Bishops warned not to report abuse

2011-01-18 16:19

Dublin - A newly revealed 1997 letter from the Vatican warns Ireland's Catholic bishops not to report all suspected child abuse cases to police because that would violate the church's canon laws.

The letter, obtained by Irish broadcasters RTE and provided to The Associated Press, documents the Vatican's 1997 rejection of an Irish church initiative to begin helping police identify paedophile priests.

In the letter, the Vatican's diplomat in Ireland says a church panel in Rome, the Congregation for the Clergy, has decided that the new Irish policy of "mandatory" reporting of abuse claims conflicts with canon law.

The Vatican has not formally accepted any of the Irish church's three major documents on child protection since 1996. All emphasize mandatory reporting of suspected offenses.

  • briansmith702 - 2011-01-18 16:51

    Now we know just how sick the catholic church is!!! A bunch of criminals who totally deface christianity. Sick bunch of homos and paedeophiles starting with the pope. They have throughout history and particularly in the second world war covered up horrendous attrocities by the Nazis and even assisted in their relocation to South America. A very sick branch of Christianity that harms a wonderful religion.

      pensioner - 2011-01-18 17:37

      Until you have seen proof of the letter, you should keep your opinions to yourself. If it is proven, I would condemn the action in as strong terms as yourself but do not castigate the whole Catholic Church because of the action of certain individuals. There are many wonderful Catholic priests and religious who have done great work amongst their communities and to class them all in the same boat is wrong.

      Mikemcc - 2011-01-18 17:54

      @pensioner, this is not the first indication that the Vatican demanded that these abuses be covered up. I agree that not all catholic priests are abusers but with the way that they were/are moved from parish to parish instead of being handed over to police does nothing to improve this perception. As a result of this I would certainly treat all of them with suspicion around my kids.

  • Singo - 2011-01-18 16:57

    This story is long overdue.even the families of the victims are failing them because most of them dont believe that some veticans are paedophiles. One can still find the same families whose cildren were molested still attending the same church with the same veticans and vice versa.

  • Rick - 2011-01-18 16:58

    What a filthy institution.

  • norma.farmer - 2011-01-18 17:04

    This is nothing short of criminal and the guilty parties should face jail sentances....that includes the bishops, and even the Pope. That so called Christians should behave in this way brings dishonour to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to God.

  • marc.dhotman - 2011-01-18 17:09

    I'm calling the media out on this one, whats the bet this is another one of those that the media got wrong. They love taking things out of context. So where can we read this document? For those of you reading this and thinking what did they get wrong, just check back a little when the media said the pope was changing the polocy on condoms and accepting them now. How wrong were they then. Lets see how this one turns out.

      lmduplessis - 2011-01-18 17:21

      Are you still a loyal catholic who eats up all the BS the priests keep telling you, or are you just another of those "The free media are evil witches" we get these days. Either way, we don't hate you. we will always be there to accept you again when you get your frontal lobe back.

      marc.dhotman - 2011-01-18 17:39

      The wierd thing is, I dont hear the priests trying to defend anything or saying anything about the media. In fact I question what they say just as much as anyone else. I see myself as a scientest, I like testing stuff. The results you get are amazing. The media seem to get it wrong most of the time, The church seem to get it right most of the time. Maybe Im a little too logical and dont get caught up in all the media hype that keeps selling the newspapers.

      Mikemcc - 2011-01-18 17:57

      @marc, So would you consider all the reported abuses as the media getting it wrong and the church getting it right?

      marc.dhotman - 2011-01-18 22:17

      @Mikecc, Nope, I would not say that. It just seems that the media are getting it so wrong so often lately. When they do get it right its going to be harder for me to beleve them. I wish the media would verify stuff before sensationalizeing it. The sad fact is that when the truth does finally come out, it does not make news.

  • fx - 2011-01-18 17:13

    burn the pigs!!!

  • fx - 2011-01-18 17:14

    Burn the pigs!

  • Grant - 2011-01-18 17:25

    Surely this is grounds for criminal charges in obstructing or (excuse the pun) perverting the course of justice?? This is why, as much as I believe in God, I believe that RELIGION is seriously twisted! Any person/group who wishes to worship God, I'm fine with...and if they want to protect that right, I'm fine with it too. But the institution ITSELF is nothing. Protecting an INSTITUTION against the effects of exposure is NOT protecting God. There's a big story in the Bible about worshipping false Idols. Worshipping an INSTITUTION is doing exactly that! These people seriously need their heads checked!

      marc.dhotman - 2011-01-18 17:44

      I would have to agree with you Grant, I would think if what they say is correct someone would have been arrested already and the headlines would have read "Priest arrested for obstructing justice". Could it be that the media is taking things out of context again?

      lmduplessis - 2011-01-18 19:49

      Nope, these priests, as you so put it, who sent these orders to the Irish are in the Vatican, a whole other country controlled by these self same priests? Who are there that should arrest these people, exctly??

      Patsy - 2012-02-12 11:02

      The problem, I gather, is that they are an independent State, and as such cannot be governed like us ordinary citizens. Pity!!! They also are probably the richest state in the world - although they are always begging for money.....

  • Madelane - 2011-01-18 18:46

    The largest and strongest money making corporation on the planet with all the corporate dishonesty and dirty dealing. This is the Catholic Church, now and always has been. Above the law and answerable to no one. And it has precious little to do with the Scriptural teachings.

  • Wollie - 2011-01-18 19:08


  • GBES - 2011-01-19 07:50

    What a sad report.Children should be protected,not the church !But..It is inhuman for men to be barred from having sex.These priests should be able to marry,and still lead a good christian life.This whole doctrine is based on something St Paul mentioned about abstinence.God put these sex hormones into our biology,so why suppress it, as if it is from the devil ?

  • John - 2011-01-19 08:35

    Anyone who calls them Catholic are just as guilty as the pedophile priests. FILTHY BASTARDS including the ass of a pope! Somebody get rid of that of that old relic!

  • Jakob - 2011-02-21 11:56

    i say burn there mother f devils

  • Burgert Adriaan Potgieter - 2013-10-01 20:26

    Surely without the Knowledge of Pope Francis.

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