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Video: Shatter says Vatican priest 'disingenuous' on Cloyne

Independent.ie reporters

Published 20/07/2011 | 09:38

Justice Minster Alan Shatter today rejected claims by Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi on the findings of the Cloyne Report.

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Father Lombardi had directly contradicted the findings of the Report and said it was "somewhat strange to see the Vatican criticised so heavily".

Speaking on RTE Radio , the Minister said the Cloyne Report was emphatic in its findings and said Fr Lombardi was being ''disingenuous''.

The Clone Report was critical of a 1997 letter sent by the then Papal Nuncio to all Irish bishops advising them that their new framework document on child protection appeared "contrary to canonical discipline".

Claiming to be speaking in a personal rather than an official capacity, Fr Lombardi said: "There is no motive to interpret the letter in the way it has been, as an attempt to cover up cases of abuse. There is nothing in the letter which suggests not respecting the laws of the land."

The 400-page Clone Report, which investigated how allegations against 19 priests were dealt with between 1996 and 2009, said the Vatican's response to the church guidelines was entirely unhelpful and gave comfort and support to those who dissented from the guidelines, describing it as "wholly unacceptable".

In his interview with Radio Vatican, Fr Lombardi said the church wanted "truth and a clean-up" of its operations in Ireland.

"This report is a new step in the long and arduous walk to find the truth," he said, adding that this was a journey the Holy See did not feel apart from.

During the interview he also recalled how last year Pope Benedict had apologised for the pain and suffering of those who had experienced abuse at the hands of priests in Ireland.

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