The Vatican refused to help investigators looking into the child sex abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland, US diplomats told Washington. Leaked diplomatic cables maintained that the Vatican refused its officials to testify before the commission.
The documents released by whistle-blower site Wikileaks, showed that the church received requests from the Murphy commission in 2009 but did not comply. The cables stated that many in the Vatican were angered by the summons and felt that the Irish government had failed to respect and protect Vatican sovereignty during the investigations.
Adding insult to injury, Vatican officials also believed some Irish opposition politicians were making political hay with the situation by calling publicly on the government to demand that the Vatican reply, the cable read.
The Irish child abuse scandal broke in the 1990s, after Irish government enquiries established that hundreds of lay persons and priests had abused thousands of children in Ireland for decades. The Murphy commission's findings, published in November 2009, revealed that Catholic priests tried to cover up the abuse for decades.
It was also found that Irish archbishops were aware of complaints against 46 priests between 1975 and 2004. But, fearing the reputation of the Church, the complaints were ignored. Ireland's police also reportedly colluded with the Catholic church in covering up clerical child abuse.
In 1999, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern also announced a program to respond to the abuse, including a compensation scheme into which the government and various religious orders made contributions.