Taoiseach denounces Vatican

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By Paul O’Brien, Political Editor
THURSDAY, JULY 21, 2011
THE Cloyne report into clerical child sex abuse has exposed the “dysfunction, disconnection, elitism and narcissism” at the heart of the Vatican, Enda Kenny has said in a blistering denunciation of the Holy See.

The rape and torture of children was deliberately “downplayed” in order to protect the Vatican’s primacy and power, the Taoiseach told the Dáil yesterday.

Making clear that the days of Church dominance over the state were long gone, Mr Kenny declared: “This is not Rome… (but) a republic of laws, of rights and responsibilities, of proper civic order, where the delinquency and arrogance of a particular version, of a particular kind of ‘morality’, will no longer be tolerated or ignored.”

Mr Kenny was speaking as TDs unanimously backed a motion expressing sympathy with victims and deploring the Vatican’s attempts to frustrate the reporting of abuse cases to the authorities.

He said the revelations of the Cloyne report had brought the Government, Catholics and the Vatican to an “unprecedented juncture”.

While previous reports into child sex abuse had left the country “unshockable”, Cloyne had proved to be “of a different order” because it exposed “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”.

In doing so, the report “excavates the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism, the narcissism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day”, Mr Kenny said.

“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.”

This calculated position was the “polar opposite of the radicalism, humility and compassion” upon which the Church was founded, Mr Kenny added.

“As a practising Catholic, I don’t say any of this easily. Growing up, many of us in here learned we were part of a pilgrim Church. Today, that Church needs to be a penitent Church — a Church truly and deeply penitent for the horrors it perpetrated, hid and denied.”

Mr Kenny said Irish law would “always supersede canon laws that have neither legitimacy nor place in the affairs of this country”.

The Government now awaited the “considered response” of the Vatican on the issue, he said.

But the state also had to “get its house in order”, he added, pointing to failures by the previous administration and the HSE, and saying legislation would be brought forward to improve child protection.

Reacting last night, the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, criticised the “cabal” in the Church who had refused to recognise procedures set out in 2001 by the current Pope for dealing with abuse cases.

He also expressed concern that the Irish Church’s own watchdog — the National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC) — may have insufficient powers when it comes to examining how individual dioceses are handling abuse cases.

Asked on RTÉ if his fellow bishops could be trusted, he replied: “I hope they can. But if there is somebody there that is not prepared to be honest, they will only be discovered when an audit is there which has the powers to be invasive.

“(NBSC chief executive) Ian Elliot has moral power, but for moral power to work, you must have people who act morally, and if there are people acting immorally, then moral power won’t be enough.”

This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Thursday, July 21, 2011

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Category: Child Abuse

4 comments on “Taoiseach denounces Vatican

  1. Well I constantly wrote to Enda Kenny, firstly when he was elected, and told how generations of my family, layed blame at the feet of Irish Catholic Church,& their Vatican masters for the wanton indoctrination of the Irish people.

  2. This matter resembels the phone hacking scandal; just as we think things cannot get worse they get far worse. The latest anti Semetic rant by a Dominican (yes the same lot who committed wholesale murder, torture and theft in Spain against everyone but in particular the Jews) is so disgusting that one wonders how it will get worse but rest assured they will at least try.

  3. There is much thanks and gratitude due to An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny for his words of recent times.This is not just a man of courage but a man of emense integrity and fortright insight into our nation which has for so long lived with such hidden demons and secrecies in our midst.As a survivor myself I thank him. Thank you Paddy for your page. keep well.

  4. Since starting my own hunt for justice as a victim of severe clerical abuse, Enda Kenny’s public statement of condemnation represen6st the first time in all these years that I have felt some sense of pride in the fact that somebody in power was finally able to speak the truth in unvarnished tones. This is finally the first step, a government which will stand up to the dark cloak of clerical crime that has infected this country for centuries.

    However, the question now arises as to why the previous Government, Taoiseachs and designated ministers did not do their duty and functions of state but allowed the appalling subversion of justice to continue right before our eyes right up to the most recent times.

    Right now today in Dublin, there are literally thousands of abuse cases being fought tooth and nail by the Irish church and their various sects under the guise of ‘legal justice’. The ratio of those taking cases may only represent 10% of those possible. Learned men in robes on a daily basis vexatiously frustrate the claims of victims reducing them to emotional wreckage in unashamed exchange for the nickel from the coffers of the ‘religious’. The same Prize legal fighters do the dirt again and again without a care for justice in a highly sloped playing field of the adversarial law.

    At this same time, the UN is lauding its success after 20 years in rounding up the last of the Yugoslav war criminals.

    Ireland too now has an additional role to accomplish and that is to look back and unearth name by name which politicians, which lawyers and barristers and which clerics facilitated the oppression of the victims and evaluate their role in failing to carry out their state duties, their perversion of justice and role in aiding and abetting pedophiles and abusers. These people two and at at least equal to and worse than the monsters that they unleash on children. Person who were paid by the state and took and oath need to be brought to justice.

    These persons too should now come into focus not as participants but purveyors of the worst excesses that have been carried out against Irish children.

    Quite frankly its seems to me that a considerable number from the elite set of the Barrister species should be brought out and flogged publicly as a starting point for what they have profiteered from.

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