A recently released1997 Vatican letter to the Irish Bishops reveals the Vatican instructing Irish bishops to keep allegations of priest sex abuse to themselves and not share them with civil authorities including the police. The Vatican letter is a response to a 1996 Irish bishops’ initiative to cooperate with police in apprehending priest sex abusers.
The letter undermines the Catholic Church’s credibility since they have always maintained that they never stopped bishops from cooperating with law enforcement in the investigation of priest sexual abuse cases.
As a Catholic priest abuse lawyer, I’ve heard bishops and archbishops swear in deposition testimony and in other court proceedings that they were never told by higher Church authorities that they were not to involve civil authorities. This newly revealed letter proves otherwise.
The letter was signed by no less than the papal representative to Ireland, a high ranking authority in the Church. He is the pope’s emissary to Ireland. When he signs such a formal letter, he is speaking in the name of the Pope himself. If the Irish bishops were told in no uncertain terms not to cooperate with police in child sex abuse cases involving priests, it’s safe to assume the American bishops were under the same orders.
The directive came from the very top of the church hierarchy. All along, I’ve been saying the church documents reveal the truth. This latest bombshell revelation proves it. There is no equivocation in the letter, it’s crystal clear. The Catholic Church has been involved in a massive cover-up in which thousands of children were sexually abused.