There is now evidence that Vatican officials in 1997 told Irish bishops they were concerned about the Irish policy of reporting priests who were suspected of child abuse to police or civil authorities. A document that has been uncovered indicates Archbishop Luciano Storero, then the Vatican’s chief representative in Ireland told Irish bishops that the Vatican had reservations about mandatory reporting for both “moral and canonical” reasons. Naturally, a lawyer for the Vatican insists the statement has been “deeply misunderstood” and the only reason for making such a statement was to ensure punishments were not overturned on technical grounds. The document appears to contradict repeated statements from the Vatican that at no point did the Pope attempt to cover up sexual abuse.
There is an old adage in life about admitting mistakes and telling the truth. Those who are open in saying they made a mistake earn our respect. Those who continue denying what they did simply make us seek to turn our heads and bow them in sorrow.