War of words between Vatican and Irish government continues

Eamon Gilmore

The war of words between the Irish government and the  Vatican continued yesterday with Foreign Minister and Deputy Leader Eamon Gilmore hitting back at charges by the Vatican that  the Irish government had failed to point out specific mistakes the Vatican made.

He also hinted that Ireland may not fill its vacant ambassadorial position at the Vatican and may run the Vatican operation from their regular Italian embassy . The Vatican has withdrawn its papal nuncio from  Ireland.

Referring to the Vatican call for specifics Gilmore  stated "The specifics, let’s be clear about the specifics: children were abused — that’s specific. Let’s not be distracted, let’s not miss the point. No loose charges were made," he said.
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"There was the most horrific sexual abuse of children perpetrated by clerics. The Catholic Church did not deal with that as it should have dealt with it. Let’s not be distracted. The Taoiseach and the Government stand over what was said."

The Vatican had sent a 25 page document reply to Irish authorities, strongly denying they had participated in any cover up of child sex abuse and pointing out that Prime Minster Enda Kenny had made no specific charges during his speech to the Irish parliament  in July attacking the Catholic Church and accusing them of a cover-up

"When the Taoiseach spoke in the Dáil, the Taoiseach was speaking for the Government and he was speaking, I believe, for the people of this country."

Gilmore stated that Vatican's detailed response "probably misses the point".

"The point here as far as the government is concerned is that the issue we want addressed is the welfare of children and the protection of children," he said.

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