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Wednesday 24 September 2014

Holy See states church's case and says Taoiseach got it wrong

Published 05/09/2011 | 05:00

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•"At the outset, the Holy See wishes to state its abhorrence for the crimes of sexual abuse which took place in that diocese, and indeed in other Irish dioceses."

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•"The Holy See acknowledges moreover, that, taken out of context, the letter (from Archbishop Luciano Storero) could be open to misinterpretation, giving rise to understandable criticism."

•"The Holy See understands and shares the depth of public anger and frustration at the findings of the Cloyne Report, which found expression in the speech made by the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, in Dail Eireann on July 20, 2011. However, it has significant reservations about some elements of the speech."

•"Those reports -- lauded for their exhaustive investigation of sexual abuse and the way it was managed -- contain no evidence to suggest that the Holy See meddled in the internal affairs of the Irish State, or, for that matter, was involved in the day-to-day management of Irish dioceses or religious congregations with respect to sexual abuse issues."

•"The Holy See wishes to clarify that at no stage in the past did it make any comment about the Irish State's child protection framework and guidelines, let alone seek to undermine them."

•"The sexual abuse of children is a crime. It is a crime in civil law; it is a crime in canon law."

•"The Holy See does not accept that it was somehow indifferent to the plight of those who suffered abuse in Ireland, as Mr Kenny implied in his speech in Dail Eireann."

•"In a spirit of humility, the Holy See, while rejecting unfounded accusations, welcomes all objective and helpful observations and suggestions to combat. . . the appalling crime of sexual abuse of minors."

•"It also recognises the understandable anger, disappointment and sense of betrayal of those affected -- particularly the victims and their families -- by these vile and deplorable acts and by the way in which they were sometimes handled by church authorities."

Irish Independent

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