"The revelations of the Cloyne report have brought the Government, Irish Catholics and the Vatican to an unprecedented juncture. 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.
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.
The behaviour being a case of Roma locuta est: causa finita est. Except in this instance, nothing could be further from the truth.
A day post-publication, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade met with the Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza. The Tánaiste left the Archbishop clear on two things: The gravity of the actions and attitude of the Holy See. And Ireland’s complete rejection and abhorrence of same. The Papal Nuncio undertook to present the Cloyne Report to the Vatican. The Government awaits the considered response of the Holy See.
...this is not Rome. Nor is it industrial-school or Magdalene Ireland, where the swish of a soutane smothered conscience and humanity and the swing of a thurible ruled the Irish-Catholic world. This is the ‘Republic’ of Ireland 2011.
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.
...those who have been abused can take some small comfort in knowing that they belong to a nation...[w]here the law - their law - as citizens of this country, will always supercede canon laws that have neither legitimacy nor place in the affairs of this country....
Cardinal Josef Ratzinger said “Standards of conduct appropriate to civil society or the workings of a democracy cannot be purely and simply applied to the Church.”
As the Holy See prepares its considered response to the Cloyne Report, as Taoiseach, I am making it absolutely clear, that when it comes to the protection of the children of this State, the standards of conduct which the Church deems appropriate to itself, cannot and will not, be applied to the workings of democracy and civil society in this republic.Not purely, or simply or otherwise. CHILDREN.... FIRST."