WOJTILADerrickCeyrac:AFP:Getty Images)

A formal investigation of Dublin’s Catholic Archdiocese concludes that there is “no doubt” that child sexual abuse was covered up by Church authorities over four decades. Patsy McGarry has more:

One of the most fascinating discoveries in the Dublin Archdiocese report was that of the concept of “mental reservation” which allows clerics mislead people without believing they are lying. According to the Commission of Investigation report, “mental reservation is a concept developed and much discussed over the centuries, which permits a church man knowingly to convey a misleading impression to another person without being guilty of lying”.

The NYT story today is here. More here from the AP:

[A] report in May sought to document the scale of abuse as well as the reasons why church and state authorities didn't stop it, whereas Thursday's 720-page report focused on why church leaders in the Dublin Archdiocese – home to a quarter of Ireland's 4 million Catholics – did not tell police about a single abuse complaint against a priest until 1995. By then, the investigators found, successive archbishops and their senior deputies – among them qualified lawyers – already had compiled confidential files on more than 100 parish priests who had sexually abused children since 1940. Those files had remained locked in the Dublin archbishop's private vault.

The investigators also dug up a paper trail documenting the church's long-secret insurance policy, taken out in 1987, to cover potential lawsuits and compensation demands. Dublin church leaders publicly denied the existence of the problem for a decade afterward – but since the mid-1990s have paid out more than euro10 million ($15 million) in settlements and legal bills..."

If the Catholic church were a secular institution in Ireland and had been found guilty of child abuse to the massive extent the Church has, it would be forced to close. Its top officials would not be issuing statements of apology and regret, but serving sentences in jail. The name of John Paul II would not be a revered mantra; it would be synonymous with the head of an international organization that had to be dragged kicking and screaming to acknowledge its own long-running, institutional brutalization of generations of defenseless children.

In the name of Jesus.

(Photo: the Pope who presided over an era of denial and cover-up of child-rape, John Paul II, by Derrick Ceyrac/AFP/Getty.)

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.