Vatican to issue 'strong response' on abuse report


The Vatican will issue a "strong reponse" to the findings of the Murphy report after the pope meets Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and Cardinal Seán Brady on Friday, the papal nuncio has said.

The report revealed a catalogue of cover-ups and inaction by senior Church figures in face of serious allegations of abuse. It also revealed Vatican officials refused to deal directly with the commission's
investigators, suggesting they should use official diplomatic channels instead.

Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza told reporters after his meeting with the Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin at Iveagh House today. that communication between the Catholic Church and the Governmment would be improved in the future. The nuncio had been asked to visit the department to explain why there
had been no response from the nunciature to correspondence from the Commission of Investigation into the Dublin Archdiocese.

"We discussed the different aspects and we try to improve communication between the Government and the Church in the future to avoid misunderstandings," he said. "I conveyed to the Minister the shock, the profound shock, the dismay of the Holy See concerning the findings of the commission's report," he said.

"I informed also the Minister that this weekend, takes place in Rome a meeting with the Holy Father and Archbishop Martin and Cardinal Brady and they will discuss this report. Certainly, I think there will be a strong response from the Holy See," Dr Leanza added.

"I suppose the meeting between the Pope and the two Archbishops will be based also on analysis of the report and certainly some response will be given, I think so."

The Holy See was "studying carefully" the report, he continued. "This will need a certain time. The Holy Father certainly condemns strongly [child abuse]. This Murphy report is now under study and the Holy Father will take any action that is necessary."

Asked about his office's failure to repsond to letters from the Murphy commission, he said the office received just one letter during his time and he believed a response had not been demanded.

Asked why the Vatican had not responded to, or condemned, the findings of the Murphy or the Ryan report, he said: "No, because the Bishops have been very clear on this and the Vatican has been very clear. We have always condemned the abuse, absolutely. No-one alive can approve such behaviour.

"As I told you we feel ashamed for what happened. Really I express my shock and dismay and certainly I understand the anger of the people and the suffering, so we certainly condemn this. If there was any mistake from our side we always apologise for this," he said.

"I think this is clear that mistakes were there. So no-one would like to cover up . It is much better that what has been wrong emerges."

Mr Martin, who had initiated today's meeting, said he had conveyed strongly to the papal nuncio the "real need to respond comprehensively" to the pain of victims and to the anger of the Irish people.

He had also stresseed the need for a "comprehensive response from the Vatican". He demanded a clear commitment to full co-operation from the Church with the forthcoming Cloyne Inquiry.

"He [Archbishop Leanza] put the point that the Vatican had always wanted to co-operate with the Inquiry. He did indicate that he did regret he didn't acknowledge the letter that he received...He acknowledged that he should have replied formally.

"He said he wanted to make it clear there was absolutely no attempt to ignore the situation, that the Vatican and the Pope were taking their time to study the detail of the report and had taken the initiative of inviting Archbishop Martin and Cardinal Brady to Rome for this meeting on Friday which would shape the nature of the response, but that there would be a response. And he was sure that there would be a response."