Friday, December 17, 2010

Toxic role
Church played a toxic role in protecting pedophiles say Fine Gael
December 17, 2010 by Gerard Cunningham
The government should hold a referendum on protecting children’s rights as soon as possible, a Fine Gael spokesman has said.
Charlie Flanagan was speaking in response to the publication of Chapter 19 of the Murphy Report into clerical sexual abuse of children in the Dublin diocese.

However, it is likely that a bill for a referendum will have to be introduced by Fine Gael, since there is little likelihood of a referendum before the general election, due in the Spring.

Chapter 19 of the Murphy Report was withheld when the report was published because of pending legal cases, which concluded last week with the conviction of pedophile priest Tony Walsh.

Flanagan also expressed “grave concern about the failure of church authorities to respect Irish law.”

“It is essential,” he said, “that the full facts and context of the horrific abuse that was perpetrated by Tony Walsh are out in the open, to ensure some measure of justice for the victims and to allow them to move on with their lives.”

“Moreover, the toxic role that silence played in the abuse of children in this country in recent years underlines the importance of transparency in these matters.

“I am horrified that the Vatican overturned the decision of an Irish Canon Law tribunal to defrock Tony Walsh, following an investigation. The Vatican’s attitude to these matters is frightening and highlights once again the fact that the State must insist that the criminal law of the State is superior to any other law.”

“Ireland is a democratic Republic and to ignore our laws is to seek to subvert democracy. The failure of Church authorities to report Tony Walsh to the GardaĆ­ meant that while the first complaints about him were made in 1978, he was not jailed until 1995 and had the opportunity to destroy countless children’s lives in the intervening years.”

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