Moral Low Ground


Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny Slams “Absolutely Disgraceful” Role of Vatican in Child Rape Scandal

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny blasted the Vatican for its “absolutely disgraceful” role in a child rape scandal, Agence France-Presse reports.

“I think that this is absolutely disgraceful, that the Vatican took the view that it did in respect of something that is as sensitive and as personal with such long-lasting difficulties for persons involved,” Kenny told state broadcaster RTE radio yesterday.

Kenny: "Absolutely disgraceful" Vatican behavior. (Photo: Susie O'Connor)

The Irish leader’s pointed remarks came just one day after a government investigation of the Catholic Church’s handling of allegations of sex abuse committed by 19 clerics in the Cloyne diocese slammed the Vatican’s response.

The Irish government said it was “unacceptable” that Vatican meddling helped priests “evade their responsibilities” and that “innocent children” were harmed as a result.

Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore met with papal ambassador Giuseppe Leanza and gave him a harsh dressing down over the Vatican’s behavior. Leanza said he would hand the report on the Cloyne scandal over to the Vatican, and said he was “very distressed” over the Church’s “failures in assuring the protection of children in the Church despite all the good work that has been done.”

Good work?

Sadly, this isn’t the first time that Leanza has been rebuked over priests raping Irish children. In 2009 Michael Martin, who was Foreign Minister at the time, blasted the papal envoy over a separate report that detailed a child rape scandal cover-up in Dublin.

The Cloyne rape scandal identified 40 victims of pedophile clergy who made complaints between 1996 and 2009. Every last one of them felt “that they had been let down by the institutional Church,” the probe found. The 400-page report states that the victims “were all of the opinion that in their meetings with higher Church officials, the sole concern was the protection of the institution rather than the well-being of children.”

“Their difficulties were compounded by the fact that their abusers appeared to have suffered no sanctions after their abuse had been revealed.”

John Magee, the Bishop of Cloyne and personal secretary to three different Popes, resigned in disgrace last year, begging forgiveness of his victims. Only one priest has been convicted in the scandal; another was able to have his trial stopped because of his old age. One case is still pending.

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One Comment

  1. Kathleen O'NeillJuly 21, 2011 at 6:36 amReply

    Hear hear Mr Kenny. Many of us have waited a long time for the truth to be told.

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