Wednesday 13 December 2017

Empty pulpits

•If the Papal Nuncio had contributed, as requested, to the deliberations of the Murphy Commission investigation into the Dublin and Cloyne dioceses, the response of the Holy See to the Cloyne Report might not have been cast so heavily in the context of post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore because of this) in a style designed to retrospectively limit reputational damage rather than minimising the risk of children being abused.

The Papal Nuncio's refusal to collaborate on this vital matter of national importance must demand a fundamental analysis by the Government of the primacy, purpose and relevance of a diplomatic relationship with the Vatican.

The response offers no insight into how church and state could proceed from here on the issue of safeguarding children. The two-year delay from January 2009 to January 2011 in implementing the diocesan audits on grounds of a smokescreen connected to data protection legislation, and the lacklustre record last year of promptly advising the Safeguarding Board of episodes of clerical sex abuse, do not inspire public confidence.

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