News / Europe

Irish Bishop: Vatican Response to Scandal 'Inadequate'

A leading Irish Catholic bishop says "shameful" sex abuse against children has taken place within the church, and he says the Vatican's response to the scandal has been "hopelessly inadequate."

Dublin Archbishop Dairmuid Martin spoke Thursday at a special Mass in the capital.  He told worshippers that past cases of abuse by priests must be examined, if  the church is to regain credibility.  

He also warned against any attempts to rewrite history to minimize the impact of the scandal on its victims.  He said there is no "fast-track" healing for those abused by Catholic clergy.

In Rome Thursday, Pope Benedict made no mention of the abuse scandal as he delivered his Holy Thursday homily at a special Mass in St. Peter's Basilica.

The Mass was dedicated to priests and was attended by scores of clergy, who were urged by the pontiff to oppose violence.

An Irish state judicial report last year chronicled decades of sexual and physical abuse by church officials against children in Catholic-run institutions.  The inquiry also described church efforts to cover up the scandal, and said church officials did virtually nothing to protect the children for much of the 20th century.

Pope Benedict, the former German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, has himself been accused of failing as a Vatican officer in the 1970s to take action against an American priest who sexually abused 200 deaf boys. The Vatican has denied the charge.

Wednesday, Vatican Cardinal William Levada said a trial for the suspect priest would have been "useless" by the time Cardinal Ratzinger knew of the abuses, because the suspect priest was by that time near death.

Levada also criticized the New York Times newspaper for reporting on Ratzinger's alleged failings, saying the U.S. diocese that handled the case was at fault rather than Cardinal Ratzinger.

 

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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