Responding to the Cloyne Report Joe Higgins TD said:
Words are inadquate to describe the harm that has been done to those who have been abused by the clergy but I want to put on record my and my party’s solidarity to the abused and commend them for their bravery in stepping forward to tell their story to the Commission.
The fact that these crimes were perpetrated after 1996 by which time the Church was supposed to have had child protection measures in place in the wake of the Brendan Smith case demonstrates that the public repentance by the hierarchy cannot be taken at face value.
The lack of prosecutions post the Murphy report will likewise means that there is no certainty the perpetrators exposed in the Cloyne report will see justice. The Minister of Justice must account for this.
Clare Daly TD said:
Between the Murphy Report and the Cloyne Report it is clear that the Vatican was party to a criminal conspiracy to prevent the Irish authorities being informed in a timely fashion of reported cases of abuse.
The refusal of the Papel Nuncio to respond to questions posed to them by the enquiry is a calculated snub not just to the authors of the report but to Irish society at large and the victims of abuse in particular.
The Vatican is the ultimate seat of power for the Catholic Church internationally but also has the status of a nation state with the Papel Nuncio playing the role of ambassador in Ireland. I call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs Eamonn Gilmore to expel the Papel Nuncio as a minimal response to the belligerence of the Vatican who instructed the church locally not to inform the authorities of reports of abuse in the first instance.
This coupled with concrete measures to make real the separation of Church and State is part of dealing with the legacy of abuse.