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Ear to the Ground

Vatican Told Irish Clergy to Keep Abuse Reports From Police

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Posted on Jan 18, 2011
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Flickr / rohan_chennai

According to an official letter issued by the Vatican in 1997, the Holy See issued a warning to higher-ups in the Irish Catholic Church, strongly suggesting that they keep reports of child abuse by clergy members from outside authorities or they could face “embarrassing” consequences.  —KA

The New York Times:

The letter undermines persistent Vatican claims, particularly when seeking to defend itself in U.S. lawsuits, that Rome never instructed local bishops to withhold evidence or suspicion of crimes from police. It instead emphasizes the church’s right to handle all child-abuse allegations and determine punishments in house rather than give that power to civil authorities.

Signed by the late Archbishop Luciano Storero, Pope John Paul II’s diplomat to Ireland, the letter instructs Irish bishops that their new policy of making the reporting of suspected crimes mandatory “gives rise to serious reservations of both a moral and canonical nature.”

Storero wrote that canon law, which required abuse allegations and punishments to be handled within the church, “must be meticulously followed.” Any bishops who tried to impose punishments outside the confines of canon law would face the “highly embarrassing” position of having their actions overturned on appeal in Rome, he wrote.

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photoshock's avatar

By photoshock, January 19, 2011 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

The problem with a ‘supposed’ anti-catholic bias is
not that it is an anti-catholic bias but rather the
fact that these further revelations throw much more
light on the criminality and complicity of the
hierarchy of the Roman Catholic church. Their
complicity is becoming more and more apparent in the
aftermath of the American Church revelations. How
could anyone of conscience stand in agreement with
those who denied the facts when face to face with
them? I am appalled at the newest revelations of the
complicity of the hierarchy of the R.C. church. How
can I again trust those who are supposed to look
after my spirituality? These bishops in the Irish
Church wanted to do the right thing, yet the thugs in
Rome not only stood with the priestly offenders but
refused to allow any communication with the proper
authorities regarding priests who were clearly child
molesters and rapists. I am certain of this one fact,
those who wrote the letters to the local churches
should be prosecuted for crimes against children, and
if not, should be considered as persona non grata
within the world’s community. No one person, be he,
pope or cardinal or bishop should be able to claim
diplomatic immunity in cases of prolonged child
abuse. They should be prosecuted to the fullest
extent of the law.

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By berniem, January 19, 2011 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment

Whats this about John, Paul, George, Ringo 2nd being pimped for sainthood? He “allegedly” cured some nun(how convenient!)of supposed Parkinsonism unbeknownst to anyone outside of Mussoliniland and we’re all to believe this crap? Why , I wonder, didn’t he ply his saintly wiles on curing the emotional devastation caused to so many children by his gang of predatory wraiths? Hell, why didn’t he cure the mental illness of all of those criminal priests before they committed their atrocities? Shouldn’t this criminal organization be investigated under RICO statutes? Shouldn’t our educational systems worldwide stress the development of reasoning skills so that people can begin to seriously question the insane perpetuation of superstition, fear mongering, and the spreading of hate by organized religion? Just ask yourselves; why are all of the world’s major cults so afraid of Secular Humanism? Is it because the current system of delusional indoctrination has worked so well and the world is such a peaceful and just place that all of us horrid non-believers are going to drag humanity back into the Dark Ages? As I recall, it was reason and science that resulted in what little progress has been made, not the chanting and rituials of the ridiculously attired “men of faith” (women need not apply). Today we see an even greater push by the spiritual hypocrites to turn back the clock on human advancement by the incessant hammering of faith based politicos and their anti-intellectual henchmen on the confused minds of the victims our modern education establishment!

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, January 19, 2011 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

Centuries after its Golden Age, otherwise known as the Dark Ages, the Catholic hegemony now only exists within the confines of its mouldy walls and minds, reserving itself the authority to pre-empt common decency and the defiled innocent.
But then it is no different than any other such hierarchical absolutist human organization - but anointed by God? - I don’t think so, unless God is a corrupt ass.

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godistwaddle's avatar

By godistwaddle, January 19, 2011 at 6:38 am Link to this comment

You’d hardly expect the most bloodthirsty organization
in the history of the world (check the siege of
Beziers) to come clean about a little buggery.

ALL clergy are perverts, con-artists, or social
misfits, regardless of denomination, and the sooner
humans get rid of the evil “faith” the better. 

Faith:  anti-human, anti-progress, anti-woman, anti-
rational, anti-science.  A pure evil if there ever was
one.

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By ad, January 18, 2011 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is old, tired, information now.  It’s now even
news anymore. On top of it all, I’m tired at what is
beginning to look like anti-Catholic bias.

You should look at the Orthodox Jewish community,
there’s plenty child abuse going on there as well.

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