State will not 'wait forever' on Cloyne response


VATICAN:MINISTER FOR Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore has said the Government wants the Vatican to respond to the report on clerical child sex abuse in the Cloyne diocese by the end of next month.

Mr Gilmore warned yesterday the Government was not going to “wait forever” for an official response it has sought from the Vatican.

He also responded forcefully to the remarks of Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi, who had appealed for “objectivity” in the debate on the report.

Mr Gilmore said there was objectivity in the discussion, and added that the report itself was very objective. “It laid across a lot of very objective facts. And the objective facts are children were abused in the care of the church. The objective fact is it was covered up and not reported.

“And the objective fact is the Vatican interfered in the affairs of this country and the way in which that was being dealt with by church people who were under the influence of the Vatican and under their regime. That’s an objective fact, and I want responses to those objective facts.

“We have objectivity. The objectivity is in the report. It has to be responded to. I have asked for the response. I am not going to wait forever for it.”

Separately, Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald said the Vatican should respond to the report within weeks. It would not be acceptable if the Vatican delayed in addressing the Government’s concerns about child safety in the church and the Cloyne diocese.

“The Tánaiste has asked the Vatican to respond urgently. Cloyne is such a serious report. It has such implications. We are looking for an immediate reply from the Vatican on the serious issues raised in Cloyne and a clarity about the church approach to what is in Cloyne. I think in the next couple of weeks we would like to see an initial response from the Vatican.”

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said the Tánaiste should invite the Vatican Secretary with Relations for States to Ireland for a meeting to discuss the revelations in the report.

Speaking on Raidió na Gaeltachta, Mr Martin said the relationship between Ireland and the Vatican must be re-examined in the light of what was revealed in the report. It was clear an apology from the Vatican was called for.