Just a guess.
From RTE in Ireland:
Just when the Irish bishops were beginning to come to grips with how to deal with the clerical sexual abuse problem, Rome intervened and tried to enforce Vatican policy which put the interests of the priest, not the victim, first.The AP has more:
In a strictly confidential letter seen by WYB, the Vatican threatens the Irish bishops that if they follow their new child protection guidelines it would support the accused priest if he were to appeal to its authority.
The letter tells the Irish bishops that the Vatican has moral reservations about their policy of mandatory reporting and that their guidelines are contrary to canon law.
In 1999 the Irish bishops were called to a meeting at the Congregation for the Clergy in Rome and told by the Cardinal Prefect, Castrillon Hoyos, to be "fathers to your priests, not policemen!"
A 1997 letter from the Vatican warned Ireland's Catholic bishops not to report all suspected child-abuse cases to police — a disclosure that victims' groups described as "the smoking gun" needed to show that the church enforced a worldwide culture of covering up crimes by pedophile priests.And:
The newly revealed letter, obtained by Irish broadcasters RTE and provided to The Associated Press, documents the Vatican's rejection of a 1996 Irish church initiative to begin helping police identify pedophile priests following Ireland's first wave of publicly disclosed lawsuits.
The letter undermines persistent Vatican claims, particularly when seeking to defend itself in U.S. lawsuits, that Rome never instructed local bishops to withhold evidence or suspicion of crimes from police. It instead emphasizes the church's right to handle all child-abuse allegations and determine punishments in house rather than give that power to civil authorities.
The 1997 letter, signed by the late Archbishop Luciano Storero, Pope John Paul II's diplomat to Ireland, instructs Irish bishops that their new policy of making the reporting of suspected crimes mandatory "gives rise to serious reservations of both a moral and canonical nature."In a response:
Storero 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, he wrote.
The Vatican says a letter warning Irish bishops against reporting sexual abuse of children to police has been misunderstood.Sure, ok. That explains it.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said that with its 1997 letter, the Vatican wanted to ensure that Irish bishops follow church law precisely so that pedophile priests would not have any technical grounds to escape church punishment.
Tell me again why The Church is given any credibility when it comes to matters of sexual morality. Given its atrocious history in dealing with the rape and torture of those in its care (like this story), why should any (ANY) pronouncement about sex about coming out of The Vatican (or any Catholic church, for that matter) be given any weight whatsoever?
Jesus would never allow a priest to continue to rape boys. Would He?