Wednesday 13 December 2017

Colum Kenny: RTE points the finger at Rome over abuse guidelines

Irish bishops fear that papal envoys will ignore Rome's role in the child abuse scandal, writes Colum Kenny

The revelation is timely for Irish Catholic bishops, but 14 years too late for many people. Last week's expose on RTE smacked of spin by the Irish hierarchy, now under investigation by envoys from Pope Benedict.

Basing its investigation on a 1997 letter from senior Vatican officials, marked "strictly confidential" but recently leaked, RTE last week pointed a finger at Rome. It exaggerated by claiming that, "the Vatican prevented Irish bishops from removing abuser priests and reporting them to the authorities".

But what one of the Vatican's departments did do was bad enough. It put pressure on individual Irish bishops not to implement a guideline that Ireland's Cardinal Daly had said publicly had been agreed by the hierarchy. That guideline should have meant that all serious allegations of child abuse would be reported to the gardai.

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