The Irish are broadly lauding this week's thunderbolt from Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who denounced the Vatican's role in the past 17 years of abuse scandals. He accused the Holy See of downplaying "the rape and torture of children" and hiding behind its status as a sovereign state with its own secrecy-obsessed canon laws.
Astonished cabbies pulled off the road to watch the unprecedented speech on their smartphones. Victims of clerical sexual abuse, who have spent two decades trying to be heard and believed, cheered a day they thought would never come.
Watch and cheer with them.
The latest investigation, into the County Cork diocese of Cloyne, was published last week. It found that officials there were still shielding suspected pedophiles from the law until 2008.
That's 12 years after the Irish church unveiled a new policy requiring the mandatory reporting of all suspected crimes to police. And seven years after Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and head of the Vatican's powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, ordered bishops worldwide to report all abuse cases to him, too.
However, the Cloyne report highlighted a 1997 letter from the Vatican to Irish bishops warning them that their new crime-reporting policy undermined canon law and had not won the Holy See's approval. For the first time, an Irish fact-finding inquiry found the Vatican culpable in promoting the culture of cover-up.
Cue Tim Minchin! (EXTREMELY NSFW)