A week ago, in Ireland, the Cloyne report (PDF) was published. The report discussed how the Catholic Church responded to abuse allegations in recent years — recent! — and it turns out (surprise!) they haven’t changed one bit.
[The church authorities] failed to:
- Report cases of abuse to the civil authorities as required
- Put a system of support for victims in place
- Appoint an independent advisory panel
- Properly record cases of sex abuse
And it gets worse. Check out the Vatican’s response:
The report also strongly condemned of the Vatican’s response to child abuse allegations in Cloyne, saying that it had been “entirely unhelpful”. The Vatican had actively supported those who flouted the guidelines by describing the child protection guidelines as a mere “study document”, it concluded.
One silver lining in all of this is that the Prime Minister of Ireland (“Taoiseach”), Enda Kenny, offered a forceful rebuke against the Catholic Church:
Cloyne’s revelations are heart-breaking. It describes how many victims continued to live in the small towns and parishes in which they were reared and in which they were abused… Their abuser often still in the area and still held in high regard by their families and the community. The abusers continued to officiate at family weddings and funerals… In one case, the abuser even officiated at the victim’s own wedding…
There is little I or anyone else in this House can say to comfort that victim or others, however much we want to. But we can and do recognise the bravery of all of the victims who told their stories to the Commission.
This is the ‘Republic’ of Ireland 2011.
A Republic of laws… of rights and responsibilities… of proper civic order… where the delinquency and arrogance of a particular version… of a particular kind of ‘morality’… will no longer be tolerated or ignored.
As the Holy See prepares its considered response to the Cloyne Report, as Taoiseach, I am making it absolutely clear, that when it comes to the protection of the children of this State, the standards of conduct which the Church deems appropriate to itself, cannot and will not, be applied to the workings of democracy and civil society in this republic.
Not purely, or simply or otherwise.
Not bad for someone who is himself Catholic.
The question is how much will change as a result of this report and Kenny’s speech. Who’s going to jail as a result of this? What punishments does the Catholic Church face? When will the government start to take control of all the schools currently managed by the Catholic Church? If they’re serious about making a change, it begins with swift, forceful action.
(via Pharyngula — Thanks to Laura Jane for the link)