Spokesman: Holy See to Respond to Cloyne Report

Expresses Hope That All Parties Maintain Objectivity

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 21, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See will respond at the "opportune moment" to the recently published Cloyne report, which reveals the failure of the Irish diocese to correctly handle sexual abuse cases as recently as three years ago, a statement from a Vatican spokesman has revealed.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, issued an oral statement today in which he also expressed the wish that the "ongoing debate on such dramatic issues can be carried out with the necessary objectivity so as to contribute to the matter which should most concern us all, namely the safety of children and of young people and the renewal of a climate of trust and collaboration to this end, in both the church and society, as wished for by the Pope in his letter to the Catholics of Ireland."

The Report by the Commission of Inquiry into the Diocese of Cloyne found that nine of 15 cases of sexual abuse were not reported to authorities between 1996 and 2009, which violates the child protection guidelines set down by the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference.

Additionally, it cited a 1997 curial letter sent to the Irish bishops' conference that expressed "serious reservations of both a moral and a canonical nature" regarding the "mandatory reporting" that was stipulated in the guidelines.

The Cloyne report noted that this letter "effectively gave individual Irish bishops the freedom to ignore the procedures."

In comments made Wednesday, Ireland's prime minister, Enda Kenny, called the Cloyne report "a tale of a frankly brazen disregard for protecting children."

Speaking to Ireland's lower house of Parliament, or Dail, the leader of the moderate Fine Gael Party said that the "revelations of the Cloyne report have brought the government, Irish Catholics and the Vatican to an unprecedented juncture," and added that the government "awaits the considered response of the Holy See."