August 2, 2011

Vatican suspects political motive for Enda Kenny’s attack

by Jan Harris

An unnamed Vatican official has suggested that Enda Kenny’s recent attack on the Vatican over its handling of child sexual abuse cases, was a ploy to divert attention from the euro crisis.

The publication of the Cloyne Report, which looked into the handling of alleged child sexual abuse by 19 clerics of the Catholic Diocese of Cloyne in the County of Cork, prompted the prime minister to launch a blistering tirade against the Vatican.

“The Cloyne report excavates the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism, the narcissism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day,” he said.

The Vatican signalled its disapproval of the attack by recalling its envoy to Ireland, Giuseppe Leanza, and re-posting him to Prague a few days later.

An official response from the Vatican is expected this month, and it is expected to point to a new determination to tackle alleged sexual abuse since 2001, when Pope John Paul II put in place an effective policy, a response which the prime minister’s attack failed to acknowledge.

A senior Vatican official said: “Not to recognise that there has been a learning curve and that things have changed is stupid”.

While the prime minster received thousands of messages of support, many of them from clergy, others were horrified at his outburst.

Father Thomas Daly compared his criticism of the Vatican to one of Hitler’s speeches in a leaflet with the provocative title ‘Heil Herr Kenny’.

The leaflet was handed out to members of Father Daly’s parish in Drogheda, County Louth.

He later apologised, saying: “I regret the headline and for the misunderstandings that might have arisen out of it. I am not comparing Enda Kenny to Hitler.”

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