..."A principal factor in the cover-up, the government study found, was a Vatican letter in 1997 warning Irish church leaders against full cooperation with law enforcement authorities. The papal representative wrote that the anti-abuse policies conflicted with church law and should be considered “merely a study document.”
"This turned criminal law on its head and, as the study noted, gave bishops “freedom to ignore” the tougher rules and protect abusers in the church. ...With the pedophilia scandal under investigation worldwide, Vatican officials point to new, tougher rules. But the rules, which do not require dioceses to report allegations of crimes to the police, are considered only advisory guidelines to bishops. The Dublin government has enacted a new law making it a crime for anyone, church officials included, to fail to report child abuse to civil authorities. The Vatican has a valuable lesson to learn in Ireland."
Bridget Mary's Reflection:
I am proud of Ireland, the land of my birth, as civil leaders confront the Vatican for their central role in the cover-up of sexual abuse that has damaged thousands of innocent lives. The Vatican has acted like a crime family in this global cover-up. The Irish have put their "foot down" and reminded the hierarchy that they are subject to civil law like everyone else. Obviously, the Irish leaders do not fear the crack of a crozier anymore!
Here we are now a year after the Vatican put women priests in the same category as pedophiles! One wonders if church officials were trying to distract world attention from the reforms necessary to deal with the pedophile crisis such as mandatory reporting of sexual abuse to civil authorities.
The take home lesson is that, we in the international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement, are flourishing as more faith-filled women seek ordination to serve the people of God and renew our church. In this sense, you could say that the Vatican is the gift that keeps on giving!
Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP
Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests