Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Response to the Irish Government

I would commend the Thirsty Gargoyle's comments on The Vatican's Response to the Irish Government, on the recent accusations by the Irish Government.
Reading some of the comment in the Irish papers over the weekend, there seems to be extraordinary inability to engage with simple plain facts.


GOR said...

As he did with the original intemperate outburst of Enda Kenny and the Cloyne Report, the Gargoyle has put it all in proper perspective, as in: the real truth. The man is good!

And, apparently, he’s not done yet…

Toby said...

I second that GOR. The Gargoyle's analysis is absolutely superb. If only a mainstream news organisation would show such high regard for truth.

Peter said...

Father thank you for the link to an excellent analysis.
I see that the response says:
"In the light of the findings of the Cloyne Report, the basic difficulty with regard to child protection in that Diocese seems to have arisen not from the lack of recognitio for the guidelines of the Framework Document but from the fact that, while the Diocese claimed to follow the guidelines, in reality it did not."
To which the question is left open, “Why not?” It is easy to blame the bishop of Cloyne but there seems to have been no supervision of him. The previous sentence shows the “hands-off” approach:
"The firm and determined approach adopted by the Irish Bishops was respected by the Holy See and made it unnecessary for it to intervene further."
Well if the Vatican was not going to “intervene further” so as to ensure that a diocese was following the guidelines who was going to do so? At the end of the section it notes: "Unfortunately, the introduction of new guidelines does not seem to have led to significant improvements in the Diocese of Cloyne until 2009."
Later we see:
"In this context, with due respect for the prerogatives and responsibilities of individual Bishops, the Holy See has the responsibility of ensuring the unity of faith, sacraments and governance in the Church, and the maintaining and strengthening of ecclesial communion. Where this unity and ecclesial communion are compromised, the Roman Pontiff may act directly or through the offices of the Roman Curia to rectify matters." Well yes. But the actions of the bishop of Cloyne either did not “compromise” the governance of the Church or the Pontiff and Curia failed “to rectify matters.”
I get the impression that the Curia does not have the resources to monitor bishops and does not consider this a task that should be performed.

Perhaps inspectors, like those currently visiting Ireland but with teams trained for the work, should routinely inspect dioceses. The methodology would develop over time but would cover finance, employment practice, respect for buildings, teaching, liturgy, child protection etc. I suspect that a frequent finding would be that clerics were unaware of what they should do and that training is inadequate.
The point about training applies elsewhere: the main reason for the crash of the Air France plane flying from Rio to Paris was that the crew had not been trained in how to fly the plane when the instruments ceased to operate reliably. The command and control arrangements did not work although they complied with all requirements.
I wonder if the Bishop of Cloyne had been trained in child protection: he was responsible for ensuring that the diocese had an effective policy.
In my view it would be better to give a bishop training, support and advice before there is a major failing like that at Cloyne rather than have to say that it was not the fault of the Vatican.
Prevention is better than cure.

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