Enact mandatory reporting at once
In the wake of the recent papal letter, the church has been critised for not doing more to prevent abuse in the future. In real terms, the church can only do so much. It can ensure that there are stringent application processes for seminaries, including extensive psychological screenings throughout priestly training, as well as clear guidelines for referring any allegation of abuse directly to police.
After this, however, it is up to the State to follow through and uphold the law. It is here that the Irish State has been shown to fail spectacularly and it should be a source of eternal shame that Ireland is one of the few countries not to enact mandatory reporting legislation.
How is it that unborn children are rightly protected under the Irish Constitution but let down after birth and left to endure abuse both within and outside the family? The Irish State must take responsibility to encourage the protection of children and it must happen now.