On Monday February 27th, 2012, we began publishing The Global Intelligence Files, over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered “global intelligence” company Stratfor. The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011.
They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.
Ireland’s government demanded answers from the Vatican’s
ambassador Thursday after a fact-finding report concluded that Rome
secretly discouraged Irish bishops from reporting pedophile priests to
Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore summoned Pope Benedict XVI’s representative
in Ireland a day after a judge-led investigation found that the Vatican in
1997 encouraged bishops to reject the Irish church’s tough new
Gilmore and Prime Minister Enda Kenny accused the Vatican of violating
Ireland’s sovereignty by instructing bishops in the letter that they
should place the church’s laws above the nation’s. The letter warned
bishops here that their 1996 policy – requiring all suspected pedophiles
in the priesthood to be reported to police – would undermine the church’s
“There’s one law in this country. Everybody is going to have to learn to
comply with it. The Vatican will have to comply with the laws of this
country,” Gilmore said after his face-to-face grilling of the ambassador,
a rare experience for the pope’s diplomats anywhere, let alone
Gilmore said he wouldn’t let the Vatican repeat previous denials of
responsibility. That happened following Ireland’s 2009 publications of
reports into three decades of Dublin Archdiocese cover-ups and six decades
of abuse in church-run residential schools. Irish taxpayers have already
funded more than euro1 billion ($1.4 billion) in payouts to 13,000 people
over the latter scandal.
“We’re not going to let it rest. … We want a response from the Vatican
to this report,” Gilmore said.
Ever since Ireland’s first Catholic child-abuse scandal triggered a
government’s collapse in 1994, the Vatican has stressed it was a solely
local, Irish problem that Rome-based officials regretted but had no role
in promoting. Pope Benedict repeated this line in his 2010 pastoral letter
to the Irish people.
The pope’s ambassador to Ireland, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, refused to
take reporters’ questions outside the foreign ministers’ office.
Head bowed, he read a short statement saying he wanted to stress “the
total commitment of the Holy See for its part in taking all the necessary
measures to ensure the protection of children.”
Leanza said he had just received a copy of the latest Irish
government-ordered report into Catholic cover-ups. The government
published the report online the day before. Leanza said he would “bring it
to the immediate attention of the Holy See.”
In Rome, Vatican officials declined to comment.
Kenny, who didn’t attend the meeting with the Vatican diplomat, said his
government soon would make it a crime to withhold evidence of child abuse
from the police. He specified this would include any information a priest
received during the sacrament of confession.
“The law of the land should not be stopped by a crozier or a collar,”
The church insists that a priest must keep confidential any crimes
revealed to him during a confession.
Ireland’s latest investigation details the 1996-2009 concealment of abuse
complaints in a County Cork diocese. It is seen in Ireland as particularly
significant because it documents the diocese’s dismissal of the church’s
first official get-tough policy that supposedly went into force in 1996.
The investigators attributed the failure, in part, to the Vatican’s
criticism of the Irish initiative in its response a year later.
Kenny called the Vatican’s written intervention – first revealed in full
by The Associated Press six months ago – “absolutely disgraceful.”
Irish leaders had sought formal Vatican approval. Instead the Vatican’s
then-ambassador, the late Archbishop Luciano Storero, warned Irish bishops
that a powerful church body, the Congregation for the Clergy, had ruled
that such mandatory reporting of abuse claims to civil authorities
conflicted with canon law.
Storero wrote that the Irish policy had the status of “merely a study
document,” while the new Irish policy of making the reporting of suspected
crimes mandatory “gives rise to serious reservations of both a moral and
He wrote that canon law, which required abuse allegations and punishments
to be handled within the church, “must be meticulously followed.” Any
bishops who tried to impose punishments outside the confines of canon law
would face the “highly embarrassing” position of having their actions
overturned on appeal in Rome.
Leanza, who was appointed to Dublin in 2008, has come under fire in
Ireland for repeatedly rebuffing requests from Ireland’s series of
state-ordered investigations into Catholic Church concealment of
child-abuse crimes. Last year he refused to testify before a parliamentary
committee trying to explore the Vatican’s role.
Ireland’s church took its 1996 initiative under public pressure as the
first Irish cover-ups came to light. A former altar boy, Andrew Madden,
was first to go public with his lawsuit against the Dublin Archdiocese,
which had tried to settle the claim in quiet.
Madden offered one possible solution Thursday to the church’s difficulty
in choosing between Ireland’s laws and its own, which still do not make
explicit the need to report suspected child-abuse crimes to police.
“If the bishops want to live by canon law,” he said, “they should take
themselves off to the Vatican and live there.”