Monday, July 20, 2009

Abuse report no surprise to Pope Benedict XVI

Abuse report no surprise to Pope

Monday June 08 2009

I read with interest the timely report and analysis from John Cooney on last week's Vatican meeting between Cardinal Brady, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and the Holy Father (Irish Independent, June 6).

"Abuse report rocks the Vatican," it read. Come now folks. It's hardly a shock to them at this point. They are well informed about it and have been for some time.

Dr Martin himself was aware of abuse during his schooldays in Dublin some 50 years ago, according to statements he made recently.

Perhaps the shock for the inscrutable members of the Roman Curia is the dawning reality that the Irish people, taken for granted for so long by the Church, are finally stirring from their slumber of clerical deference and financial gullibility.

On this point, it might also be appropriate to ask that the Irish Independent report in less deferential language on these matters.

Terms such as "exceptional access" to papal discussions on a matter of this magnitude are surely overblown. It is the Pope's business to deal directly with such an abominable issue as institutional child abuse, starvation and torture by religious congregations.

So Pope Benedict has now relayed his determination via Giuseppi Leandra of his intention to "rid the Catholic Church of paedophile priests".

It's a bit late in the day for relaying second-hand comment, Holiness.

This message he should have addressed to the Irish people personally. It is still widely anticipated, and obviously necessary.

Monsignor Lombardi's initial comments on the report beggar belief. All bishops report directly to the Holy Father.

If he had instructed them clearly in 2002 (when he was the senior cardinal in the Curia) or in 2006, the reform would now be in operation here, as it is in England and Wales and the US.

In Ireland, of course, our deferential Government has betrayed our children once again rather than discommode the Irish Catholic episcopate.

I would like to reiterate my previous request to this newspaper to give us a series of articles outlining the corporate, administrative and financial structure of this foreign-based Church which even yet maintains such an inordinate degree of control of the taxpayer-financed education, social welfare and medical services in this country. It would lend informative context to these reports.

Joseph A Geoghegan
Brisbane, Australia


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