Irish Republican News · July 24, 2011
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
No justice for abuse victims as Kenny blasts Vatican

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny has mounted a strong verbal attack on the Catholic church as pressure again grows in Ireland for action to be taken in the wake of the latest child abuse scandal.

The inquiry into paedophilic practices in the diocese of Cloyne, near Cork, found that abuses were taking place as recently as three years ago, despite the near continuous scandal over abuses revealed in the past decade.

The latest report confirms than neither church nor state organisations have made a meaningful effort to halt the abuses. No prosecutions have yet been brought despite a welter of shocking evidence revealed by three different inquiries.

A blame game has now apparently broken out between church and state in the 26 Counties. It was emphatically escalated this week by Kenny when, in a statement to the Dáil, he warned of more reports such as Cloyne unless the church’s “frankly brazen disregard” for child protection was not amended.

On Tuesday, the Pope’s spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi pointed out that the church’s advice to its bishops in the wake of the abuse scandals had not contravened the law of the 26-County state. It was that statement which apparently drew Kenny’s inflamed response.

The revelations of the Cloyne report had brought the government, Irish Catholics and the Vatican to an unprecedented juncture, The Taoiseach told a near-empty Dail chamber.

“It’s fair to say that after the Ryan and Murphy reports Ireland is, perhaps, unshockable when it comes to the abuse of children. But Cloyne has proved to be of a different order.”

“Because for the first time in Ireland, a report into child sexual abuse exposes 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. And in doing so, the Cloyne report excavates the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism, the narcissism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day.”

Mr Kenny continued: “The rape and torture of children were downplayed or ‘managed’ to uphold instead, the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and ‘reputation’.”

However, the continuing impunity of clergymen and others in the face of rape allegations has again raised fears that paedophile networks are exerting undue influence in the higher echelons of Irish society.

This week, it was revealed that a Donegal school caretaker was allowed to keep his job despite being convicted for sexually assaulting a pupil. The caretaker in question is alleged to have continued to use his position to carry out further abuses against children.

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Children Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said that it was high time that the Church stopped believing itself to be above the law. He asked how many inquiries would be needed before real action was taken on this “dreadful neglect”.

“The Church is not above the law and it is high time that they stopped thinking that they were. Father Lombardi may state that his remarks have been made in a personal capacity but this is the sort of disingenuous double-speak that must end.

“In Cloyne, Bishop Magee had no interest in protecting the children of Cork and fobbed his responsibility off to Monsignor O’Callaghan who equally had no interest in reporting abuse of children to the authorities.

“John Magee actively, knowingly lied to the government, to the health services, and to the Gardaí. He concealed information about the crimes committed by the priests within his diocese. He actively engaged in the reckless, and at times, wilful endangerment of children.

“There are prosecutions to be faced by those who perpetrated crimes against children, either through directly abusing them or being complicit in the cover-up of their abuse. Nothing less, I fear, will bring to an end this lurid regime.”

He said the State still has questions to answer regarding its own procedures.

“Only this week we have heard of a Donegal case where a school premises continued to employ a man convicted of sexually assaulting a young male despite the Gardaí expressing concern on the matter,” he said.

“Procedures, as we have seen ad nauseum, are of no use unless they are implemented,” Mr O Caolain said.

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© 2011 Irish Republican News