Friday, December 11, 2009

Pope to meet cardinal over abuse

Pope to meet cardinal over abuse
The Pope is due to meet the leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland later to discuss the findings of a damning report into clerical child abuse.

Last month, the Murphy report found that church leaders had covered up child abuse in Dublin for decades.

The Pope summoned the Primate of All Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady, to Rome after the Vatican was criticised for failing to respond to the inquiry.

The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, will accompany the cardinal.

Shame and sorrow

The Murphy report which was published two weeks ago, laid bare a culture of concealment within the Dublin archdiocese and found that four consecutive archbishops prioritised the church's reputation above the welfare of children who were being physically and sexually abused.
Instead, paedophile priests were moved from parish to parish, free to repeat their actions on new victims.

Immediately after the publication, Cardinal Brady said he was "deeply sorry and ashamed" at the abuse of children described in the report.

The archbishop of Dublin said he offered "to each and every survivor my apology, my sorrow and my shame for what happened to them" but added that "no words of apology will ever be sufficient".

Archbishop Martin was praised by victims for his willingness to co-operate with the inquiry which was ordered by the Irish government, unlike his four predecessors who had failed to report paedophile priests to the civil authorities.

Both men will meet Pope Benedict XVI amid widespread anger over the Vatican's response to the abuse investigation.

Contempt claim

The Murphy Commission said the Pope's ambassador to Ireland, Papal Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, had failed to respond to extracts of its draft report, referring to him and his office, which it had forwarded to him.

The papal envoy had complained that the inquiry did not go through the appropriate diplomatic channels in its approach to him, but Archbishop Leanza was then forced to defend himself against allegations that he had treated the investigation with contempt.

Three days ago, he was summoned to a meeting with the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheal Martin, who told the papal nuncio that the Irish government expected the Vatican to respond substantially and comprehensively to the questions asked by the Murphy Commission.

The foreign minister also said he had sought a commitment from the archbishop that the church would co-operate fully with the upcoming Cloyne inquiry, which is investigating clerical abuse in County Cork.

Archbishop Leanza said the Murphy report was being studied by the Vatican and he said he hoped there would be a response to its contents following the meeting on Friday.

No comments: