The Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland issued a very strongly worded statement calling on Ireland’s archbishops and bishops of the priests concerned, “to publicly repudiate this report in the strongest possible terms and to support the priests involved in seeking to restore their reputations”.
The Association says Dolan’s report had “effectively destroyed the reputations of priests, who have given lifelong service to the Irish Catholic Church, without giving them a right of reply to the allegations made against them”.
Calling Dolan’s report “incompetent,” and saying that it is unacceptable that a report to the Pope be conducted in such as way, they said “no court of law would treat people in such a way”.
The Association pointed out that under Canon Law clerics are entitled to their good name. Quoting, Canon 220 which states that ‘No one may unlawfully harm the good reputation which a person enjoys . . .’,” they said “civil law also protects a person’s good name through the laws of libel.”
It was “ironic” they said “that it was precisely the failure of church superiors to follow either canon or civil law in abuse cases which led to the Apostolic Visitation in the first place”.
News category: World.