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The Cloyne Report submitted as evidence to the International Criminal Court

September 29, 2011

Amnesty International Ireland and the Center for Constitutional Rights have both cited the Cloyne Report as evidence of the Catholic Church’s continued cover-up of clergy sex crimes.  The Cloyne Report has been presented to the International Criminal Court at The Hague for their review.

Shortly before Pope Benedict XVI left Rome for his trip to Germany the Vatican issued their official response to the government of Ireland concerning the Cloyne Report.  The Cloyne Report sparked common outrage among the citizens of Ireland.

The Prime Minister of Ireland, Enda Kenny, following the publication of the Cloyne Report in July, addressed his parliament with the following words:

“For the first time in this country, 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, the disconnection, the elitism…that dominate the culture of the Vatican today.

The rape and the torture of children were downplayed or ‘managed’ to uphold instead, the primacy of the institution, its power, its standing and its reputation”.

The Prime Minister was expressing his and his citizen’s outrage at the findings of the Cloyne Report.  The Cloyne Report, which examined clergy sexual abuse reports in the diocese of Cloyne from 1996 to 2009, found that the bishop of Cloyne, John Magee, was continuing the Catholic Church’s long standing practice of concealing criminal child sexual abuse reports from law enforcement authorities.

The now retired bishop of Cloyne, John Magee is not a cleric of inconsequential stature. Magee is the only cleric in Vatican history who has served as personal secretary to three pontiffs; Paul IV, John Paul I and John Paul II.  Magee wielded tremendous power and influence in the highest echelons of the Holy See.

As disturbing as the revelations were that Magee was not reporting child sexual abuse reports to the police, the Cloyne Report found that the Vatican itself was discouraging Magee from making those reports.  A 1997 letter from the Vatican, addressed to Ireland’s bishops, stated that “the situation of mandatory reporting gives rise to serious reservations of both a moral and canonical nature.”  The Vatican issued the letter in response to proposals put forth by the bishops of Ireland in 1996 that called for the mandatory reporting of clerical sex abusers to law enforcement officials.

This correspondence from the Vatican indicating that the Holy See had “reservations” about a mandatory reporting policy for clerical sex offenders in Ireland certainly contributed to Prime Minister Kenny’s affirmation to his parliament that :

“This is the Republic of Ireland 2011.  A republic of laws, of rights and responsibilities, of proper civic order, where the delinquency and arrogance of a particular version of a particular kind of morality will no longer be tolerated or ignored.”

The rule of law which Mr. Kenny so eloquently spoke of was found to have been flagrantly violated by bishop Magee.  Magee did not report clerical sex crimes to the police, although he reported that he had done so.  In addition to not reporting sex crimes Magee also deliberately falsified the testimony of a diocesan priest.

The commission investigating the diocese of Cloyne found that Magee had created two distinctly separate accounts of his meeting with priest perpetrator Fr. Caden (see investigation beginning on page 269 of report). Caden had been summoned to meet with Magee following a report from a victim/survivor who reported to Magee that he had been sexually assaulted by Caden as a youngster.

Magee created two versions of what took place at that meeting, even going so far as to indicate that the meeting took place on two different dates.

The minutes from the meeting which Magee states occurred on September 15th, 2005 indicate that Fr. Caden admitted to the sexual abuse that had been reported.  Magee even notes that Caden offered his resignation which Magee then asked him to put in writing.  This description of events was sent in a report to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in the Vatican.  The CDF, formerly the Office of the Holy Inquisition, is the destination for all reports of clerical sex abuse throughout the world.

The minutes from the meeting which was to have occurred on September 22nd, 2005 stated that Fr. Caden was “shocked and immediately denied the allegation.”  This report indicating that Caden had denied sexually abusing a child was placed in the files of the Cloyne diocese.

When asked by the commission to explain the differing version of events Magee explained that it was his understanding that reports sent to the Vatican could not be “discoverable”.

In other words evidence of crimes that had been committed against citizens of Ireland could be hidden away at the Vatican.  This action would deliberately interfere with any criminal investigation that Irish officials wished to conduct.  In the United States the term most often used to describe this activity is “obstruction of justice.”

In their official response to the government of Ireland this month the Vatican stated that the Prime Minister’s, and the Irish governments, concerns about the continued cover up of sex crimes against the children of Ireland, and the subsequent interference with the rule of law in their nation was “unfounded”.

In a strong rebuke to the Prime Minister the Vatican stated that “…the accusation that the Holy See attempted to ‘frustrate an inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic as little as three years ago, not three decades ago’ which Mr. Kenny made no attempt to substantiate is unfounded.”

The official response by the Vatican was a 25 page statement which argued that the Holy See did not hinder the investigation of child sexual abuse reports in the diocese of Cloyne.  The Vatican further claimed that it did not interfere with Irish civil law despite evidence to the contrary.

The Vatican claims that the 1997 letter to the Irish bishops expressing their reservations about the mandatory reporting of clerical sex offenders was simply “misunderstood.”  The Vatican further added that Irish bishops “were free to apply the penal measures of canon law to offending priests.”

The Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland, Eamon Gilmore replied to the Vatican’s official response by stating that it was “legalistic and technical” and that the 1997 letter which the Vatican claims was “misunderstood” actually “provided a pretext for some to avoid full cooperation with the Irish civil authorities”.

Gilmore added that “the sexual abuse of children is such a heinous and reprehensible crime that issues about the precise status of documents should not be allowed to obscure the obligation of people in positions of responsibility to deal with such abuse promptly and report it”.

Prime Minister Kenny said that he stands by his speech remarking that “I do not regret my response to the report (Cloyne Report) when I made that statement to the Dail (Irish parliament) in July, I will respond fully in due course”.

Deputy Prime Minister Gilmore affirmed the content of Kenny’s speech stating “Yes, the Government does stand over what the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) said in the Dail…the Taoiseach was speaking for the Government, and he was speaking, I believe for the people of this country”.

Gilmore clearly indicated what is at stake for Irish Government and the Irish people when he added “the point here, as far as the Government is concerned, is that the issue we want addressed is the welfare of children and the protection of children.”

Terence McKiernan, of BishopAccountability, perhaps articulated the current situation in Ireland most clearly when he stated that “Pope Benedict’s response shows the Vatican is still in denial.  It still wants people to believe that civil law and the Vatican’s internal policies are parallel legal systems…Benedict’s response shows that he is still bewitched by the church’s self descriptions and policies and procedures, still pretending that the church’s reactive and belated statements break new policy ground, and still unwilling to admit that the structures and policies that emanate from Rome have caused the rape of children, in Cloyne and in diocese worldwide.


  1. JuneAnnette permalink

    A Lead for SNAP to follow . . .

    The Raphoe Diocese Report from Ireland was slated for release at the end of August.

    As you probably are already aware, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) has stated: “In the coming months, CCR will continue to gather information and evidence of additional crimes of rape and sexual violence and associated cover ups by the Catholic Church. We continue to urge all members of the clergy, church officials, and anyone else with information about sexual violence against children to come forward.”

    I am sure the the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) would welcome the additional incriminating evidence undoubtedly contained in these much awaited documents!
    I’m confident, that in view of the statements made by the Raphoe Diocese press officer below, you can be assured of the church’s full cooperation!

    Perhaps a SNAP representative can make some inquiries.


    Hundreds of children abused by 20 priests
    Shocking new report to reveal cover-up scandal in diocesePhilip Boyce: Bishop of Raphoe will publish report / By Greg Harkin / Thursday August 11 2011

    EXCERPTS from article:
    A shocking new report will reveal how up to 20 paedophile priests abused hundreds of children in one diocese over a 40-year period — sparking a new cover-up scandal for the Catholic Church.
    Clergy are severely criticised for the way victims and their families were treated in the diocese of Raphoe, Co Donegal.
    The report is due out later this month.

    The contents of the report are said to be “horrific” and outline a catalogue of allegations against priests who abused young children and senior colleagues who failed their victims.
    “There were hundreds and hundreds of victims,” one source told the Irish Independent, “and they were abused again and again while the church actively prevented investigations by the civil authorities.

    The audit of the diocese was led by Ian Elliott chief executive of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church. The board was founded in 2006 and has compiled audits on six of Ireland’s 26 dioceses.
    A spokesman for Mr Elliott said his board ‘s report examined “the full extent of all complaints or allegations, knowledge, suspicions or concerns of child sexual abuse, made to the Raphoe diocese by individuals or by the civil authorities in the period 1 January 1975 to the present day, against Catholic clergy.”
    The clergy included all members of religious congregations affiliated with Raphoe.
    Raphoe diocese press officer, Fr Paddy Dunne, told the Irish Independent he believed the audit would be published within weeks. “No exact date has been set for its publication but I believe it will be before the end of August,” he said.
    “It is very important that we are open and honest about what is in it and that we deal with all the issues which are raised.”
    The Raphoe diocese set up a child protection committee in June 2006. Bishop Boyce said last month that all abuse allegations are now reported to gardai.”

  2. JuneAnnette permalink

    Postscript to my comment above . .

    Perhaps this may go a long way in explaining the delay in the release of the Raphoe Diocese Report

    RELATED . . Source: Sydney Morning Herald / Link:

    Article: Ireland on edge as church sex abuse report nears / Dublin / August 31, 2011
    EXCERPT from article:
    Throughout the decades of denial, the young men who were preyed on by paedophiles had one champion – a retired police detective, Martin Ridge.

    Mr Ridge moved to the county at the end of his career, and became so disturbed by official indifference that he wrote a book, Breaking the Silence.

    He predicted that the Raphoe report would be ”damning” and would expose the same culture of ”local denial and cover-up” that was found in other Catholic dioceses across Ireland. Mr Ridge admitted the police force he served in all his working life would not be spared withering criticism in the report.

    Two years ago the Murphy report into widespread clerical abuse of children in Dublin, Ireland’s largest Catholic diocese, found that senior Garda officers colluded with four archbishops and top clerics in covering up the sex crimes of priests on a massive scale in the city.

  3. Not only Ireland but the entire Roman Catholic World is involved in these Crimes Against Humanity.

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