Monday, 25 July 2011

Vatican recalls envoy

The Vatican has recalled its Irish envoy Archbishop Giuseppe Leanzabeen from Dublin following strong criticisms of its role in covering up child abuse. Last week the Irish parliament passed a motion deploring the Vatican's role in "undermining child protection frameworks" following publication of a damning report on the diocese of Cloyne in county Cork. The Cloyne report said Irish clerics concealed from the authorities the sexual abuse of children by priests as recently as 2009 after reports from the Vatican seemed to disparage child protection guidelines. As explained in the Irish Times the Prime Minister Enda Kenny made a speech condemning the Holy See in which he said that the "rape and torture of children were downplayed or managed, to uphold instead the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and reputation."

 Enda Kenny undoubtedly did use strong words, but they are words which seem entirely justified given the increasing evidence, not only of abuse, but of systematic attempts to conceal it or dismiss its significance. The Papal Envoy has been recalled ostensibly  for "consultation", and the Vatican has made a statement saying that this is the case, but has also expressed displeasure at what they have termed the "excessive reactions" of the Irish Government.
In my view this reaction ill becomes the Vatican; it is hard to see in it anything approaching Christian compassion and remorse. The influence and authority of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland has already been severely damaged and many Roman Catholics feel bereft, betrayed and long for the expression of a mature, substantial  and commensurate remorse that might allow them to look more confidently to the Church again for moral guidance and support. It is hard to know how this action will achieve anything except to drive a stronger wedge between Church and State in Ireland and to fuel anger and distress amongst those who already feel let down.

1 comment:

  1. What will the Irishtocracy in the US do with this information? Without their money and significant vocations what will the Catholic Church do?