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Vatican rule

•Why are some members of the clergy still in such obvious denial about the Vatican's role in the cover-up of child abuse by priests and religious (Letters, September 8)?

In April 2010, the Vatican Information Service released a statement by its director, Fr Federico Lombardi, concerning the now infamous Cardinal Hoyos letter, which praised a French bishop for preferring a spell in prison to informing the civil authorities about a serial paedophile priest.

The statement said the letter vindicated the action of the Pope in 2001 in unifying the treatment of sex abuse cases under 'the competency' of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. This, he said, was done "to guarantee rigorous and coherent action" in response to such cases.

I struggle to find any evidence of any rigor and coherence in the Vatican's responses to the Government in relation to the Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne Reports. The only evidence I can find is of requests for information ignored and other non co-operation by Vatican representatives in Dublin.

As for the Hoyos letter, it was written in 2003, two years after rigor and coherence were supposedly brought to bear on such matters. What exactly has changed since 2001 as a result of the Vatican reshuffle? If Ireland's experience is anything to judge by, not much.

Alistair McBay
Methven, Perth, Scotland

Irish Independent