Thursday 8 December 2016

John Cooney: Papal letter has fanned flames of worldwide fury

John Cooney

Published 22/03/2010 | 05:00

'The Pope's letter will not lead most Irish Catholics to return to the sacraments'
'The Pope's letter will not lead most Irish Catholics to return to the sacraments'

POPE Benedict has let down victims in his flawed Pastoral Letter to the Catholics of Ireland. He has fanned the flames of worldwide fury among church members at his failure to admit and apologise for his own culpability in covering up rapes of children by clergy.

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Nor did the German Pontiff, who remains rigidly silent about media reports that he approved the transfer of a paedophile priest for therapy rather than reporting him to the police when he was Archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982, acknowledge the Vatican's leading role, as the command headquarters of more than one billion members, in a massive global cover-up.

However, in the first papal bull on the clerical abuse issue that is written plainly in readable language, Benedict lacerated the Irish bishops, his branch managers, for grave errors of judgement, "sometimes grievously", for failing to apply the secretive canon law requiring rapist priests to be defrocked.

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