The news that Pope Benedict has written a letter to Cardinal Sean Brady apologising for the Catholic Church's role in the Irish child abuse scandal is, of course, a welcome development. But it does not go far enough. The Pope makes no apology for the cover up, and he seems quite content for those who perpetrated these terrible misdemeanours to remain in office.
No one in the Irish Catholic Church seems to be willing to stand up and accept culpability for what went on. Wouldn't it be nice for Cardinal Brady to accept that someone's head has to roll, and it should be his? Instead, he stands by while men of cloth, under his rule, give interviews to radio stations saying that they would not report paedophiles to the Police because of the "need for confidentiality".
I spoke about this on last night's Stephen Nolan Show. Stephen had interviewed a man called Monsignor Maurice Dooley on his show the night before. I was listening at the time and felt almost physically sick at what I was hearing. He made clear that his church's rules were more important than the physical safety of vulnerable children. Would he report a paedophile priest who he knew was abusing kids? No, he said, he most certainly would not.
And this "Man of God" has no doubt preached his sermon today, somewhere in Ireland. The Catholic Church has "distanced itself" from Monsignor Dooley. Not sacked him. They have distanced themselves. And it shows that the Catholic Church of Ireland has a long way to go before a line can be drawn under this terrible period in its history.
If you would like to hear the 10 minute discussion between Stephen Nolan, Olly Mann and myself on the Nolan Show from last night - I promise you it is worthwhile - click HERE and scroll in 2 hours 10 minutes.