Skip to comments.WikiLeaks cables: Vatican refused to engage with child sex abuse inquiry
Posted on 12/11/2010 12:34:54 PM PST by James C. Bennett
The Vatican refused to allow its officials to testify before an Irish commission investigating the clerical abuse of children and was angered when they were summoned from Rome, US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks reveal.
Requests for information from the 2009 Murphy commission into sexual and physical abuse by clergy "offended many in the Vatican" who felt that the Irish government had "failed to respect and protect Vatican sovereignty during the investigations", a cable says.
Despite the lack of co-operation from the Vatican, the commission was able to substantiate many of the claims and concluded that some bishops had tried to cover up abuse, putting the interests of the Catholic church ahead of those of the victims. Its report identified 320 people who complained of child sexual abuse between 1975 and 2004 in the Dublin archdiocese.
A cable entitled "Sex abuse scandal strains Irish-Vatican relations, shakes up Irish church, and poses challenges for the Holy See" claimed that Vatican officials also believed Irish opposition politicians were "making political hay" from the situation by publicly urging the government to demand a reply from the Vatican.
The Irish government wanted "to be seen as co-operating with the investigation" because its own education department was implicated, but politicians were reluctant to press Vatican officials to answer the investigators' queries.
According to Fahey's deputy, Helena Keleher, the government acceded to Vatican pressure and granted them immunity from testifying. Officials understood that "foreign ambassadors are not required or expected to appear before national commissions", but Keleher's opinion was that by ignoring the commission's requests the clergy had made the situation worse.
The cable reveals the behind-the-scenes diplomacy in which politicians in the Irish government attempted to persuade an imperious Vatican to engage with the investigation.
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
Holy See urges ‘prudence’ in reading Vatican-related cables
By Tim Lister, CNN
December 11, 2010 10:15 a.m. EST
(CNN) — The Holy See's press office Saturday urged the public to read the latest Vatican-related diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks with “great prudence,” claiming the allegations cited in the documents reflect only the view of their writers.
Without going into specifics on a number of allegations that emerged with the U.S. cables, the Holy See Press Office said that the reports “reflect the perceptions and opinions of the people who wrote them and cannot be considered as expressions of the Holy See itself.”
“Their reliability must, then, be evaluated carefully and with great prudence, bearing this circumstance in mind,” the statement said.
Among the documents were cables showing that relations between the Vatican and Ireland deteriorated sharply as the Holy See appeared to ignore a commission looking into complaints of physical and sexual abuse of children by Irish priests.
Excerpted. More at link.
The Vatican is still harboring Cardinal Law, aren’t they? I guess they consider that prudent.
By harboring, what do you mean?
The Massachusetts State Police went to Cardinal Law’s residence on a Friday afternoon. As *luck* would have it he was not at home. Cardinal Law flew out early the next morning, First Class, for Rome where a cushy position was waiting for him. AFAIK he has not been back to find out exactly what the State Police wanted.
The Vatican is still harboring a bunch of known queers with collars. Sickening!
BTW in his new Vatican position Cardinal Law is involved in selecting new bishops. Nice, huh?
I’m not sure Cardinal Law was gay himself or was an abuser but he certainly covered up repeat child abusers. I don’t know what he was thinking when he did it. Perhaps he felt a bad priest was better than no priest at all. He was wrong and he broke the law. The Vatican is still covering for him.
The Irish government at that time was aggressively anti-Catholic and the commission was, unfortunately, similar to SNAP and a number of other American organizations ostensibly formed to get at child molesters but which were really a combination of trial lawyers and radical liberal Catholics who saw this as a way to get inside the gates and attack the Church from within.
BTW, the Irish bishops themselves were quite liberal and some of them, even though personally implicated in these cases, suddenly decided to use this as a way to attack the Church and were welcomed as golden boys by the Irish government commission. This had nothing to do with eliminating either homosexuality or abuse of minors (many of the erring Irish priests were involved with teenage girls, btw) but was another way for them to get at Benedict. The Irish bishops actually hate him because he was the first Pope since weakening of Rome by Vatican II to dare to shake up their comfy little liberal world in Ireland.
The Vatican not only is the headquarters for the Catholic Church, it also happens to be a sovereign nation—all that was left of papal property after Italian unification.
If the International Court of the Hague summoned the President and other American officials for a hearing, does anyone here really think they should go? Even if it was a legitimate case?
Well, this is the same thing. A Socialist, anti-Catholic Irish government does not have the right to “summon” the citizens of another country to a hearing.
There WERE abuses that took place in Ireland, and the Irish courts can perfectly well investigate and prosecute those responsible, without this kind of illegitimate grandstanding.
Don’t confuse the baiter-haters with facts.
Great. More stuff we have no business knowing.
I got to know Cardinal Law fairly well (though not often face to face) when we were in Boston visiting family fairly regularly. Indeed, he presided over my Aunt’s funeral.
He was an orthodox bishop, who usually got into trouble for trying to bring dissident liberal priests back into line. His writings in the diocesan newspaper were always orthodox, unlike some other bishops I could name.
The chief sex offender villain was a priest who publicly argued in favor of NAMBLA and gay rights. The Boston papers, of course, supported him in this. While somewhat contradictorily lambasting the church as a den of pederasty.
In the end, Cardinal Law did indeed fail to do his job. But the basic problem was not so much anything to do with him as the fact that he had to preside over a diocese that was absolutely stuffed full of dissidents. His reputation was that of a mean conservative. If he had defrocked all of the offenders, there would hardly have been anyone left to say Mass.
In hindsight, he should have somehow handled it differently. But he was NOT a gay-enabler or a liberal sympathizer like, say, Rembert Weakland. He simply was confronted with more problems than he could manage.
That’s my take on it. All of this came out more or less after he left, so no one really had any chance to discuss it with him, as far as I know. Indeed, it was not the kind of thing that could be discussed, with the lawyers all gathering like vultures and the diocese being stripped of all the money it needed for basic building maintenance and charities.
The Communist Guardian, of course, hates Catholics and the Pope, and never misses a chance to demonize them. The more unfair the charges, the better.
That's gonna leave a mark...
Actually *many* people had a chance to discuss the issues with him!
Cardinal Law called politicians, judges, editorial writers for the Globe and the Herald and just about every Catholic who had any relevant power. He pleaded, threatened and implored them - as Catholics - to keep the lid on the scandal and overlook the crimes taking place.
Many of these people were daily communicants. They were shocked.
And that would have been a beautiful work of God. Imagine the impact he could have had if he would have announced that there is barely enough priests to say mass for a few months. Mass said by a homo is meaningless. And why did he flee
No, not all homos or pederasts. Actually only a few. But lots and lots of dissidents and leftists, as one might expect in Massachusetts. Across the spectrum from people who should indeed have been defrocked to those who were just guilty of stuff like ad-libbing in the Mass, promoting girl altar servers before it was permitted, and the like.
As I said, he should have handled it better. But it was more a question of being overwhelmed by problems than evil intention, as was the case with a few other bishops who were far worse.
It’s odd that Greece suffers a reputation of homo sex more than Italy. The Romans had no regard for the female form in their art, while the Greeks venerated women in their art. I believe Romans bequeathed their man-love to the Catholic church.
I guess I wasn’t around during that time. I mostly was in the area before the scandal broke out.
I would suspect that if he wanted to keep things quiet, it was not to protect the guilty but to somehow try to limit the damage from vulture lawyers, who stripped all the money out of the diocese.
And, yes, there were other problems. The diocesan marriage tribunal abused its authority to give what amounted to easy divorces, Ted Kennedy being the best known instance. I just don’t think he was behind these problems, the way Weakland was and others of his ilk, or that he wanted things to happen that way. Rather, he just couldn’t handle it.