that everyone want those affected to be truly acknowledged.  This isn’t about compensation but about racknowledgment.  Once the scheme closes how do those left behind get acknowledged.   

  • Rose_byrne

    Bravo to Enda Kenny

  • Wee Jock

    It’s not a popular comment: but why aren’t we more explicit that what has been happening are not cases of pedophilia but, rather, pederasty – the sexual abuse of adolescent boys?

    From what I have heard from a priest about a certain seminary there has been a high level of indulgence of homosexual behaviour over the last few decades. Why are we so surprised that this spilled out into the parishes?

  • EditorCT

    There is absolutely NO excuse for Enda Kenny or anyone else to dare to suggest forcing priests to break the seal of confession. How DARE he?  Idiot.

    And for him and his minister of children or whatever her daft title is, to have the audacity to say that their man-made laws supersede God’s laws must rank them as the most arrogant politicians on the face of God’s earth. As I’ve said elsewhere, if there was a Nobel Pride Prize, these two clowns would have to share it.

    I didn’t hear Enda Kenny and his ilk complaining when the Catholic bishops of Ireland (like Catholic bishops the world over) set about  destroying the teaching of Catholic Faith and morals in their schools and pulpits – and, given that it is this state of apostasy that the Catholic Church in Ireland now finds itself that is directly responsible for the abuse of children, then it is odd, to say the least, that Kenny  & Co. have maintained silence as every doctrine has been savaged by the very clergy who should have been defending them. Fully believing Catholic priests don’t abuse anyone, children incuded.

    These liberal numpties would do well to ponder on the fundamentals of Catholicism and take note of how far from the basics, the hierarchy and clergy have strayed.  Then they can start to ask questions of the bishops and the Vatican.  The right questions.

  • EditorCT

    Wee Jock, it takes a Scotsman to say it as it is.  You are spot on. Nobody wants to  spell it out. Men sexually assaulting boys?  Wonder who would do such a thing….

    And as for the seminaries – rife.  And not just “tolerance” of homosexual behaviour. It’s almost mandatory in some places.  So, good that you have mentioned the elephant in the room.  Now wait for the fallout.  I’m right behind you.  WELL behind you!

  • David Lindsay

    “Narcissism and dysfunction”? Oh, yes, that certainly describes the rabidly anticlerical elite in the Irish Republic, unable to forgive the Church for having educated them, and unable to see that almost every one of their compatriots had the same experience, yet most simply never heard of these supposedly almost universal goings on.

  • David Ayalon

    Your sincerity comes across, but it is rather unsophisticated of you to use offensive and insulting terms about Mr Kenny. I have just spent a month in Ireland as part of a research team inquiring into religious attitudes. There are reasonable indications that many Catholics do not believe in life hereafter; heaven and hell, excommunication, indulgences, the real presence, the birth, life, death and resurrection, or ascension of Jesus into heaven. The same applies to the theory of the immaculate conception and her ascension into heaven and apparition at Lourdes. To many objective thinking people such things just seem incredulous and the stuff of ancient superstition. Mr Kenny is hardly to blame for the fact that Catholic teaching and dogma are no longer credible in contemporary society and he does not deserve your vituprious retort.

  • Parasum

    The Vatican desperately *needs* criticism – even on the supposition that his facts are not all correct, his attitude was right. The bishops are lucky not to be assaulted – worse than that has happened in the past, and if people are angry and desperate enough, it can happen again. There is no reason the Popes can’t go the way of the Bourbons & the Romanovs.

  • ms catholic state

    Then with all due respect…..they are not Catholics.  They are perhaps pagans.  No wonder Ireland is heading for the rocks…..economically and demographically speaking.  Pagan nations just don’t hack it in AD times. 

    Who is Captain of your sinking ship then?!

  • Lara

    Gosh, you sound very angry. Believe in your superstitions if you will but please speak kindly of others who do not. By the way, do you realise that the brain has a lot to do with belief systems ie. there are chemicals that react and create and when brainwashed from an early age, if one is easily manipulated, they often hang on to these belief systems forever, no matter how ridiculous. It is a sort of mental illness. 

  • Lee

    You need educating badly EditorCT. Peadophilia is committed by straight men and women (98%) (you can look it up). Homosexuality has NOTHING to do with peadophilia, Stop embarrassing yourself.

  • ms catholic state

    Actually…..Catholic teaching is eternal Truth…and is rationality itself.  Paganism is made up nonsense.  But I guess… can be induced by sufficient brainwashing among the populace in secular schools……even as it lacks all rationale.   Still it is a load of nonsense….

    And please speak kindly about your Catholic neighbours too. 

  • Wee Jock

    Lara, what we are referring to are cases of clerical abuse which are largely acts perpetrated by homosexual priests on adolescent boys:

    The data also shows that less than 5 percent of abuse involved prepubescent children, contravening rumor that the scandal largely manifested as acts of pedophilia. But homosexuality, according to [Dr Richard] Fitzgibbons, was clearly the primary sexual aberration driving the bulk of abuse.

    A homosexual priest may not be more likely to offend than a heterosexual priest. But when he does offend he is almost certain to have many more victims. Priest whose victims were males sometimes had scores, even hundreds, even thousands (Cardinal Groër) of victims. Again studies by psychologists have shown that homosexuals have far more partners than heterosexuals do, as one would expect, given the nature of male sexuality.

  • Wee Jock

    Just to fill out the picture a little more: in a Scottish seminary that eventually closed around the time Scotus was set up my priest friend, when he was still a seminarian, wandered into the common room to find most of the other seminarians re-enacting parts of The Rocky Horror Picture Show wearing basques and suspenders. Effeminate and camp behaviour on the part of the seminarians was part of the norm.

    Conversely, those applicants and seminarians who were classed as POR (Piously Over-Rigid) i.e. those with a devotion to the traditional practices of the Church and orthodox theology were either weeded out or had to dissimulate in order to survive, thus fostering an attitude of duplicity in even the most well-intentioned.

  • EditorCT


    I’m, thanks to the grace of God and the Scottish Education system, well educated.  It is you, with respect, who are badly educated.

    I see Wee Jock has given some links to statistics below on the subject, so I will refrain.  It seems obvious, however, without any stats that when men sexually assault boys, they are of a homosexual tendency. 

    In one BBC documentary on the subject some years ago, when they  interviewed a priest who had abused both girls and boys, they asked him if he had a preference.  After pondering for a moment, he replied in one telling word: “boys”.

    If more care had been taken by  seminary rectors and bishops to obey Church directives and exclude from seminary training – in charity – those with a homosexual tendency, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

  • EditorCT

    “We”?  Wee Jock – does that mean there’s an “us”?  I’m thrilled to bits.

    I sincerely hope you  are on our (subscription free) Catholic Truth mailing list, Sugar Plum. We need you! 

  • EditorCT

    I’ve been told of similar events, Wee Jock, and I know, too, of the suppression of, e.g. praying the rosary.  I knew then that the game was up. The only  thing I wasn’t sure about was the closure date.  Read that in the papers.

  • EditorCT

     David Ayalon,

    I don’t DO “sophisticated” – and, sorry, but if Our Lord can call a King (Herod) “that fox” I can call daft Irish politicians “idiots” and “clowns” when their scandalous behaviour merits it.

  • Adam Thomson

    Are you therefore opposed to Catholicism simply because of your brain chemicals? Are your thoughts and opinions actually valueless because your are the helpless victim of non-rational influences? Your argument not only condemns Catholic belief: it condemns yours as well.

  • Wee Jock

    “most well-intentioned” 

    I feel that Fowler (of Modern English Usage) must be turning in his grave, but for the life of me I can’t think how best to say it in English…

  • joe

    “Bishop Magee of Cloyne was one such bishop. During his tenure, between
    1996 to 2008, only six of 15 reportable complaints of abuse were in fact
    reported to police by the diocese.”  Kenny’s point is that the bishop had the approval of the holy see for this clear malpractice.  How can you possibly support this?

  • EditorCT

    I don’t support ANY child abuse or cover up thereof.

    I just cannot see why those who feign horror, can’t see the reasons.

    And I say “feign” horror because a lot, if not all, of the same people who are enraged about the child abuse cases are not a bit fazed by other abuses such  as the horrific crime of abortion. And if they are a little fazed, they are nothing LIKE as appalled as they claim to be about these other abuse cases.

    I don’t condone any  abuse of children, be it before or after their days in the womb. And I think covering up ANY abuse is scandalous.

    But I take issue with those who cannot be fair and openly assert that those priests and bishops guilty of these crimes, are apostates. They don’t even believe in God, let alone adhere to the fullness of the Catholic Faith.

  • Mary C

    The Vatican letter is pretty clear that if the Bishop wanted to get “rid” of a priest, he might find it tough going if the priest appealed under the “study” document guidelines.  This part of the letter gets ignored. This part of the letter suggests that the Vatican actually was trying to help, not hinder.  I don’t think this is the Vatican’s most shining moment but as an American listening to this rhetoric, I cannot help but think the prime minister, government and citizens have lost it.  As a social worker, I find it strange people are pointing fingers at the Vatican when there is more than enough evidence from birth control to everything else that bishops and priests and laity the world over ignore Vatican pronouncements.   Guilt is usually closer to home and it is here to but nobody wants to face it – who knew about this abuse close to the scene?  It wasn’t just the bishops but what about the workers, everyday people, what about other priests, what about relatives?  There is a lot to be said for the power of the Church – but really – it’s the local church and how people perceive themselves in relationship to it. Next comes the local government and the state government which also have responsibilities in this case.  If people were truly Catholic and the active in their faith lives, why did they allow this to happen is the question – not why Rome acted bureaucratically about what was a bureaucratic issue.  Of course, the Cloyne bishop had protectors in Rome so that he felt invincible I’m sure but given the worldwide disgust and action taken since 2001 on all this by Rome and then say – oh Rome gave them carte blanche is a stretch.  

  • Ken Purdie

    Its not that Catholic teaching is not credible in contemporary society.It is that no one emerging from “Catholic” schools in the last 30 years has a clue what Catholic teaching is. The same Bishops who have presided over the Child abuse crisis, have allowed, nae encouraged, Catholic education to shrink to vacuous bilge. Loook  at “Alive O” , utter tosh, yet thats what they feed the kids.

  • Dr P J McFALL

    It seems to me that you are mixed up with the concepts of education and indoctrination.Education is concerned with the ability to adapt to change and new information. It is also concerned with lateral thinking with the ability to examine all other variables and explore all other avenues of the issue in question, especially with those that we do not agree. Many of the contributors express clear evidence of inflexible attitudes and concrete thinking about Catholic doctrine. Such conduct is not intelligent or does it show evidence of being educated.It is a long time since I studies theology and philosophy, but as I recall theology is the study of deities, and not just God. and philosophy is the study and application of ethics, morality, logic and reason. The Catholic Church does not apply morality, logic or reason insofar that it allowed children to be used as slave labour in the Industrial Schools and Magdalene Laundries. The great Clarence Darrow said “The people will always find out”. The people have discovered that The Vatican lacks veracity, and it is a fraud that cannot withstand objective scrutiny.

  • Brian A Cook

    May God bring justice and healing to such a inflamed and complicated conflict. 

  • EditorCT

    Wrong on every count.

    You  make the common  mistake of confusing “indoctrination” (teaching in, e.g. verbs, adjectives, and all  other sound teaching) with “brainwashing.”  Note, too, that while the big guns in philosophy (certainly  the Philosophy of Education) cannot agree a definition of “indoctrination” they all agree that Catholic schools are  a paradigm example of it.  Very “academic” NOT!

    And as an experienced teacher and Head of Religious Education, I got kinda tired of the mantra that education was  all about “skills” and “flexibility” – I came back full circle to my original view, before the “experts” got at me, that education has  to be about knowledge.  This was brought home to me time and again when I pointed out errors in both RE and History textbooks.  “Oh don’t worry about that” the self-appointed experts said: “education  is  all about imparting skills.”  Tell that to the parents who expect their children to know that the Battle of Hastings took place in 1066, not just where the history books are to be found in the library. Crackers.

    And clearly you haven’t a clue about theology.  “Theology” means, literally “a study of God’s word or discourse” From memory that’s Chambers. Whatever it may mean in a liberal university setting, however, Theology is the study of the one God.  If you think there are umpteen “deities” this is not the blog for you.  Creed: “I believe in one  God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his  only son, Our Lord… No Catholic can deny any article of the Creed and still claim to be a Catholic. Enda  Kenny (and Hans Kung) included.

    You are also  unaware, it seems, that God cannot contradict Himself and that what He has revealed, whether religious doctrine or morality, stands for all time.  No “flexi-faith” No “flexi-morality” and, most importantly of all, no “flexi-time” in eternity.  Once you’re in Hell, Dr McFall, you’re there forever.  And ever.

    So if there is anyone here who  is mixed up about concepts it’s your good self.  Most worryingly of all, the key concept that you fail to understand, apparently, is  the unchanging and unchangeable nature of God, who established the one true Church that we now call Catholic, to promote and preach eternal (unchanging) truths.

    As for your jibe about the Magdalene Laundries.  I have a friend who worked in the Laundries as a Legion of Mary volunteer and she said publicly  on our blog that  she never heard a single complaint about the nuns from any of the girls. On the contrary, she heard some say that ONLY the Sisters paid attention to their plight.  Indeed, the original accuser, Kathy whatshername, has been shown up as a proven liar even by  the testimony of her own family.

    God bless.

  • Wee Jock

    We always look forward to receiving your newsletter at Clyde Street. The Archbishop says that he finds it most refreshing…

  • Anonymous

    As your dismissals of our beliefs as superstitions shows all too well. Either way it makes little difference given the superstitions of atheism that we can ever create a functional society without any kind of faith and not slide into ruin. What I would be curious to know is this: if the brain determines belief systems by certain chemical reactions then what is to say that the belief that belief systems are caused by chemical reactions is not caused by chemical reactions? The entire idea that the brain determines belief systems is completely self-refuting and if it is not simply the brain then there must be something more.

  • David Ayalon

    God help God, with you on his side. I imagine He will be reduced to being the butler when you arrive in heaven. . If you are going to heaven, I will enjoy being in hell all the more.  It would be ‘pure hell’ in heaven with your kind of reasoning. I must write to Harvard and tell them that they got it all wrong.  Shame on them.

  • Wee Jock

    Erm, that was a lame joke for the benefit of Glaswegians…obviously.

  • BocktheRobber

    The Vatican has already refused to cooperate with the Murphy Commission’ inquiry into child abuse on the grounds that it has diplomatic immunity as a foreign state.  There is no reason why we should tolerate interference by any foreign state in the governance of our republic, especially a state set up by Mussolini.

  • James Cunningham

    At last ! A Government telling the Church how it is. A Church lead by an octogenarian who has proven himself hopelessly unfit motivated,not by any sense of duty to God but by an unrelenting anbitine to sit upon the Petrine Throne, disinclined to open the books so that legal minds might;once and for all evaluate the decades of sexual abuse which took place within my Church. For my own part, I hope that Rattzinger and Wojtyla rot in Hell for the collusion  they played in deliberately seeking to sweep this under the carpet . To those decent Catholics amongst us – Stop giving money to the Church  and  they will swiftly alter their antediluvian opinions on ,a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy,stem cell research,same sex relationships,and the woman’s right to serve as a Priest.May God forgive them because presently I cannot .Peace to all of you.

  • David Ayalon

    There are powerful forces within the EC who intend to enact legislation to reverse The Lateran Treaty (Lateran Pacts of 1929 or Lateran Accords). This would enable Interpol and EC legislation to issue search warrants for paedophiles, sex abusers and embezzlers hiding within the Vatican to be brought to trial. Many Nazis and right wing criminals have escaped justice with the assistance of the Vatican machine. It is also anticipated that a “Simon Wiesenthal” type of facility may be set up to hunt down Roman Catholic Priests, Brothers and Nuns who raped, tortured and sodomized children (just like the Nazis) and bring them to trial. The power of the Vatican is waning fast.

  • Tiggy

    You don t half talk some tosh. Your beginning to make” Editor CT” seem moderate.

  • Tiggy

    No one who calls themselves a “decent” Catholic approves of killing. No more than sexual abuse. “Peace to all of you”! Your having a laugh. No peace for the child ripped from the womb. You are every bit as bad as those evil Priests and Bishops.

  • EditorCT

    That’s no sort of  critique. Specify  where I’m  wrong.

    ps I don’t really want a butler – a maid, though, would  be just great.

  • EditorCT

    You’re a card, right enough, Wee Jock.  Building a girl up just  to shoot  her down. 

  • EditorCT

    You mean, Wee  Jock, there’s no “us” after  all?  Is that the joke? 

    Obviously, as you  say, they love CT in Clyde Street and obviously, as you say, the Archbishop finds it most refreshing, so that’s the joke, eh?  Wee Jock? Eh?  There’s no “us” after all?  Sob, heartfelt sob…

  • EditorCT

    That’s one joke that will be lost on the Sassenachs, Wee Jock!  But you and me (us) we can have a laugh at it, eh? 

  • David Ayalon

    Just write to your MEP and ask him/her whether they have heard of this proposition. If they have not, then they are not very well connected to the long term thinking of the EC. Check it out to see if it is tosh.

  • David Lindsay

    Enda Kenny (a TD since 1975, so condemned out of his mouth) is cheered on by the Irish Times not once, but twice.
    But balance is provided by the Belfast Telegraph, which points out, among other things, that only the most extreme anti-Catholic regimes have ever legislated to break the Seal of the Confessional.
    Let there be no doubt in which part of Ireland the Faith is now safer. Indeed, there is no such doubt, with 52 per cent of Northern Ireland’s Catholics, and rising with each succeeding generation, committed to the continuation of the Union.

  • James Cunningham

    “ripped from the Womb”the sort of emotional claptrap which comes from hysterics like you! Do you know me? How dare you compare me with the apologists of sexual abuse! Shame on you! I have every right to believe in a woman’s right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy without being traduced and compared with those who connived for decades to put this sorry matter in the public domain.If you had a shred of decency :for that matter ,a shred of honour you would apologize ,shame on you Tiggy

  • David Ayalon

    ‘Satan’ is the Captain of the Good ship Vatican. I am not the first person to purport that The Devil found his way into the very heart of the Vatican sometime after the death of Pius XII. You can be like Ratbag and laugh your head off, and refer to me in all the insulting adjectives that you can think of, but the truth is that , the Gates of Hell have prevailed against the Church of Christ.When it was muted away back in the 1970’s during the “Banco Ambrosia” scandal that the Vatican were probably behind world organised crime in terms of money laundering, gun running, drug and people trafficking, nobody would take it seriously, and thought it impossible. David Yallop in his book “In God’s Name” tried to expose the criminal activities of the Vatican machine, but people would not believe it was possible for the Vatican to be the epitome of “Hell on Earth”. But now thanks to modern technology and mass communications people are more likely to believe that the Vatican would stoop to anything. The Vatican is a secret enclosed society like Burma and North Korea, and God only knows what goes on there. In fact, God is the last ‘person’ to figure in Vatican activity. Do not forget, in relation to Roman Catholic scandals that Bishop McGee, was probably the last person to see Pope John Paul I alive, and in view of what we now know about him and The Dioceses of Cloyne outrage, only God knows what he may have done. God only knows what is yet to be revealed.

  • Thirsty Gargoyle

    That’s not true in this case. There are only fourteen cases in the report which we can usefully break down by age, but nine of the fourteen are of prepubescent children. Only five are of adolescents, being, if I recall rightly, three males and two females.

  • David Ayalon

    You use the terms right and wrong which are subjective emotive concepts. It is not possible to specify or prove whether you are right or wrong. However, using these terms, denotes that you are a convergent concrete thinker with ‘tunnel vision’ who needs to be seen as and proven to be correct. There is not one iota of Christian doctrine that can be called logical or reasonable, in fact the whole caboodle is bizarre. If Jesus and Mary ascended into heaven body and soul, and are alive and well, then where are they? Why are they not dealing with the famine in East Africa, as with the loaves and the fishes. None of this makes any sense and is a load of baloney. You claim that holy communion contains the body and blood of Christ. I can prove that this is not true. I took two pieces of communion (one from the Latin Tridentine Mass and one from the Novus Ordo Mass). I had both of these objectively tested by an experienced university chemist. I insisted that he test for occult blood. The results were very embarrassing for me because he told me that he thought I was mad in the head. Both specimens contained simple starch and water. (A pinch of corn-flour and a few drops of water). We actually reconstituted a piece of communion bread in the laboratory. He would not even accept a professional fee as he thought ‘I had lost it’. Therefore who is right?