REPORTS that some religious orders will not attend a meeting with the Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn later this week is further evidence, if indeed it’s needed, that many of the organisations involved have not accepted or come to terms with their own role and culpability in these heinous crimes, even after a decade in which these outrageous scandals have been exposed relentlessly.
Representatives of the 18 congregrations that managed residential institutions for children investigated by the Ryan commission are due to meet with the Minister this coming Friday. However, reports in recent days indicate clearly that some may not attend.
The expressed purpose of Friday’s meeting is to discuss a 200 million euros shortfall in an expected 50:50 contribution by the orders concerned to costs incurred by the State in compensating former residents of the institutions.
At present the Government is asking the relevant orders to transfer ownership of schools to the State to help make up the shortfall, but they are taking issue with this, saying they never agreed to make such a contribution to State costs.
The government argues that this has been on the table for some time, and point out that the taxpayer has already paid for the bulk of it.
This disagreement is all the more illustrative coming in the wake of last week’s Cloyne Report which painted a grim picture of the lengths to which that diocese went to cover up, mislead, give false accounts and failed to report many of complaints against the priests in question.
The report is utterly damning in its findings of an institution, some of whose members engaged in heinous acts, but who were then protected by church leaders who were prepared to obstruct and obsfuscate in their efforts to safeguard their own repuations and positions.
The tentacles of this scandal spread all the way to the Vatican, with the Papal Nuncio un-cooperative in his dealings with the commmission.
And this was not something which occurred far off in the mists of time. The report clearly states that the Cloyne diocese was ignoring the church’s own guidelines on child proectioin as recently as 2009.
The Cloyne Report paints a depressing picture of the culture of secrecy and lies which the Catholic Church was prepared to surround itself with in dealing with reported cases of abuse.
It shows an institution besotted by its own onetime power and dominance, but ultimately destroyed by this misplaced sense of itself.
Humility would have served dioicese of Cloyne very well in dealing with its problems.
But the Catholic church still seems to find humility a tough act, as evidenced by this disagreement with the Minister., and the absence of the senior Church figures named in the Cloyne Report to account for themselves last week.