The Vatican is shirking its responsibility

The heat is being put on the Vatican to clean out the stables in a peculiarly Irish fashion, where in spite of everything, respect for the niceties still dominates. That at any rate how it seems to this very amateur Vaticanologist. The Taoiseach in a long fuzzy statement has just explained how letters were exchanged in 2006 – 2006! – through diplomatic channels over a request for cooperation with the commission. The Vatican are terribly anxious to have it placed on the record that they replied. But what was the outcome of the reply? Nada. Talk about process and a “hurt” nuncio conceals no progress on substance. The total inadequacy of the Vatican’s response is exposed. Only the Pope can fire a bishop and the Pope is sitting on his hands. According to reports, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin gave a remarkable interview on RTE’s Primetime last night. Sparing us all the old elliptical nonsense, he said in terms, that implicated bishops should explain themselves satisfactorily or resign. Good man Diarmuid. “If I am unhappy with answers . . . I don’t want to be sitting at meetings with people who have not responded to a very serious situation. . . Everyone should stand up and take responsibility for what they did.” Only the Vatican can fire a bishop, it seems, although throughout history, rulers could dispose of clerics they disliked pretty smartly, including the Pope himself. As Mick has raised below, is it appropriate today that a centralised body in Rome should exercise so much domestic power and behave like an unaccountable foreign State with all that diplomatic rigmarole in the exercise of that power? The question goes back to the Reformation. In the Irish Times Maureen Gaffney goes on to the next theme, the hypocrisy of the church’s teaching on sex.

..tidying up corporate governance and instituting a more transparent culture is not going to resolve the scandal of clerical sexual abuse. That will require the church to face up to a much more profound problem – the church’s own teaching on sexuality…Richard Sipe is a former priest and a recognised authority on celibacy… On the basis of his research in the US and other countries, he estimates between 45 and 50 per cent of Catholic clergy are sexually active.”

  • Úna

    I believe we should expel the Papal Nuncio for the disrespect shown to the Irish people and State by his refusal to respond let alone co-operate with the Enquiry. The surviving Arch bishop of Dublin should be prosecuted and an Enquiry set up in Every diocese.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Can anyone explain why this breath-takingly corrupt and frankly sickening organisation are:

    A. Given respect or even the time of day by ANYONE.

    B. Why people continue to attend mass and send their children to schools run by the RC church.

    C. Why anyone should ever listen to their pronouncements on moral and sexual matters?

    I’d genuinely like to know.

  • greagoir o frainclin

    Hang the lot of them!

  • greagoir o frainclin

    Do the right thing and send them the message!

  • I think it’s about time we had a pope that wasn’t afraid of what people thought and simply stood up for the Catholic faith instead of playing paddy-cakes with everyone. Pope Benedict is what the church has needed for the past 40 years. Maybe now, we will see doctrine being taught and promoted instead of ecumenism that only compromises church teaching. I hope the pope doesn’t stop with Europe. May his message spread to the entire world. We are on a fast spiral downward. Lack of morals, values, family… May God have mercy on us all.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    PC — I’m not entirely sure how Benedict can claim to have any moral authority whatsoever, given the Vatican’s lamentable lack of action in any department over the constantly unfolding abuse scandals.

    If the office of the Pope cannot be trusted with the most basic of responsibilities — that of protecting innocent children from the sexual advances of clerical paedophiles employed by the church of Rome — then how on earth can he expect to be heeded on matters of morality?

    You cite ‘lack of morals, value, family’ yet it is difficult to conceive of a lower standard of morality than the widespread practice, tolerance and cover-up of paedophilia within a Christian organisation.

    Setting that monumental issue aside for a moment, I would agree with you to an extent in that church doctrine is being watered down and to a large extent ignored in the west on such matters as contraception, divorce and Mass attendance. Perhaps the only realistic chance of long-term survival is a severe contraction to become a church solely of the faithful, who undertake to obey all edicts rather than the current pick and mix situation.

    The church must either bring itself into the 21st century and into step with it’s western flocks views on family planning, homosexuality and clerical celibacy or close ranks and effectively expel those who refuse to follow church doctrine. The current practice of presiding over a congregation of pick and mixers simply cannot continue.

  • Gerry Adams

    Grow up little children. You are always chasing the latest scandal. The Church will outlive the lot of you. It is a global outfit where stupid, self centred Micks do not matter much at all. Your empty pomposity notwithstanding, you are an irrelevance.

  • Fabianus

    pc spiele

    “Paddy-cakes” LOL!

    Somehow appropriate in the circumstances….

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    @Gerry Adams — just for the record, I am not and never have been a Roman Catholic. I merely have a passing interest in the rank and file reaction to the ‘latest scandal’ and also to the church’s reaction to the ‘lapsing’ of much of it’s European flock.

    The RC church as an entity will most certainly outlive us all, but in what sort of moral and physical state is that likely to be?

  • NotTorquemada

    And how active was Mr. N. Fahey, Irish Ambassador to the Holy See, in PRESSING the Vatican to answer ? How pro-active was the Department of Foreign Affairs rep to the RC Church HQ in pursuing an answer on behalf of the Commission ? Did he just act as a postman ? Was there any truly robust diplomacy by the notoriously cautious N. Fahey, or were diplomatic “niceties” the order of the day from our man to the Holy See ? Or was he risk-averse and just sent the communications back to Iveagh House with no follow up required ? Did he recommend further action to pursue the commission’s request and objectives ? Or was he one of DFA’s passive people in this regard ? Did he come up to the moral mark or fall far short of it ?
    Let the Department of Foreign Affairs open its cables from the ambassador to the Holy See and back to the Department so we can see how much effort Ireland’s representative to the Vatican made on a most serious national issue of moral and legal and political importance. Let the TDs request these cables for a Dail debate. Was Ireland’s man in Vatican City prepared to cross swords with the monsignore or roll over to them ? Over to DFA please…..If there is nothing to hide and indeed to praise we look forward to seeing it.