by Patsy McGarry/Irish Times/RTE Special ReportVatican edict in 1997 rejected calls to report priests who abused
A 1997 VATICAN directive rejected a recommendation by the Irish Catholic Church that priests who abused children should be reported tothe civil authorities, it has emerged.
..." an Irish bishop described the Vatican directive as “a mandate . . . to conceal the reported crimes of a priest”.
.... "at a 1998 meeting with Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy (1996 until 2006), then archbishop of Dublin Desmond Connell thumped a table in frustration as the cardinal insisted it was Vatican policy to defend the rights of an accused priest above all."
Last month, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said that, in the past “most of the Irish bishops felt that dealing with the Congregation for Clergy was disastrous”.
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
More proof that the Vatican behaved like a crime family in the sexual abuse crisis. Finally, an Irish bishop has told the sad tale of the Vatican's "mandate to conceal the reported crimes" of priests.
What other church would get away with hiding criminals? What other church would get away with promoting bishops to prestigious positions in the Vatican, like Cardinal Law, who was at the epic center of the U.S. scandal?
This occured under Pope John Paul II's watch, and now church authorities appear to be in a rush to canonize him in May. Something is wrong here!
Clericalism is at the heart of this terrible sexual abuse scandal that has devastated the lives of thousands of sexual abuse victims. When protecting the accused cleric, trumps the rights of the alleged sexual abuse victim to an open and fair investigation by civil authorities, the Vatican 1997 mandate smacks of clericalism run amock in the Catholic Church! It is unjust and unbecoming to a church, whose role model is Jesus Christ.
It is time for the people of God, the church, to demand that the Vatican to initiate reforms of the clericalism that is at the heart of this sexual abuse crisis in the church. How about a world-wide boycott of money to the Vatican until this happens! It is time to open up to a renewed priestly ministry that includes Roman Catholic Women Priests serving in a people-empowered, community of equals where all are accountable to the standards of the Gospel and all are equal.