Cloyne report: Arch. Martin warns against polarisation

2011-07-21 Vatican Radio

On Wednesday evening, the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, intervened in the increasingly heated debate in Ireland over the findings of the government commissioned report into the handling of abuse allegations in the diocese of Cloyne, bringing attention back to the report’s effects on the victims and survivors of abuse.   In an interview with the national broadcaster RTE, the leader of the Republic’s largest diocese said: “On Sunday I talked about (…) being repentant, we had a liturgy of lament in the pro-Cathedral which was a very moving event in which the victims had the courage to speak out.  How do they feel today when they see this?” The Archbishops intervention came only hours after the Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach Enda Kelly,  addressed the Dàil in the course of a Parliamentary debate on the Report.  During his address the leader of the moderate Fine Gael Party accused the Vatican of ‘frustrating’ and being ‘unhelpful’ to government inquiries into abuse allegations.  He indicated that the Vatican had encouraged bishops not to report abuse to statutory authorities. Archbishop Martin, speaking on the national evening news, stated : “Those in Cloyne ignored the 2001 norms of the Pope, of the present Pope. What is that saying? (…) That is in there and still refuses to recognise what the norms of the Church are?”. The Primate of Ireland also described how he had personally delivered over 70 thousand documents to the Murphy Commission of Inquiry and has reported every case of abuse allegations to Irish police.  He stated “I have never been reprimanded by the Vatican for doing that, so the norms that are there are important”.    He also went on to speak of his feelings of anger and shame at what was done to victims and other people in the Church.  He described a recent episode where elderly priests were heckled at the funeral of a fellow priest. “There were six elderly priests there who were men of tremendous integrity and goodness, somebody shouted at them ‘you should be ashamed of yourself’.  That is the Church I am proud of, and I also have a responsibility to defend [it]”. Archbishop Martin denounced those who “play tricks” with norms for betraying the Church. And he also criticised the Irish Government for glossing over its part in failing to have adequate child protection measures in place. Finally, Archbishop Martin warned against a breakdown in collaboration between partners in civil society: “I don’t want to see a polarisation between Church, State, Voluntary groups, we all should be working together to see that children are protected”. Emer McCarthy reports Listen: 00:02:37:51