Enda Kenny has shown mettle this week. A week after the publication of The Cloyne Report into the vile, depraved sexual abuse by 19 clerics in the Roman Catholic diocese that bears this name it was a cathartic and refreshing moment to discover that Ireland actually has a statesman at the helm of Government with principles, integrity, backbone and conviction who is not as afraid of his own shadow, as was the case with too many of his deferential predecessors’.
The menace, subversion and hostility of The Holy See with respect to Irish citizens over the past 30 years contrasts starkly with their high-octane input into the consultations in April 1937 in relation to the draft Constitution and the recognition deValera sought to confer on the role and status of the Catholic Church under Article 45 (defunct since the 1972 constitutional referendum).
DeValera’s emissary, then Secretary of the Department of External Affairs, spent 3 intensive days of dialogue with the then Cardinal Secretary of State, Eugenio Pacelli – (who served as Pope Pius XII from 1939 to 1958), poring over this document, before it was even presented to Dáil Éireann, to secure the approval of Pope Pius XI. Pacelli was most energetic and determined in his attempts to have Ireland adopt a Catholic Constitution because it was, Pacelli believed, the only Catholic Country in the world. The Vatican also wanted nothing less than absolute control over marriage.
This Republic needs to waken up and take care of its vital interests and those of its most vulnerable citizens. The custom of automatically appointing the Papal Nuncio as Dean of the Diplomatic Corp must be immediately discontinued if the self respect of the nation is to be preserved. The Tánaiste also ought to consider whether there is even a basis for maintaining diplomatic relations with the Holy See whose contempt and derision effectively puts vulnerable people in harm’s way.
Furthermore, Bishop John Magee, the former Papal Master of Ceremonies ought to have had the backbone and gumption to be in this country and account for himself and his 22-year tenure as bishop. His own Archbishop, Dermot Clifford, should urgently consider if the interests of his ‘dear people’ would be better served by his immediate resignation after a 26-year tenure in Cashel and Emly with catastrophic episodes of paedophilia and mortal tragedy not just in Cloyne - but also in Limerick. Peter McCloskey was 37 years old when he relayed in March 2006 his experience of being allegedly raped by two priests in Limerick in 1980 and 1981. It was apparently put to McCloskey that the diocese could sue him and he could become liable for the associated costs. This greatly distressed McCloskey who died by suicide on 1 April 2006.
Finally, Cardinal Brady must reflect on his own credibility after his robust defence of Bishop Magee in 2009, his friend of 50 years, in the light of the Cloyne Report’s findings and his failure to report Brendan Smyth to the civil authorities for 19 years.
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely!