The Irish government yesterday demanded the Vatican co-operate fully with the Murphy Commission's ongoing investigations into paedophile priests in the Archdiocese of Dublin and the diocese of Cloyne.
The ultimatium was put directly by the Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin at a dramatic 45-minute meeting yesterday in Iveagh House, Dublin, with the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Guiseppe Leanza.
Afterwards an apologetic Archbishop Leanza said there was no intention on the part of the Vatican not to co-operate with the commission and he expressed his “shock and dismay” at the Murphy Report's findings into the systematic cover-up by four successive archbishops of Dublin of complaints of abuse by paedophile priests.
“We feel ashamed about what happened, I feel really I must express again my shock, my dismay,” the Papal Nuncio said.
“I understand the anger of the people and the sufferings of those who have been abused. We totally condemn this.”
Mr Martin told him of the Irish public's deep anger and outrage at the cover-ups by the Vatican and Irish bishops.
Meanwhile, it was revealed that Catholic bishops will not reveal the outcome of their crisis meeting today on clerical abuse scandals until after Cardinal Sean Brady and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin meet Pope Benedict XVI.
After today's meeting of bishops in Maynooth, the two leaders of the Catholic Church in Ireland will travel to Rome early tomorrow and meet the Pontiff on Friday.
Last night a spokesman for the Bishops' Conference said that they will speak publicly in Rome after their meeting with the Pope.
Archbishop Martin has called for explanations from 10 bishops including Bishop of Limerick Donal Murray, who has been in Rome since Monday to offer his resignation, to explain why the Murphy Report found “inexcusable” his handling of complaints against a paedophile priest.
Yesterday the embattled bishop remained out of the spotlight in the Italian capital.