Accountability of Religious Institutions

Vatican rejects cover-up claims over Cloyne report

The Vatican has rejected claims by Irish PM Enda Kenny that it sabotaged efforts by Irish bishops to report child-molesting priests to police.

It follows the damning Cloyne Report that showed how allegations of clerical sex-abuse in Cork had been covered up.

In a speech to parliament in July, Mr Kenny accused the Church of putting its reputation ahead of abuse victims.

The Vatican said it was "sorry and ashamed" over the scandal but said his claims were "unfounded".

"The Holy See is deeply concerned at the findings of the commission of inquiry concerning grave failures in the ecclesiastical governance of the diocese of Cloyne," said the Vatican, in a detailed response to the allegations.

"The Holy See... in no way hampered or sought to interfere in any inquiry into cases of child sex abuse in the Diocese of Cloyne."

"Furthermore, at no stage did the Holy See seek to interfere with Irish civil law or impede the civil authority in the exercise of its duties."

The church has been at the political front line in Philippine politics lately with the RH Bill debate and the art fiasco at CCP. Consequently, their political involvement brings to surface the other issues that has been haunting the church both locally and abroad. That includes the sexual scandals.

I have been at various times involved with church activities being a Catholic by baptism and once a Filipino in a foreign land. And I have been well aware of the church's tendency to appeal to faith when faced with such damning embarrassment. I mean, for an institution that is suppose to transcend humanity into profound spirituality, they are emerging to be as humanly defensive like any other. For example, there was this case of a closet gay priest in one of the towns in our province. He had been victimizing male 'sakristans' (church assistants) since who the hell knows... until he came across a faithful 'sakristan' that just cannot stomach it. The case became high profile in the province, landing more than once at the headlines of local publications. Did the priest went to jail, despite the glaring reality of it? Not a second! What happened was the priest got reprimanded and then transferred to another diocese in another province. And that was first degree sexual abuse.

While the government itself fails both at protecting its citizens and upholding the primacy of civil authority over religion, the church itself is guilty of systematically aiding a criminal to instead protect and uphold the primacy of its reputation, influence and social standing.

The above article is simply an example of how adept and eloquent the church is at upholding its social standing.

What's happening in Ireland has been going in the Philippines perhaps even at the inception of the Catholic church into its precolonial society. It is high time to bring it to light and put political determination to an issue that have always been drowned by the faithful influence of the Catholic church in a predominantly catholic country.

No religious institution, catholic or not, should have advantage in law simply because their standing is society is such that it can hasten favors and special treatment.

Click here to read the complete text of the Cloyne Report.

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