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Irish Cardinal promises cooperation with Government probe

Cardinal Desmond Connell of Dublin (pictured) has promised that Church authorities will "cooperate fully" as government officials expanded their investigation of clerical sex-abuse charges.

Micheal McDowell, the government minister for health and children, has announced that law-enforcement officials will conduct an aggressive probe of sex-abuse charges, with an eye to filing criminal charges. He warned that investigators would not be allow Church officials to invoke the Code of Canon Law as a reason to withhold evidence.

In a combative public statement, McDowell said that under the laws of Ireland, canon law carries no more significance than the bylaws of a golf club. And he insisted that he was not worried about provoking the hostility of the Catholic hierarchy.

"I'm not afraid of a belt from a crozier," McDowell said. "I am acting in the prudent interest of the state and the victims."

In his own statement, Cardinal Connell said that the Church would cooperate with "any body of inquiry set up by an appropriate authority." But he also said that he was confident an investigation set up under the auspices of the Irish Church was "fully equipped" to provide a full exposition of the facts.

Catholic World News


The Vatican announced the names of the members of a new joint commission set up to study and revise some elements of the US bishops' sex abuse norms.

The Vatican called for the commission last week, saying it was concerned that "ambiguity and confusion" could arise when the norms are applied because some provisions are "difficult to reconcile with the universal law of the church."

In a statement on Wednesday, the Vatican named the commission members from Holy See offices. They include: Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy; Archbishop Julian Herranz, president of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts; Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; and Archbishop Francesco Monterisi, secretary of the Congregation for Bishops.

It said the US members of the commission are: Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago, Archbishop William J. Levada of San Francisco, Bishop Thomas G. Doran of Rockford, and Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport.

Catholic News Service

Irish cardinal heckled after Mass while apologising for abuse cases (Catholic News Service)
Irish Catholicism in crisis (BBC)
Statement of Cardinal Desmond Connell (23/10/02)
Statement from Bishop Eamonn Walsh, Apostolic Administrator Diocese of Ferns
Statement issued by the Dublin Diocese in relation to Prime Time programme of 17th October 2002
RTE News Prime Time: "Cardinal Secrets" | Real Media video of report | Real Media video of TV discussion
Vatican reply not a rejection of zero tolerance (John Allen in National Catholic Reporter)
The Vatican's day of shame
Cardinal Law Tells Priests Meeting he Considered Resigning (AP)

25 Oct 2002