The Guardian lies about WikiLeaks US cable on Vatican and Irish sex abuse inquiry

The Guardian newspaper is up to its old anti-Catholic tricks of selective quoting from sources and misrepresenting facts, this time a WikiLeaked US diplomatic cable, in order to paint the Vatican and Catholic Church in the worst possible light, as  can be seen from today’s headline:

‘ WikiLeaks cables: Vatican refused to engage with child sex abuse inquiry: Leaked cable lays bare how Irish government was forced to grant Vatican officials immunity from testifying to Murphy commission.’

This headline contains two factual errors:

1. The US diplomatic cable shows that the Vatican did not refuse to engage with the Murphy Commission, but did insist that the Commission use official diplomatic channels to make requests.

‘Ultimately, Vatican Secretary of State (Prime Minister equivalent) Bertone wrote to the Irish Embassy that requests related to the investigation must come through diplomatic channels via letters rogatory.’

Regrettably the Murphy Commission did not take up Cardinal Bertone’s offer to assist the investigation.

2. The Irish Government was not forced to grant Vatican officials immunity from testifying to Murphy commission. Vatican officials, such as the Papal Nuncio to Ireland, do not require the granting of immunity which they possess in their own right as representatives of a sovereign state.

This fact is acknowledged in the US cable:

‘Regarding the request for the Nuncio to testify, Keleher said the GOI understood that foreign ambassadors are not required or expected to appear before national commissions.’

Protect the Pope comment: The factual errors contained in the headline and byline of The Guardian article on the WikiLeak US cable on the Vatican prove, if proof is necessary, that its editorial team and reporters cannot be trusted to give an accurate, factual report of the Vatican’s response to the Murphy Commission.

It is also obvious that The Guardian’s editorial policy to the WikiLeaks on the Vatican is to selectively quote and misrepresent the facts in order to bolster up their black propaganda against the Catholic Church.

If you want to get a true picture of the content of the WikiLeaks Us diplomatic cables its best to ignore the discredited Guardian propaganda and read the actual texts.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/251110

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/10/wikileaks-vatican-child-sex-abuse-investigation

11 comments to The Guardian lies about WikiLeaks US cable on Vatican and Irish sex abuse inquiry

  • Karla

    Wow I was just about to post this article on the Catholic forum I am on, until I read this. Do you know where I can find an honest story on this new wikileaks cable story?

  • Deacon Nick

    Hi Karla, I have yet to come across an honest account of the new WikiLeaks cable story. Maybe the Catholic press will do one in the coming week. Keep an eye on the Catholic Herald website.

  • jimdene

    Think for yourself, but don’t just believe what you want to believe

  • Tim H

    “Vatican officials, such as the Papal Nuncio to Ireland, do not require the granting of immunity which they possess in their own right as representatives of a sovereign state.”

    Yes, but they are granted immunity by Ireland when the Republic of Ireland decides freely to regard the Holy See as a sovereign state. Immunity was not granted on a case by case basis because that isn’t how it works with foreign ambasators, but the fact remains that the Nuncio has immunity and they he has immunity because, and only because, it was granted by the Irish state as part of Ireland’s recognition of the Holy See as a state party. The fact also remains that the Holy See is able to waive the immunity of their Nuncios and they have not (although such a waiver is usually at the request of the other state and their is no evidence that Ireland made this request; this does not reflect well on the Irish state and suggests that their commitment to the Murphey commission is not a strong as it ought to be).

    UK diplomats have immunity in Dublin, but that isn’t because they have it as an inherent part of their person, but because Ireland has decided (wisely, I think) that it wishes to have diplomatic relations with the UK and those relations involve reciprocal granting of diplomatic immunity. If a UK diplomar committed a serious crime in Dublin, the Dublin government would request that the FCO waive diplomatic immunity and in most cases the UK would do this (in the interests of good relations with a friendly country and to aviod the embarasment of getting a diplomat expelled)

    If the Nuncio has done nothing wrong it is unfortunate that he still has immunity as it makes the affair look fishy even when it may not be. The blame for this my rest with the Vatican, the Irish state or a combination of both, but neither state party comes out of this with as much credit as they could have had if immunity had been lifted.

    As a practical matter conducting an investigation (letters Rogatory etc) though diplomatic channels whilst perfectly legal under international law is not necessary as the Vatican could have decided not to insist on such channels being used. It chose not to do so (not I suspect because it was engaged in a coverup but because it thought that the task of preserving the dignity of the state that is the Holy See was more important than the expeditious investigation of serious crime).

    • Deacon Nick

      The media reports suggested that ‘Vatican officials’ were granted immunity specifically with regard the Murphy Commission as a result of pressure from the Vatican. This is not correct. A Papal Nuncio is an ambassador whose credentials were accepted years before the commission. Ambassadors have immunity because they are accepted as ambassadors. This immunity is inherent to being an ambassador.

      By the way, there was no suggestion that the Papal Nuncio had committed any crimes, petty or serious that required his appearance before the commission.

      The question has to be asked is why didn’t the Murphy commission use official channels? Why didn’t the Murphy commission avail themselves of the offer made by the Vatican to approach them for assistance using official channels?

  • Tim H

    “The question has to be asked is why didn’t the Murphy commission use official channels? Why didn’t the Murphy commission avail themselves of the offer made by the Vatican to approach them for assistance using official channels?”

    I absolutely agree. The Murphy Commision comes out of this badly. As for the Church, well to allow all this talk of “immunity” certainly wasn’t smart PR.

  • MC Murphy

    “The question has to be asked is why didn’t the Murphy commission use official channels? Why didn’t the Murphy commission avail themselves of the offer made by the Vatican to approach them for assistance using official channels?”

    Why?
    1. Because the Commission was an independent body and didn’t think it necessary to go through highly politicised ‘diplomatic channels’ to request information from a Church about Canon Law and how it affected its clergy in Ireland. It was the Church that decided to behave like a state instead of a Church but failed to inform the Commission.
    2. Because the Vatican/Papal Nuncio didn’t give the Commission the courtesy of a direct reply to that effect.

    • Deacon Nick

      By the very fact of contacting the Papal Nuncio, who is the officially recognised ambassador of the Holy See, the Murphy Commission must have known it was engaging with the Vatican state! The Papal Nuncio was not an Irish Bishop or priest. The Papal Nuncio did not choose to act as a representative of a State, he was a representative of a State. The very fact of contacting the Papal Nuncio was a political act, with political ramifications. Are you telling me that the Commission members were so naive as to not know what they were doing? Anyway, why did the Murphy Commission want to contact the Papal Nuncio in the first place, they could have got information about canon law from an Irish bishop or a canon lawyer?

      Regarding your second point, I would imagine that the Murphy Commission was informed that the Holy See was prepared to deal with them by the Irish Government, but for some unfathomable reason choose not to avail themselves of this offer.

      • MC Murphy

        You are wrong on all counts.

        The Commission was independent of the State (whose departments it was also investigating) and of politics. Its only real naivety was that it thought it was dealing with a Church, and with a Church that was actually interested in helping it and co-operating with it in uncovering truth. It wrote to the Nuncio as the highest representative of the Church in Ireland seeking his help. The Nuncio didn’t even give it the courtesy of a direct reply, something which he later admitted was the wrong thing to do.

        The Murphy Commission was never informed of the offer because the Vatican also didn’t bother to give it the courtesy of a reply.

        It would help considerably if those commenting here actually bothered to investigate the series of events.

        • Deacon Nick

          The Papal Nunico is not the highest representative of the Church in Ireland, that would be the Cardinal. The Cardinal gave full assistance to the Murphy Commission. The Church was interested in ‘helping and co-operating with it in uncovering the truth’. The WikiLeaks show that the Irish Government was involved with the Murphy Commission and the Vatican over this issue. So this use of the word ‘independent’ needs to be qualified. The Irish Government sought to act as a go between between the Commission and the Vatican. The WikiLeak cable shows that the Irish government decided not to press the issue because it decided that the CDF [Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] wouldn’t have much to add. Maybe you need to go and have a read of the WikiLeak cable about this issue, to see its a bit more complicated than you suggest.

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