"The days of bending the knee in Ireland to kiss the ring of men who were, at best, indifferent or, at worst, compliant in covering up and perpetuating the abuse of children have passed."
In an extraordinary and harshly worded editorial, the Irish Times has slammed the Catholic church leaders in Ireland and the Papal Nuncio for their reluctance to accept responsibility for the sex abuse cases against children by priests.
The editorial begins with by lacerating the Catholic Hierarchy and the Papal Nuncio for their lack of cooperation with the commission that investigated the abuse.
"Does Willie Walsh (Bishop of Killaloe who has defended the bishops under fire) realise how much he has let down the Catholic laity? Has the papal nuncio any conception that the majesty of the Roman Catholic Church won’t cut it any more? The days of bending the knee in Ireland to kiss the ring of men who were, at best, indifferent or, at worst, compliant in covering up and perpetuating the abuse of children have passed. The last paragraph of the Murphy report into the clerical rape and sexual abuse of children in the Dublin archdiocese quotes one victim, Marie Murray, as saying: “within the institutional church there has been no change of heart, only a change of strategy."
The editorial has called for "new and detailed legislation, with an effective reporting regime and strict criminal enforcement."
It also emphasises the need for the hierarchy to reestablish an honest and trustful relationship with its followers and calls for "the ending of a culture of denial and cover ups."
The editorial claims that there is a "distressing air of deja vu" about the report and the Catholic Churches claims of reassuring Churchgoers "that structures were now in place to ensure the protection of their children and the prosecution of offenders."
The editorial concludes that the Vatican should be responsible for the horrific child abuse carried out by its minions.
"A common feature has been the closing of hierarchical ranks in order to protect colleagues and the institution of the church.Abused children have been relegated to the status of distasteful and unwelcome problems. It bears all the hallmarks of a crude, damage limitation exercise. Where is papal authority and responsibility? In spite of efforts by Vatican spokesmen to put distance between the pope and the scandals of the Irish church, the buck really does stop in Rome."