Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 26 October 2014

Minister demands Vatican response

Children's Minister Frances Fitzgerald called for the Vatican to respond swiftly to the Cloyne Report

The Children's Minister has demanded that the Vatican should respond to the Cloyne Report on child clerical abuse within weeks.

Frances Fitzgerald said it would not be acceptable if the Vatican delayed in addressing the Government's concerns about child safety in the Catholic Church and Co Cork diocese.

The minister spoke out after the head of the Vatican press office said the Holy See will "respond in good time".

"The Tanaiste has asked the Vatican to respond urgently," said Ms Fitzgerald.

"Cloyne is such a serious report. It has such implications. We are looking for an immediate reply from the Vatican on the serious issues raised in Cloyne and a clarity about the Church approach to what is in Cloyne. I think the next couple of weeks we would like to see an initial response from the Vatican."

The Cloyne Diocese is the latest part of the Church in Ireland to be exposed over shocking clerical abuse and cover-ups, with former bishop John Magee - a Vatican aide to three Popes - singled out for misleading investigators and "dangerous" failures on child protection.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny this week launched an unprecedented attack on the Vatican, accusing the Catholic hierarchy of putting the Church ahead of child rape victims. He claimed the latest inquiry into clerical abuse cover-ups exposed a dysfunctional, elite hierarchy determined to frustrate investigations.

Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi on Thursday said the Holy See will respond in good time to the questions posed by the Government regarding the report on the diocese of Cloyne.

"In any event, we hope the current discussion regarding these dramatic issues may proceed with due objectivity," he stated.

"In this way it can contribute to the cause we must all have most at heart: namely, the protection of children and young people and the renewal of a climate of trust and collaboration, both in the Church and society - something the Pope himself calls for in his Letter to the Catholics of Ireland."

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz