THERE was a somewhat low-key reaction among the international press to the publication of the Cloyne report into child sex abuse.
Many British newspapers chose not to cover the story, although The Guardian labelled the report “devastating”.
Citing former Bishop of Cloyne John Magee as being a “confidante of three popes” and an extremely powerful man in the church in Ireland and in Rome, it outlined how he was centrally involved in “deliberately misleading authorities in the republic about the church’s internal inquiries into children’s claims that priests were abusing them”.
Much of the more prominent coverage was visible in the US, with many of the papers focusing on how the Vatican chose to handle the reports of abuse in the diocese.
The New York Times pointed out how the Catholic Church here was covering up the abuse of children by priests as recently as 2009, long after it issued guidelines meant to protect those children while the Vatican in Rome “tacitly encouraged the cover-up by ignoring the guidelines”.
The Washington Post went with the headline: “New report on Catholic Church cover-ups of child abuse in Ireland blames bishop, Vatican.”
The report went on to label the Cloyne Report as exposing the “chronic cover-up of child abuse” in the diocese and stressed how the Government warned that “parishes across Ireland could pose a continuing danger to children’s welfare today given Cloyne’s claims to be following church child-protection policy while actually ignoring it”.
The Boston Globe also took up the story again pointing out how the Cloyne diocese “ignored rules on reporting abuse”.
The newspaper reported how the developments from the report showed “the tensions between civil and ecclesiastical justice in a crisis that has shaken the church’s moral authority worldwide”.
It also pointed out how the report exposed “a complex tug of war between the Irish church and the Vatican over how to handle abuse, with a fine line between confusion and obstruction”.