« Previous | Main | Next »

Irish government responds to the Vatican (again)

Post categories:

William Crawley | 17:54 UK time, Thursday, 8 September 2011

The Irish government has issued this statement in response to the Vatican's recent comments on the Cloyne Report.

"The Government of Ireland thanks the Holy See for its response of 3 September regarding the report of the Commission of Investigation into the Catholic Diocese of Cloyne (the Cloyne Report) and the representations made to it by the Tánaiste in this regard in his meeting with the Apostolic Nuncio on 14 July 2011.

The Government acknowledges and welcomes the statement in the response that the Holy See is sorry and ashamed for the terrible sufferings which the victims of abuse and their families have endured. The victims of abuse and their families must remain foremost in our considerations.

Having considered carefully the Cloyne Report and the response of the Holy See, the Government of Ireland remains of the view that the content of the confidential letter in 1997 from the then Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Storero , to the Irish Bishops, regardless of whether or not it was intended to do so, provided a pretext for some members of the clergy to evade full cooperation with the Irish civil authorities in regard to the abuse of minors. This is a matter of great concern to the Irish Government.

The Government of Ireland notes the comments in the Holy See's response on the political debate which ensued in Ireland after the publication of the Cloyne Report and in particular the statements made by the Taoiseach and other political leaders. The Government of Ireland must point out that the comments made by the Taoiseach and other political leaders accurately reflect the public anger of the overwhelming majority of Irish people at the failure of the Catholic Church in Ireland and the Holy See to deal adequately with clerical child sexual abuse and those who committed such appalling acts.

It is the Government of Ireland's hope that, in spite of outstanding differences, lessons have been learned from appalling past failures. In this regard, it welcomes the commitment in the concluding remarks of the Holy See's response to a constructive dialogue and cooperation with the Government. In welcoming this commitment the Government expects the fullest cooperation from the Holy See, the Catholic Church in Ireland and all other relevant bodies with a view to ensuing that Ireland is a society fully safe for children and minors and that all of those with responsibility for the welfare and care of children in this country are fully subject to Irish laws and requirements."

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    "The Government of Ireland must point out that the comments made by the Taoiseach and other political leaders accurately reflect the public anger of the overwhelming majority of Irish people at the failure of the Catholic Church in Ireland and the Holy See to deal adequately with clerical child sexual abuse and those who committed such appalling acts."

    Not quite good enough. A tabloid newspaper can "accurately reflect [...] public anger" - but its credibility is impaired if, when asked to substantiate specific allegations and account for quotations taken out of context, it fails to do so.

  • Comment number 2.

    Having considered carefully the Cloyne Report and the response of the Holy See, the Government of Ireland remains of the view that the content of the confidential letter in 1997 from the then Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Storero, to the Irish Bishops, regardless of whether or not it was intended to do so, provided a pretext for some members of the clergy to evade full cooperation with the Irish civil authorities in regard to the abuse of minors. This is a matter of great concern to the Irish Government.


    I'm relieved that the Irish government has not buckled. Let us hope that this strong commitment to the truth continues.

    The guidelines in the Framework Document were not adhered to up until three years ago, and the 'advice' of the Holy See to their subordinates in Ireland encouraged this. This is the background to Enda Kenny's comments, so I don't know what Theophane is getting so het up about.

    Frankly the question of the reputation of the Vatican is next to irrelevant compared to the wellbeing of innocent children. But it seems to me that the Vatican - and its apologists - are more obsessed with the phantom 'hurt' that they have suffered at the hands of 'nasty' Mr Kenny (ah diddums!), than with the living hell that their church has created in the lives of devastated people.

  • Comment number 3.

    Theophane (@ 1) -

    Not quite good enough.


    I really don't think that the Catholic Church (or its apologists) is in any moral position to start saying "not good enough" to the Irish government. Just keep bearing in mind that it was the church that messed up and created this crisis, not the government. So a large dose of penitence and humility is called for.

    Catholic apologists are clearly homing in on one or two comments Enda Kenny made, in order to manoeuvre the Church into the position of being a victim. I find this attitude so appalling, that I have to keep challenging it, because people like you just cannot be allowed to get away with this.

  • Comment number 4.

    LSV;

    "Frankly the question of the reputation of the Vatican is next to irrelevant compared to the wellbeing of innocent children."

    The reputation of the Vatican is relevant precisely because virtually no one else on earth has the spine to speak out in defence of the wellbeing of innocent UNBORN children. As for this "response to the response", Archbishop Martin of Dublin is several orders of magnitude better informed than either of us, so i look forward to learning of his reaction.

  • Comment number 5.

    LSV, no. 4;

    If Pope Benedict, in bearing his responsibility as Head of the Catholic Church, was even remotely as sloppy in his speech-writing as Mr Kenny, i'd be forced to accept that "the Catholic Church (or its apologists) is in [no] moral position to start saying "not good enough" to the Irish government."

  • Comment number 6.

    Theophane (@ 4) -

    The reputation of the Vatican is relevant precisely because virtually no one else on earth has the spine to speak out in defence of the wellbeing of innocent UNBORN children.


    Thanks for disparaging Christians of other denominations. How kind.

    Furthermore, you cannot use one moral issue as a smokescreen to evade other moral responsibilities. That is a serious exploitation of the unborn.

    As for this "response to the response", Archbishop Martin of Dublin is several orders of magnitude better informed than either of us, so i look forward to learning of his reaction.


    That's right, Theophane. Silence people.

    I reserve the right to think for myself and assess information for myself based on what is published. I do not hand my mind over to another human being, whoever they are.

    Perhaps you would like to inform William about this, because obviously he was wrong to encourage the general public to comment on these matters! What he should have said is: wait for Archbishop Martin's view and accept it unthinkingly!!

    Oh, and don't forget to close down the blog, as it is really no longer needed.

  • Comment number 7.

    Theophane (@ 5) -

    If Pope Benedict, in bearing his responsibility as Head of the Catholic Church, was even remotely as sloppy in his speech-writing as Mr Kenny, i'd be forced to accept that "the Catholic Church (or its apologists) is in [no] moral position to start saying "not good enough" to the Irish government."


    "Sloppy in speech-writing". Ah yes, the great evil of the world. Sloppy speech-writing.

    How very very naughty of nasty Mr Kenny. He's upset the poor old Vatican with some "sloppy speech-writing"!

    And now the Vatican DEMANDS satisfaction from the hot-headed politician, who has descended to tabloid level, by seeking to express the anger of the general public, whom he represents. How very sentimental of people to get angry about child abuse, don'tcha think?!!

    Perhaps if the Vatican cares about its reputation, it would think about the quality of humility - perhaps even a certain 'manliness' and maturity - to understand the context of the situation, take a few things "on the chin" and address it appropriately.

  • Comment number 8.

    Some people have more concrete difficulties with the speech. Fr Joe McVeigh, in a letter published in today's Irish Times, had this to say;

    "Mr Kenny was more interested in playing politics with the Cloyne report than in addressing the real issues around the protection of children in Irish society. Mr Kenny took the opportunity to win himself some more popular support and to take the heat off himself over his blatant lies in relation to maintaining services at Roscommon hospital."

  • Comment number 9.

    Theophane (@ 8) -

    Evidence please, to support Fr Joe McVeigh's analysis of Mr Kenny's alleged agenda.

    You are concerned about accuracy and substantiation of accusations, so let's see what you are made of.

    If you fail to provide satisfactory evidence (and I mean "evidence" and not "opinion"), then that rather undermines your credibility, given your demand that Enda Kenny substantiate his comments re the Vatican.

    So come on. Present your evidence to prove that Enda Kenny was attacking the Vatican to divert attention from another domestic issue.

  • Comment number 10.

    Well, guys, a pint of the black stuff was savoured by me this night in honour of the Irish.

  • Comment number 11.

    Just reading the posts now.

    Same old pretentious nonsense from Theo. Do you hear yourself? "Not good enough!"

    The Irish Government state their position concisely, directly and with clarity. You call it "sloppy."

    What's wrong, Theo? Wasnt there enough AMBIGUITY in it for you?

    One of the hallmarks of a decent human being, never mind a Christian, for me, is their sincerity. With regard to the abuse of children, Enda Kenny struck me as utterly sincere.

    You have the leader of the Holy Roman Catholic Church and the leader of the Irish government. One of them is demonstrably doing everything in his power to ensure the well being of children.... the other one is the Pope!

    LSV

    Thank you for articulating numerous points tonight. You made certain points which I have been struggling to make. These people cannot be allowed to walk away from this playing the 'we are royalty' card.

  • Comment number 12.

    If the Magisterium of the Catholic Church put as much energy into looking after victims of clerical sexual abuse as it does regarding the protection of the unborn, the victims would experience much better care and compassion.

  • Comment number 13.

    LSV, no.9;

    "Evidence please, to support Fr Joe McVeigh's analysis of Mr Kenny's alleged agenda."

    Fr McVeigh's opinion was felt to have sufficient validity to merit publication in the Irish Times; i don't see that i'm under any obligation to provide you with evidence to support it. It might interest me to know if you have any evidence for your charge in no.2,

    "...it seems to me that the Vatican - and its apologists - are more obsessed with the phantom 'hurt' that they have suffered at the hands of 'nasty' Mr Kenny (ah diddums!), than with the living hell that their church has created in the lives of devastated people."

    ...but i'm not going to demand it.

  • Comment number 14.

    RJB;

    "One of the hallmarks of a decent human being, never mind a Christian, for me, is their sincerity. With regard to the abuse of children, Enda Kenny struck me as utterly sincere."

    He's a politician. That's his job.

    Hugh Purcell;

    "If the Magisterium of the Catholic Church put as much energy into looking after victims of clerical sexual abuse as it does regarding the protection of the unborn, the victims would experience much better care and compassion."

    It happens i don't subscribe to this view, but in any case i would point out that it isn't easy to find the right balance. The victims of clerical sexual abuse, immensely deserving of the Church's care and compassion as they are, at least have an ability to speak for themselves.

  • Comment number 15.

    Theo

    No, Sir, that is not his job. His job is to represent the people who elected him and those Irish people who did not vote for him.

    You and your friends came on here criticising his speech to the Dail claiming, amongst other things, that he was not behaving like a Statesman.

    Enda Kenny on this issue has behaved morally, virtuously and courageously. He has put children first.

    The Pope and the Vatican Curia have behaved appallingly and put their own self-preservation above everything else.

    Jesus reserves special criticism for those who sin against the Holy Spirit. I read from that, that he is criticising those who set themselves against what is good and true. You have much to reflect on given some of your posts on here.

  • Comment number 16.

    Theo

    "The victims.... at least have an ability to speak for themselves."

    I'm a victim. I have spoken for myself on here for over two years. You have never taken on board a single word I've said, what it feels like, my anger, despair, my analysis of the problem, etc..

    Quite the opposite, in fact. You have done your best to ridicule and discredit me.

    There are times in my life, because of what the church did to me, both as a child and an adult, I wish I had been aborted.

    Does that penetrate you in the slightest?

  • Comment number 17.

    Theophane (@ 13) -

    It might interest me to know if you have any evidence for your charge in no.2,

    "...it seems to me that the Vatican - and its apologists - are more obsessed with the phantom 'hurt' that they have suffered at the hands of 'nasty' Mr Kenny (ah diddums!), than with the living hell that their church has created in the lives of devastated people."

    ...but i'm not going to demand it.


    Well, if the attitude of the Catholic apologists, whom I have had anything to do with, reflects the view of the Vatican, then I would be very happy to furnish you with copious evidence to support my claim.

    As I mentioned on another thread on this blog, I have been in discussion on another blog concerning this issue, and do you really want me to quote all the many hundreds of words of 'outraged and incensed' verbiage about Enda Kenny's terrible attack on the poor old Vatican, and contrast the volume of it with the "quantity" of words expressing any kind of heartfelt concern for the victims of child abuse? I write the word "quantity" in inverted commas, because, as I am sure you can guess, that quantity is zero.

    In fact, the main person I debated with (whose moniker is 'Chesterbelloc') only wrote one sentence that expresses a heartfelt concern for people who are suffering, and guess who they were? Yes, that's right: persecuted Catholics in China (whose suffering has been apparently exacerbated by nasty Mr Kenny criticising the Vatican):

    "All the poor Chinese Catholics want to do is to be allowed to follow their own religious convictions and internal governance practices without state iterference of the deeply coercive and intimidating kind."

    Oh, and thank you for as good as admitting that you have no evidence to support the charge that Enda Kenny's criticism of the Vatican was motivated by a corrupt agenda. That confession was most appreciated.

  • Comment number 18.

    Theophane,

    "It happens i don't subscribe to this view, but in any case i would point out that it isn't easy to find the right balance. The victims of clerical sexual abuse, immensely deserving of the Church's care and compassion as they are, at least have an ability to speak for themselves."

    Clerical sexual abuse and it's cover up are a catastrophe of the Vatican and the RCC's own making. As regards balance would they not be better cleaning up their own mess before pontificating to others about their 'moral failings'

    Just a thought.

  • Comment number 19.

    RJB;

    I have taken on board some of the things you've said - what it feels like, your anger, despair, analysis of the problem etc. But i don't always agree with you. And in the mean time, in the conspicuous absence of victims of abortion in forums like this, you'll have to put up with people like me who try to speak on their behalf.

  • Comment number 20.

    Appealing to Theo on grounds of rationailty won't make a blind bit of difference. He's a;ready shown himself incapable of respecting the sanctity of life that already exists

  • Comment number 21.

    LSV;

    Fr McVeigh is hardly the first person to raise the possibility that Kenny might be 'milking' an issue which can gain him popular support, and which might divert attention from the more mundane business of everyday government in which he has not been 'beyond reproach'. As the above statement says;

    "The victims of abuse and their families must remain foremost in our considerations."

    That's handy.

  • Comment number 22.

    Theophane (@ 21) -

    ...that Kenny might be 'milking' an issue...


    Yes, and the Pope "might be" a secret member of the Orange Order, Barack Obama "might be" a Muslim born in Kenya and the Queen of England "might be" a reptile in disguise.

    (And I "might be" seriously fed up with reading arguments that are a total travesty of logic!)

  • Comment number 23.

    LSV,

    Oh i remember - RJB's assessment;

    "Enda Kenny on this issue has behaved morally, virtuously and courageously. He has put children first."

  • Comment number 24.

    While looking at this site online for today's saint, I also saw this article from an American's point of view:

    Seven Myths About the Catholic Church and Clergy Sex Abuse: An American Journalist’s View
    By: David Gibson



    http://www.americancatholic.org/Newsletters/CU/preview.aspx?id=242

  • Comment number 25.

    Theophane (@ 8) -

    (quoting Fr Joe McVeigh) -

    "Mr Kenny took the opportunity to win himself some more popular support and to take the heat off himself over his blatant lies in relation to maintaining services at Roscommon hospital."


    Oh I get it! Enda Kenny is not allowed to criticise the Vatican, because if he does, and if we can find any fault with him on any other issue, then it must be true that he was just diverting people's attention from that issue, BUT it is perfectly acceptable for us to criticise Enda Kenny's handling of that other issue, in order to divert attention from his comments about the faults of the Vatican!

    Ever heard of the concept of "double standards", Theophane?

    As it happens, there is more to this story than the simple accusation of "blatant lies" (note how you are willing to accuse others of "blatant lies", but woe betide anyone who hurls such an accusation at the Vatican!)

    Here is an article which includes Enda Kenny's clarification of this matter. The original promise was made in good faith, but had to be overruled on the basis of later expert advice from the independent health regulator. To say that Kenny "blatantly lied" when he was not aware of the views of the health regulator at the time of making the promise, is just indicative of the depths to which people like you will stoop to defend an indefensible position.

    Unlike the Catholic Church, the Republic of Ireland is a democracy in which power is distributed to different bodies, who are accountable to each other, and therefore politicians will make promises in good faith on the basis of the knowledge they have at the time, but they may learn later that they have to comply with the demands of another body, which they cannot overrule. If you have evidence that I am mistaken in my assessment of this case, then please provide it, and I will adjust my position accordingly.

  • Comment number 26.

    Theo, the people who have the spine "to do something constructive & effective" in defence of the wellbeing of innocent UNBORN children are the Dutch & nations that follow its example, not the Vatican. Just because you legislate against abortion doesn't make it go away. How many backstreet abortionists are there in Latin America- it just demonstrates the effects of a value system & culture which ply their trade of death with hypocracy

  • Comment number 27.

    Theo

    Your friend was on here recently claiming how Catholics are still turning up in droves for the sacraments. Surely, if the Catholic Church is still so popular in Ireland, Enda Kenny's criticism of the Vatican would be an act of political suicide.

    I say again, on this issue, Enda Kenny has behaved more than appropriately.

    I wish you would apply the same critique to the Pope, the Vatican Curia and the Irish Bishops. There is not an ounce of integrity amongst any of them.

    Yourself and others on here have inadvertently displayed just how difficult the position of the abused has been over the last two decades. The Church behaved almost sociopathically ie not a shred of empathy. They were ignored by the very people who should have been listening to them. And further, they were called liars, money-grabbers, traitors, people who were jumping on the bandwagon. They, like you, attacked the abused and tried everything to discredit them.

    However, the Irish Government will not be sidetracked on this issue.

    And if you think that Rome gives a penny farthing for the Catholic people of Ireland, you should rethink. Rome abandoned its Catholic children in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras. It will think nothing of simply abandoning Catholic Ireland rather than reform. These people do not deserve your loyalty. They will dump you and not bat an eyelid.

  • Comment number 28.

    Thanks for the link to that article mscracker. The following passage seems especially important - though it doesn't by any means 'exonerate' the Catholic Church;

    "“We don’t see the Catholic Church as a hotbed of this or a place that has a bigger problem than anyone else,” Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, told Newsweek. “I can tell you without hesitation that we have seen cases in many religious settings, from traveling evangelists to mainstream ministers to rabbis and others.”

    One reason abuse in the Catholic Church is reported on so widely is that the Church keeps careful records. As a result, the Church is one of the few institutions to yield a fairly reliable portrait of its personnel and abuse over the decades."

  • Comment number 29.

    @28.Theophane :
    You're welcome.
    And again, here in the US at least til recently, we've been a mostly Protestant country & therefore you can find an equal or greater amount of problems in those denominations, as well.
    You can also add public schools, the Boy Scouts, etc.
    Children are vulnerable.Just look about the world at the trafficking of children & teenagers.Pretty dismaying.

  • Comment number 30.

    Amen.

  • Comment number 31.

    Theophane -

    You seem to have missed the journalist's conclusion in the section of the article you are raving about:

    So the good news is that the Catholic Church appears to be no different from most other institutions in terms of the incidence of abuse or even the reflex to cover it up. Of course, that’s also the bad news: Shouldn’t the Catholic Church, especially the priesthood and hierarchy, be better than Enron or the local school district?


    Exactly.

    Can I take it therefore that the Catholic Church has no more moral right to be listened to than any other organisation, since it is as bad as the world?

    Or is it a case of: a different level of indulgence and leniency for the Church as compared to everyone else? (Never mind the fact that the Church is supposed to display something called 'righteousness' which sets it apart from the world. "Being no worse than the world" is a truly terrible indictment of an institution that claims to be "the only true Church"!)

    By the way... I look forward to your retraction of the "blatant lie" accusation against Enda Kenny, unless you can refute the evidence I presented earlier. (After all... like the Catholic Church, it's not as though he's worse than anyone else!!)

    How about it?

  • Comment number 32.

    LSV;

    a) I'd have put that paragraph in but it took me over the word limit, so instead i put in the bit about not 'exonerating' the Catholic Church, which amounts to the same thing.

    b) The "blatant lie" accusation is not made by me but by Fr Joe McVeigh. I'm sure that if Enda Kenny thought it was an unfair description he would have recourse to due process in law.

  • Comment number 33.

    Theophane (@ 32) -

    The "blatant lie" accusation is not made by me but by Fr Joe McVeigh.


    So you confirm that you don't approve of it then?

    I'm sure that if Enda Kenny thought it was an unfair description he would have recourse to due process in law.


    So you would rather Enda Kenny was diverted from his work to waste his time following up a scurrilous accusation? Surely you can state here on this blog whether you agree with this accusation or not, irrespective of "due process"?

  • Comment number 34.

    The paragraph quoted by LSV (31) puts the matter into perspective.

    Paedophiles, of course, operate in other churches too. Here is a news story about a "manipulative, calculating and predatory" one who volunteered at church and scout groups and who was today jailed for 6 years.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-14851592

    A mere six months for each child he admitted to having abused.

  • Comment number 35.

    No doubt the Irish Times, LSV, are privy to all the same background information on that accusation as you are, but it did not prevent them from publishing Fr McVeigh's letter. In any case, i furnished his thoughts to illustrate the fact that some people, in Ireland itself, have taken even stronger issue with Mr Kenny's speech than i have. Whether he was exactly right or wrong is not for me to say.

  • Comment number 36.

    I really thought that the Eire Government had stopped their close and happy relationship with the Vatican and also had stopped them from running their
    Country.


    The reality is they paid the Vatican's costs (30m euros) for Legal Fees to help one off the most richest and Political religions of all time.



    Now this clearly shows us up here in the North that Ireland has not changed its spots.

  • Comment number 37.

    Ambiguity

    This is yet another horrendous blow to Irish taxpayers. According to this story (see link below), the total cost of the legal bill is expected to be in the region of 50 million euros.

    "The Irish government undertook to pay the legal costs of all third parties when it established the commission over a decade ago."

    These third parties include the likes of The Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of Charity who ran industrial schools were children frequently had the living daylights beaten out of them.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-14850007

  • Comment number 38.

  • Comment number 39.

    Re 38, Retired Bishop of Derry, Edward Daly's statement reflects the reality-

    "I feel now that celibacy is damaging to the church and I do feel now that we have to look at that issue very profoundly at this point in time and quite urgently,"
    Damaging on so many levels. It has distorted & exacerbated the problem of abuse and acts as a barrier to new recruits. The current Vatican administration are ruling the Catholic Church out of existence. Maybe this is God's plan.

    Btw, why is that Bishops have to be retired before they speak out?... silly question..

  • Comment number 40.

    Reminded me of an article in the Catholic Herald earlier this year- European theologians call for end to priestly celibacy
    To quote-

    More than 140 Catholic Theologians from universities in Austria, Germany and Switzerland have called for the Church to end priestly celibacy, ordain women and allow lay people to help select bishops, among other changes.

  • Comment number 41.

    Father D'Arcy backs Daly.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-14905662

    "A spokesman for the Catholic Church said he did not wish to comment on Bishop Daly's remarks."

  • Comment number 42.

    Ryan, #40;

    We already had a whole thread devoted to that exercise in turgid liberal bleating back in February.

  • Comment number 43.

    Theophane (@ 42) -

    ... turgid liberal bleating ...


    ??

  • Comment number 44.

    Abuse victims ask court to prosecute Vatican.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/14/world/europe/14vatican.html

    "Vatican officials have often said that the decisions about priests accused of abuse are made by bishops — not by the Vatican hierarchy — and that the church is far more decentralized than is widely believed.

    But the lawyers and abuse victims from the United States and Europe who held a news conference at the court on Tuesday said their action was necessary because all the investigations and prosecutions of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in various countries had not been sufficient to prevent continuing crimes and cover-ups."

  • Comment number 45.

    That's right LSV; turgid, liberal, bleating. Of the kind with which we are all familiar from reading organs like the Guardian or the Tablet, but to which the Magisterium of the Catholic Church will never be in thrall.

  • Comment number 46.

    Theophane (@ 45) -

    ... to which the Magisterium of the Catholic Church will never be in thrall.


    Ah yes... the macho Magisterium.

    At least you and OT have something in common: you both appeal to the authority of "tradition".

    Poor l'il me has to settle for that "much inferior" combination of the Bible and reason!

    Please take a few moments out of your busy day to think thoughts of pity towards me (as well as towards the "never to be listened to" servant of the Church Edward Daly)!

  • Comment number 47.

    LOL @ Theo. While you sabotage your own arguments from one month to the next, the only constant that can be relied upon is the warped minded way in which you conduct them. You'd make a bad Catholic but a good Nazi apologist- defiantly waving your flag in the face of reason.
    You didn't answer my question in the previous Vatican Fights Back Thread-

    Does your interpretation of 'Hero' and 'Traitor' tally with the Vatican's?

    You mention 'traitors among the ranks' in post 18 of that thread, to which Rjb replies by drawing our attention to the "very important point about the role of Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos in all of this."

    He sent a letter to a French Bishop in 2001 stating that this Bishop would be known as 'a hero' among Bishops for protecting one of his priestly sons. (The Bishop had attempted to shield a notorious abuser priest from the French police.)


    This is the same Vatican culture where, as Rjb points out-

    Fr Bruce Teague reported an abuser priest to the police - he was sacked.

    Fr John Conley reported an abuser priest to the police - he was sacked by Cardinal Levada.

    Two days after Ratzinger was made Pope he rewarded Levada by appointing him as head of the CDF.

    With friends like Theo's '"Loyal Roman Catholic Heroes" who needs enemies. The enemies of the Roman Catholic Church are in charge.

  • Comment number 48.

    Theophane, your integrity is zero. We have provided lists of very valid questions based on fact regarding the behaviour of the Pope and the Vatican Curia.

    You have replied to none of them. Maybe the list is so long that you just dont know where to start. So lets make it easy for you and we'll take them one by one.

    Cardinal Law. This man is wanted by authorities in the US over the cover up of sexual abuse of children by his priests in Boston. He refused to cooperate with the police and refused to hand over documentation on his handling of these cases.

    Some of the documentation was procured by the police by order of the courts. (God only knows how much was shredded.) This documentation proves he covered up and not only that, letters from him to abuser priests where he apologises to them - the abuser priests, that is - have been unearthed.

    He was brought to Rome by Ratzinger, was asked to be main celebrant at a funeral Mass for JPII on the steps of St Peters, the day before the actual Requiem Mass. Law's Mass was televised to a world wide audience.

    He was appointed as Archpriest of St Mary Majors, the second most prestigious Basilica in the Catholic Church, on a wage of $12 000 per month, and is still a voting Cardinal, taking part in the last conclave where I assume his was at least one vote for Ratzinger.

    Could you please explain this behaviour by our Church?

    You have so far been allowed to ignore such questions on here. No more. Either explain this one or take your triumphalistic psychophancy elsewhere.

  • Comment number 49.

    RJB;

    "...very valid questions based on fact"

    Based on fact? So how much is fiction, and how much is fact?

    "Cardinal Law. This man is wanted by authorities in the US over the cover up of sexual abuse of children by his priests in Boston."

    ...for example, is pure fiction. So it leaves me a bit fearful about the rest. Sorry if that's psychophistic triumphency.

  • Comment number 50.

    Theophane

    http://www.boston.com/globe/spotlight/abuse/stories3/121402_admission.htm

    Sorry, you are not going to side step this one. Why is this man still in the priesthood, never mind a well paid, voting member of the College of Cardinals?

    Enlighten us please....

  • Comment number 51.

    Theo

    See if this helps, Christopher Hitchens on Cardinal Law.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2188971/

  • Comment number 52.

    Rjb, re your 159 in the Open Thread

    A very interesting article regarding the proposed excommunication of a Maryknoll priest who has spoken out for the ordination of women.

    He has hired Fr Tom Doyle, a Canon Lawyer, to defend him. Tom Doyle claims that church teacing on the matter is not infallible and that the priest must follow his conscience.

    He also notes that not one priest or Bishop who was involved in the abuse of children, or in cover up, has been excommunicated.

    If they don't excommunicate for mass murder, it's hardly surprising they won't excommunicate for abuse.
    Intelligence from August 1972 identified Priest Fr James Chesney as the Quarter Master and Director of Operations of the South Derry brigade of the Provisional IRA and subsequent intelligence implicated the Priest in the Claudy atrocity and other terrorist incidents. Five Catholics and four Protestants were killed on 31 July 1972, when three car bombs were exploded in the village of Claudy.

    The Roman Catholic Church didn't excommunicate him, they moved him to a different parish across the border.

    If there is such a thing as Heaven & Hell, these premeditated conscious acts of murder & abuse can't be assuaged by confession/forgiveness performed by a cleric

  • Comment number 53.

    This place can sure make you cry

  • Comment number 54.

    Ryan;

    It would be interesting to see some hard evidence to support your extremely serious claims about Fr Chesney - because in fact there is none. He may have had strong Republican sympathies, but always vehemently denied these allegations, and is no longer here to defend himself. However, as a Catholic priest, he is subject to a mutation in our usual assumptions; "guilty until proven innocent".

  • Comment number 55.

    To Quote-

    Police Ombudsman Report

    On 24 August 2010, the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland published a report into the bombing which concluded that the British Government and the Catholic Church had conspired to cover-up Chesney's involvement. The report stated:

    The arrest of a priest in connection with such an emotive atrocity at a time when sectarian killings in Northern Ireland were out of control and the province stood on the brink of civil war was feared, by senior politicians, as likely to destabilise the security situation even further. A deal was therefore arranged behind closed doors to remove Fr Chesney from the province without provoking sectarian fury.


    According to the report by Al Hutchinson, the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman,

    The RUC's decision to ask the government to resolve the matter with the Church and then accept the outcome, was wrong. The decision failed those who were murdered, injured and bereaved in the bombing. The police officers who were working on the investigation were also undermined. I accept that 1972 was one of the worst years of the Troubles and that the arrest of a priest might well have aggravated the security situation. Equally, I consider that the police failure to investigate someone they suspected of involvement in acts of terrorism could, in itself, have had serious consequences.

    The report found the following:
    Detectives believed Father Chesney was the IRA's director of operations in southern County Londonderry and was a prime suspect in the Claudy attack and other paramilitary incidents.
    A detective's request to arrest Chesney was refused by an Assistant Chief Constable of RUC Special Branch who instead said that "matters are in hand".
    The same senior officer wrote to the government about what action could be taken to "render harmless a dangerous priest" and asked if the matter could be raised with the Church's hierarchy.
    In December 1972, Willie Whitelaw met the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal William Conway, to discuss the issue. According to a Northern Ireland Office official "the Cardinal said he knew the priest was 'a very bad man' and would see what could be done". The church leader mentioned "the possibility of transferring him to Donegal". In response to this memo, RUC Chief Constable Sir Graham Shillington noted: "I would prefer transfer to Tipperary."
    An entry in Cardinal Conway's diary on 4 December 1972 confirmed that a meeting with Mr Whitelaw had taken place and stated that there had been "a rather disturbing tete-a-tete at the end about C".
    In another diary entry two months later, the Cardinal noted that he had discussed the issue with Father Chesney's superior and that the superior "had given him orders to stay where he was, on sick leave, until further notice"


    Cardinal William Conway, speaking to a Northern Ireland Office official- "The Cardinal said he knew the priest was 'a very bad man' and would see what could be done"

    Nothing.

  • Comment number 56.

    Ryan;

    As i said - no hard evidence. Would you convict him on the basis of an unfavourable character reference from a Cardinal? That's funny; i didn't think Cardinals were exactly 'flavour of the month'...

  • Comment number 57.

    Cardinal Law please, Theophane!!

  • Comment number 58.

    Ryan

    For obvious reasons, I am very clued in re the Catholic Church and abuse. I am not clued in re this attrocity.

    Ryan, my first point would be that I care not a jot that 5 Catholics and 4 Protestants were murdered. 9 human beings were murdered. I cannot grasp why people can do this to another. Take their money, burn their property, tar and feather them - if thats what your hatred drives you to.

    But please, please, please.... leave the person his life.

    I learned something tonight, Ryan. When I read your post about the priest's involvement in this attrocity, I recoiled. I didnt want it to be true. My inclination was to go on the defensive. Whataboutery, and all that.

    I got just a wee insight into why Theophane cant face some unpallatable truths. Its not comfortable. I saw it in myself tonight.

    Thanks, Ryan.

  • Comment number 59.

    No Theo, It's an example of civil law removed from the equation, allowing the Church- left to its own devices- to 'resolve it' internally-. What did they do? They put him on sick leave. Cardinal Conway highlight's the insufficiency of the response- A chat & a tut-tutting over what a bad man he is, then sent a few 10's of miles over the border on paid sick leave.
    Not even sacked or excommunicated. Then again Hitler wasn't even excommunicated & he instigated a war that killed over 60 million people. Not even a symbolic posthumous excommunication. Apparantly excommunication is only warranted for folk in the Church who dare speak out in favour of the ordination of women. This is what is deemed worthy by the Vatican of excommunication

  • Comment number 60.

    RJB

    You'll be delighted to know that you bother this, 'steeped in traditional evangelical Presbyterianism', poster. I'm not a natural liberal and you keep stretching my thinking, and I keep listening to you, and this paragraph,

    "I learned something tonight, Ryan. When I read your post about the priest's involvement in this attrocity, I recoiled. I didnt want it to be true. My inclination was to go on the defensive. Whataboutery, and all that."

    is one of the reasons why I keep listening... it's another example of the gospel in what you say.

    Thank you too, RJB

  • Comment number 61.

    Today marks the first anniversary of Pope Benedict's visit to Scotland and England. Goodness gracious - what an awfully embarrassing fiasco that was for the Catholic Church. The adolescent Foreign Office jokers, sneering journalists, and motley band of neo-pagan professional whingers really covered themselves in glory. Next year, God-willing, Pope Benedict is due to attend a Eucharistic Congress in Dublin. He must be quaking in his boots.

  • Comment number 62.

    Well at least they are Prada.

  • Comment number 63.

    Was it a sixth sense that told me you were going to say something along those lines?...

  • Comment number 64.

    Nah, predestination or some such nonsense, more likely.

  • Comment number 65.

    Maybe he will bring Cardinal Law with him, Theo? Do you remember him?

  • Comment number 66.

    I can see that Theophane's really on form...

    # 42 -

    We already had a whole thread devoted to that exercise in turgid liberal bleating back in February.


    I questioned the use of the words highlighted, and what was the reply?

    As follows...

    # 45 -

    That's right LSV; turgid, liberal, bleating. Of the kind with which we are all familiar from reading organs like the Guardian or the Tablet, but to which the Magisterium of the Catholic Church will never be in thrall.


    Not the slightest scrap of evidence given to support his insulting language.

    Let me remind him of the evidence, which no one can deny, from an article Will wrote and linked to on the other thread...

    '...there is the fact that some Catholic priests are married.

    Former Anglican priests who left the Anglican Communion after it changed its laws to permit women to serve as priests and bishops have been received into the Catholic Church by a special papal dispensation and ordained as Roman Catholic priests even though some of them are married with children. ...

    Can you imagine how galling it must be for some Catholic priests to look on as their church permits some of their priestly brothers to enjoy a married life, while they are required to remain single, celibate and, in some cases, lonely and isolated?'


    And in one of the other articles:

    '...Fr Brendan Hoban ... said many Catholic priests were “mesmerised” by the Vatican’s recent creation of a new personal prelature for disaffected married Anglican clergy, now recognised as Catholic priests.

    “They cannot understand how the rule can be ignored or disposed with in cases and yet not be acceptable generally,” he said.'


    So is it "turgid liberal bleating" for lonely priests to point out the moral inconsistency of the Vatican?

  • Comment number 67.

    And then we have Theophane "covering himself in glory":

    # 61 -

    The adolescent Foreign Office jokers, sneering journalists, and motley band of neo-pagan professional whingers really covered themselves in glory.


    Again, no evidence provided to support this stream of insults.

    Isn't it strange that the NSS was gutted that the BBC's (and Sky's) coverage of the Pope's visit was so favourable? Here is an article in anticipation of the visit (and another one), and another one after the event. I realise that the NSS is the other extreme, but clearly they were disappointed that the media were not particularly hostile to the visit.

    Given that the media coverage was generally positive, I would be interested to know what exactly you are talking about, Theophane. Or perhaps you are suggesting that anyone who dares to voice any criticism whatsoever of the Pope or of the Holy See is an "adolescent joker", "sneering" and a "neo-pagan whinger"?

    If that is the case, then why don't you just do the decent thing and admit openly that you regard the Pope and the Holy See as intrinsically beyond reproach, incapable of wrong, morally perfect, and who should be defended at all costs from any criticism whatsoever irrespective of anything they do, no matter how serious?

  • Comment number 68.

    Thanks for the constructive feedback. All being well i hope to be able to give a considered response in a few days time. Wishing everyone a nice weekend.

  • Comment number 69.

    LSV, no.66;

    Also from Will's article which you link to there is;

    "An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs - how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world - how he can please his wife - and his interests are divided." (I Corinthians 7: 32)

    Hardly surprising then that a celibate priesthood was and is considered desirable, in the context of Christianity as a 'religion' rather than merely an 'interest' - and it's worth noting as Will does, that celibacy remains a requirement of Orthodox Bishops (though not priests). But how must priests, who have taken vows of celibacy, respond to the idea of married priests who can minister in the same Church? I think this is a serious issue, but i also believe that enlightenment is to be found in the Gospel. First there is the passage from yesterday's readings, about the labourers in the vineyard;

  • Comment number 70.

    "'These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.' But he replied to one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?'" (Matthew 20, 12-16)

    The example of people who had been idle until the eleventh hour, yet receive the same wages as those who worked all day, seems to me analogous to the contrasting degree of sacrifice when married men are allowed to become priests, and may hope for the same reward in heaven as those who have remained celibate. Perhaps equally important though is the Gospel of the prodigal son - and his elder brother.

  • Comment number 71.

    "Now [the] elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant. And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.' But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, 'Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!' And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'" (Luke 15, 25-32)

    Before you ask - no, i'm not making an analogy between marriage and squandering one's inheritance on harlots! But the elder son, i think, is often misrepresented as merely an embittered churl; as if the younger son is the 'hero' of the story. First, there is no question of his losing his inheritance ("all that is mine is yours"). But what else do we know? The elder son has "friends". I think that is critically important, because it contrasts with the younger son, who has returned with nothing and no one. Furthermore, while the elder son may be resentful initially (which is only human), in fact he too now has a chance to rebuild his relationship with his younger brother.

  • Comment number 72.

    No.67;

    To be blunt LSV, while i appreciate you have strong reservations about Papal authority (and heaven knows this would hardly make you look 'out of place' in the Catholic Church itself, at least here in the West), i still don't quite see how someone who highlights...

    "...the "frightening slaughterfest" generally approved of by so-called "humanists" (*cough* *cough*), i.e. the one involving the most helpless and the most vulnerable members of the human race (namely, those unfortunate enough to be in the womb)?"

    ...can make common cause with the National Secular Society.

  • Comment number 73.

    RJB, no.51,

    I read the article RJB, but Hitchens i'm afraid can do no more than 'create an impression' that Cardinal Law is "wanted by authorities in the U.S.";

    "Cardinal Law and seven of his bishops were at one stage subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury."

    Wikipedia is emphatic;

    "In December 2002, Cardinal Law left Boston. It is often alleged that he left just hours before state troopers arrived with subpoenas seeking his grand jury testimony; however, he had previously given evidence before two grand juries and been fully investigated by the state attorney general and the 5 district attorneys in the counties in which the Archdiocese operates. When the state attorney general issued his report entitled Child Sexual Abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston (July 23, 2003) he severely criticised Law but he did not allege that Law had tried to evade investigation and he did state that Law had not broken any laws."

  • Comment number 74.

    Theophane (@ 72) -

    Where did you get the idea from that I was making "common cause" with the National Secular Society?

    I was simply quoting the NSS to show that the media were not as hostile to the Pope's visit as your extreme language seemed to be suggesting.

    However, let's suppose I happened to agree with the NSS on that point... so what? What the heck has that got to do with abortion?!!?

    Are you saying that I must totally agree with everything the NSS says or totally disagree with them? How bizarre!! On some issues I may agree with certain people, and yet violently disagree with those same people on other issues. Surely that is what it means to be discerning.

    I don't live in a black and white world. Do you?

  • Comment number 75.

    LSV;

    "I don't live in a black and white world. Do you?"

    There is 'good', and there is 'evil'. Christianity is good, while apostasy is evil. In my country, for instance, we have set about the systematic sexualisation of children from the age of just 7 years old, under the cloak of something called "sex and relationships education". It is a process in which children are 'groomed' to be ready to have sex at the earliest possible opportunity, armed with knowledge of every possible means of contraception, and 'wise' to the availability of abortion. The programme's authors claim to believe that this is a way of actually REDUCING the number of teenage pregnancies. It is organised, state sponsored child abuse.

  • Comment number 76.

    Theophane (@ 75) -

    Yes, there is good and there is evil. But that is not what I am talking about (and what you have said in this post has nothing to do with the issue you raised concerning the NSS). It is not "evil" to agree with someone on odd points, even though I may disagree with them on all other points.

    If the NSS happen to be right about something, then my commitment to what is good and true requires me to acknowledge this. It would be evil of me to disagree with the NSS about everything simply as a matter of principle because it is the NSS, even though there may be certain things they say which I think are right.

    If I were a Catholic, it would be evil of me to agree with the Vatican about everything, simply because it's the Vatican. The Vatican would have to earn my agreement by doing and saying what is morally right. Likewise it would be evil to disagree with the Vatican simply because "it's the Vatican" and no other reason.

    In other words, I do not base my ideas of right and wrong, good and evil on "who says it", but on WHAT IS SAID. That is the point I am making. That is why I am bemused as to why you think I can't agree with the NSS on one point (nothing to do with abortion), even though I may disagree with them on abortion.

    So perhaps my idea of "good and evil" is not quite the same as yours?

    By the way... I notice that you are avoiding the points I raised concerning celibacy and the Pope's visit. Any comments about this?

  • Comment number 77.

    LSV;

    "I notice that you are avoiding the points I raised concerning celibacy and the Pope's visit. Any comments about this?"

    What is it government ministers say?.. "I refer the honourable gentleman to the answer i gave some moments ago." In what way are posts 69-72 NOT addressing the points you raised about celibacy and the Pope's visit?

  • Comment number 78.

    Theophane (@ 77) -

    In what way are posts 69-72 NOT addressing the points you raised about celibacy and the Pope's visit?


    Ooops!

    OK. I apologise. I was so dazzled and bemused by what you wrote in #72 that (thanks to a "rush of blood to the head") I admit I missed #69-71 concerning celibacy. You haven't really answered the point about the Pope's visit though.

    I may get back to you re celibacy.

  • Comment number 79.

    Ireland was deceived by the Catholic Church. It promised one thing and did another. It was deceptive. What concerns me is the billions of dollars, according to the Irish Government, that was stashed around the world. Even in these harsh economic times, Ireland didn't even get use from this ill begotten money. Because of the deception and apparent fraud much of this money should be returned to the Irish government. The enormous amount of property owned under the falsehood of helping the poor, should be returned to Ireland to in fact aide the poor through low income housing, Irish schools, Community parks and libraries. When you think that so few own so much, taken from so many, something is wrong, terribly wrong, and that wrong, and those wrongs need to be corrected and restored - to Ireland, not to a foreign power.

  • Comment number 80.

    Holy Communion? Holy Communion is so sacred to Catholics. Did the priests, brothers and nuns who abused, receive Holy Communion? Were the abused offered Communion by the abusers? In confession did the abused state they were abused? Or, did they fear they could not speak.

    These individuals could only cry for help, and no one, no one could hear them, they cried alone.

  • Comment number 81.

    76,

    In other words, I do not base my ideas of right and wrong, good and evil on "who says it", but on WHAT IS SAID. That is the point I am making. That is why I am bemused as to why you think I can't agree with the NSS on one point
    You hit the nail on the head there Lsv. Reminds me of Coming to America- In the 'I like whatever you like' scene at the start, where she has no mind of her own & ends up bouncing on one leg & barking. I'd be interested if Theo has any constructive criticism to make of the ruling Pope & Vatican administration

  • Comment number 82.

    Bob,

    I am reminded of a recent survey, 80% of evangelical divorcees regard marriage as sacred. Obviously this is is the USA

  • Comment number 83.

    Ryan, no.81;

    "I'd be interested if Theo has any constructive criticism to make of the ruling Pope & Vatican administration."

    It's not the same as offering constructive criticism of, say, the manager of one's favourite football team. If i ever waver in my faith i can recall to mind the unflagging greatness and brilliance of Pope Benedict, the ertstwhile "humble labourer in the vineyard", whom God has given us to lead us through this spiritually arid, shameless passage of European history, and any temptations to doubt are dispelled.

    Thank God for Pope Benedict XVI.

  • Comment number 84.

    I say 'European' history because he consciously chose the name 'Benedict', partly in homage to St. Benedict, known as the father of western (European) monasticism, and partly in memory of Pope Benedict XV, the Pope whose great trial was to give voice to the aspiration of peace during World War I, when European nations were annihilating each other. I believe he sees it as one his primary responsibilities to rekindle the flame of faith among the nations of Europe, the cradle of Christian civilization.

  • Comment number 85.

    83,

    Thank God for Pope Benedict XVI
    I agree. Afterall, I wouldn't have started posting here if it weren't for Ratzy's visit to the UK.
    His presense asks the question- what is the Catholic Church today. Is it the Vatican heirachy, or is it 'El Papa' with his unique combo of history, pitbull authoritarianism- fashioning the Church into his own image, or is it the spirit of the Church- the sensus fidelium. And what to make of an organisation where so many communist/fascist (same difference) apparatchiks are oblivious to morality or conscience- Lacking even a basic ability to differentiate right from wrong. It exposes the Satanic threads of pain & misery attached to the Church through the ages by his little helpers.
    Of course, credit must also go to you Theo, you raise these issues into sharp focus and elevate Rjb to the fore with his common sense & compassion. To show that infact the Catholic Church is a very diverse place- that at its heart- the human, caring side is alive & kicking- as evidenced by portals such as NCR and people like Michael Pfleger, Marie Evans Bouclin, the ACC with its Catholic Bill of Rights etc.
    It is however, a sad indictment on the direction of the Church when Priests are sacked for reporting abuse & paedophilia & Priests have to defend themselves from ex-communication by voicing support for women Priests

 

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.