July 14th, 2011
05:11 AM ET
By Richard Allen Greene, CNN
The Catholic Church in Ireland did not take serious steps to stamp out child abuse by priests even after the scandal blew up worldwide and the Irish bishops put rules in place to stop it, a new report says.
The report demolishes claims by the Catholic Church there that policies it put in place in 1996 have enabled it to get a handle on the problem.
The Church's explanation that it was on a "learning curve" in handling allegations of abuse "could not have had any basis or relevance in Cloyne," said the report, which focuses on the diocese of Cloyne around Cork in southern Ireland.
Ireland's top churchman, Cardinal Sean Brady, called the report "another dark day in the history of the response of Church leaders to the cry of children abused by Church personnel."
March 23rd, 2011
10:56 AM ET
By Richard Allen Greene, CNN
Organized religion will all but vanish eventually from nine Western-style democracies, a team of mathematicians predict in a new paper based on census data stretching back 100 years.
It won't die out completely, but "religion will be driven toward extinction" in countries including Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands, they say.
It will also wither away in Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland and Switzerland, they anticipate.
They can't make a prediction about the United States because the U.S. census doesn't ask about religion, lead author Daniel Abrams told CNN.
March 20th, 2011
08:21 AM ET
By Peter Taggart, For CNN
The Catholic Church in Ireland is pledging an extra 10 million euros (about $14 million) to help victims of abuse at the hands of priests and other Catholic officials, it announced this weekend.
The announcement comes on the one-year anniversary of a major papal statement on the widespread problem of child abuse in the deeply Catholic country.
"As a result of the grievous wrong of abuse, for many survivors their faith in God and the Church has been profoundly damaged," said Ireland's senior churchman, Cardinal Sean Brady.
January 19th, 2011
10:50 AM ET
A 1997 letter from the Vatican's representative to bishops in Ireland warns them to follow church law in investigating cases of suspected child sex abuse by priests and expresses "serious reservations" about requiring that such cases be reported to the police.
The Vatican has responded by calling the letter "deeply misunderstood."
And a spokesman for the Conference of Irish Bishops said they have since 1996 had a policy of reporting suspected abuse to the police.
The two-page letter, written by Apostolic Nuncio Luciano Storero, was sent to bishops in Ireland in response to a document they had sent to the Vatican that recommends mandatory reporting of cases of suspected child sex abuse by priests.
December 13th, 2010
11:53 AM ET
The Holy See's press office Saturday urged the public to read the latest Vatican-related diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks with "great prudence," claiming the allegations cited in the documents reflect only the view of their writers.
Without going into specifics on a number of allegations that emerged with the U.S. cables, the Holy See Press Office said that the reports "reflect the perceptions and opinions of the people who wrote them and cannot be considered as expressions of the Holy See itself."
"Their reliability must, then, be evaluated carefully and with great prudence, bearing this circumstance in mind," the statement said.
December 13th, 2010
11:41 AM ET
Relations between the Vatican and Ireland deteriorated sharply as the Holy See appeared to ignore a commission looking into complaints of physical and sexual abuse of children by Irish priests, according to U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks.
One cable from earlier this year says the Vatican was angered by the way the Murphy Commission - which was looking into the how complaints of abuse had been handled by the Church and Irish government - sidestepped normal diplomatic channels.
The commission had written directly to the Vatican to seek information and requested a meeting with the Vatican's representative in Ireland. The Vatican envoy did not respond, according to the cable.
September 1st, 2010
04:04 PM ET
Editor's note: Watch CNN's interview with Cardinal Brady in a special report by Nic Robertson on "Connect the World" on CNN International at 9 p.m. London time/4 p.m. ET.
Months after the revelation that he helped cover up for one of Ireland's most notoriously abusive priests, the country's top Catholic churchman, Cardinal Sean Brady, says he has "moved on" and will not resign.
"I've moved on there, I think, and I got a lot of support in my decision," he told CNN in a rare interview.
About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.