BBC News Europe

3 September 2011

The Vatican has rejected claims by Irish PM Enda Kenny that it sabotaged efforts by Irish bishops to report child-molesting priests to police.

It follows the damning Cloyne Report that showed how allegations of clerical sex-abuse in Cork had been covered up.

In a speech to parliament in July, Mr Kenny accused the Church of putting its reputation ahead of abuse victims.

The Vatican said it was “sorry and ashamed” over the scandal but said his claims were “unfounded”.

“The Holy See is deeply concerned at the findings of the commission of inquiry concerning grave failures in the ecclesiastical governance of the diocese of Cloyne,” said the Vatican, in a detailed response to the allegations.

Enda Kenny accused the Catholic Church of putting its reputation ahead of child rape victims

Mr Kenny had told the Irish parliament that the report into how allegations of sex abuse by priests in Cork had been covered up showed change was urgently needed. “The rape and torture of children were downplayed or ‘managed’ to uphold instead the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and ‘reputation’,” he said. Parliament then passed a motion deploring the Holy See for “undermining child protection frameworks” after a letter to Irish bishops appeared to diminish Irish guidelines on reporting sex abuse by referring to them as “study guidelines”.

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