The Archbishop of Dublin has launched an emotional attack on church leaders in Ireland over the cover-up of child abuse.
The Telegraph reports:
A visibly upset Dr Diarmuid Martin said he was “angry, ashamed and appalled” at the behaviour of his fellow churchmen following a damning report into abuse in the diocese of Cloyne in Co Cork.
His comments follow an unprecedented attack on the Vatican by the Irish prime minister, Enda Kenny, accusing the Roman Catholic hierarchy of violating the country’s sovereignty by attempting to frustrate the inquiry.
The Taoiseach told the Irish parliament that the Cloyne report exposed the Vatican itself as being dominated by a culture of “dysfunction, disconnection, elitism and narcissism.”
“The rape and torture of children were downplayed or ‘managed’ to uphold instead, the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and ‘reputation’,” he said.
His remarks at a special debate in the Dail followed the publication last week of the fourth major report in six years cover-ups of clerical abuse.
The former Bishop of Cloyne John Magee – a Vatican aide to three Popes – was singled out for misleading investigators and “dangerous” failures on child protection.
On one occasion he was found to have written two different reports on an abuse allegation – one for Rome and one for diocesan records.
His resignation was accepted by Pope Benedict last year.
But Mr Kenny accused the Holy See of having a “calculated withering position” on clerical abuse.
“For the first time in Ireland, a report into child sexual abuse exposes an attempt by the Holy See to frustrate an inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic as little as three years ago, not three decades ago,” he said.
Close to tears, Archbishop Martin, later said told RTE he hoped the Taoiseach’s stinging criticism would teach his fellow churchmen a “lesson”.
“I find myself asking today, can I be proud of the Church that I’m a leader of?” he said.
“What I’m seeing – I have to be ashamed of this, and I have to be ashamed because of what was done to the victims and what was done to other people.”
Unpleasant and distressing this is… And we are beginning to see the full extent of the evil that was going on in Ireland.