Vatican Protected Abusive Irish Priests

A newly surfaced 1997 letter reveals that Vatican officials advised Irish bishops not to report priests accused of child molestation to the authorities, expressing reservations about the bishops’ own policy of mandatorily reporting all accused abusers. The Vatican has maintained it never tried to control local bishops’ actions in abuse cases, a claim the resurfaced document appears to refute. “The Vatican is at the root of this problem,” said one Irish abuse victim. “Any suggestion that they have not deliberately and willfully been instructing bishops not to report priests to appropriate civil authorities is now proven to be ridiculous.” The letter was written shortly after a priest child-abuse scandal brought down the Irish government in 1994, and is expected by some to be a sort of smoking gun in sex-abuse litigation against the Vatican, something the church denies.