The blogosphere has erupted over whether this newly revealed 1997 letter from a senior Vatican official to Irish bishops constitutes a “smoking gun,” because it expresses concerns about a proposed mandatory reporting policy — now implemented — of abuse cases to secular authorities.
On the one hand, it sure doesn’t look good — at the very least, it’s “certainly a public relations embarassment,” according to National Catholic Reporter’s John L. Allen Jr.. On the other hand, as Allen and GetReligion’s analysis explain, it’s not really anything new or surprising, either.
- Vatican letter warned bishops on abuse policy (NYT)
- Vatican: 1997 Irish abuse letter “misunderstood” (AP)
- Letter from 1997 shows Vatican concern to ensure abuse verdicts, officials say (Catholic News Agency)
- Vatican letter to Irish bishops: A “smoking gun” in conspiracy? (PoliticsDaily)
Meanwhile, clergy abuse victim advocates have been stepping up their efforts, with attorney Mitchell Garabedeian releasing a list of accused abusers in the Boston Archdiocese and attorney Jeff Anderson opening a European branch of his law firm to aid in going after accused abusers in Ireland and elsewhere.
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