VOTFI message to the Papal Nuncio, Dec 5th, 2009


The Papal Nuncio is the Pope’s messenger to Ireland and to the Irish Catholic church. We too are part of the Irish church and we have a message for the Pope which we are asking the Nuncio to pass on to him.

Voice of the Faithful (survivors of clerical abuse and their supporters), has written an open letter to the Pope, which we are delivering today. We ask him to respond to the devastation caused to Irish children by clerical sexual abuse and to the damage done to the faith of the people of Ireland by the failure of the leadership of the Church to deal with these horrible crimes.

We want a world-wide investigation across the Church into why this happened. We want a culture of accountability in the Church. We want hypocritical and duplicitous bishops removed and leaders put in place who will safeguard children and be accountable to their people.

We also have a message for the papal Nuncio himself. His office is specifically referred to in the report as refusing to respond to the requests of the Murphy Commission to release documents in the nunciature or in Rome relating to the abuse of children by Dublin clerics.

The excuse given is that of diplomatic protocol. If the Nunciature was an ordinary embassy that might be a regrettable but understandable response – embassies hold secrets and sometimes conceal crimes. But the primary purpose of a Nuncio in canon law is to maintain the bonds between the local Church and the universal Church and so this is not acceptable. Those bonds have been seriously damaged by the Nunciature’s failure to cooperate with this inquiry, as Archbishop Martin has done.

Even at this late stage, the Nuncio could help to repair these bonds, if he were to apologise for the failure of his predecessor and to cooperate with the Commission from now on. This would go some way to showing that the Nuncio, and the Pope and Curia, whom he represents, care about how the men whom they appointed as bishops have failed the Catholic children of Ireland.

5 December, 2009

Contact: Dr. Bryan Maguire
On behalf of
Voice of the Faithful, Ireland