Taoiseach Enda Kenny today told the Dáil the Cloyne report exposed an attempt by the Holy See to frustrate the inquiry into clerical sex abuse.
Addressing the House, Mr Kenny said: “The rape and torture of children were downplayed or ‘managed’ to uphold instead, the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and ‘reputation’.
"Far from listening to evidence of humiliation and betrayal with St Benedict’s “ear of the heart” … the Vatican’s reaction was to parse and analyse it with the gimlet eye of a canon lawyer… . This calculated, withering position being the polar opposite of the radicalism, humility and compassion upon which the Roman Church was founded."
"The revelations of the Cloyne report have brought the Government, Irish Catholics and the Vatican to an unprecedented juncture," the Taoiseach said.
"It’s fair to say that after the Ryan and Murphy reports Ireland is, perhaps, unshockable when it comes to the abuse of children. But Cloyne has proved to be of a different order.
"Because for the first time in Ireland, a report into child sexual-abuse exposes an attempt by the Holy See, to frustrate an inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic … as little as three years ago, not three decades ago. And in doing so, the Cloyne Report excavates the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism … the narcissism … that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day."
Mr Kenny said the Cloyne report told “a tale of a frankly brazen disregard for protecting children”. He said although the report had shown the need for the Vatican “to get its house in order”, it also revealed how the State had failed victims too.