WikiLeaks Cables: “Ireland Gave In To Vatican’s Pressure on Sexual Abuse Scandals”

Mihai-Silviu Chirila

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WikiLeak’s U.S. diplomatic cables show Ireland giving in to the pressure of Vatican to grant the church officials immunity as the government investigates decades of sexual abuse by Irish clergy in the country with most Catholic predominance.

The fact that the Vatican used diplomatic immunity for its clergy in order to dissuade the government from probing this kind of investigations has been known for a long time.

The WikiLeaks documents published on Saturday by The Guardian shows delicate assessments of the situation.

Though the Vatican declined to comment on the cables released on Saturday, it assessed them as of  “extreme gravity.”

The leaks were also condemned by the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, who reiterated that his country and Vatican promote universal values.

According to WikiLeaks, Irish deputy ambassador to Vatican told American ambassador that Irish government agreed to grant immunity to Catholic clergy officials in exchange for testifying.

The Irish ambassador apparently told an American diplomat that the sex abuse scandals are a “tricky business to manage.”

One cable shows behind-the-scene maneuvers during which Irish politicians tried to persuade the Vatican to cooperate with the investigation.

The cables also refer to the relations the Catholic Church has with the Anglican Communion, especially about the invitation the pope made to the disaffected Anglicans to join the Catholic Church, a gesture that chilled the relations between the two churches and risks to backfire on the British Catholics.

According to a cable from November 2009, the decision of the pope to make it a lot easier for the Anglicans to convert to Catholicism worsened the relations between the two countries more than anything had for the last 150 years.

Last year Vatican simplified the procedures for admission to the Catholic church of Anglicans, in order to accommodate those of them who were disappointed in the ordination of women and gay bishops in their church.

Vatican created “personal ordinariates,” thus allowing the former Anglican people to attend their traditional liturgy and be served by married priests.11

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