Government should call in Papal Nuncio to account for Vatican’s role – Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, has urged the Government to demand an urgent and formal diplomatic meeting with the Papal Nuncio to account for the role of the Vatican in facilitating individual Irish bishops to ignore procedures designed to protect children from abuse. Commenting on the publication of the Cloyne Report, Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“The Cloyne Report is a shocking indictment, above all, of the Catholic Church which ignored its own guidelines and procedures designed to protect children from child abuse. What is especially shocking is that this report brings the clerical sexual abuse scandal right up to 2009.
“The Report finds that the Vatican ‘gave individual Irish bishops the freedom to ignore the procedures which they had agreed and gave comfort and support to those who, like Monsignor O’Callaghan, dissented from the stated official Irish Church policy’.
“This is a damning indictment of the role of the Vatican. The Vatican is not just a Church bureaucracy – it is a sovereign State with which the Irish State has diplomatic relations.
“The Government should now demand an urgent and formal diplomatic meeting with the Papal Nuncio to account for the role of the Vatican in facilitating individual Irish bishops to ignore procedures designed to protect children from abuse.
“I welcome the strong response of the Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald and the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter to this Report. The commitment to place the Children First guidelines on a statutory basis and to legislate on the issue of soft information is very welcome.
“The Report, while commending An Garda Síochána in most cases, is also critical of their role in three cases. The Minister for Justice must ensure that the lessons of this Report are learned by the Gardai.
“As in previous Reports, Cloyne highlights the disagreement between the Office of the Minister for Children and the HSE about the extent of the powers available to the HSE in relation to extra-familial abuse of children. It is unacceptable that this situation persists and it must be addressed.” ENDS